Daily Notes for Wednesday: Rays pose challenge for Pavano
If you followed my advice a few weeks ago and added Carl Pavano as a shot in the dark to have value, you might be pleased that he is doing exactly what would happen in the best-case scenario: controlling his pitches, letting his defense do the work and waiting for his offense to score runs. Now is the time, however, to slide him to your bench; he faces a tall task in the AL East-leading Rays. Tampa Bay has a scary .907 OPS over the last seven days, and if Pavano can't reach back for that something extra, this matchup could get ugly quickly. As I said when Pavano made his debut, most of his value lies in his ability to get a win. The Rays will be a challenge; this game should go a long in way in telling us whether he can actually be worthwhile for a fantasy club still in contention.
|12:05 p.m.||Javier Vazquez||R||10-12||4.38||1.31|| |
|1:10 p.m.||Jorge Campillo||R||7-7||3.61||1.17|| |
|1:35 p.m.||Jeremy Guthrie||R||10-11||3.57||1.22|| |
|2:05 p.m.||Felix Hernandez||R||9-8||3.27||1.34|| |
|2:05 p.m.||Oliver Perez||L||9-7||3.90||1.35|| |
|3:05 p.m.||Barry Zito||L||8-16||5.62||1.68|| |
|3:40 p.m.||Kyle Lohse||R||13-6||3.89||1.29|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Jon Garland||R||12-8||4.54||1.45|| |
|7:07 p.m.||Nick Blackburn||R||9-8||3.75||1.33|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Carl Pavano||R||2-0||3.27||1.09|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Joe Blanton||R||6-12||4.69||1.41|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Zach Duke||L||4-13||5.14||1.53|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Randy Wolf||L||8-11||4.73||1.44|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Dana Eveland||L||8-8||4.21||1.47|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Wade LeBlanc||L||0-0||0.00||0.00|| |
Kevin Gregg, RP, Marlins (knee)
Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels (hamstring)
Jeff Kent, 2B, Dodgers (knee)
Melvin Mora, 3B, Orioles (hamstring)
Frank Thomas, DH, A's (quadriceps)
Yorvit Torrealba, C, Rockies (quadriceps)
Rick Ankiel, OF, Cardinals (abdominal)
Mike Aviles, 2B/SS, Royals (finger)
Eric Aybar, 2B/SS, Angels (hamstring)
Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets (knee)
Mark Ellis, 2B, A's (shoulder)
Jody Gerut, OF, Padres (finger)
Carlos Guillen, 1B/3B/SS, Tigers (back)
Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers (tooth)
Dioner Navarro, C, Rays (hamstring)
Jose Reyes, SS, Mets (neck)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C/1B, Rangers (elbow)
B.J. Upton, 2B/OF, Rays (ankle)
Justin Upton, OF, Diamondbacks )head)
Jack Wilson, SS, Pirates (finger)
Hitters: Even though both Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion have hit better than .300 versus lefties on the season, both fall below the Mendoza Line in their careers versus Zach Duke. Although Rick Ankiel (abdominal strain) is still technically available to play, you might want to sit him. The reports out of St. Louis make it sound more likely he will be shut down sooner than later. Double-check the status of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and B.J. Upton, but it looks like their injuries won't keep them out of the lineup long, if at all. Watch Carlos Guillen's status, as he has an impressive .357 batting average in 42 at-bats versus the Angels' Jon Garland. Josh Hamilton's root canal shouldn't keep him off the field long, but you might look elsewhere anyway; he is 0-for-10 versus Felix Hernandez. Bobby Abreu just can't figure out Edwin Jackson. He is 1-for-18 against him and should ride the pine for your fantasy team if you have other options. Johnny Damon isn't much better at 1-for-14.
Pitchers: Hopefully Jeremy Guthrie's last outing (his worst of the season) wasn't a sign that he has hit the wall of sorts. I'd consider benching him against Daisuke Matsuzaka (16-2) and the Red Sox as a precaution, as his probability for a win has to be considered quite low. Consider Oliver Perez a safe option. Bill Hall, Mike Cameron, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun are among the Brewers who own a career batting average below .200 versus Ollie. The fact that A.J. Burnett is on fire is still being overlooked in some leagues. He is 7-2 in his past 10 starts with a 3.18 ERA and is a no-brainer start against the Twins.
Hitters: Jeff Keppinger hits .360 against left-handers this season, and the Pirates' Zach Duke is hardly a cream-of-the-crop left-hander. David Dellucci might be a good play off the wire as he is 10-for-29 (.345 average) with two homers against Javier Vazquez. Consider Omar Vizquel if you are hurting at shortstop. He is 8-for-23 (.348) with a home run and a triple versus Aaron Cook. Reed Johnson is always an option when the Cubs face a lefty (Randy Wolf this time). Johnson is hitting .344 against southpaws, with an .894 OPS. Nomar Garciaparra has a .302 average versus southpaws this season and has three home runs in 28 at-bats against Doug Davis. Coming off a productive five-homer August, Gary Sheffield should be an option in some leagues. He is 5-for-11 versus Jon Garland, so this is a good time to see if he is available. It obviously has been awhile since he has faced him, but Cliff Floyd is 11-for-26 (.423) with a pair of home runs off Carl Pavano. With a lefty on the mound for Washington (Odalis Perez), consider Chris Coste for your catcher spot. He is hitting .329 versus southpaws this season with a .958 OPS. Jayson Werth (1.071 OPS versus LHP) also should start. Billy Butler is hitting .336 against left-handers this season, and six of his nine home runs were hit off southpaws (including two off Kenny Rogers on Saturday). He's not a bad start against Oakland's Dana Eveland. Brian Giles has two home runs in five at-bats against Hiroki Kuroda.
The remnants of Hurricane Gustav could blow into Texas in time to affect the game between the Mariners and Rangers in Arlington. Consider that contest at a slightly higher risk of rain. There is also a 70 percent chance of showers in Kansas City (A's-Royals) and a 50 percent chance of rain in Detroit (Angels-Tigers). A mere 30 percent chance of showers exists in Miami (Braves-Marlins) and Chicago (Astros-Cubs). Weather-proof games will be played in Milwaukee (Mets-Brewers), Arizona (Cardinals-Diamondbacks), Toronto (Twins-Blue Jays) and Tampa Bay (Yankees-Rays).
Sean Allen is a fantasy baseball and hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.