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Fantasy Forecaster: Full week of interleague

6/17/2008

On tap: It's a full week of interleague play, the first of back-to-back such weeks. Among the intriguing matchups: White Sox-Cubs at Wrigley Field, Red Sox-Phillies in Philadelphia and Cardinals-Red Sox in Boston, a rematch of the 2004 World Series.

Quick click by section: Interleague primer | Game breakdowns | Hitters' matchups | Base stealers' matchups | Pitchers' matchups | Two-start pitchers

Interleague primer: Impact of DH loss/addition

They got chili dogs over there? Game breakdowns

Note: Weather reports are based on upcoming weather forecasts (through Friday), as well as historical trends in those cities. "Poor weather" doesn't guarantee rainouts; those are merely the teams with the highest probability of one or more.

Hit like Mays: Hitters' matchups

Note: Hitter-friendly ballparks are based primarily on recent statistical data (2005 to 2008) comparing home/road performance, much the same method as our Park Factor page. Some personal opinion does go into making ballpark selections.

Run like Hayes: Base stealers' matchups

Note: Matchups are determined by examining both an opponent's catcher and pitching staff. Obviously, teams like the Mets (catcher: Brian Schneider) and Tigers (Ivan Rodriguez) rate as tough teams to run on, while teams like the Padres (Michael Barrett) and Orioles (Ramon Hernandez) rate as easy teams to run on.

Give 'em the heater: Pitchers' matchups

Note: As with the hitter-friendly ballparks, pitcher-friendly ballparks are based mostly on 2005-08 data, with some personal opinion involved.

Two-start notes: I'll draw a hard line after No. 16, Nick Blackburn, in mixed leagues, seeing a notable drop-off in matchups potential immediately afterward. ... I'm also forecasting the Red Sox skipping Tim Wakefield in their rotation due to Thursday's off day and Daisuke Matsuzaka's scheduled return on Saturday. It's possible the team will keep Wakefield on turn on Friday, though, pushing Josh Beckett back to on Sunday and keeping any Red Sox starter from making two starts in Week 12.


Tristan H. Cockcroft covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.