Only three days into the season, we already have our first rescheduled games on the slate, as the matchups involving both colors of Sox (Rays at Red Sox and Royals at White Sox) were postponed well before game time on Monday. Get used to it, kids. April baseball is played at the weather's whim.
The Brewers and Giants open their seasons Tuesday with a game featuring NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. We also will get to bear witness to the first rookie starter debut of the season when Oakland's Trevor Cahill takes to a major league mound for the first time.
Starting pitcher rankings for Tuesday, April 7 (*all stats listed are from 2008.)
Key: Rk. = The author's ranking of that pitcher for today only. T = pitcher throws left-handed or right-handed. Record = pitcher's win-loss record. ERA = pitcher's earned run average. WHIP = pitcher's average number of walks and hits surrendered per nine innings. K/9 = pitcher's average number of strikeouts per nine innings. OPSA = pitcher's on-base plus slugging percentage surrendered to opponents. OPS = pitcher's opponent's composite team on-base plus slugging percentage. CT% = pitcher's opponent's success rate putting the ball in play versus striking out.
Selected notes: Erik Bedard will try to get the Twins out swinging, but Ron Gardenhire's disciplined club was one of the best at putting the ball in play last season. One of the only clubs better at it than the Twins were the Mariners. Don't expect a lot of punchouts from Nick Blackburn, who pitches to contact. Ubaldo Jimenez may give up some runs to the Diamondbacks, but he's a good bet for some strikeouts against the K-prone Snakes. Chris Young has stellar stats, but until he can pitch into the seventh inning consistently, his strikeout and win totals will suffer, and his WHIP and ERA will be lighter than those of more efficient pitchers. Dustin Moseley and Ian Snell are both more talented than last year's numbers show, but you'd have to be pretty confident in the rest of your staff to risk starting them at this point in the season. Remember, it usually takes two good starts to negate the effects of one bad one. And a terrible one can take a lot more to get over.
• Mark Teahen, OF, Royals: is 18-for-43 (.419) with six doubles versus Buehrle.
• Jack Cust, OF, Athletics: is 4-for-7 (.571) with a home run in his career against Moseley.
• Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins: is 8-for-16 (.500) with two home runs and nine RBIs in his career against Bedard, a remarkable track record for lefty-versus-lefty.
• Chad Tracy, 1B, Diamondbacks: is 3-for-6 with a home run lifetime versus Jimenez.
• Ryan Theriot, SS, Cubs: is 8-for-16 with three doubles and a homer against Rodriguez.
• Andre Ethier, OF, Dodgers: is 9-for-20 (.450) with two doubles, four home runs and five walks in his career against Chris Young.
• Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers: One of the few hitters with Lincecum's number, Braun is 5-for-12 with two homers lifetime versus the defending Cy Young winner.
• Skip Schumaker, OF, Cardinals: is 10-for-22 (.455) with two doubles lifetime versus Snell.
• Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals: is 9-for-23 (.391) with two doubles and a homer against Snell.
• Dioner Navarro, C, Rays: is 3-for-19 (.158) with five K's against Beckett.
• Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Red Sox: hitless in 17 career at-bats versus James Shields.
• David DeJesus, OF, Royals: is 9-for-53 (.170) with a .245 slugging percentage in his career against Buehrle.
• Delmon Young, OF, Twins: is 2-for-15 (.133) with six K's versus Bedard.
• Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies: has three hits -- strangely, all doubles -- in 15 career at-bats against Dan Haren, and has struck out seven times.
• Kazuo Matsui, 2B, Diamondbacks: has one hit in 11 career at-bats against Dempster.
• Ryan Ludwick, OF, Cardinals: Is 1-for-11 with no extra-base hits and six strikeouts in his career against Snell.
If you're hardcore
• Willie Bloomquist, OF, Royals: Scary to think he'd be recommended on any day, but he's 9-for-19 (.474 BA) with three doubles lifetime versus Buehrle.
• Nick Punto, SS/2B, Twins: is 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles in his career against Bedard and has batted better than .300 versus lefties in two of the past three seasons.
• Chris Duncan, OF/1B, Cardinals: is 7-for-23 (.304) with three doubles, a home run and a walk lifetime versus Snell.
• Craig Monroe, OF, Pirates: Will the Pirates see his .318 lifetime batting average (7-for-22) and two home runs against Lohse and grant him a rare start against a righty?
Injury list: Out
• Joey Devine, RP, A's (60-day disabled list, elbow)
• Julio Lugo, SS, Red Sox (DL, knee)
• Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners (DL, stomach ulcer)
• David Ross, C, Braves (DL, groin)
Injury list: Day-to-day
• Rafael Soriano, RP, Braves (oblique): is available in the Braves' bullpen
• Willy Taveras, OF, Reds (Illness): missed Monday's game.
• Rain is in the forecast for the Brewers and Giants in San Francisco.
• Forecasted rain for the Blue Jays and Tigers won't factor, as the Rogers Centre roof will be closed.
• A small chance of rain exists for the Braves and Phillies in Philadelphia and the A's and Angels in Anaheim.
Pierre Becquey is a senior fantasy editor for ESPN.com. He previously published under the pseudonym "Pete Becker" and was recognized by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for the best fantasy baseball article (Web) in 2007.
Tristan H. Cockcroft is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and a two-time LABR champion. You can e-mail him here.