Commentary

Tigers, Indians get extra weekend game

Updated: July 16, 2010, 3:24 PM ET
By AJ Mass | ESPN.com

Daily Notes

When do 13 runs scored in a baseball game not count? When they all come in the first four innings of a game that is ultimately postponed by rain. That's what happened to the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers back on May 7. So on Saturday, these teams will now play a doubleheader in Cleveland, where they'll start from scratch. The biggest winner in the postponement was Jeremy Bonderman, who saw six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings evaporate into thin air. His current ERA is 4.79 -- and could have easily been 5.22 -- but he'll be missing this series, just to be sure there's no repeat performance. The complete rankings for the weekend are below:

For starters: Saturday

Selected notes:

• Top of the Charts: Adam Wainwright has won five of his six past starts and somehow managed to lower an already-low ERA by 0.30 in the process. ... Josh Johnson is a perfect 6-0 in his career against the Washington Nationals but with a high, for him at least, 3.55 ERA. ... Cliff Lee is pitching on the road, so don't be concerned about any "Arlington Effect" this time out.

Tim Hudson has a 2.98 career ERA against the Milwaukee Brewers and defeated them 11-3 back in May. He gets the nod ahead of Justin Verlander, who has a 7.36 ERA against the Cleveland Indians this season, though he has yet to lose to them as a result of his generosity.

Matt Cain has been shaky of late, but a Mets lineup with names like Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada isn't exactly scary, Carlos Beltran's return notwithstanding. ... Hiroki Kuroda hurled seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 8. ... Cole Hamels is a lifetime 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA against the Chicago Cubs.

• Rounding out the top: Mike Pelfrey is not the same pitcher who was once 9-1, but he does have an ERA of 2.28 against the San Francisco Giants. ... Fausto Carmona lost a tough one against the Tigers in early June, 3-0. Perhaps he can get some run support today.

• Middle of the road options: Trevor Cahill has never lost to the Kansas City Royals. He's 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA. ... Jeff Niemann squares off against A.J. Burnett. Niemann, for his part, has a 2.93 ERA against the New York Yankees. Burnett has a lifetime record of 12-5 against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 2.98 ERA, but is 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA against them in 2010.

• Streamers on alert: Joe Saunders loves the Seattle Mariners. He has a career record of 8-1 against them, including a 1-0 mark this season in three starts but with an ERA of 5.06. ... Rick Porcello is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA against the Tribe. ... Edinson Volquez makes his return from Tommy John surgery and was unbeaten in his rehab starts, but temper your expectations for his first time back in the majors.

• Thanks, but no thanks: Ross Ohlendorf is 0-6 with a 6.55 ERA against the Houston Astros, and Ryan Rowland-Smith, seeking to avoid his 10th loss, has never defeated the Los Angeles Angels. ... Jorge De La Rosa's career 8.36 ERA against the Cincinnati Reds does nothing to inspire added confidence after his last outing: five earned runs in his 4 1/3 innings in his return from the DL.

For starters: Sunday

Selected notes:

• Top of the Charts: Jon Lester is 2-0 lifetime against the Texas Rangers, so he edges out Roy Halladay for the top spot. ... Halladay's career ERA against the Cubs is 3.00, but he's never beaten them. ... Johan Santana comes in third, thanks to a 2-0 record and 3.89 ERA against the Giants.

Roy Oswalt knows how to beat the Pirates. He's done it 15 times in his career, including twice already in 2010. ... David Price is so far perfect facing the pinstripes. He's 2-0 against the Yankees with a 2.56 ERA, including a victory back on April 9.

Shaun Marcum returns to action after an elbow inflammation had him sidelined for a few weeks. He tackles the Orioles, whom Marcum has a 1.50 ERA against in two starts this year. ... C.J. Wilson shut out the Red Sox for 6 2/3 innings in April and owns a 1.56 ERA against them for his career.

• Rounding out the top: Andy Pettitte is 16-6 over the years against the Rays, but with a 4.01 ERA, and recently, he's not been good. He got roughed up for six runs in five innings in his first loss back in May. ... Derek Lowe beat the Brewers back in May to bring his lifetime stats against them to 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA.

• Middle of the road options: Edwin Jackson has never defeated the Padres, though his efforts this season -- a 2.45 ERA in two starts -- have been admirable. ... Jonathan Sanchez wins more than he loses, but the 4.18 ERA against the Mets will take a whole lot of offense to overcome, and it might not be the day to ask for that kind of help.

• Streamers on alert: Why is Jason Vargas so high? It's partly due to his 2-0 record against the Angels, with a 2.82 ERA. ... Freddy Garcia may actually get his 10th win of the season against the Twins, though he has split his two starts against them already in 2010. ... Alex Sanabia gets one more chance to try and earn his first victory and preserve his spot in the Marlins rotation as he faces the Nationals.

• Thanks, but no thanks: Manny Parra has an 8.10 ERA against the Braves this year in two previous outings. ... Brian Bannister is 1-4 lifetime against the Athletics, with a 5.02 ERA. ... Then there's Jeff Suppan. Do you really need a reason?

Now batting

Hitters' count: Saturday

Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit Tigers: Two games for the price of one, and a 5-for-10 history against the pair of Tigers starters throwing makes Jackson a stone-cold, lead-pipe lock.

Travis Hafner, DH, Cleveland Indians: Hopefully his back is rested enough to allow him to take his licks against Justin Verlander. He's got two homers, 10 RBIs and a .306 batting average against him.

Lyle Overbay, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays: He has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .368 this month, yet is still owned in only 2 percent of ESPN leagues. He's also a career .345 hitter facing Jeremy Guthrie.

Martin Prado, 2B, Atlanta Braves: Prado already has compiled a .900 OPS and six RBIs against the Brewers this season, including the home run he hit off Dave Bush on Thursday.

Ryan Doumit, C, Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates catcher is hitting .533 against the Astros this season, and is 2-for-3 when facing Bud Norris.

Pitchers' count: Saturday

Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers: Kemp is in a 3-for-23 tailspin, and his 2-for-11 (.182) lifetime batting average against Adam Wainwright isn't going to help keep that plane in the air.

Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers: To say he's had difficulty against Tim Hudson would be an understatement. How does 0-for-15 sound to you?

Roger Bernadina, OF, Washington Nationals: His .329 June has given way to a lackluster July and he's 1-for-8 against Josh Johnson.

Coco Crisp, OF, Oakland Athletics: Crisp has an on-base percentage of only .222 this month, and a history of not getting on base (.143 OBP) against Bruce Chen.

Bill Hall, 3B, Boston Red Sox: Although he is 7-for-16 with two home runs in his past four games, he's never experienced Cliff Lee before. I give the edge to the newest Rangers pitcher.

Hitters' count: Sunday

Hideki Matsui, DH, Los Angeles Angels: Against Jason Vargas, Matsui has two hits in five career at-bats, but both of those hits sailed over the outfield wall.

A.J. Pierzynski, C, Chicago White Sox: Nick Blackburn is probably tired of seeing Pierzynski on basepaths against him. The catcher is 12-for-29 (.414) when the Twins pitcher is on the hill.

Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia Phillies: It has been a disappointing offensive season for Rollins, but he has a career .300 batting average against the current Cubs staff, including a 3-for-6 mark versus Tom Gorzelanny.

Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati Reds: Fear not the 1-for-19 slump he's in. Aaron Cook is on the mound, and that has translated to a .429 batting average over Phillips' career.

David DeJesus, OF, Kansas City Royals: DeJesus is hitting .409 against current Athletics pitching, and 10 hits in his last eight games.

Pitchers' count: Sunday

Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs: No question, his .361 July has certainly put Ramirez back on the fantasy radar. However, a date with Roy Halladay -- against whom he's hit only .200 -- is never a walk in the park.

Aaron Rowand, OF, San Francisco Giants: Expect a bevy of strikeouts when Rowand goes up against Johan Santana on Sunday. He's whiffed against him 15 times as compared to only 14 hits.

Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas Rangers: Kinsler's bat is certainly heating up -- .400 in July is very summery indeed -- but he's never been able to solve Jon Lester, as the .083 lifetime average against the Red Sox's lefty would seem to indicate.

Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees: Not only will this be an emotionally draining weekend for the Yankees, but Jeter's history against David Price is not good. Price has limited the shortstop to a .143 batting average.

Julio Lugo, 2B, Baltimore Orioles: Don't be deceived by the .353 batting average in July; Lugo has hit just.233 against the Blue Jays over the past two seasons.

Baseball Challenge Picks of the Weekend

Saturday: Chris Coghlan, LF, Florida Marlins: Admittedly, it's been a slow month for Coghlan  he's hitting just .171 so far in July -- but if anyone can help him get his bat back in the groove, it's Livan Hernandez. Coghlan is 5-for-6 against him lifetime.

Sunday: Miguel Olivo, C, Colorado Rockies: Olivo is hot, hot, hot! He's batting at a .433 clip since July 1 and over the last three seasons has four home runs and a .308 batting average when facing the Reds.

Triage

Injury list: Out

Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins (15-day DL, concussion)

Matt Wieters, C, Orioles (15-day DL, right hamstring)

Eric O'Flaherty, P, Braves (15-day DL, viral infection)

Nick Stavinoha, OF, Cardinals (15-day DL, right shoulder)

Reed Johnson, OF, Dodgers (15-day DL, sore back)

Injury list: Day-to-day

Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers (sore right knee)

Jose Reyes, SS, Mets (sore side)

Russell Branyan, 1B, Mariners (cut on foot)

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Red Sox (hamstring)

Weather concerns

Weatherproof games: None. Three cities have a chance for some thunderstorms each day of the coming weekend. It's Minneapolis, Baltimore and Atlanta on Saturday, with Chicago and Miami jumping in to claim the wet weather along with Atlanta (again) on Sunday.

AJ Mass is a fantasy baseball, football and college basketball analyst for ESPN.com. You can follow AJ on Twitter or e-mail him here.

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