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Position Players to Start
After a stint on the disabled list Drew Stubbs has stormed back on to the field hitting the ball very well. I expect the trend to continue this week. Stubbs is set to face off with starters against whom he boasts a .351 career average with three home runs. If you have had Stubbs resting on your bench to see how he would perform coming back from the injury, make sure you get him active this week.
The likelihood of Nick Swisher contributing to your team this week with the benefit of the long ball seems pretty high given his career track record. Though Swisher has not performed exceptionally of late he has nine career home runs off of the A.L. East division starters he faces off with this week. He figures to be a nice source of power for your squad this week.
Very few players will get an endorsement as a must start on a week when they are slated to face off with the San Francisco Giants and their pitching staff, but few players have had the type of success that Ian Desmond has against Bumgarner, Cain and Lincecum. The powerful second baseman gets the nod this week touting a career. 452 batting average against the starters he and the Nationals will battle this week.
Corey Hart doesn’t have the stat line over the last couple of weeks that would lead you to label him a must start entering this week, but his success against this weeks pitchers say otherwise. Hart owns an impressive .347 career average to go with four home runs and should find a spot among your starters this week.
Alex Rios has been smashing the ball for the White Sox lately. This week has the making of more of the same. Rios has a .333 career batting average when facing this week’s starters. Find an outfield slot and plug him in to your starting lineup.
Position Players to Avoid
Miguel Montero has been hot of late, helping your team with his strong run production. This week will challenge his recent success as he squares off against pitchers who have historically got the best of him. A .263 career average with four home runs doesn’t sound too bad, but much of that success is driven by the numbers off one pitcher. You may be tempted to ride the hot streak, but Montero likely will cool off some this week.
If you stacked your team with Arizona Diamondbacks, reading this may discourage you this week. Not only do I expect Miguel Montero to have a tough go of it, but Justin Upton has an uphill battle staring him in the face this week. Upton has been heating up lately and pulled his average up with the help of several multi-hit games. The problem this week is that against several of the pitchers he is set to face Upton doesn’t even have multi-hits against them in his career. Upton’s talent and your depth may still force you to find a spot for him in your lineup, but if you are choosing between him and another similar player, you may elect to bench Upton this week.
Starlin Castro is always in the discussion when experts talk about the best young hitters in the game. The last couple of weeks tend to support that analysis, but the production has not been proportionate. With only a .243 career average against this week’s starters, Castro has some real work to do to keep the hot streak alive. Slide another player in to your lineup this week until Castro can come up on some better matchups.
Brian McCann just has not lived up to his draft stock this season. Lately, the numbers have been even worse. Not that McCann lacks the talent to turn things around, but this week the matchups just are not in his favor. He does have home runs against four of the pitchers that he faces, so a long ball or two is not out of the question, but unless he can parlay that power in to some impressive production this week might just be another week of mediocre outputs.
Ben Zobrist is more of a fantasy owner favorite among the daily lineup leagues with his multiple position eligibility allowing him to be plugged in all over the place to cover off days and injuries, but he is also a capable contributor in other formats, as well. Lately Zobrist has been knocking the cover off the ball and subsequently might be difficult to bench. Balance his recent hot streak with a .146 career batting average with no home runs off this week’s probable starters and you get a more accurate picture of what to expect from Zobrist this week.
Two Start Pitchers
Two favorable matchups:
Johnny Cueto-ok so he doesn’t exactly fit the title with two favorable matchups, but with his success lately (until his most recent start) I can’t sit him down.
Clayton Richard-On the surface history shows success against the D-Backs and trouble with the Reds. The inflated numbers from the Reds are from one bad outing and with his recent success and the matchup being in the cavernous Petco Park I’m starting him.
Chris Sale gets two cracks at win number ten this week? I’m thinking a run at win ten and eleven may well be in the cards for Sale this week.
Zack Grienke-good news for the Brewers front office as Grienke draws matchups with teams his is collectively 6-0 against this week to drive up the asking price for potential suitors as the trade deadline nears.
Trevor Cahill has four wins in his last five outings and an earned run average under one against both of his opponents this week…you have to start him!
A.J. Burnett has a 5-2 against the Giants and 2-5 against the Astros. That history would land most people in the land of the dreaded coin toss, but the 2012 version of Burnett is a different story. In his previous outing against the Astros this season he lasted eight innings only allowing two earned runs. Recent history wins out.
Jordan Zimmerman almost has fallen in the land of a forgotten starter as he went a month between wins. He gets two favorable matchups this week and may get himself two wins in July right out of the gate.
Jered Weaver has won both of his starts since coming off the disabled list with a back injury and looks to be his old self again. He has a combined 10-5 record with an earned run average of right around three. The Angels may continue to limit his innings, but Weaver can be as effective as many starters in limited time.
James McDonald-sometimes things happen and you just can not explain them…like a Pirates pitcher with a career sub .500 record pitching great and being among the league leaders in several categories. Quit trying to figure it out and just start him.
Matt Moore has pitched well of late and is starting to deliver the kind of outings that lead him to be so highly touted on draft day. His history is limited with the opponents he takes the mound against this week, but I am willing to take a chance.
Jarrod Parker was the first of this season’s talented young pitchers to show up in the big leagues and he hasn’t disappointed. Parker has been successful against this week's matchups even in his brief stint. He is a solid short term investment and even better long term buy.
Kyle Lohse is another starter who many forgot after a string of no decisions. He may not figure in the decision, but his contributions are enough to warrant having him in your lineup for his two trips to the mound this week.
Chris Capuano is on my list of those pitchers who I did not think could keep up with the early season success, but he is continually proving me wrong. His record and earned run average against the opponents this week is not impressive, but that history rests with the pitcher that Capuano was prior to this season. Who knows, maybe my endorsement will be the motivation he needs to bomb both outings.
Jason Hammel has done well against the Mariners, but his most recent outing against the Angels was his worst of the season. The Angels are waiting on him again at the end of this week and seem to be real comfortable with Hammel on the mound.
Jon Lester seems destined to land here given his season 5-5 record. He has high earned run averages against both of his matchups this week, so two rough outings are not out of the question.
Tim Lincecum started the season as a must start and spiraled to nearly being unstartable up until his last start. There is no real science here. I believe in the talent as much as I am scared of the recent troubles.
Ivan Nova will be looked at to anchor the Yankees staff while they battle through a rash of injuries. Nova has mixed results against two of his A.L. East foes. He has pitched well against the Rays, but the Sox have knocked him around.
Tommy Hanson has pitched well in June and despite a losing record he has pitched well in his career against the Phillies. Against the Cubs it is a different story. The Cubs have hit him hard in his career and will look set the week off to a bad start with an early week matchup.
Anibal Sanchez would normally find himself on the bench in week like this, but given his recent success against the Cardinals I have to say that he could be in line to contribute to your team this week.
Max Scherzer is as capable of a fifteen strikeout performance as he is a three inning shelling. Numbers, teams, and matchups are immune to this sort of inconsistency.
The numbers are going to be difficult to forecast for Roy Oswalt as he makes his rounds in the American League. Oswalt will likely see some ups and downs as he settles in to his new role. I feel like this could be the week where he takes his first ‘L’ of the season.
James Shields-The Yankees own him and the Indians have a history of hitting him hard too. Stay away!
Something just doesn’t seem right with Dan Haren. Maybe it is just as simple as my expectations are set too high. Strip away the name and with numbers like Haren is turning he would be dropped in many leagues by now. For now just sit him down and see if he bounces back.
One Start Wonders
Even though these guys get only one start this week, all signs point to them having the opportunity to register good numbers. Make sure to have them active.
Wait til Next Week
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