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Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Saturday's matchups:

Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman - R) at Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R), 1:07
Twins (Nick Blackburn - R) at Mariners (Doug Fister - R), 4:10
Phillies (Joe Blanton - R) at Padres (Jon Garland - R), 4:10
Yankees (CC Sabathia - L) at White Sox (John Danks - L), 7:05
Royals (Zack Greinke - R) at Indians (Jeanmar Gomez - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Kyle Lohse - R) at Nationals (Livan Hernandez - R), 7:05
Pirates (Zach Duke - L) at Brewers (Chris Capuano - L), 7:10
Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R) at Braves (Tim Hudson - R), 7:10
Cubs (Randy Wells - R) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo - R), 7:10
Astros (Brett Myers - R) at Mets (Johan Santana - L), 7:10
Red Sox (Clay Buchholz - R) at Rays (Matt Garza - R), 7:10
Athletics (Dallas Braden - L) at Rangers (Rich Harden - R), 8:05
Dodgers (Chad Billingsley - R) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin - R), 8:10
Orioles (Kevin Millwood - R) at Angels (Scott Kazmir - L), 9:05
Diamondbacks (Daniel Hudson - R) at Giants (Barry Zito - L), 9:05

Day game after a night game: DET, TOR, MIN, SEA, PHI, SD

Injuries - A brief look at players who have been missing time with injuries and their expected returns

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Chad Billingsley, P, LAD (Calf) Expected to start Saturday
Rafael Betancourt, P, COL (Abdomen) Hasn't pitched since Monday
Ricky Nolasco, P, FLA (Knee) Expected to start Saturday
Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN (Wrist) Didn't play Friday, remains day-to-day
Laynce Nix, OF, CIN (Ankle) May not start for another couple of days
Colby Rasmus, OF, STL (Calf) Still not sure when he might return
Clint Barmes, 2B, COL (Personal) Expected to be out until Monday
Jose Reyes, SS, NYM (Oblique) Out Friday, questionable for Saturday
Geoff Blum, 3B, HOU (Neck) Wasn't available Friday, could play Saturday
Chris Denorfia, OF, SD (Hamstring) Available to pinch-hit Friday, could play Saturday
Daisuke Matsuzaka, P, BOS (Back) Couldn't make Friday's start, next start TBD
Billy Butler, 1B, KC (Hand) Out Friday and likely out Saturday
Carl Crawford, OF, TB (Illness) Scratched Friday, considered day-to-day
Michael Saunders, OF, SEA (Shoulder) Could return Monday or Tuesday
Adam Jones, OF, BAL (Shoulder) Didn't play Friday

Players on the DL
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD (Back) Could begin rehab assignment Tuesday
Chris Young, P, SD (Shoulder) Threw another simulated game Thursday and felt good
Jamie Moyer, P, PHI (Elbow) Hopes to start throwing soon and be ready in time for spring training
Stephen Strasburg, P, WAS (Elbow) Likely headed for Tommy John surgery, could miss all of 2011
Jeff Keppinger, 3B, HOU (Toe) Will begin rehab assignment next week
Matt Lindstrom, P, HOU (Back) Double-A rehab assignment set for Monday
LaTroy Hawkins, P, MIL (Shoulder) Underwent season-ending surgery Friday
Jason Bay, OF, NYM (Concussion) Cleared to begin physical exertion
Danny Worth, SS, DET (Heel) Will miss rest of season
Damaso Marte, P, NYY (Shoulder) Still having issues
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX (Hamstring) Remains on track for Monday return
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX (Groin) hopes to return next Friday
Grant Balfour, P, TB (Ribs) Hope to rejoin the Rays on Wednesday
Andy Pettitte, P, NYY (Groin) Felt fine throwing at less than full effort Friday

Transactions - Players who have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.

Called Up
Craig Kimbrel, P, ATL
Samuel Deduno, P, COL
Juan Francisco, 3B, CIN
Antonio Bastardo, P, PHI
Luis Hernandez, SS, NYM

Sent Down
Jesus Feliciano, OF, NYM
Armando Gabino, P, BAL
Mike Minor, P, ATL
Loek Van Mil, P, MIN (designated for assignment)

Placed on DL (15-day unless otherwise noted)
Manuel Corpas, P, COL
Mike Leake, P, CIN
Danys Baez, P, PHI

Activated from DL
Jim Johnson, P, BAL

Signed
Brad Hawpe, OF, TB (minor league deal)

Traded
Brian Fuentes, P, LAA to MIN

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left)

STL Ryan Franklin allowed two runs over two innings Thursday against the Nationals, allowing Washington to send the game to extra innings. Franklin is not in danger of losing his job, but the 37-year-old seems to be tiring as the season wears on, posting a 5.68 ERA in July and August.

WAS Drew Storen surrendered four runs against the Cardinals on Thursday, inflating his ERA from 2.43 to 3.24. The Nationals haven't had many save opportunities recently, and neither Storen nor Sean Burnett has a save since August 15.

Key Matchups - Spotlight on hitters and pitchers with favorable matchups against their opponent on a particular day (generally, individual matchups with fewer than 10 at-bats are not included) *Check status

Hot
Vernon Wells v. Jeremy Bonderman 7-for-22 (.318), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Ichiro Suzuki v. Nick Blackburn 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Chone Figgins v. Nick Blackburn 11-for-19 (.579), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.600 OBP)
Adrian Gonzalez v. Joe Blanton 6-for-13 (.462), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Shane Victorino v. Jon Garland 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Placido Polanco v. Jon Garland 16-for-41 (.390), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.390 OBP)
Mike Sweeney v. Jon Garland 17-for-58 (.293), 5 HR, 16 RBI, 7:5 BB:K (.358 OBP)
Raul Ibanez v. Jon Garland 22-for-66 (.333), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6:6 BB:K (.384 OBP)
Alexei Ramirez v. CC Sabathia 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Alexis Rios v. CC Sabathia 8-for-26 (.308), 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Derek Jeter v. John Danks 4-for-12 (.333), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Asdrubal Cabrera v. Zack Greinke 12-for-26 (.462), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4:1 BB:K (.533 OBP)
Travis Hafner v. Zack Greinke 13-for-37 (.351), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3:12 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Kevin Mench v. Kyle Lohse 7-for-17 (.412), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.444 OBP)
Adam Kennedy v. Kyle Lohse 13-for-32 (.406), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.412 OBP)
Ivan Rodriguez v. Kyle Lohse 12-for-38 (.316), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Felipe Lopez v. Livan Hernandez 11-for-27 (.407), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4:4 BB:K (.484 OBP)
Albert Pujols v. Livan Hernandez 12-for-35 (.343), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5:6 BB:K (.425 OBP)
Alcides Escobar v. Zach Duke 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Ryan Braun v. Zach Duke 7-for-17 (.412), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.474 OBP)
Prince Fielder v. Zach Duke 10-for-33 (.303), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3:8 BB:K (.410 OBP)
Matt Diaz v. Ricky Nolasco 8-for-18 (.444), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Brian McCann v. Ricky Nolasco 12-for-34 (.353 OBP), 5 HR, 12 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.361 OBP)
Dan Uggla v. Tim Hudson 13-for-37 (.351), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3:9 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Blake DeWitt v. Bronson Arroyo 5-for-13 (.385), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Marlon Byrd v. Bronson Arroyo 5-for-13 (.385), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.385 OBP)
Carlos Beltran v. Brett Myers 11-for-35 (.314), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4:7 BB:K (.359 OBP)
Jose Reyes v. Brett Myers 15-for-47 (.319), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1:6 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Hunter Pence v. Johan Santana 4-for-13 (.308), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.357 OBP)
Carlos Lee v. Johan Santana 12-for-39 (.308), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 3:9 BB:K (.372 OBP)
Adrian Beltre v. Matt Garza 9-for-21 (.429), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Josh Hamilton v. Dallas Braden 5-for-10 (.500), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Michael Young v. Dallas Braden 7-for-20 (.350), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.435 OBP)
Coco Crisp v. Rich Harden 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Todd Helton v. Chad Billingsley 6-for-18 (.333), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 3:3 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Hideki Matsui v. Kevin Millwood 4-for-12 (.333), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Alberto Callaspo v. Kevin Millwood 4-for-11 (.364), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Mike Napoli v. Kevin Millwood 5-for-13 (.385), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Howie Kendrick v. Kevin Millwood 8-for-23 (.348), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.348 OBP)
Juan Rivera v. Kevin Millwood 9-for-26 (.346), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.393 OBP)
Torii Hunter v. Kevin Millwood 16-for-39 (.410), 2 HR, 13 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.425 OBP)
Nick Markakis v. Scott Kazmir 9-for-19 (.474), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.524 OBP)
Justin Upton v. Barry Zito 5-for-16 (.313), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4:4 BB:K (.450 OBP)
Mark Reynolds v. Barry Zito 7-for-15 (.467), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7:5 BB:K (.636 OBP)
Stephen Drew v. Barry Zito 9-for-26 (.346), 0 HR, 8 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.357 OBP)

Bronson Arroyo v. Cubs Arroyo has already held the Cubs scoreless through 13 innings this season and gets them at home on Saturday. Chicago hitters have managed a meager .209/.253/.330 line against him in 196 plate appearances, a large enough sample size to indicate that Arroyo's dominance over the Cubbies isn't a fluke. He's seeking to close out a strong August in which he's gone 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA.

Cold
Jose Molina v. Jeremy Bonderman 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Aaron Hill v. Jeremy Bonderman 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Lyle Overbay v. Jeremy Bonderman 1-for-16 (.063), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.286 OBP)
Matt Stairs v. Joe Blanton 3-for-18 (.167), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Jimmy Rollins v. Jon Garland 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.308 OBP)
A.J. Pierzynski v. CC Sabathia 4-for-24 (.167), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Paul Konerko v. CC Sabathia 15-for-69 (.217), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 11:13 BB:K (.325 OBP)
Marcus Thames v. John Danks 1-for-15 (.067), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:7 BB:K (.125 OBP)
Curtis Granderson v. John Danks 1-for-21 (.048), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.048 OBP)
Matt LaPorta v. Zack Greinke 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.273 OBP)
Jayson Nix v. Zack Greinke 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:7 BB:K (.154 OBP)
Ryan Zimmerman v. Kyle Lohse 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.313 OBP)
Aaron Miles v. Livan Hernandez 0-for-10 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.091 OBP)
Yadier Molina v. Livan Hernandez 3-for-14 (.214), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Pedro Feliz v. Livan Hernandez 5-for-25 (.200), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.259 OBP)
Ronny Cedeno v. Chris Capuano 3-for-17 (.176), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.176 OBP)
Laynce Nix v. Randy Wells 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Jonny Gomes v. Randy Wells 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Joey Votto v. Randy Wells 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Kosuke Fukudome v. Bronson Arroyo 1-for-16 (.063), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.118 OBP)
Alfonso Soriano v. Bronson Arroyo 8-for-42 (.190), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:13 BB:K (.222 OBP)
Aramis Ramirez v. Bronson Arroyo 9-for-42 (.214), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4:3 BB:K (.283 OBP)
Jeff Francoeur v. Brett Myers 8-for-40 (.200), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:8 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Luis Castillo v. Brett Myers 6-for-38 (.158), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4:11 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Jason Michaels v. Johan Santana 1-for-23 (.043), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:7 BB:K (.115 OBP)
Mitch Maier v. Clay Buchholz 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:4 BB:K (.182 OBP)
Mike Lowell v. Matt Garza 3-for-20 (.150), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.150 OBP)
J.D. Drew v. Matt Garza 4-for-23 (.174), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3:6 BB:K (.259 OBP)
Ian Stewart v. Chad Billingsley 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Reggie Willits v. Kevin Millwood 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.353 OBP)
Jeff Mathis v. Kevin Millwood 3-for-20 (.150), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.150 OBP)

Jon Garland v. Phillies Garland is having a terrific month, posting a 4-1 record and a 2.01 ERA, but his 22:19 K:BB ratio leaves something to be desired, and there's no denying that the Phillies have his number. Philadelphia torched Garland for six runs and 10 hits in their previous meeting this season, and the team's hitters boast a collective line of .322/.374/.552 against him in 256 plate appearances.

Kevin Millwood v. Angels Millwood is "cold" both in recent history (six runs allowed in his last start) and in history against his opponent (Angels hitters have a .312/.366/.460 composite line against him). Of the 10 Los Angeles hitters with more than 10 career at-bats against Millwood, six are hitting at least .333. It could be another long day for the pitcher who's already had a long season, tying a career high with 14 losses.

Recommended Pickup

Jim Johnson, P, BAL Johnson's been out of commission since May with an elbow problem, but the Orioles activated him on Friday. He'll likely step into a setup role, but it's not like the Orioles have an established closer who gobbles up all the saves, so it wouldn't be a complete shocker to see Johnson pick up some occasional opportunities. Sure, he flopped in his first chance at the closer role earlier this year, but if you're fighting for saves this late in the season in AL-only leagues, the pickings are slim. It can't hurt to throw a FAAB dollar his way if you find yourself in that situation.

Other recent recommendations: Koji Uehara, Ryan Raburn, Bud Norris, Kosuke Fukudome, Anibal Sanchez

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