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Saturday Lineup Card: Mets Lefty on a Niese Run

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

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Projected Starters - A look at Saturday's matchups (all times Eastern)

Orioles (Brian Matusz - L) at Nationals (Jordan Zimmermann - R), 1:05
Yankees (A.J. Burnett - R) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster - R), 4:10
Rangers (Matt Harrison - L) at Braves (Derek Lowe - R), 4:10
Pirates (Paul Maholm - L) at Indians (Carlos Carrasco - R), 7:05
Angels (Dan Haren - R) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey - R), 7:10
Marlins (Ricky Nolasco - R) at Rays (Alex Cobb - R), 7:10
Brewers (Randy Wolf - L) at Red Sox (Jon Lester - L), 7:10
Padres (Tim Stauffer - R) at Twins (Scott Baker - R), 7:10
Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R) at Reds (Edinson Volquez - R), 7:10
Royals (Vin Mazzaro - R) at Cardinals (Jake Westbrook - R), 7:15
White Sox (John Danks - L) at Diamondbacks (Zach Duke - L), 8:10
Tigers (Phil Coke - L) at Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez - R), 8:10
Giants (Jonathan Sanchez - L) at A's (Guillermo Moscoso - R), 10:05
Astros (Wandy Rodriguez - L) at Dodgers (Rubby De La Rosa - L), 10:10
Phillies (Vance Worley - R) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez - R), 10:10

Day game after a night game: BAL, WAS, TEX, ATL

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

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL - (Thigh) Did not start Friday; likely sidelined at least a couple more days
Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS - (Back) Next start will be pushed back several days
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE - (Oblique) Returned to the lineup Friday
Ryan Theriot, SS, STL - (Knee) Did not start Friday; remains day-to-day
Jeremy Guthrie, SP, BAL - (Back) MRI revealed minor muscle strain
Alberto Callaspo, 3B, LAA - (Hamstring) Did not start Friday and has not played since June 11
Maicer Izturis, 3B, LAA - (Foot) Returned to the lineup Friday
Rick Ankiel, OF, WAS - (Ribs) Expected to miss entire weekend series

Players on the DL
Josh Johnson, SP, FLA - (Shoulder) Felt good after throwing first bullpen session Friday
Tommy Hanson, SP, ATL - (Shoulder) MRI revealed inflammation but no structural damage
Jake Peavy, SP, CWS - (Groin) Pitched six innings in rehab start Thursday
Jason Kubel, OF, MIn - (Foot) Could return by the end of next week
Jim Thome, DH, MIN - (Quad) Taking swings at extended spring training
Aroldis Chapman, RP, CIN - (Shoulder) Will throw two innings in rehab appearance Saturday
Homer Bailey, P, CIN - (Shoulder) Will make one more rehab start after allowing three runs, 11 hits over 4.1 innings in rehab outing Thursday
Sam LeCure, P, CIN - (Forearm) Will throw three innings in rehab appearance Saturday
Brandon Inge, 3B, DET - (Illness) Expected to be activated June 24
Eduardo Sanchez, RP, STL - (Shoulder) MRI revealed no structural damage
David Freese, 3B, STL - (Hand) Will begin rehab assignment Tuesday
Gerald Laird, C, STL - (Finger) Could resume throwing next week
Brandon Beachy, SP, ATL - (Oblique) Could be activated early to replace Tommy Hanson in the rotation
Mark Ellis, 2B, OAK - (Hamstring) Will likely be activated when eligible Wednesday; no guarantee he'll reclaim starting second base role due to Jemile Weeks' impressive start
Brett Lawrie, 3B, TOR (Hand) Able to throw and field, but still not cleared to resume swinging
Jesse Litsch, P, TOR - (Shoulder) Will make rehab start Saturday
Sean O'Sullivan, P, KC - (Biceps) Will focus more on power delivery rather than strong mechanics
Darren O'Day, RP, TEX - (Hip) Could begin rehab assignment early next week
Tony Pena, RP, CWS - (Elbow) Threw scoreless inning in rehab appearance Thursday
Franklin Morales, P, BOS - (Forearm) Pitched 1.2 innings in rehab appearance Thursday
Junichi Tazawa, RP, BOS - (Elbow) Made what was likely final rehab appearance Thursday

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

Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Tommy Hanson, SP, ATL
Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS
Jose Morales, C, COL

Activated from DL
Joe Mauer, C, MIN
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE
Glen Perkins, P, MIN
John McDonald, 2B, TOR

Called Up
Vance Worley, P, PHI
Randall Delgado, P, ATL
Jairo Asencio, P, ATL
Dewayne Wise, OF, FLA
Drew Sutton, 2B, BOS
Matt Pagnozzi, C, COL

Sent Down
Chris Coghlan, OF, FLA
Brandon Hicks, SS, ATL
Travis Buck, OF, CLE
Chuck James, P, MIN
Brian Dinkleman, OF, MIN

Designated For Assignment
J.C. Romero, RP, PHI
Dustin Richardson, P, FLA

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (also check out our Closer Grid)

Arizona - After a lights out month of May in which he did not allow an earned run, Putz has already given up five earned runs and blown three saves, including Thursday's opportunity, in seven appearances this month. Putz remains the closer for the Diamondbacks, but David Hernandez's strong season could earn him a shot if Putz's struggles continue.

Boston - Jonathan Papelbon began serving a two-game suspension Friday night. The suspension was reduced from three games to two, but it will still cost Papelbon the first two games of the Red Sox's series against the Brewers. Expect Dan Bard to get the ball if the Red Sox are in a save situation either Friday or Saturday.

Minnesota - Matt Capps picked up just his second save since May 18 in Thursday's 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Capps remains the clear-cut closer for the Twins and features a sparkling 19:2 K:BB ratio, but he has not helped much in the saves category over the last few weeks.

New York (NL) - Though Francisco Rodriguez's blown save Thursday was his first since Opening Day, he has struggled a bit over the last couple weeks. After allowing just two earned runs in his first 24 appearances, Rodriguez has allowed 10 earned runs over his last 10 outings - despite posting a 14:2 K:BB ratio over that span. Rodriguez will be the closer as long as he is in New York, but his recent skid won't help his trade value at all.

Pittsburgh - Despite giving up a run, Jose Veras picked up the save Thursday in the Pirates' victory over the Astros. Don't worry Joel Hanrahan owners - Hanrahan was unavailable after pitching four times in the previous five days. Expect Hanrahan to get the ball next time the Pirates are in a save situation.

St. Louis - Fernando Salas allowed a three-run walk-off home run to Danny Espinosa in the Cardinals' loss to the Nationals on Thursday. Though Salas' overall numbers remain strong - 2.61 ERA, 33:9 K:BB ratio in 31.0 innings - he has given up more runs in his last six outings (five) than he did in his first 20 (four). Salas remains the top option in the Cardinals' bullpen, but with Eduardo Sanchez landing on the DL, Mitchell Boggs - or maybe even Ryan Franklin - would likely be next in line should manager Tony La Russa want to use a different pitcher in the ninth inning.

Toronto - Jon Rauch entered Thursday's game in the ninth inning with the score tied at two, but he was unable to keep the Orioles at bay. Rauch was credited with the loss after allowing two hits - both runners eventually came around to score - and failing to record an out. Rauch has been decent this season, but he has really struggled of late, allowing 15 hits, four walks, and nine earned runs over his last 11.1 innings. The Blue Jays don't have a markedly better option in the bullpen - Frank Francisco is struggling too, Casey Janssen just went on the DL, and the team likes Jason Frasor in a setup role - so it remains a closer-by-committee in Toronto for the time being.

KEY MATCHUPS: HOT

Hot Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Aramis Ramirez - 3B CHC vs NYY
6/18 4:10 PM
A.J. Burnett 4-10 .400 0 0 0 0 1 .400 .400 .800
Andruw Jones - OF NYY @ CHC
6/18 4:10 PM
Ryan Dempster 6-17 .353 1 1 4 2 1 .529 .400 .929
Yuniesky Betancourt - SS MIL @ BOS
6/18 7:10 PM
Jon Lester 4-10 .400 1 2 3 3 1 .800 .538 1.338
Adam Dunn - 1B CWS @ ARI
6/18 8:10 PM
Zach Duke 8-17 .471 2 3 5 3 6 .882 .550 1.432
Paul Konerko - 1B CWS @ ARI
6/18 8:10 PM
Zach Duke 5-10 .500 0 0 3 1 1 .500 .500 1.000
Conor Jackson - OF OAK vs SF
6/18 10:05 PM
Jonathan Sanchez 9-18 .500 2 3 5 2 1 .889 .545 1.434
Casey Blake - 3B LAD vs HOU
6/18 10:10 PM
Wandy Rodriguez 3-10 .300 1 2 3 1 2 .700 .364 1.064
Placido Polanco - 3B PHI @ SEA
6/18 10:10 PM
Felix Hernandez 7-18 .389 0 0 0 1 3 .389 .476 .865
Hot Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
None

KEY MATCHUPS: COLD

Cold Batter Matchups At-Bats AVG HR XBH RBI BB K SLG OBP OPS
Carlos Pena - 1B CHC vs NYY
6/18 4:10 PM
A.J. Burnett 5-35 .143 1 2 6 6 13 .257 .302 .559
Adam Everett - SS CLE vs PIT
6/18 7:05 PM
Paul Maholm 2-12 .167 0 1 2 2 1 .250 .286 .536
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B BOS vs MIL
6/18 7:10 PM
Randy Wolf 6-17 .353 0 0 1 1 7 .353 .389 .742
Josh Wilson - SS MIL @ BOS
6/18 7:10 PM
Jon Lester 0-11 .000 0 0 0 1 4 .000 .083 .083
Carlos Beltran - OF NYM vs LAA
6/18 7:10 PM
Dan Haren 4-16 .250 0 1 1 1 6 .375 .294 .669
Jose Reyes - SS NYM vs LAA
6/18 7:10 PM
Dan Haren 2-13 .154 0 0 2 1 2 .154 .200 .354
Melky Cabrera - OF KC @ STL
6/18 7:15 PM
Jake Westbrook 1-14 .071 1 1 1 0 1 .286 .071 .357
Juan Pierre - OF CWS @ ARI
6/18 8:10 PM
Zach Duke 4-24 .167 0 0 0 0 1 .167 .167 .334
Andre Ethier - OF LAD vs HOU
6/18 10:10 PM
Wandy Rodriguez 2-11 .182 0 0 0 0 1 .182 .182 .364
James Loney - 1B LAD vs HOU
6/18 10:10 PM
Wandy Rodriguez 2-13 .154 0 0 2 0 1 .154 .143 .297
Aaron Miles - 2B LAD vs HOU
6/18 10:10 PM
Wandy Rodriguez 2-11 .182 0 0 0 0 2 .182 .182 .364
Cold Pitcher Matchups At-Bats Opp
AVG
HR
Allow
XBH
Allow
RBI
Allow
BB K Opp
SLG
Opp
OBP
Opp
OPS
Zach Duke ARI vs CWS
6/18 8:10 PM
White Sox Batters 31-91 .341 4 10 16 5 12 .555 .370 .925

***For a deeper look at the matchups please consult the new Batter v. Pitcher tool in the left hand menu.***

Recommended Pickup

Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM - Teammate Dillon Gee has received a lot of attention thanks to his 7-0 start, but Niese has been every bit as good over the last couple weeks. Over his last six starts, the left-handed Niese has gone 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 37:11 K:BB ratio in 40.0 innings. Niese has never been a big strikeout guy, but his recent improvement in that area has helped him limit baserunners and avoid getting hit hard. To illustrate this point, consider Niese has allowed five or more runs in only three of his 14 starts, and two or fewer in eight of those outings, including each of his last six. Niese is still available in a lot of leagues thanks to his pedestrian start, but if he continues pitching like he has of late, he will not be around for long. Give Niese a look if you are in need of some starting pitcher depth.

Other recent recommendations: Dustin Ackley, Charlie Blackmon, Scott Baker, Lucas Duda, Jemile Weeks

Draft Street Competition

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Register for a free account at DraftStreet.com today and start practicing. Remember to use bonus code Rotowire on your first deposit to get some extra cash released into your account as you play.

As a reminder, the competition will be an MLB Salary Cap league where values for each player are set based on projected fantasy value each day and your mission is to find the bargains and make the best 14 player team possible within the $100,000 budget.

Be sure to come back to RotoWire's Daily Lineup Card every day for all the analysis you need to dominate the competition and take home cash on DraftStreet.

Draft Street Lineup

C - J.P. Arencibia, TOR ($5,063)
1B Gaby Sanchez, FLA ($6,841)
2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS ($6,868)
3B Evan Longoria, TB ($6,590)
SS Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE ($6,965)
OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL ($7,395)
OF Josh Hamilton, TEX ($7,363)
OF Justin Upton, AZ ($7,156)
UTIL Logan Morrison, FLA ($6,562)
UTIL Adam Dunn, CWS ($4,418)
SP Jon Lester, BOS ($13,411)
SP Edinson Volquez, CIN ($9,677)
RP Brian Wilson, SF ($2,958)
P Rubby De La Rosa, LAD ($8,662)

Total: $99,929

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