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The Lineup Card: Hitters' Park

Zach Sundelius

Zach Sundelius writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Saturday’s matchups:

Red Sox (John Lackey - R) at Blue Jays (Brandon Morrow - R), 1:07
Twins (Nick Blackburn - R) at Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman - R), 4:10
Cubs (Tom Gorzelanny - L) at Dodgers (John Ely - R), 4:10
Braves (Tim Hudson - R) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey - R), 4:10
Royals (Brian Bannister - R) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd - R), 7:05
Cardinals (Jeff Suppan - R) at Astros (Brett Myers - R), 7:05
Giants (Jonathan Sanchez - L) at Nationals (Craig Stammen - R), 7:05
Reds (Travis Wood - L) at Phillies (Roy Halladay - R), 7:05
Pirates (Jeffrey Karstens - R) at Brewers (David Bush - R), 7:10
Indians (Aaron Laffey - L) at Rays (Matt Garza - R), 7:10
Orioles (Undecided) at Rangers (Cliff Lee - L), 8:05
Padres (Wade LeBlanc - L) at Rockies (Jason Hammel - R), 8:10
Marlins (Nate Robertson - L) at Diamondbacks (Ian Kennedy - R), 8:10
Angels (Scott Kazmir - L) at Athletics (Ben Sheets - R), 9:05
Yankees (Javier Vazquez - R) at Seattle (Felix Hernandez - R), 10:10

Day game after night game: BOS, TOR, MIN, DET, CHC, LAD, ATL, NYM

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

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)
Leo Nunez, P, FLA – (Ankle) Minor ankle injury; likely won’t miss any time
Juan Uribe, 3B, SF – (Finger) Not in Friday’s lineup; Giants will be cautious
Scott Rolen, 3B, CIN – (Back) Scratched from Friday’s lineup
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL – (Back) Scratched Friday, hopes to return Saturday
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, SD – (Heel) Didn’t play Thursday or Friday, remains day-to-day
David Eckstein, 2B, SD – (Calf) Wasn’t in Friday’s lineup, but could return as early as Saturday
Wilson Valdez, SS, PHI – (Wrist) Scratched from Friday’s lineup with wrist injury
Milton Bradley, OF, SEA – (Knee) Out of the lineup for the fourth straight day Friday, remains day-to-day
Scott Baker, P, MIN – (Elbow) Dealing with elbow tendinitis and will have his first start after the break pushed back slightly
Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN – (Concussion) Didn’t play Friday and might be out until after the All-Star break
Jose Guillen, OF, KC – (Leg) Didn’t start Friday

Players on the DL
Jody Gerut, OF, MIL – (Achilles) Sent home and told to come back when he’s healthy
Yovani Gallardo, P, MIL – (Oblique) Played catch Friday and felt good, still hoping for July 20 return
Jason Heyward, OF, ATL – (Thumb) Will hit Saturday and still hopes to play in All-Star Game
Josh Beckett, P, BOS – (Back) Expected to throw 80 pitches in first of two rehab starts Sunday
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE – (Forearm) Could begin rehab assignment soon
Shaun Marcum, P, TOR – (Elbow) Expected to throw bullpen Saturday and hopes to return July 18
Jake Peavy, P, CHW – (Back) Will undergo surgery Wednesday and miss the rest of the season
Dallas Braden, P, OAK – (Elbow) “Felt great” during throwing session Friday and will throw from flat ground again Saturday
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK (Hamstring) Could begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Monday


Called Up
Chris Davis, 1B, TEX
Joseph Martinez, P, SF
Nick Evans, 1B, NYM
Luke French, P, SEA
Dan Meyer, P, FLA

Sent Down
Niuman Romero, SS, BOS (outrighted)
Ryota Igarashi, P, NYM
Esmil Rogers, P, COL
Tim Wood, P, FLA
Luis Atilano, P, WAS

Cliff Lee, P (from SEA to TEX)
Mark Lowe, P (from SEA to TEX)
Blake Beavan, P (from TEX to SEA)
Josh Lueke, P (from TEX to SEA)
Justin Smoak, 1B (from TEX to SEA)
Matthew Lawson, 2B (from TEX to SEA)

Placed on DL (15-day unless otherwise noted)
Ramon Hernandez, C, CIN
Dan Runzler, P, SF

Activated from DL
Ryan Hanigan, C, CIN
Jorge De La Rosa, P, COL

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

PHI – Manager Charlie Manuel gave Brad Lidge a vote of confidence after Lidge blew a save Thursday, repeating several times that Lidge is the team’s closer. Manuel has sailed through turbulent waters with Lidge before without making a change and there’s no indication that he’s willing to ditch him now. Ryan Madson would be next in line if a switch were to happen.

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

Alex Gonzalez v. John Lackey – 6-for-14 (.429), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.429 OBP)
Magglio Ordonez v. Nick Blackburn – 6-for-17 (.353), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.353 OBP)
Johnny Damon v. Nick Blackburn – 6-for-19 (.316), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.350 OBP)
Miguel Cabrera v. Nick Blackburn – 10-for-22 (.455), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.478 OBP)
Delmon Young v. Jeremy Bonderman – 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.538 OBP)
Jim Thome v. Jeremy Bonderman – 8-for-23 (.348), 4 HR, 8 RBI, 4:7 BB:K (.444 OBP)
Joe Mauer v. Jeremy Bonderman – 8-for-24 (.333), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 8:3 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Rafael Furcal v. Tom Gorzelanny – 6-for-12 (.500), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.538 OBP)
Rod Barajas v. Tim Hudson – 5-for-10 (.500), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Jason Bay v. Tim Hudson – 5-for-13 (.385), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.556 OBP)
Martin Prado v. Mike Pelfrey – 7-for-15 (.467), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Chipper Jones* v. Mike Pelfrey – 6-for-21 (.286), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10:4 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Brian McCann v. Mike Pelfrey – 13-for-31 (.419), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5:3 BB:K (.500 OBP)
Carlos Quentin v. Brian Bannister – 5-for-12 (.417), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Alexis Rios v. Brian Bannister – 6-for-13 (.462 OBP), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4:0 BB:K (.588 OBP)
Alexei Ramirez v. Brian Bannister – 8-for-20 (.400), 1 HR, 10 RBI, 4:2 BB:K (.462 OBP)
A.J. Pierzynski v. Brian Bannister – 13-for-31 (.419), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Yuniesky Betancourt v. Gavin Floyd – 6-for-16 (.375), 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Alberto Callaspo v. Gavin Floyd – 6-for-17 (.353), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.353 OBP)
Hunter Pence v. Jeff Suppan – 4-for-14 (.286), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.375 OBP)
Pedro Feliz v. Jeff Suppan – 9-for-25 (.360), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.360 OBP)
Lance Berkman v. Jeff Suppan – 15-for-40 (.375), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8:3 BB:K (.490 OBP)
Aaron Miles v. Brett Myers – 5-for-12 (.417), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:1 BB:K (.417 OBP)
Matt Holliday v. Brett Myers – 7-for-16 (.438), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Skip Schumaker v. Brett Myers – 7-for-18 (.389), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.450 OBP)
Felipe Lopez v. Brett Myers – 10-for-31 (.323), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.364 OBP)
Albert Pujols v. Brett Myers – 12-for-35 (.343), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.378 OBP)
Brandon Phillips v. Roy Halladay – 4-for-10 (.400), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.455 OBP)
Ryan Braun v. Jeffrey Karstens – 4-for-11 (.364), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.462 OBP)
Jhonny Peralta v. Matt Garza – 8-for-17 (.471), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:6 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Chase Headley v. Jason Hammel – 4-for-12 (.333), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.385 OBP)
David Eckstein* v. Jason Hammel – 5-for-14 (.357), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.438 OBP)
Bobby Abreu v. Ben Sheets – 7-for-23 (.304), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.360 OBP)
Franklin Gutierrez v. Javier Vazquez – 4-for-12 (.333), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.467 OBP)
Mark Teixeira v. Felix Hernandez – 12-for-39 (.308), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3:10 BB:K (.349 OBP)

David Bush v. Pirates – Although Bush has made 12 career starts against Pittsburgh, the current group of Pirates has just 95 combined plate appearances against the Milwaukee righty. Those 95 meetings haven’t been pretty for the Bucs, who have managed a meager .150/.258/.263 line, including a putrid 1-for-21 for catcher Ryan Doumit. Bush has a 2.13 ERA over his last four starts and should continue to ride a nice wave of momentum into the All-Star break.

Scott Kazmir v. Athletics – Starting Kazmir these days isn’t for the faint of heart. He has dropped three straight decisions, with an eyesore 10.43 ERA over that span. His K/9 (6.0) is well below his career mark of 9.0. Yet he always seems to bring his A-game against A’s, judging by his 2.85 ERA in 15 starts. Oakland’s current crop of hitters has a .231 average and just one home run in 152 plate appearances against Kazmir, so don’t be surprised if he rights the ship in Oakland Saturday night.

Aaron Hill v. John Lackey – 1-for-15 (.067), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:4 BB:K (.176 OBP)
Lyle Overbay v. John Lackey – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.278 OBP)
John McDonald v. John Lackey – 3-for-18 (.167), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0:3 BB:K (.167 OBP)
Vernon Wells v. John Lackey – 5-for-24 (208), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:5 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Carlos Guillen v. Nick Blackburn – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.235 OBP)
Orlando Hudson v. Jeremy Bonderman – 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Troy Glaus v. Mike Pelfrey – 2-for-11 (.182), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Yunel Escobar v. Mike Pelfrey – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:2 BB:K (.278 OBP)
Gordon Beckham v. Brian Bannister – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.267 OBP)
Paul Konerko v. Brian Bannister – 5-for-31 (.161), 0 HR, 7 RBI, 4:10 BB:K (.263 OBP)
Jeff Keppinger v. Jeff Suppan – 4-for-20 (.200), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.238 OBP)
Prince Fielder v. Jeffrey Karstens – 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K (.231 OBP)
Corey Hart v. Jeffrey Karstens – 2-for-13 (.154), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Ryan Doumit v. David Bush – 1-for-21 (.048), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:1 BB:K (.091 OBP)
Adrian Gonzalez v. Jason Hammel – 3-for-17 (.176), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.263 OBP)
Kurt Suzuki v. Scott Kazmir – 2-for-16 (.125), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.211 OBP)
Mark Ellis v. Scott Kazmir – 5-for-28 (.179), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5:4 BB:K (.303 OBP)
Jose Lopez v. Javier Vazquez – 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.222 OBP)

Brian Bannister v. White Sox – As you can probably surmise from the length of the hot batters list above, there was no shortage of pitching options to throw in the “Cold” section. Bannister has been especially bad against his opponent, serving up a .338/.399/.586 line to White Sox hitters. His career line against Chicago says it all: 4-6, 7.97 ERA, 1.692 WHIP.

Mike Pelfrey v. Braves – Pelfrey is coming off arguably his two worst starts of the season, a 12-hit shelling in Florida and a seven-run nightmare against the Reds. Neither outing lasted more than 4.2 innings. Unfortunately for Pelfrey owners, the big righty might struggle once again if his history against the Braves is to be believed: Atlanta hitters boast a .329/.418/.527 line against him. Command has been a big part of the problem, since he’s walked as many batters (22) as he’s struck out.

Recommended Pickup

Chris Davis, 1B, TEX – Cliff Lee and Justin Smoak are the big names attached to the recent trade between Texas and Seattle, but Davis – recalled to replace Smoak at first base – might be the player who sees the biggest increase in fantasy value. He began the year plugging along at woeful 9-for-48 (.188) clip, prompting the Rangers to demote him to Triple-A Oklahoma City and causing most fantasy owners to cut him loose. If he gets regular playing time at first base in Texas he has a chance to follow a similar storyline to last season, when he recovered from a midseason demotion to hit .308 with six homers and 26 RBI over the final six weeks of the season. His bat has been hot enough at Triple-A (.354, 10 homers, 56 RBI in 67 games) that we wouldn’t be surprised to see another second-half surge. AL-only leaguers should definitely make a play for him, and even folks in larger mixed leagues should snatch him if the price is right.

Other recent recommendations: Vincent Mazzaro, Russell Branyan, Felix Pie, Wandy Rodriguez, Gaby Sanchez