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The Lineup Card: Threat to the Crown

Anthony Tynan

Anthony Tynan writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Projected Starters - A look at Wednesday's matchups:

Royals (Sean O'Sullivan R) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga R), 1:05 ET
Mariners (Felix Hernandez R) at Red Sox (Jon Lester L), 1:35 ET
Braves (Jair Jurrjens R) at Rockies (Esmil Rogers R), 3:10 ET
Rays (Jeff Niemann R) at Angels (Dan Haren R), 3:35 ET
Reds (Homer Bailey R) at Giants (Madison Bumgarner L), 3:45 ET
Cardinals (Jake Westbrook R) at Pirates (Jeffrey Karstens R), 7:05 ET
Astros (J.A. Happ L) at Phillies (Roy Halladay R), 7:05 ET
Cubs (Ryan Dempster R) at Nationals (Jason Marquis R), 7:05 ET
Athletics (Trevor Cahill L) at Indians (Mitch Talbot R), 7:05 ET
Yankees (Philip Hughes R) at Blue Jays (Brett Cecil L), 7:07 ET
Marlins (Alejandro Sanabia R) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey R), 7:10 ET
Twins (Brian Duensing L) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson L), 8:05 ET
Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda R) at Brewers (Randy Wolf L), 8:10 ET
Orioles (Brian Matusz L) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle L), 8:10 ET
Diamondbacks (Joe Saunders L) at Padres (Wade LeBlanc L), 10:05 ET

Day game after a night game: KAN, DET, SEA, BOS, ATL, COL, TAM, LAA, CIN, SFO

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)
Matt Thornton, P, White Sox (forearm) No structural damage in MRI.
Ricky Romero, P, Blue Jays (Strep Throat) Still on slate for Thursday start.
Michael Brantley, OF, Indians (ankle) Not in Tuesday's lineup, could return Wednesday.
Laynce Nix, OF, Reds (ankle) Says injury isn't that serious and that he can pinch-hit Tuesday.
Geoff Blum, 3B, Astros (neck) Will make defensive appearance, should be 100% by weekend.
Ricky Nolasco, P, Marlins (knee) Bullpen session scheduled for Wednesday, then Marlins will determine whether he will need to hit the DL.
Corey Hart, OF, Brewers (hamstring) Out of lineup again Tuesday.
Marlon Byrd, OF, Cubs (hand) Out of Tuesday's lineup after being hit by pitch Monday.
Chad Billingsley, P, Dodgers (calf) Start pushed back to Saturday.
Jerry Hairston, SS, Padres (illness) Back in Tuesday's lineup.

Players on the DL
Alfredo Aceves, P, Yankees (back) Will make another minor league rehab appearance before being activated.
Andy Pettitte, P, Yankees (groin) Will throw off mound Friday.
David Purcey, P, Blue Jays (foot) Should be activated when rosters expand.
Conor Jackson, OF, Athletics (abdomen) Out for season.
Hideki Okajima, P, Red Sox (hamstring) In Boston for evaluation.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox (foot) Being evaluated in North Carolina and will coordinate next course of action with team.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox (lower leg) Back with team, body reacting to antibiotics to fight infection.
Mike Cameron, OF, Red Sox (abdomen) Finally headed for surgery.
Kevin Cash, C, Red Sox (hamstring) Should be activated.
Eric Patterson, 2B, Red Sox (neck) Starting rehab Thursday.
Ron Mahay, P, Twins (shoulder) Could be out for season.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Rangers (hamstring) Starting rehab Thursday or Friday.
Kevin Slowey, P, Twins (triceps) MRI revealed minor strain.
Carlos Guillen, OF, Tigers (knee) No timetable for return.
Lance Berkman, OF, Yankees (ankle) Should be on target for return on Sept. 3.
Brian Bannister, P, Royals (shoulder) Threw two scoreless innings in rehab.
Luke Hochevar, P, Royals (elbow) Scheduled for rehab start Saturday.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers (groin) MRI showed improvement.
Orlando Cabrera, SS, Reds (oblique) Won't join team in San Fran, probably will be activated Friday.
Carlos Silva, P, Cubs (illness) Should start minors rehab within a week.
Jason Motte, P, Cardinals (shoulder) Should start rehab and join team this weekend.

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

Called Up
Cameron Maybin, OF, Marlins
Matt Carson, OF, Athletics
Collin Balester, P, Nationals
Scott Maine, P, Cubs
Ryan Roberts, 2B, Diamondbacks

Sent Down
Mike Ekstrom, P, Rays
Travis Buck, OF, Athletics
Justin Berg, P, Cubs
Bobby Crosby, SS, Diamondbacks (released)

Placed on DL (15-day unless otherwise noted)
Stephen Strasburg, P, Nationals
Jim Edmonds, OF, Reds

Activated from DL
Wade Davis, P, Rays
Carlos Gomez, OF, Brewers

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

COL Huston Street saved his second in a row Monday after four shaky outings in a row.

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

Dexter Fowler v. Jair Jurrjens 3-for-6 (.500), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 4:1 BB:K, .700 OBP
Carlos Lee v. Roy Halladay 7-for-23 (.304), 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .360 OBP
Adam Dunn v. Ryan Dempster 5-for-14 (.357), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10:4 BB:K, .625 OBP
Ryan Zimmerman v. Ryan Dempster 5-for-10 (.500), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:2 BB:K, .545 OBP
Aramis Ramirez v. Jason Marquis 9-for-24 (.375), 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2:3 BB:K, .423 OBP
Dan Uggla v. Mike Pelfrey 11-for-26 (.423), 0 HR, 10 RBI, 2:5 BB:K, .500 OBP
J.D. Drew v. Felix Hernandez 8-for-20 (.400), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3:6 BB:K, .478 OBP
B.J. Upton v. Dan Haren 7-for-15 (.467), 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0:5 BB:K, .467 OBP
Derek Jeter v. Brett Cecil 5-for-11 (.455), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:1 BB:K, .538 OBP
Nick Markakis v. Mark Buehrle 9-for-20 (.450), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2:2 BB:K, .500 OBP
Felix Pie v. Mark Buehrle 2-for-6 (.333), 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0:0 BB:K, .286 OBP

Philip Hughes v. Blue Jays (We had Hughes in this spot for Tuesday, but the Yankees actually pitched Dustin Moseley Tuesday and will use Hughes Wednesday) Against Hughes, the Blue Jays have accomplished about the same as I did in my MLB career. That isn't saying much, since I never had an MLB career. The ugly line is .194/.143/.320, so if history repeats itself Hughes could have a big game on Wednesday.

Chris Iannetta v. Jair Jurrjens 0-for-11 (.000), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3:5 BB:K, .214 OBP
Xavier Nady v. Jason Marquis 3-for-19 (.158), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .200 OBP
Ronnie Belliard v. Randy Wolf 1-for-20 (.050), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:4 BB:K, .136 OBP
Jose Lopez v. Jon Lester 1-for-13 (.077), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2:3 BB:K, .200 OBP
Franklin Gutierrez v. Jon Lester 3-for-16 (.188), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0:8 BB:K, .188 OBP
Joe Mauer v C.J. Wilson 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:3 BB:K, .133 OBP
Michael Cuddyer v. C.J. Wilson 1-for-10 (.100), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:5 BB:K, .182 OBP
Aaron Hill v. Philip Hughes 2-for-15 (.133), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1:1 BB:K, .188 OBP
Adam Lind v. Philip Hughes 2-for-14 (.143), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:8 BB:K, .200 OBP

Felix Hernandez v. Red Sox Hernandez has a brief history with the Red Sox (83 at-bats), but all but three of the at-bats have come against J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, Marco Scutaro, David Ortiz and Victor Martinez. Each of those guys should be in the lineup on Wednesday. The bad news here is that when you throw in three at-bats against Jed Lowrie the collective line against is .301/.389/.482. Worse yet, Hernandez has a BB:K rate at just 12:15 on the Red Sox. If you have already built a buffer in pitching stats this week in head-to-head leagues, give Hernandez a breather.

Recommended Pickup

Bud Norris, P, Astros If you read the latest Charging the Mound article, you are clued in to some pitchers to target for next year Brian Matusz, Homer Bailey, Jorge de la Rosa to name a few. I'm convinced that Bud Norris flies under the radar. He has taken some lumps this season, but we've also seen his ability to get the job done recently, including a 14 K performance against the Pirates two starts ago. He has had just one bad outing since the All-Star break and his walk rate is improving (six walks in his last 26.2 IP, 39 walks in his first 80 innings). It might not hurt to snatch him up now in case he has already turned the corner.

Other recent recommendations: Kosuke Fukudome, Anibal Sanchez, Homer Bailey, Jed Lowrie, Pat Burrell, Ian Desmond