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Closing Time: Tim Lincecum no-hits San Diego, again

No disrespect intended to Tim Lincecum, who of course pitched wonderfully in Wednesday's no-hit effort against the Padres. We'll get to him and his replacement-level mustache in a minute.

But right here at the top, we need to discuss this San Diego lineup...

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Padres batting order, 6-25-14

Padres batting order, 6-25-14

Just look at that trash fire — those names, those averages. It's maybe not a fluke that Lincecum has no-hit the Padres two times over the past 12 months. San Diego entered the day slashing .216/.275/.340 as a team, ranked dead-last in baseball in all three categories. Naturally, the Pads are also last in runs scored, by a mile.

No, I'm not breaking any news here by reporting that San Diego is, in fact, a hitting-challenged group. You knew it. They knew it. Everyone knows it. It's a well known thing. As a public service to the fantasy community, let's review the Padres' upcoming pitching matchups, looking for streaming opportunities:

6/27 vs. Ari – Josh Collmenter
6/28 vs. Ari – Brandon McCarthy
6/29 vs. Ari – Mike Bolsinger
6/30 vs. Cin – Mat Latos
7/1 vs. Cin – Mike Leake
7/2 vs. Cin – Johnny Cueto
7/4 vs. SF – Matt Cain
7/5 vs. SF – Tim Hudson
7/6 vs. SF – TIM LINCECUM YET AGAIN!

Yup, Timmy will see San Diego again in a couple weeks, gunning for career no-hitter No. 3. I'm gonna go ahead and recommend him as a decent fantasy play that day. And you're welcome.

As for Wednesday's gem, Lincecum offered this, when asked to compare his most recent no-no to his first...

He located beautifully, and all four pitches were humming. Full highlights here. It's tough to find fault with his work. (The stache, yes. The pitching, no. And the postgame jersey was alright, too.) He issued just one walk, needing 113 pitches to finish the Padres. All things considered, it was a terrific show — an outing you can reasonably take to the trade market.

Nothing happened on Wednesday to signal that Lincecum is now a fundamentally different pitcher than the guy he's been over the last two seasons, obviously. Lincecum's velocity is in a multi-year decline, as most of you know, and the command is not perfect at all times (3.81 BB/9). There's a reason he's only owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. But the Ks have continued to pile up at a respectable rate. Tim still has his uses, fantasy-wise. Let's hope you used him properly against the Pads.

Alex Wood's return to the Atlanta rotation went awfully well, as he struck out four batters and allowed just three hits in 7.0 scoreless innings versus the Astros. Wood should be a double-dip starter next week, with friendly games against the Mets and D-Backs, so there's no reason not to invest.

As we've mentioned a time or three around here, there are no good ideas in the White Sox bullpen. None. This is why Ronald Belisario stubbornly holds the ninth, despite his many misadventures. On Wednesday at Baltimore, Javy Guerra gave up this game-tying grand slam to Nelson Cruz in the eighth, and Daniel Webb later took the loss in the 12th, without retiring a batter. Here's your walk-off wild pitch. Yikes.

Joe Nathan didn't necessarily impress anyone on Wednesday, allowing two hits and a run to Texas, but at least he nailed down save No. 16. Joba Chamberlain pitched a clean inning ahead of Nathan; he's pretty clearly the handcuff in Detroit. JD Martinez homered again for the Tigers, because it's all he knows how to do.

Please note the work done by Lorenzo Cain on Wednesday: 2-for-5, 2 R, HR, SB. We're at the halfway point, basically, and Cain is still hitting .310, leading off for KC. Use him while he's healthy and fully functional.

Seattle's Taijuan Walker could be on the way soon, and he's worth a preemptive add in mixed leagues of any size. This is one of the game's best pitching prospects, plus he's coming off a dominant start at Triple-A Tacoma (9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 8 Ks). Make your move.

And here's another potential call-up to consider: Boston's Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 at Pawtucket on Wednesday, raising his season slash to .350/.436/.527 across two levels. Betts has swiped 28 bags in 33 attempts, while hitting eight homers and 21 doubles. There's no shortage of buzz surrounding Betts; the promotion watch is real.

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