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Weekly Rundown

Brad Evans
Yahoo Sports

The Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups to help the indecisive resolve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.



Leading Off
As we head into this week's schedule of games, here's the nitty-gritty on a handful of notable names:

  • Twenty year-old Detroit Tigers sensation Cameron Maybin was promoted from Double-A Erie on Friday and will split time with Marcus Thames in left field over the remainder of the season. Scouts have marveled at the youngster's amazingly quick hands and tremendous athletic gifts, commenting he will eventually develop into a lethal speed and power concoction comparable to Torii Hunter. In 405 minor league at-bats this season, the metal-mouthed Maybin hit a robust .308 with 13 homers, 77 RBI and 27 steals. Although a future stat sheet stuffer, Maybin will experience some growing pains with the parent club as his 30.6 K% in the minors suggests. In two big league games, Maybin is 2-for-7 with a memorable homer off Roger Clemens. At this point, he is unquestionably rosterable in AL-only and all deep-mixed leagues (14 teams or larger). But don't expect a Ryan Braun-like explosion. Given his youthful age, work-in-progress plate discipline and bottom-dwelling spot in the Jim Leyland's order, statistical expectations for Maybin should be classified alongside Justin Upton. If the rookie logs 100 at-bats, anticipate a line around .265 BA, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 14 R, 7 SB.
  • On Saturday, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer revealed that Indians skipper Eric Wedge has relieved second baseman Josh Barfield (50 percent owned) from every-day duties. Wedge plans to platoon the glove-mighty Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Gomez in the near-term. Although blessed with a name that only a proctologist could admire, Asdrubal does have some value for those desperately seeking steals in AL-only and Grand Canyon-deep mixed leagues. In 105 combined games at two minor league stops this year, Cabrera swiped 25 bases in 30 attempts and tallied a fantastic .310 BA with a solid 50:47 K:BB split in 406 at-bats. As for the bumbling Barfield, he is droppable in all yearly leagues, but is an excellent buy low candidate in keeper formats. Only 24, Barfield still possesses the tools to be a perennial 20-20 threat. Once he sharpens his plate discipline (3.4 BB% in '07), he will become a viable top-20 two-bagger.
  • The pesky injury imp has bitten Houston hurler Roy Oswalt. The bazooka-armed starter left Saturday night's tilt against the Padres with a strained right oblique. After the game Phil Garner speculated that Oswalt was not a candidate for the DL "right now." However, the three-time All-Star complained of intense pain after the game, which likely means a DL stint is likely. Oswalt, the fourth-best pitcher over the past month in Yahoo! games, has been spectacular since the break, registering five wins while compiling a 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a much improved 2.29 BB/9. As Chris Young and Ryan Dempster owners know, oblique strains are not the type of injuries that magically vanish in a couple of days and usually require a two-week minimum vacation to fully heal. Concerned Oswalt owners in need of a replacement should cast a line for waiver wire saviors Wandy Rodriguez, Kyle Kendrick or Scott Baker – each of whom have very favorable matchups this week (see the two-start rundown below) and are owned in fewer than 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
  • Banged-up Brave Edgar Renteria suffered a setback with his sprained ankle on Saturday and likely won't be activated until at least Friday. According to Bobby Cox's detailed description, Renteria inflamed the injury during a "figure-eight running" exercise. Thankfully Renteria didn't try a dangerous triple-axle pirouette. Flexible middle-infielder Yunel Escobar, hitting .260 since Renteria was shelved, will trot out to short and bat eighth every day again this week.
  • In a post-deadline deal that knocked the earth off its axis, slugger Wily Mo Pena (0.77 percent owned) was shipped from Boston to Washington on Friday in exchange for cash considerations and the always perplexing player to be named later. Pena's value hikes upward as he could force a left-field platoon with hook Ryan Church. In his first action in red, white and blue, Pena hit in the RBI-friendly sixth spot going 1-for-4 with two runs scored against southpaw Oliver Perez on Saturday. The cavernous specs of RFK will stymie Pena's natural power number little since most of the bombs he launches are of the tape-measure variety. If Manny Acta gives him four-to-five starts per week, he could be a sneaky source of home runs over the last month of the season. The 25 year-old Pena has smacked a homer once in every 17.8 at-bats in his career.
Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Geoff Jenkins, Mil, OF (7-23, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 42.3% owned), Jacque Jones, ChC, OF (9-25, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 9.4%), Mike Jacobs, Fla, 1B (11-21, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6.1%), Mark Reynolds, Ari, 3B (12-26, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3.0%), Kurt Suzuki, Oak, C (5-20, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0.49%)
Whiffers o' the weak (Last 7 days): Ryan Howard, Phi, 1B (4-24, 12 K, 100% owned), Kevin Youkilis, Bos, 1B/3B/OF (4-26, 10 K, 96.6%), B.J. Upton, TB, 2B/3B/OF (3-20, 8 K, 99.8%), Prince Fielder, Mil, 1B (3-20, 7 K, 100%), Curtis Granderson, Det, OF (2-24, 7 K, 99.8%)
Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Rajai Davis, SF, OF (9-30, 3 SB, 1.3%), Nate McLouth, Pit, OF (8-22, 3 SB, 0.11%), Alexi Casilla, Min, 2B (7-23, 3 SB, 0.19%)

This Week's Two-Start Pitchers
For those steadfast, stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and weather influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – American League
RNK PLAYER OPP1 OPP2
1 Erik Bedard Tex Min
K Bedfellow – 11.7 K/9, 6 W since 7/7
2 Justin Verlander Cle NYY
Last home game vs. Cle – 7 IP, 7 K, 1 ER
3 Fausto Carmona at Det at KC
One ER or less in five of last nine starts
4 Dan Haren at Tor at TB
No pickled Haren – 7 QS in past 8
5 Scott Kazmir Bos Oak
Boston strangler – 18 IP, 22 K, 1.50 ERA
6 Shaun Marcum Oak at LAA
No Canadian goose – 4 W, 1.32 ERA last 4
7 Matt Garza Sea at Bal
Gargantuan – 2.05 ERA, 7.5 K/9 in 8 GS
8 Javier Vazquez KC Bos
Won 7 of L10 decisions with 8 QS
9 Mark Buehrle KC Bos
3.74 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4 W in 13 home starts
10 Phil Hughes at LAA at Det
Taking flight – 2 W, 0.73 ERA, .103 BAA away
11 Tim Wakefield at TB at ChW
8 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K vs. TB on 8/13
12 Dustin McGowan Oak at LAA
McGood – 2.46 ERA, 1.09 WHIP since 7/19
13 Joe Blanton at Tor at TB
Road weakling – 9.41 ERA last 3 starts
14 Scott Baker Sea at Bal
Hardly Little Debbie – 2.57 ERA L4 starts
15 Jon Lester at TB at ChW
Last start vs. TB – 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League
RNK PLAYER OPP1 OPP2
1 Chris Young at NYM at Phi
Stupid 0 ER in four of L7 starts
2 Tim Hudson at Cin at StL
TIMMAY! 4 W, 1.92 ERA, 1.07 WHIP L4
3 Adam Wainwright Fla Atl
QS machine since the break – six in L7 starts
4 Tim Lincecum ChC Mil
Homebody – 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP L5
5 Wandy Rodriguez Was Pit
Way-Rad at home – 1.65 ERA, 0.94 WHIP
6 Doug Davis Mil ChC
Doug E. Fresh at home – 3.27 ERA L5
7 Ted Lilly StL at Ari
Gets plenty of RS – won 8 of L10
8 Kyle Kendrick LAD SD
Sneaky play – 3.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP at home
9 Derek Lowe at Phi at NYM
8 ER versus the Mets on 7/19
10 John Maine SD LAD
Mortifying Maine – 6.31 ERA, 1.40 WHIP L7
11 Ubaldo Jimenez Pit Was
Bald is beautiful – 5 IP, 2 ER, 5 K vs Was
12 Yovani Gallardo at Ari at SF
Frightening 18 ER in last 8.1 IP
13 Sergio Mitre SF at Cin
Tallied 6+ IP in L4, but 5.95 ERA
14 Jason Jennings Was Pit
Awesome 6.40 ERA, but love the matchups
15 Chuck James at Cin at STL
Up-Chuck – 8.59 ERA L3

Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: Gil Meche (at ChW, Cle), Daniel Cabrera (Tex, Min), Jarrod Washburn (at Min, at Tex), Dustin Moseley (NYY, Tor), Andy Sonnanstine (Bos, Oak), Vicente Padilla (at Bal, Sea), Edinson Volquez (at Bal, Sea), Jair Jurrjens (Cle, NYY)

Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Derek Lowe (Jason Marquis (at SF, at Ari), Matt Morris (at Col, at Hou), Joel Pineiro (at ChC, Atl), Tim Redding (at Hou, at Col), Russ Ortiz (at Fla, Mil), Brett Tomko (at Phi, at NYM), Bobby Livingston (Atl, Fla), Joel Hanrahan (at Hou, at Col), Tony Armas (at Col, at Hou), Daniel Barone (at StL, at Cin), Phil Dumatrait (Atl, Fla), Elmer Dessens (Pit, Was)


To Catch a Thief
Unrelated to the "Dateline NBC" predator stories, the "Rundown" investigates the best and worst base burglar matchups for the upcoming week. Stats reflect numbers through August 17:

BEST AND WORST AT CATCHING BASE THIEFS (and this week's opponents)
BOTTOM 5 (Worst) CS ATT CS%
Josh Bard, SD – (at NY Mets, at Philadelphia) 8 73 0.109
Gregg Zaun, Tor – (Oakland, at LA Angels) 7 59 0.118
John Buck, KC – (at Chi White Sox, Cleveland) 7 41 0.170
Johnny Estrada, Mil – (at Arizona, San Francisco) 11 62 0.177
Jason Kendall, ChC – (St. Louis, at Arizona) 17 92 0.186
TOP 5 (Best) CS ATT CS%
Joe Mauer, Min – (Seattle, at Baltimore) 20 36 0.555
Yadier Molina, StL – (Florida, Atlanta) 18 34 0.529
Gerald Laird, Tex – (at Baltimore, Seattle) 30 77 0.389
Kenji Johjima, Sea – (at Minnesota, at Texas) 21 58 0.362
Chris Snyder, Ari – (Milwaukee, Chi Cubs) 23 65 0.353

AL Steals Shopping: Reggie Willits, LAA, OF (29.4% owned), Shannon Stewart, Oak, OF (7.7%), Mark Ellis, Oak, 2B (17.5%), Jerry Owens, ChW, OF (1.1%)

NL Steals Shopping: Chris B. Young, Ari, OF (40.0% owned), Justin Upton, Ari, OF (18.7%), Rajai Davis, SF, OF (1.3%),


Feast or Famine?
Torn between two stat-similar corner infielders this week? Use the pitching staff sorter below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through August 18.

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL
BOTTOM 3 ERA OPP1 OPP2
Tampa Bay 5.76 Bos Oak
Chi. White Sox 4.85 KC Bos
Texas 4.83 at Bal Sea
TOP 3 ERA OPP1 OPP2
Boston 3.81 at TB at ChW
Oakland 3.98 at Tor at TB
Toronto 4.01 Oak at LAA
BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL
BOTTOM 3 ERA OPP1 OPP2
Cincinnati 4.93 Atl Fla
Pittsburgh 4.82 at Col at Hou
Philadelphia 4.71 LAD SD
TOP 3 ERA OPP1 OPP2
San Diego 3.50 at NYM at Phi
NY Mets 3.98 SD LAD
LA Dodgers 4.02 at Phi at NYM
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