Weekly Rundown: Prelude to a championship

Before we break open the double-dippers on the mound, let's roll out the standard disclaimer. The second start in any week is something you write in pencil; you never know when weather, injury, or a manager's whim could change things. Stay alert and choose carefully, it's business time.

AL Two-Start Pitchers

  • Francisco Liriano (at CLE, at TB): Reinvention tour has been a smash.

  • Scott Kazmir (BOS, MIN): Physical Graffiti, Side 2, Track 3.

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (at TB, at TOR): It's maddening to watch but the results are there.

  • Brandon Morrow (at KC, at OAK): Filthy stuff and you love these matchups.

  • Shaun Marcum (BAL, BOS): He's been fairly reliable since the DL stint in July.

  • Kevin Slowey (at CLE, at TB): Rays haven't seen him yet in 2008.

  • John Lackey (at OAK, at TEX): Hasn't looked like an ace in second half (4.17, 1.25).

  • Gavin Floyd (at NYY, at KC): He's dipped in second half, but hasn't collapsed.

  • Mark Buehrle (at NYY, at KC): I keep doubting him - and I'm often wrong.

  • Andy Sonnanstine (BOS, MIN): So underrated, he's overrated.

  • Alfredo Aceves (CHW, BAL): Double-jumper hasn't looked bad to this point.

  • Andy Pettitte (CHW, BAL): Hit wall in late July; will stadium farewell produce a spark?

  • Scott Lewis (MIN, DET): Control artist gets tricky matchups.

  • Brandon McCarthy (DET, LA): He's had some moments of promise since recall.

  • Sean Gallagher (LA, SEA): First start back was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

  • Carlos Silva (at KC, at OAK): At least you're not paying him.

  • Chris Waters (at TOR, at NYY): League quickly caught up to him.

  • Kyle Davies (SEA, CHW): Amazing that he's a rotation staple.

  • Brandon Duckworth (SEA, CHW): No upside, a ton of downside.

  • Dontrelle Willis (at TEX, at CLE): Stream hitters against him.

NL Two-Start Pitchers

  • CC Sabathia (at CHC, at CIN): Deserves to be second in Cy Young voting.

  • Ryan Dempster (MIL, STL): Confirmed to go Tuesday.

  • Derek Lowe (at PIT, SF): Can't quibble with these assignments.

  • Ted Lilly (HOU*, STL): Slides into Monday rotation spot.

  • Mike Pelfrey (at WAS, at ATL): Trust his supporting cast and these tasty matchups.

  • Ubaldo Jimenez (SD, ARI): With power sinker he can beat the park.

  • Dan Haren (SF, at COL): In a rut but hard to bench.

  • Pedro Martinez (at WAS, at ATL): Looks good on paper but a hard guy to peg.

  • Bronson Arroyo (STL, MIL): Second-half numbers inspire confidence.

  • Chris Volstad (HOU, PHI): Tricky assignments but at least he's at home.

  • Hiroki Kuroda (at PIT, SF): Looked tired his last two starts.

  • Matt Cain (at ARI, at LA): In a funk, time for a shutdown?

  • Braden Looper (at CIN, at CHC): Tricky slate, but he's got nine solid turns in 10 starts.

  • Jamie Moyer (at ATL, at FLA): Good matchups for the ageless wonder.

  • James Parr (PHI, NYM): He's earned some cred but no gimmies here.

  • Brad Hennessey (at ARI, at LAD): You got it down . . . when you appear to be in pain.

  • Doug Davis (SF, at COL): Even with his ground-ball rate, I don't like him in Coors.

  • Wade LeBlanc (at COL, at WAS): Strikeout arm, but beware the Triple-A ERA (5.32).

  • Odalis Perez (NYM, SD): All over the place last three weeks.

  • John Lannan (NYM, SD): Super on the road, a horror show in DC (5.65 ERA, 1.51 WHIP).

  • Zach Duke (LA, HOU): Memories of 2005 get hazier and hazier.

  • Ross Ohlendorf (LA, HOU): You can figure this one out.

  • Greg Reynolds (SD, ARI): Growing pains for second overall pick in 2006.

The Week 25 Schedules - Team By Team

It's been a crazy month with weather; here's hoping our fantasy titles get decided with a clean, dry week.

Teams With Seven Games (AL clubs listed first):

Mariners (at KC 4, at OAK 3)

Rays (BOS 3, MIN 4)

Royals (SEA 4, CHI 3)

Twins (at CLE 3, at TB 4)

White Sox (at NY 4, at KC 3)

Yankees (CHI 4, BAL 3, goodbye Yankee Stadium)

Astros (CHI* 1, at FLA 3, at PIT 3)

Cubs (at HOU* 1, MIL 3, STL 3)

Diamondbacks (SF 4, at COL 3)

Dodgers (at PIT 4, SF 3)

Giants (at ARI 4, at LA 3)

Mets (at WAS 4, at ATL 3)

Nationals (NY 4, SD 3)

Pirates (LA 4, HOU 3)

Teams With Six Games:

Angels (at OAK 3, at TEX 3)

Athletics (LA 3, SEA 3)

Blue Jays (BAL 3, BOS 3)

Indians (MIN 3, DET 3)

Orioles (at TOR 3, at NY 3)

Rangers (DET 3, LA 3)

Red Sox (at TB 3, at TOR 3)

Tigers (at TEX 3, at CLE 3)

Braves (PHI 3, NY 3)

Brewers (at CHI 3, at CIN 3)

Cardinals (at CIN 3, at CHI 3)

Marlins (HOU 3, PHI 3)

Padres (at COL 3, at WAS 3)

Phillies (at ATL 3, at FLA 3)

Reds (STL 3, MIL 3)

Rockies (SD 3, ARI 3, thin air all week)

Vera, Pick Up!

Players to consider adding, if they're out there to grab:

AL-only or Deep Mixed: Alfredo Aceves, Brandon Wood, Asdrubal Cabrera, Taylor Teagarden, Scott Lewis, Philip Hughes, Dan Johnson

NL-only or Deep Mixed: Eugenio Velez, Reggie Abercrombie, Felipe Lopez, a random National

Shallow or Moderate Mixed: Chad Qualls (confirmed as new closer), Michael Bourn, Pablo Sandoval, Shaun Marcum, David Price, Hank Blalock

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