Weekly Rundown

Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve 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 action, here's the nitty-gritty on a handful of notable names:

  • Unlike Al Reyes, hopefully Evan Longoria can avoid attacks from rascally clay pots. The Rays super prospect was recalled on Friday after starting three-bagger Willy Aybar was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury. Longoria plodded out of the gates at Triple-A Durham, collecting just five hits, none for extra bases, in 25 at-bats. Still, his lightning quick bat, brute natural strength (18.1 AB/HR in the minors) and keen eye (12.5 BB%) labels him one of baseball's elite power-hitting prospects. Sliders and breaking balls on the outer-half of the plate will torment him at times but, with 450-plus at-bats, he has a legitimate shot at 22-27 dingers and 75-plus RBIs. For now, consider him equal to Kevin Kouzmanoff, Kevin Youkilis and Hank Blalock in fantasy value terms.

  • San Francisco punchout widget, Jonathan Sanchez, could be this season what Oliver Perez was back in 2003. Eerily similar in style and substance as Perez, the 25-year-old Dominican import has registered an otherworldly 16.20 K/9 in his first 10.0 IP. Equipped with a low-90s fastball that occasionally touches 95, a menacing slider and an average change, Sanchez has the arsenal to rack abundant strikeouts. However, his erratic control (career 4.85 BB/9) and queasy FB% (45.5) stymies his potential to sustain an ERA below 4.00. If his command improves and he keeps the ball down in the zone, his breakout chances increase tenfold. Wins will be few and far between but, scheduled for two starts this week (Ari, at StL), the 99 percent available Sanchez is a sensational plug n' play, especially in points-based H2H formats.

  • Former mullet extraordinaire, Randy Johnson, is expected to make his season debut against the pathetic San Francisco Giants on Monday. Rocky in his first rehab start, Johnson struck out seven, walked one and gave up three earned in six innings in his final Triple-A tune-up on April 9. Now 44, the Big Unit is hardly the pitcher he was in his 30s, but he should be a serviceable source of strikeouts as a No. 5 in 12-team mixed leagues. With this week an uneventful one for top-flight two-start pitchers, Johnson is a premiere double-dipper taking the mound at San Francisco and home versus San Diego.

  • The Pineapple Express, Shane Victorino, was placed on the 15-day DL April 12 with a strained left calf muscle. Last season, he was sidelined for three weeks with a similar setback. Jayson Werth and So Taguchi will see an increase in at-bats in Victorino's absence. Owners desperately seeking outfield assistance in NL-only formats should pick up Werth. In 15 plate appearances he has collected six hits and driven in three.

  • Reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins is expected to return to the Phillies lineup on Tuesday. The historically durable shortstop has missed four games with a sprained ankle. Owners in weekly transaction leagues should confidently insert him into their lineups for the upcoming scoring period.

  • Ninth-inning ogre B.J. Ryan was activated form the 15-day DL on April 13. Given Jeremy Accardo's recent command struggles, it appears Ryan will immediately resume end-game duties. The 32-year-old power lefty was a bit wild in his last rehab appearance and could be erratic at times initially. However, once he shakes off the cobwebs he'll likely emerge as one of fantasy's standout stoppers. Barring a setback, expect Ryan to finish with 29-33 saves and 65-plus strikeouts.

Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Corey Patterson, Cin, OF (8-26, 3 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 37.9%), Jorge Cantu, Fla, 3B (10-25, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0.33%), Joe Crede, ChW, 3B (8-19, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 10.5%), Gerald Laird, Tex, C (6-16, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2.3%), Jonny Gomes, TB, OF (6-19, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0.61%)

Whiffers o' the weak(Last 7 days): Andruw Jones, LAD, OF (1-20, 9 K, 97.4%), Jack Cust, Oak, OF (2-19, 9 K, 16.5%), Dan Uggla, Fla, 2B (4-21, 9 K, 99.3%), David Ortiz, Bos, 1B/DH (1-21, 6 K, 100%), Jim Thome, ChW, 1B (2-19, 6 K, 99.3%)

Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Joey Gathright, KC, OF (4-24, 4 SB, 0.70%), Brian Bocock, SF, SS (4-21, 3 SB, 0.04%), Rajai Davis, SF, OF (0-7, 2 SB, 0.36%), Daniel Ortmeier, SF, OF (3-11, 2 SB, 0.06%)

This Week's Two-Start Pitchers
For 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 meteorological 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

Zack Greinke

at Sea

Oak

Zack a fantasy preppy - 15 IP, 1 ER, 5 K

2

Shaun Marcum

at Bal

Det

Shaun knockin' 'em dead - 10.29 K/9 in 14 IP

3

Dustin McGowan

at Bal

Det

McGrowin' with each start - 9.0 K/9 in 11 IP

4

Andy Pettitte

at TB

at Bal

Combined 4.93 ERA, 1.73 WHIP vs. TB/BAL ('07)

5

Jeremy Bonderman

Min

at Tor

James Bond vs. Min/Tor in '07 - 2.16 ERA in 4 GS

6

Ervin Santana

at Tex

Sea

Only 4 QS away from Anaheim last year

7

Jon Lester

at Cle

Tex

Lester pested by hideous 5.63 BB/9 in 3 starts

8

Kevin Millwood

LAA

at Bos

Three straight QS to open the season - 1.29 ERA

9

Edwin Jackson

NYY

ChW

Finally delivering on big promise, 1 ER in 14 IP

10

Mark Buehrle

Oak

at TB

Frigid temps in Chicago could lead to P duel

11

Jake Westbrook

Bos

at Min

West a GB freak - 53.1 GB%, 2.76 ERA in 2 GS

12

Dana Eveland

at ChW

KC

Chilly conditions Tues. will aid Eveland; 0.68 ERA

13

Ian Kennedy

at TB

at Bal

Yank'ed early in lone start – better than 13.50 ERA

14

Nate Robertson

Min

at Tor

Buddy Holly crashed in 2 starts - 9 ER in 10.1 IP

15

Scott Baker

at Det

Cle

Whippin' up QS and Ws - 2 W, 9:1 K:BB in 2 GS

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Aaron Harang

at ChC

Mil

Always overlooked - 2.14 ERA, 15 K in 21 IP

2

Hiroki Kuroda

Pit

at Atl

Muh-muh-muh-my Kuroda - 2.13 ERA, 46.3 GB%

3

Jair Jurrjens

at Fla

LAD

Marlins on a tear, but will have no answer for Jair

4

Ryan Dempster

Cin

Pit

Dominated paltry Pirates Apr 9 - 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER

5

Randy Johnson

at SF

SD

Unit resurrected - 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 K in last rehab start

6

Randy Wolf

Col

at Ari

Werewolf in Petco, aaarooo! - 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K Apr 3

7

Jonathan Sanchez

Ari

at StL

Could be Oliver Perez '04 - 16.20 K/9 in 10 IP

8

Braden Looper

Mil

SF

Looper is April-icious - 2.23 ERA in '07/08

9

Hong-Chih Kuo

Atl

at Pit

Replaces ineffective Loaiza - 8 K in 6.2 IP

10

Mike Pelfrey

Was

at Phi

Boocoo run support makes him stream o' the week

11

Scott Olsen

Atl

Was

Quick-tempered Scott 4.62 career home ERA

12

Kyle Kendrick

Hou

NYM

Double-K terribly unlucky - .379 BABIP, 8:1 K:BB

13

Dave Bush

at StL

at Cin

Bushwhacked - 10 ER in first 10.2 IP

14

Zach Duke

at LAD

at ChC

The Duke has been dealin,' but 6.17 rd. ERA in '07

15

Ubaldo Jimenez

at SD

at Hou

Can't seem to find command - 7.36 BB/9 in 2 GS

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – American League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Zack Greinke

at Sea

Oak

Zack a fantasy preppy - 15 IP, 1 ER, 5 K

2

Shaun Marcum

at Bal

Det

Shaun knockin' 'em dead - 10.29 K/9 in 14 IP

3

Dustin McGowan

at Bal

Det

McGrowin' with each start - 9.0 K/9 in 11 IP

4

Andy Pettitte

at TB

at Bal

Combined 4.93 ERA, 1.73 WHIP vs. TB/BAL ('07)

5

Jeremy Bonderman

Min

at Tor

James Bond vs. Min/Tor in '07 - 2.16 ERA in 4 GS

6

Ervin Santana

at Tex

Sea

Only 4 QS away from Anaheim last year

7

Jon Lester

at Cle

Tex

Lester pested by hideous 5.63 BB/9 in 3 starts

8

Kevin Millwood

LAA

at Bos

Three straight QS to open the season - 1.29 ERA

9

Edwin Jackson

NYY

ChW

Finally delivering on big promise, 1 ER in 14 IP

10

Mark Buehrle

Oak

at TB

Frigid temps in Chicago could lead to P duel

11

Jake Westbrook

Bos

at Min

West a GB freak - 53.1 GB%, 2.76 ERA in 2 GS

12

Dana Eveland

at ChW

KC

Chilly conditions Tues. will aid Eveland; 0.68 ERA

13

Ian Kennedy

at TB

at Bal

Yank'ed early in lone start – better than 13.50 ERA

14

Nate Robertson

Min

at Tor

Buddy Holly crashed in 2 starts - 9 ER in 10.1 IP

15

Scott Baker

at Det

Cle

Whippin' up QS and Ws - 2 W, 9:1 K:BB in 2 GS

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Aaron Harang

at ChC

Mil

Always overlooked - 2.14 ERA, 15 K in 21 IP

2

Hiroki Kuroda

Pit

at Atl

Muh-muh-muh-my Kuroda - 2.13 ERA, 46.3 GB%

3

Jair Jurrjens

at Fla

LAD

Marlins on a tear, but will have no answer for Jair

4

Ryan Dempster

Cin

Pit

Dominated paltry Pirates Apr 9 - 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER

5

Randy Johnson

at SF

SD

Unit resurrected - 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 K in last rehab start

6

Randy Wolf

Col

at Ari

Werewolf in Petco, aaarooo! - 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K Apr 3

7

Jonathan Sanchez

Ari

at StL

Could be Oliver Perez '04 - 16.20 K/9 in 10 IP

8

Braden Looper

Mil

SF

Looper is April-icious - 2.23 ERA in '07/08

9

Hong-Chih Kuo

Atl

at Pit

Replaces ineffective Loaiza - 8 K in 6.2 IP

10

Mike Pelfrey

Was

at Phi

Boocoo run support makes him stream o' the week

11

Scott Olsen

Atl

Was

Quick-tempered Scott 4.62 career home ERA

12

Kyle Kendrick

Hou

NYM

Double-K terribly unlucky - .379 BABIP, 8:1 K:BB

13

Dave Bush

at StL

at Cin

Bushwhacked - 10 ER in first 10.2 IP

14

Zach Duke

at LAD

at ChC

The Duke has been dealin,' but 6.17 rd. ERA in '07

15

Ubaldo Jimenez

at SD

at Hou

Can't seem to find command - 7.36 BB/9 in 2 GS

Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: John Danks (Oak, at TB), Tim Wakefield (at Cle, Tex), Andy Sonnanstine (NYY, ChW), Nick Blackburn (at Det, Cle), Paul Byrd (Bos, at Min), Miguel Batista (KC, at LAA), Jarrod Washburn (KC, at LAA), Jason Jennings (LAA, at Bos), Greg Smith (at ChW, KC), Dustin Mosley (at Tex, Sea), John Bale (at Sea, at Oak), Matt Albers (Tor, NYY), Steve Trachsel (Tor, NYY)

Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Odalis Perez (at NYM, at Atl), Shawn Chacon (at Phi, Col), Adam Eaton (Hou, Col), Chris Sampson (at Phi, SD)

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 April 11:

BEST AND WORST AT CATCHING BASE THIEFS (and this week's opponents)

BOTTOM 5 (Worst)

CS

ATT

CS%

Mike Napoli, LAA - (at Texas, Seattle)

1

8

0.125

Victor Martinez, Cle - (Boston, at Minnesota)

1

7

0.142

Josh Bard, SD - (Colorado, at Arizona)

2

13

0.153

Bengie Molina, SF - (Arizona, at St. Louis)

2

10

0.200

Geovany Soto, ChC - (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh)

3

11

0.272

TOP 5 (Best)

CS

ATT

CS%

Jose Molina, NYY - (at Tampa Bay, at Baltimore)

6

12

0.500

Ivan Rodriguez, Det - (Minnesota, at Toronto)

3

7

0.428

Joe Mauer, Min - (at Detroit, Cleveland)

2

5

0.400

Gerald Laird, Tex - (L.A. Angels, at Boston)

5

13

0.385

Jason Kendall, Mil - (at St. Louis, at Cincinnati)

4

11

0.363


AL Steals Shopping:Jose Lopez, 2B, Sea (24.4% owned), David Murphy, Tex, OF (2.2%), Nick Punto, Min, 2B/SS/3B (0.36%)

NL Steals Shopping: Jeff Keppinger, Cin, 3B/SS (24.6% owned), Ryan Freel, Cin, 3B/OF (3.9%), Nyjer Morgan, Pit, OF (0.10%), Scott Podsednik, Col, OF (0.10%)

Feast or Famine?
Torn between two stat-similar corner infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Scott Olsen is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through April 12.

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Detroit

5.42

Min

at Tor

Cleveland

5.10

Bos

at Min

Chi. White Sox

4.81

Oak

at TB

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Kansas City

2.82

at Sea

at Oak

Oakland

3.21

at ChW

KC

Minnesota

3.31

at Det

Cle

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Florida

5.45

Atl

Was

Colorado

5.06

at SD

at Hou

Washington

4.96

at NYM

at Atl

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Arizona

2.57

at SF

SD

St. Louis

2.94

Mil

SF

Cincinnati

3.05

at ChC

Mil

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Detroit

5.42

Min

at Tor

Cleveland

5.10

Bos

at Min

Chi. White Sox

4.81

Oak

at TB

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Kansas City

2.82

at Sea

at Oak

Oakland

3.21

at ChW

KC

Minnesota

3.31

at Det

Cle

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Florida

5.45

Atl

Was

Colorado

5.06

at SD

at Hou

Washington

4.96

at NYM

at Atl

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Arizona

2.57

at SF

SD

St. Louis

2.94

Mil

SF

Cincinnati

3.05

at ChC

Mil

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – AL

BOTTOM 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

Detroit

240

Min

at Tor

Cleveland

241

Bos

at Min

Texas

244

LAA

at Bos

TOP 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

L.A. Angels

293

at Tex

Sea

Toronto

268

at Bal

Det

Minnesota

264

at Det

Cle

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – NL

BOTTOM 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

Washington

230

at NYM

at Atl

Colorado

231

at SD

at Hou

Houston

233

at Phi

Col

TOP 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

282

Col

at Ari

Arizona

279

at SF

SD

Atlanta

274

at Fla

LAD

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – AL

BOTTOM 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

Detroit

240

Min

at Tor

Cleveland

241

Bos

at Min

Texas

244

LAA

at Bos

TOP 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

L.A. Angels

293

at Tex

Sea

Toronto

268

at Bal

Det

Minnesota

264

at Det

Cle

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – NL

BOTTOM 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

Washington

230

at NYM

at Atl

Colorado

231

at SD

at Hou

Houston

233

at Phi

Col

TOP 3

BA

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

282

Col

at Ari

Arizona

279

at SF

SD

Atlanta

274

at Fla

LAD

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