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:

Rampant speculation regarding the imminent promotion of Dodgers pitching phenom Clayton Kershaw continues to gain momentum. When asked late last week whether the baby-faced 20-year-old would replace injured starter Esteban Loaiza, Joe Torre was noncommittal, telling the LA Times, "You'll have to wait and see." Fanning the flames further, the Press-Enterprise reported May 10 that the Dodgers are undecided whether Kershaw should pitch out of the bullpen in his outing for Double-A Jacksonville on Monday. If he doesn't toe the rubber in the first, it's a forgone conclusion he will be promoted and inserted into the L.A. rotation sometime this week, presumably May 17 at Anaheim. Kershaw's outstanding repertoire – low-90s fastball with deceptive movement, developing change and knee-bending curve – is jaw-dropping. In 33.1 IP with the Suns, he's posted a 9.99 K/9, 2.97 BB/9 and microscopic 1.08 ERA. He's not as polished as Max Scherzer, but his high-strikeout potential makes him a top waiver commodity. When Kershaw hits waivers in the Yahoo! game, absolutely spend your No. 1 waiver priority, but expect plenty of turbulent times. Because the youngster has his own innings decree, his '08 ceiling is likely Tim Lincecum '07 (146.1 IP, 7 W, 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 150 K).

The Canadian Loonie, still recovering from the '07 Wellsian recession, plummeted on May 10 with news that underachiever Vernon Wells will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist. On pace for 22 homers and 107 RBI, Wells was undergoing a resurgence, but, as we've seen historically with wrist injuries to power hitters (e.g. Derrek Lee), his long-ball totals will most certainly fall well short of expectations this year. While the 29-year-old outfielder mends, recently acquired hook Brad Wilkerson and bucket head Kevin Mench will platoon in right. Neither is rosterable in 12-team mixed leagues, although AL-only owners needing a two-month power rental should employ their services.

Angels Speed Racer Chone Figgins was finally placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 4 with a strained hamstring. With Macier Izturis and Howie Kendrick (hamstring) currently unavailable, the unexciting trio of Brandon Wood, Robb Quinlan and Sean Rodriguez will continue to log at-bats. Wood (24 HR in '07) and Rodriguez (17 HR in '07) have significant power upside but neither warrants consideration in mixed leagues at this time.

The Don King of poultry pugilism, Pedro Martinez, tossed a successful 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. Mets GM Omar Minaya said the organization is "very encouraged by Pedro's progress." There is no timetable set yet for the eight-time All-Star's return, but the New York Daily News speculates that he could see simulated game action sometime this week. Unless he suffers a setback, the earliest the 36-year-old hurler would return appears to be early June. Owners with tenuous rotations in shallow mixed leagues may want to stash the 65 percent-owned Martinez.

Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Ryan Ludwick, StL, OF (11-21, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 29.9% owned), Milton Bradley, Tex, OF (5-22, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4.2%), Eric Bruntlett, Phi, SS (8-24, 1 HR, 8 RBI, SB, 0.12%), Chris Iannetta, Col, C (7-18, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 0.29%), Brandon Boggs, Tex, OF (8-26, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 0.10%), Mark Kotsay, Atl, OF (8-22, 2 HR, 6 RBI, SB, 0.42%)

Whiffers o' the weak (Last 7 days): Alex Rios, Tor, OF (5-21, 13 K, 99.9% owned), Curtis Granderson, 5-28, 12 K, 99.7%), Carlos Pena, TB, 1B (4-22, 11 K, 98.2%), David Wright, NYM, 3B (5-24, 9 K, 100%), Pat Burrell, Phi, OF (3-19, 8 K, 99.9%)

Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Ryan Freel, Cin, 3B/OF (7-22, 2 SB, 2.7%), Joey Gathright, KC, OF (3-9, 2 SB, 2.4% owned), Scott Podsednik, Col, OF (2-14, 2 SB, 0.29%), Ryan Sweeney, Oak, OF (3-10, 2 SB, 0.07%)

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

Cliff Lee

Tor

at Cin

In another dimension - 39:2 K:BB in 44.2 IP

2

Erik Bedard

at Tex

SD

Put Rangers to Bed 5/7 - 7 IP, 2 ER, 5:1 K:BB

3

Zack Greinke

Det

at Fla

Zack attack - has not yielded 3+ ER in a game

4

Chien-Ming Wang

at TB

NYM

Ain't no thang but a chicken Wang - 7 QS in 8 G

5

Jered Weaver

ChW

LAD

Dodgers don't go to Jered - 1.50 ERA vs. LAD

6

Clay Buchholz

at Min

Mil

Split personality - 1.04 hm ERA, 7.40 away

7

Shaun Marcum

at Cle

at Phi

Fanatic tamer - 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 K, W vs. Phi '07

8

John Danks

at LAA

at SF

Down and dirty Danks - 6 ER in last 30.2 IP

9

Mark Buehrle

at LAA

at SF

Winless in five straight but SF offense atrocious

10

Vicente Padilla

Sea

Hou

Pad-ded his stats in last 3 - 21.2 IP, 1 ER

11

Mike Mussina

at TB

NYM

Pass the Mike - winner in 4 straight, 3.13 ERA

12

Justin Duchscherer

at Cle

at Atl

Grade 'A' performer vs. Cle 4/4 - 5 IP, 1 ER

13

Armando Galarraga

at KC

at Ari

Tidy Cat 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP in 3 rd games

14

Paul Byrd

Oak

at Cin

Little RS but Byrd 3 QS in last five games

15

Kevin Slowey

Tor

at Col

Career 50.0 FB% will be trouble at Coors

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Adam Wainwright

at Mil

TB

Definitely Mr. Wright - 1.95 ERA last 5

2

Aaron Harang

Fla

Cle

Loser of 4 of last 5 but 3.69 ERA over that span

3

Tim Hudson

at Pit

Oak

Hud no sucker - 13:3 K:BB, 2 ER in last 16 IP

4

Roy Oswalt

at SF

at Tex

Yielded 3 ER and totaled at least 6 IP in L4

5

John Maine

Was

at NYY

Victorious in three straight with a 2.35 ERA

6

Matt Cain

Hou

ChW

Cain bringin' the pain in L4 - 2.86 ERA

7

Mark Hendrickson

at Cin

KC

On the Mark in 5 of first 7 starts; 7 straight QS

8

Micah Owings

Col

Det

Tattooed in interleague '07 - 9 ER, 17.2 IP

9

Jeff Francis

at Ari

Min

Rocked consistently - 3 QS in 7 games

10

Randy Wolf

at ChC

at Sea

Fangs not so daunting on road - 4.81 ERA

11

Brad Penny

at Mil

at LAA

Tarnished Penny vs. LAA '07 - 5 IP, 8 ER

12

John Lannan

at NYM

at Bal

57.4 GB% encouraging but BB/9 worrisome

13

Kyle Kendrick

Atl

Tor

Respectable 4.26 ERA in last three starts

14

Jason Marquis

SD

Pit

Lone win versus Pit 4/19 - 6 IP, 1 ER, 7:1 K:BB

15

Kyle Lohse

Pit

TB

Obliterated in last two starts - 10 IP, 15 ER

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – American League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Cliff Lee

Tor

at Cin

In another dimension - 39:2 K:BB in 44.2 IP

2

Erik Bedard

at Tex

SD

Put Rangers to Bed 5/7 - 7 IP, 2 ER, 5:1 K:BB

3

Zack Greinke

Det

at Fla

Zack attack - has not yielded 3+ ER in a game

4

Chien-Ming Wang

at TB

NYM

Ain't no thang but a chicken Wang - 7 QS in 8 G

5

Jered Weaver

ChW

LAD

Dodgers don't go to Jered - 1.50 ERA vs. LAD

6

Clay Buchholz

at Min

Mil

Split personality - 1.04 hm ERA, 7.40 away

7

Shaun Marcum

at Cle

at Phi

Fanatic tamer - 6 IP, 3 ER, 6 K, W vs. Phi '07

8

John Danks

at LAA

at SF

Down and dirty Danks - 6 ER in last 30.2 IP

9

Mark Buehrle

at LAA

at SF

Winless in five straight but SF offense atrocious

10

Vicente Padilla

Sea

Hou

Pad-ded his stats in last 3 - 21.2 IP, 1 ER

11

Mike Mussina

at TB

NYM

Pass the Mike - winner in 4 straight, 3.13 ERA

12

Justin Duchscherer

at Cle

at Atl

Grade 'A' performer vs. Cle 4/4 - 5 IP, 1 ER

13

Armando Galarraga

at KC

at Ari

Tidy Cat 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP in 3 rd games

14

Paul Byrd

Oak

at Cin

Little RS but Byrd 3 QS in last five games

15

Kevin Slowey

Tor

at Col

Career 50.0 FB% will be trouble at Coors

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Adam Wainwright

at Mil

TB

Definitely Mr. Wright - 1.95 ERA last 5

2

Aaron Harang

Fla

Cle

Loser of 4 of last 5 but 3.69 ERA over that span

3

Tim Hudson

at Pit

Oak

Hud no sucker - 13:3 K:BB, 2 ER in last 16 IP

4

Roy Oswalt

at SF

at Tex

Yielded 3 ER and totaled at least 6 IP in L4

5

John Maine

Was

at NYY

Victorious in three straight with a 2.35 ERA

6

Matt Cain

Hou

ChW

Cain bringin' the pain in L4 - 2.86 ERA

7

Mark Hendrickson

at Cin

KC

On the Mark in 5 of first 7 starts; 7 straight QS

8

Micah Owings

Col

Det

Tattooed in interleague '07 - 9 ER, 17.2 IP

9

Jeff Francis

at Ari

Min

Rocked consistently - 3 QS in 7 games

10

Randy Wolf

at ChC

at Sea

Fangs not so daunting on road - 4.81 ERA

11

Brad Penny

at Mil

at LAA

Tarnished Penny vs. LAA '07 - 5 IP, 8 ER

12

John Lannan

at NYM

at Bal

57.4 GB% encouraging but BB/9 worrisome

13

Kyle Kendrick

Atl

Tor

Respectable 4.26 ERA in last three starts

14

Jason Marquis

SD

Pit

Lone win versus Pit 4/19 - 6 IP, 1 ER, 7:1 K:BB

15

Kyle Lohse

Pit

TB

Obliterated in last two starts - 10 IP, 15 ER

Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: Jesse Litsch, Tor (at Min, at Phi), Matt Garza, TB (NYY, at StL), Edwin Jackson (NYY, at StL), Livan Hernandez, Min (Bos, at Col), Nick Adenhart, LAA (ChW, LAD)

Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Jon Lieber, ChC (SD, Pit), Nelson Figueroa, NYM (Was, at NYY), Burke Badenhop, Fla (at Cin, KC), Odalis Perez, Was (at NYM, at Bal), Barry Zito, SF (Hou, ChW), Carlos Villanueva, Mil (LAD, at Bos), Paul Maholm, Pit (at StL, at ChC), Jo-Jo Reyes, Atl (at Phi, Oak), Brandon Backe, Hou (at SF, at Tex), Phil Dumatrait, Pit (Atl, at ChC), Dave Bush, Mil (StL, at Bos), Shawn Estes, SF (at ChC, at Sea)

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 26:

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

BOTTOM 5 (Worst)

CS

ATT

CS%

Josh Bard, SD - (at Chi Cubs, at Seattle)

6

39

0.154

A.J. Pierzynski, ChW - (at L.A. Angels, at San Francisco)

4

23

0.174

Yorvit Torrealba, Col - (at Arizona, Minnesota)

5

27

0.185

Brian McCann, Atl - (at Philadelphia, Oakland)

4

21

0.218

TOP 5 (Best)

CS

ATT

CS%

Paul Bako, Cin - (Florida, Cleveland)

8

19

0.421

Jason Kendall, Mil - (L.A. Dodgers, at Boston)

11

27

0.407

Victor Martinez, Cle - (Oakland, at Cincinnati)

8

20

0.400

Geovany Soto, ChC - (San Diego, Pittsburgh)

10

25

0.400

Kurt Suzuki, Oak - (at Cleveland at Atlanta)

9

23

0.391


AL Steals Shopping:Erick Aybar, LAA, 2B/SS (51.4% owned), Ryan Sweeney, Oak, OF (0.07%)

NL Steals Shopping: Ronny Cedeno, ChC, SS/2B (14.5%) Jayson Werth, Phi, OF (11.0%), Fred Lewis, SF, OF (8.3%), Eugenio Velez, SF, OF (1.8%), Eric Bruntlett, Phi, SS (0.12%)

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

5.09

at KC

at Ari

Texas

4.62

Sea

Hou

Kansas City

4.49

Det

at Fla

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Oakland

3.25

at Cle

at Atl

Cleveland

3.62

Oak

at Cin

Chi White Sox

3.66

at LAA

at SF

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Pittsburgh

4.98

at StL

at ChC

Washington

4.69

at NYM

at Bal

Colorado

4.66

at Ari

Min

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Atlanta

3.54

at Phi

Oak

Arizona

3.61

Col

Det

St. Louis

3.71

Pit

TB

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Detroit

5.09

at KC

at Ari

Texas

4.62

Sea

Hou

Kansas City

4.49

Det

at Fla

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Oakland

3.25

at Cle

at Atl

Cleveland

3.62

Oak

at Cin

Chi White Sox

3.66

at LAA

at SF

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Pittsburgh

4.98

at StL

at ChC

Washington

4.69

at NYM

at Bal

Colorado

4.66

at Ari

Min

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Atlanta

3.54

at Phi

Oak

Arizona

3.61

Col

Det

St. Louis

3.71

Pit

TB

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – AL

BOTTOM 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Kansas City

3.6

Det

at Fla

Toronto

3.8

at Min

at Phi

Seattle

3.9

at Tex

SD

TOP 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Boston

5.1

at Bal

Mil

Detroit

4.7

at KC

at Ari

Oakland

4.6

at Cle

at Atl

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – NL

BOTTOM 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

3.3

at ChC

at Sea

San Francisco

3.5

Hou

at ChW

Washington

3.9

at NYM

at Bal

TOP 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Chi Cubs

5.7

SD

Pit

Arizona

5.5

Col

Det

Philadelphia

4.8

Atl

Tor

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – AL

BOTTOM 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Kansas City

3.6

Det

at Fla

Toronto

3.8

at Min

at Phi

Seattle

3.9

at Tex

SD

TOP 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Boston

5.1

at Bal

Mil

Detroit

4.7

at KC

at Ari

Oakland

4.6

at Cle

at Atl

BEST/WORST OFFENSES – NL

BOTTOM 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

3.3

at ChC

at Sea

San Francisco

3.5

Hou

at ChW

Washington

3.9

at NYM

at Bal

TOP 3

R/9

OPP1

OPP2

Chi Cubs

5.7

SD

Pit

Arizona

5.5

Col

Det

Philadelphia

4.8

Atl

Tor

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