Weekly Rundown

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:

  • On Friday, Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau suffered a bruised lung after he train-wrecked with 6-foot, 220-pound backstop Miguel Olivo in a bang-bang play at the plate. Luckily, tests revealed no broken bones, but Morneau coughed up blood after the collision, which has hospitalized the reigning AL MVP for three days. Unless additional X-Rays reveal significant damage, he could return later this week, but a DL stint cannot be ruled out. Jeff Cirillo (0.12 percent owned) has gone 4-for-10 with two RBI filling in for Morneau and is a serviceable one-week BA play in AL-only leagues. The 37-year-old utility infielder has slapped a .333 BA in 45 June at-bats.

  • Cubs closer Ryan Dempster will likely be sidelined until at least Wednesday with a strained oblique. The undervalued Dempster has only blown two saves this season and is currently the 13th-best stopper in Yahoo! leagues. Owners in dire straits for saves should peruse the wire for interim closer Bob Howry (2.5 percent owned). The 33 year-old workhorse throws a darting 92-94 mph fastball and has saved 59 games in his career. Over the weekend, Howry slammed the door against his former employer, the Chicago White Sox, for back-to-back saves. Interestingly, Lou Piniella has recently hinted that Carlos Marmol would be a potential long-term solution if Dempster were befallen by a significant injury. However, with Sean Marshall's emergence as the Cubs fifth starter, thoughts of moving Dempster into the rotation have been squashed.

  • Floundering Southside outfielder Jermaine "Live and Let" Dye will likely head to the 15-Day DL with a nagging right quadriceps injury. Dye, who has homered only once in his past 84 at-bats, first suffered the strain on June 18 and complained on Saturday that his leg "hurt real bad." Even if the soon-to-be free agent dons different team threads soon, those in search of a power bat for a second half run may want to pitch a lowball offer for his services. Over the weekend, he was swapped straight up for Brad Penny, Mike Lowell and Delmon Young in Y! Plus leagues. With Dye and Darin Erstad on the shelf, Andy Gonzalez, Rob Mackowiak and Luis Terrero will split time in center and right. None of them are worthy of ownership in mixed leagues at this time.

  • On Sunday, Blue Jays mutton chops wearer Dustin McGowan (1 percent owned) lost a no-hitter in the ninth against Colorado after Jeff Baker laced a screaming liner into center. Impressively, the youngster kept his composure and finished off the Rockies for his first career complete game shutout. Before owners anoint the 25 year-old top prospect man-crush material understand that his command has vanished at times this season (3.5 BB/9) and extraordinary performances like this are a rarity. However, he's developed into a desirable back-of-the-rotation starter in 12-team mixed leagues. If you take away his six earned run implosion versus the Dodgers on June 19, McGowan has notched a sparkling 2.55 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and a respectable 6.8 K/9 since May 23. With a lively mid-90s fastball and a tight-spinning mid-80s slider, he has favorable odds to notch an ERA around 3.50 over the second half. Concerned Curt Schilling owners looking for a replacement should scour the wire for his services.

  • Oakland's Rich Harden (94.2 percent owned) was activated from the DL on Friday and will throw out of the bullpen. A's manager Bob Geren said he will build up his shoulder strength with several short-inning stints until he feels comfortable Harden "can go four or five innings." As of now, the 25 year-old will likely return to the rotation shortly after the All-Star Break. Because Alan Embree has been masterful in the ninth (8-for-9 in save opportunities), it appears Harden will not see any end-game duty. Geren wants to get Harden regular work this week and may have him pitch multiple two-inning sessions if in-game circumstances allow. Be sure to activate him in all formats as hell be a terrific source of ERA, WHIP and Ks working in middle-relief.

  • Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Aaron Miles, StL, 2B (13-25, 4 R, 0.21% owned), Alex Gordon, KC, 3B (11-26, 2 RBI, SB, 13.9%), Jonny Gomes, TB, OF (10-25, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2.6%), Matt Stairs, Tor, 1B/OF (10-19, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2.7%), Troy Tulowitzki, Col, SS (9-20, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 9.8%)

Whiffers o the weak (Last 7 days): Adam LaRoche, Pit, 1B (3-25, 9 Ks, 46.3%), Kelly Johnson, Atl, 2B/OF (3-21, 7 K, 97.4%), Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B/OF, Bal (3-18, 6 K, 34.2%), Hideki Matsui, NYY, OF (4-24, 5 Ks, 99.6%), Dave Roberts, SF, OF (4-27, 4 Ks, 25.1%)

Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Corey Hart, Mil, OF ( 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 39.1%), Alfredo Amezaga, Fla, 2B/SS/OF (8-24, 2 SB, 0.33%), Jason Tyner, Min, OF (3-10, 2 SB, 0.17%)

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

Roy Halladay

at Min

at Sea

Doc operating - 3 W, 2.44 ERA in L3

2

John Lackey

KC

at Bal

Won 6 of his last 8 starts with a 2.66 ERA

3

Jeremy Bonderman

Tex

Min

Shaken not stirred - 8 straight wins

4

C.C. Sabathia

Oak

TB

3.18 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 10 home starts

5

Dan Haren

at Cle

at NYY

Heavenly Haren fewer than 3 ER in 13 starts

6

Andy Pettitte

at Bal

Oak

7 quality starts in his past 10

7

James Shields

ChW

at Cle

Rough 11 ER in last 11 IP, but WHIP savior

8

Shaun Marcum

at Min

at Sea

On the Marc - 1.87 ERA, 15 K last 19.2 IP

9

Jon Garland

at TB

at KC

Three QS in his past four games w/2.56 ERA

10

Jeremy Guthrie

NYY

LAA

Thrown at least 7 IP in 8 straight; QS hero

11

Chad Gaudin

at Cle

at NYY

2.76 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 7 road starts

12

Julian Tavarez

at Sea

Tex

2 ER, 0.85 WHIP, 21 runs of support L2

13

Nate Robertson

Tex

Min

First starts since May 5 - arm fatigue

14

John Danks

at TB

at KC

Has not made it to the sixth since May 22

15

Kevin Slowey

Tor

at Det

4.43 ERA, 1.61 WHIP 10:6 K:BB in 4 starts

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Brad Penny

at Ari

SD

Shiny 2 W, 1.25 ERA, 19:1 K:BB L3

2

Tim Hudson

Was

at Fla

Huddy 14 IP, 1 ER, 11:2 K:BB vs Was

3

Ben Sheets

Hou

at ChC

Holy Sheets - 3 W, 1.63 ERA in June

4

Jeff Francis

at ChC

at Hou

Noise twin 8 QS in his past 10

5

Tom Glavine

StL

at Phi

Tagged for 17 ER in his past 3; 1 W in L6

6

Justin Germano

at SF

at LAD

At least 6 IP in 7 of 8, 2.63 ERA

7

Barry Zito

SD

Ari

4.04 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in seven home starts

8

Homer Bailey

at Phi

StL

Doh! 7:11 K:BB in first three starts, but 2 W

9

Micah Owings

LAD

at SF

Fair 4.58 ERA, 11 K in last three starts

10

Dontrelle Willis

Pit

Atl

Derailed, 10 ER in past 15 IP

11

Jason Jennings

at Mil

Col

Since activation - 4.30 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

12

Jason Marquis

Col

Mil

Zero wins since May 9; 5.19 ERA in June

13

Wandy Rodriguez

at Mil

Col

Magic Wandy 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in June

14

Jason Bergmann

at Atl

at Pit

1.29 ERA in seven rehab innings; 4% owned

15

Mike Maroth

at NYM

at Cin

3.82 career ERA vs. NL opponents

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – American League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Roy Halladay

at Min

at Sea

Doc operating - 3 W, 2.44 ERA in L3

2

John Lackey

KC

at Bal

Won 6 of his last 8 starts with a 2.66 ERA

3

Jeremy Bonderman

Tex

Min

Shaken not stirred - 8 straight wins

4

C.C. Sabathia

Oak

TB

3.18 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 10 home starts

5

Dan Haren

at Cle

at NYY

Heavenly Haren fewer than 3 ER in 13 starts

6

Andy Pettitte

at Bal

Oak

7 quality starts in his past 10

7

James Shields

ChW

at Cle

Rough 11 ER in last 11 IP, but WHIP savior

8

Shaun Marcum

at Min

at Sea

On the Marc - 1.87 ERA, 15 K last 19.2 IP

9

Jon Garland

at TB

at KC

Three QS in his past four games w/2.56 ERA

10

Jeremy Guthrie

NYY

LAA

Thrown at least 7 IP in 8 straight; QS hero

11

Chad Gaudin

at Cle

at NYY

2.76 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 7 road starts

12

Julian Tavarez

at Sea

Tex

2 ER, 0.85 WHIP, 21 runs of support L2

13

Nate Robertson

Tex

Min

First starts since May 5 - arm fatigue

14

John Danks

at TB

at KC

Has not made it to the sixth since May 22

15

Kevin Slowey

Tor

at Det

4.43 ERA, 1.61 WHIP 10:6 K:BB in 4 starts

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Brad Penny

at Ari

SD

Shiny 2 W, 1.25 ERA, 19:1 K:BB L3

2

Tim Hudson

Was

at Fla

Huddy 14 IP, 1 ER, 11:2 K:BB vs Was

3

Ben Sheets

Hou

at ChC

Holy Sheets - 3 W, 1.63 ERA in June

4

Jeff Francis

at ChC

at Hou

Noise twin 8 QS in his past 10

5

Tom Glavine

StL

at Phi

Tagged for 17 ER in his past 3; 1 W in L6

6

Justin Germano

at SF

at LAD

At least 6 IP in 7 of 8, 2.63 ERA

7

Barry Zito

SD

Ari

4.04 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in seven home starts

8

Homer Bailey

at Phi

StL

Doh! 7:11 K:BB in first three starts, but 2 W

9

Micah Owings

LAD

at SF

Fair 4.58 ERA, 11 K in last three starts

10

Dontrelle Willis

Pit

Atl

Derailed, 10 ER in past 15 IP

11

Jason Jennings

at Mil

Col

Since activation - 4.30 ERA, 1.36 WHIP

12

Jason Marquis

Col

Mil

Zero wins since May 9; 5.19 ERA in June

13

Wandy Rodriguez

at Mil

Col

Magic Wandy 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in June

14

Jason Bergmann

at Atl

at Pit

1.29 ERA in seven rehab innings; 4% owned

15

Mike Maroth

at NYM

at Cin

3.82 career ERA vs. NL opponents

Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: Jeff Weaver (Bos, Tor), J.P. Howell (ChW, at Cle), Vicente Padilla (at Det, at Bos), Kameron Loe (at Det, at Bos), Scott Baker (Tor, at Det), John Thomson (at LAA, ChW)

Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Rodrigo Lopez (at ChC, at Hou), Chad Billingsley (at Ari, SD), Kyle Kendrick (Cin, NYM), Paul Maholm (at Fla, Was), Edgar Gonzalez (LAD, at SF), Todd Wellemeyer (at NYM, at Cin)

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 June 22:

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

BOTTOM 5 (Worst)

CS

ATT

CS%

Gary Bennett, StL - (at New York Mets, at Cincinnati)

1

19

0.052

Jason Phillips, Tor - (at Minnesota, at Seattle)

4

44

0.090

Jason Varitek, Bos - (at Seattle, Texas)

3

24

0.125

John Buck, KC - (at LA Angels, Chicago White Sox)

4

23

0.173

Jorge Posada, NYY - (at Baltimore, Oakland)

13

68

0.191

TOP 5 (Best)

CS

ATT

CS%

Joe Mauer, Min - (Toronto, at Detroit)

9

17

0.529

David Ross, Cin - (at Philadelphia, St. Louis)

15

31

0.483

Kenji Johjima, Sea - (Boston, Toronto)

14

35

0.400

Chris Snyder, Ari - (LA Dodgers, at San Francisco)

12

30

0.400

Ronny Paulino, Pit - (at Florida, Washington)

19

48

0.395


AL Steals Shopping:Yuniesky Betancourt, Sea, SS (8.4% owned), Kenny Lofton, Tex, OF (49.3%), Reggie Willits, LAA, OF (32.9%), Mark Ellis, Oak, 2B (3.7%), Shannon Stewart, Oak, OF (0.49%)

NL Steals Shopping: Norris Hopper, Cin, OF (0.10% owned)

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 Sasquatch Richie Sexson is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through June 23.

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Tampa Bay

5.65

ChW

at Cle

Texas

5.32

at Det

at Bos

Seattle

4.78

Bos

Tor

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Oakland

3.33

at Cle

at NYY

Boston

3.72

at Sea

Tex

LA Angels

3.85

KC

at Bal

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

St. Louis

4.99

at NYM

at Cin

Philadelphia

4.89

Cin

NYM

Cincinnati

4.73

at Phi

StL

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

3.01

at SF

at LAD

LA Dodgers

3.76

at Ari

SD

NY Mets

3.78

StL

at Phi

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Tampa Bay

5.65

ChW

at Cle

Texas

5.32

at Det

at Bos

Seattle

4.78

Bos

Tor

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Oakland

3.33

at Cle

at NYY

Boston

3.72

at Sea

Tex

LA Angels

3.85

KC

at Bal

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

St. Louis

4.99

at NYM

at Cin

Philadelphia

4.89

Cin

NYM

Cincinnati

4.73

at Phi

StL

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

San Diego

3.01

at SF

at LAD

LA Dodgers

3.76

at Ari

SD

NY Mets

3.78

StL

at Phi

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