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:

  • 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

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

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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