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.
As we head into this week's action, here's the nitty-gritty on a handful of notable names:
Reigning NL MVP Jimmy Rollins will not return to the Philadelphia lineup as planned on April 20. J-Ro stated that he's only operating at about 75 percent and plans to "stay off it (ankle) as much as I can" over the next few days. The Phillies have since taken things a step further, placing Rollins on the DL on Sunday. Bench him in all leagues for the upcoming scoring period. The Yahoo! coverboy curse strikes yet again.
Disgruntled future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas was released by Toronto on Sunday. The 68 percent owned "Big Hurt" was shown the door after expressing disgust over his lack of playing time earlier in the week. The 39-year-old Thomas sill has plenty of pop and will surely land with another AL team soon. However, until he finds a new address, dump him in all mixed leagues. Meanwhile, Matt Stairs, available in 98 percent of Y! leagues, should stand to benefit from Thomas' departure. The Canadian Gimli is a reputable source of power for deep-thinking owners. The 40-year-old hook blasted 21 homers in 357 at-bats last season.
As detailed in Saturday's "Closing Time," Royals premiere pitching prospect Luke Hochevar is scheduled to make his second career start April 20 at Oakland. Similar in style and substance as the Mets Mike Pelfrey, the 24-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has an expansive arsenal that includes a 92-95 mph fastball, hard-biting slider and plummeting sinker. Hochevar compiled a 63.4 GB% with the Royals in 12.2 September innings last year. If he can eradicate the inconsistencies in his delivery, he has enough polish and weapons to be an effective addition in AL-only leagues leagues. Available in over 99.9 percent of Y! leagues, he's one to keep an eye on this week.
Twinkies outfielder Michael Cuddyer (dislocated finger) is scheduled to appear in a minor league game on April 21 and hopes to return to the Minnesota lineup on Friday. Cuddyer is still experiencing some minor finger swelling, but is confident he can swing the bat. Denard Span and Craig Monroe will head back to the pine when Cuddyer is activated.
Shortstop scrapper Erick Aybar has skyrocketed his average from .176 to .333 in his past 10 games. Over that span, the 24-year-old has recorded five multi-hit games, eight runs, three RBIs and two steals. With Howie Kendrick on the DL, Aybar and Maceir Izturis will continue to see a steady flow of at-bats. Available in over 99.5 percent of Y! leagues, Aybar's a sensational source of BA, runs and steals in 12-team mixed leagues this week.
Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Joey Votto, Cin, 1B/OF (6-18, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 30.8%), Emil Brown, Oak, OF (9-24, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0.06%), Clint Barmes, Col, 2B/SS (10-29, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0.04%), Casey Kotchman, LAA, 1B (7-23, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 27.9%), Skip Schumaker, StL, OF (10-21, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0.21%)
Whiffers o' the weak(Last 7 days): Ryan Howard, Phi, 1B (3-22, 9 K, 99.9%), Paul Konerko, ChW, 1B (4-27, 8 K, 99.9%), Jhonny Peralta, Cle, SS (3-22, 7 K, 98.4%), Aramis Ramirez, ChC, 3B (4-20, 7 K, 100%), Adrian Gonzalez, SD, 1B (3-19, 6 K, 99.9%)
Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Skip Schumaker, StL, OF (10-21, 3 SB, 0.21%), Melky Cabrera, NYY, OF (8-24, 3 SB, 58.8%), Adam Kennedy, StL, 2B (9-18, 2 SB, 0.15%), Franklin Gutierrez, Cle, OF (6-25, 2 SB, 0.94%), Jayson Werth, Phi, OF (4-21, 2 SB, 0.94%)
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.
Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Kyle Lohse (at Mil, Hou), Mark Hendrickson (at Pit, at Mil), Barry Zito (at Ari, Cin), Kyle Kendrick (at Col, at Pit), Manny Parra (StL, Fla), Carlos Villanueva (StL, Fla), Justin Germano (at Hou, Ari), Hong-Chih Kuo (at Cin, Col), John Lannan (at Atl, ChC), Brandon Backe (SD, at StL), Matt Belisle (LAD, at SF), Paul Maholm (Fla, Phi), Kevin Correia (at Ari, Cin), Matt Morris (Fla, Phi), Ricky Nolasco (at Pit, at Mil), Matt Chico (at Atl, ChC)
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%|
|John Buck, KC - (Cleveland, Toronto)||1||8||0.125|
|Josh Bard, SD - (at Houston, Arizona)||4||23||0.173|
|Mike Napoli, LAA - (at Boston, at Detroit)||2||11||0.181|
|Bengie Molina, SF - (at Arizona, Cincinnati)||2||11||0.181|
|Brian McCann, Atl - (Washington, at N.Y. Mets)||3||14||0.214|
|TOP 5 (Best)||CS||ATT||CS%|
|Joe Mauer, Min - (at Oakland, at Texas)||6||11||0.545|
|Paul Bako, Cin - (L.A. Dodgers, at San Francisco)||5||10||0.500|
|Gerald Laird, Tex - (at Detroit, Minnesota)||7||16||0.437|
|Kurt Suzuki, Oak - (Minnesota, at Seattle)||5||12||0.417|
|Matt Treanor, Fla - (at Pittsburgh, at Milwaukee)||5||13||0.384|
AL Steals Shopping: Franklin Gutierrez, Cle, OF (0.94% owned), Marco Scutaro, Tor, 2B/3B/SS/OF (0.38%), Clete Thomas, Det, 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.