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:

  • Cubs slugger Aramis Ramirez is likely out until at least midweek, along with second baseman Mark DeRosa (back), with tendonitis in his right wrist. Drag racer Ryan Theriot (5-for-his-last-8 with 3 RBI and 2 SBs) will fill the void at third. Owned in a microscopic 0.53 percent of Y! leagues, Theriot, who's eligible at 2B/OF/3B, is waiver wire gold this week.

  • MRI results on baneful closer Octavio Dotel's strained oblique came back negative, but privately Royals insiders believe he won't return until at least mid-May. Joakim Soria (0.04 percent owned) will continue to get a bulk of the save opportunities in Dotel's absence.

  • Toronto super-prospect Adam Lind went 3-for-5 with a double batting second in place of injured outfielder Reed Johnson in his big league debut on Saturday. Available in 0.05 percent of Y! leagues Lind – utility-only eligible – is a sensational source of BA, R and RBI with Johnson out for the next couple of weeks with a herniated disc. br>

  • Toronto remains optimistic that sore-heeled hot corner Troy Glaus will return to the lineup on Tuesday. If you're in a daily league keep him benched – the Jays are scheduled to face the uber-filthy Daisuke Matsuzaka.

  • Astros hurler Jason Jennings will miss at least his next two starts due to shoulder tendonitis and will likely log DL time. Fernando Nieve (2-3, 4.67 ERA as a starter) is expected to move into the rotation.

  • Wounded Yankees pitchers Mike Mussina (hamstring) and Carl Pavano (forearm) were placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday. Prospect Chase Wright, who sported a spectacular 19:1 K:BB in 14 Double-A innings, is expected to fill one of the vacancies. The rookie southpaw is worth a flier in deep mixed and AL-only leagues as he will likely get two starts this week.

  • Former mullet connoisseur Randy Johnson was clocked at 92 MPH eight times in his 87-pitch, six-inning rehab appearance at Triple-A Tucson on Friday. Although he is undecided, Johnson will likely make one more rehab start before returning to the D-Backs rotation as early as this weekend at San Francisco. This might be your last chance on an injury buy low.

  • Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez announced on Saturday that he will officially go to a migraine-inducing closer-by-committee. Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Randy Messenger, Henry Owens and Taylor Tankersley are all apart of the end-game group. Once Tankersley gets back to 100 percent, he has the best shot to emerge from the closer carousel given his previous experience (3 saves with Florida in '06). For this week, trust only Owens or Tankersley as a third reliever in very deep NL-only or mixed leagues.

  • Closer B.J. Ryan was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday with a strained elbow. Jason Frasor will take over temporary duties and is worth an immediate add in all leagues.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka

at Tor

NYY

14:2 K:BB ratio in first 14 IP – Dice-K's lethal

2

Justin Verlander

KC

ChW

13 scoreless IP to start the year

3

Josh Beckett

LAA

NYY

2 W, 12 IP, 2 ER, 13:4 K:BB ratio in 2 starts

4

Zack Greinke

at Det

Min

Nearly unhittable – 12:1 K:BB in 13 IP

5

Ervin Santana

at Bos

Sea

Career 3.07 ERA at home, 6.65 ERA on road

6

Jon Garland

Tex

at Det

3.92 ERA in 55.1 IP vs. Tex/Det in '06

7

Ramon Ortiz

at Sea

at KC

15 IP, 2 ER, respectable 8:2 K:BB in '07

8

Adam Loewen

at TB

at Tor

2 ER in first 10 IP, but 7 BBs a major concern

9

Chase Wright

Cle

at Bos

Shocker special – 19:1 K:BB in 14 AA IP

10

James Shields

Bal

Cle

Awesome 11:3 K:BB and 6 RPG of support

11

Jake Westbrook

at NYY

at TB

06: 6.46 road ERA, 1.53 WHIP, .284 BAA

12

Gustavo Chacin

Bos

at Bal

4 HR allowed in 11 IP – facing big boppers

13

Jeff Weaver

Min

at LAA

Not good when ERA is higher than your age

14

Robinson Tejeda

at ChW

Oak

Sparkled vs. Bos – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, K

15

Chad Gaudin

LAA

at Tex

2.53 ERA, 9:3 K:BB in 10.2 IP – resourceful

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Roy Oswalt

Fla

at Mil

16.2 IP, 2 ER, 0.74 WHIP in past two starts

2

John Smoltz

at Was

at NYM

Three straight QS to open the year

3

Brad Penny

at Ari

at Col/Pit

1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in April '06/'07

4

Jeff Francis

SF

SD

Hidden gem – 18-8 record in 33 Coors starts

5

Matt Cain

at Col

Ari

Quality start machine – 10 K in 13 IP

6

Chris Capuano

at Cin

Hou

3.46 ERA, .230 BAA, 7 W in 16 April starts

7

Adam Wainwright

Pit

at ChC

13.2 IP, 3 ER blackened by 8:7 K:BB

8

Chuck James

at Was

at NYM

11 IP, ER, 10 K in '07 – WAS offense a disgrace

9

Greg Maddux

at ChC

at Col

3.79 ERA, 1.15 WHIP at Wrigley in '06

10

Dave Bush

at Cin

Hou

Ignore 5.25 ERA – 12:1 K:BB in 12 IP

11

Ian Snell

at StL

at LAD

Sick 14:2 K:BB and 3 ER in first 13 IP

12

Anibal Sanchez

at Hou

Was

5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H vs. WAS on April 4

13

Tom Gorzelanny

at StL

at LAD

.216 BAA in five '06 road starts

14

Micah Owings

LAD

at SF

Surprising 11:4 K:BB, 2 ER in 11 IP

15

Anthony Reyes

Pit

at ChC

Walks a concern, but StL has sticky gloves

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – American League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Daisuke Matsuzaka

at Tor

NYY

14:2 K:BB ratio in first 14 IP – Dice-K's lethal

2

Justin Verlander

KC

ChW

13 scoreless IP to start the year

3

Josh Beckett

LAA

NYY

2 W, 12 IP, 2 ER, 13:4 K:BB ratio in 2 starts

4

Zack Greinke

at Det

Min

Nearly unhittable – 12:1 K:BB in 13 IP

5

Ervin Santana

at Bos

Sea

Career 3.07 ERA at home, 6.65 ERA on road

6

Jon Garland

Tex

at Det

3.92 ERA in 55.1 IP vs. Tex/Det in '06

7

Ramon Ortiz

at Sea

at KC

15 IP, 2 ER, respectable 8:2 K:BB in '07

8

Adam Loewen

at TB

at Tor

2 ER in first 10 IP, but 7 BBs a major concern

9

Chase Wright

Cle

at Bos

Shocker special – 19:1 K:BB in 14 AA IP

10

James Shields

Bal

Cle

Awesome 11:3 K:BB and 6 RPG of support

11

Jake Westbrook

at NYY

at TB

06: 6.46 road ERA, 1.53 WHIP, .284 BAA

12

Gustavo Chacin

Bos

at Bal

4 HR allowed in 11 IP – facing big boppers

13

Jeff Weaver

Min

at LAA

Not good when ERA is higher than your age

14

Robinson Tejeda

at ChW

Oak

Sparkled vs. Bos – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, K

15

Chad Gaudin

LAA

at Tex

2.53 ERA, 9:3 K:BB in 10.2 IP – resourceful

Top 15 Two-Start Pitchers – National League

RNK

PLAYER

OPP1

OPP2

1

Roy Oswalt

Fla

at Mil

16.2 IP, 2 ER, 0.74 WHIP in past two starts

2

John Smoltz

at Was

at NYM

Three straight QS to open the year

3

Brad Penny

at Ari

at Col/Pit

1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in April '06/'07

4

Jeff Francis

SF

SD

Hidden gem – 18-8 record in 33 Coors starts

5

Matt Cain

at Col

Ari

Quality start machine – 10 K in 13 IP

6

Chris Capuano

at Cin

Hou

3.46 ERA, .230 BAA, 7 W in 16 April starts

7

Adam Wainwright

Pit

at ChC

13.2 IP, 3 ER blackened by 8:7 K:BB

8

Chuck James

at Was

at NYM

11 IP, ER, 10 K in '07 – WAS offense a disgrace

9

Greg Maddux

at ChC

at Col

3.79 ERA, 1.15 WHIP at Wrigley in '06

10

Dave Bush

at Cin

Hou

Ignore 5.25 ERA – 12:1 K:BB in 12 IP

11

Ian Snell

at StL

at LAD

Sick 14:2 K:BB and 3 ER in first 13 IP

12

Anibal Sanchez

at Hou

Was

5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H vs. WAS on April 4

13

Tom Gorzelanny

at StL

at LAD

.216 BAA in five '06 road starts

14

Micah Owings

LAD

at SF

Surprising 11:4 K:BB, 2 ER in 11 IP

15

Anthony Reyes

Pit

at ChC

Walks a concern, but StL has sticky gloves

Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: Chad Gaudin (at LAA, at Tex), Steve Trachsel (at TB, Tor)

Remaining NL Two-Start Pitchers: Barry Zito (at Col, Ari), John Maine (at Phi, Atl), Oliver Perez (at Phi, Atl), Jason Hirsh (SF, SD), Clay Hensley (at ChC, at Col), Matt Belisle (Mil, Phi), Brett Tomko (at Ari, Pit), Sergio Mitre (at Hou, Was), Jamie Moyer (NYM, at Cin), Wandy Rodriguez (Fla, at Mil), Jason Marquis (SD, StL), Jerome Williams (Atl, at Fla), Edgar Gonzalez (LAD, at SF), Wade Miller (SD, StL), Eric Milton (Mil, Phi), Matt Chico (Atl, at Fla)

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 2006 end-season totals:

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

BOTTOM 5 (Worst)

CS

ATT

CS%

Bengie Molina, SF – (at Colorado, Arizona)

15

83

0.180

Michael Barrett, ChC – (San Diego, St. Louis)

21

110

0.190

A.J. Pierzynski, ChW – (Texas, at Detroit)

25

90

0.217

Brad Ausmus, Hou – (Florida, at Milwaukee)

17

60

0.221

Jason Kendall, Oak – (LA Angels, Texas)

31

102

0.304

TOP 5 (Best)

CS

ATT

CS%

Ivan Rodriguez, Det – (Kansas City, Chicago White Sox)

26

51

0.510

Gerald Laird, Tex – (at Chicago White Sox, Oakland)

21

46

0.457

Yadier Molina ,StL – (Pittsburgh, at Chicago Cubs)

29

66

0.439

Miguel Olivo, Fla – (at Houston, Washington)

30

78

0.385

Joe Mauer, Min – (at Seattle, at Kansas City)

22

58

0.379


AL Steals Shopping:Kenny Lofton, Tex, OF (18.0% owned); Macier Izturis, LAA, 3B/SS (11.0% owned)

NL Steals Shopping: Alejandro De Aza, Fla, OF (1.2% owned); Adam Kennedy, StL, 2B (2.4% owned); Alberto Callaspo, Ari, 2B/OF (0.05% owned); Craig Counsell, Mil, 3B/SS (0.36% 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 fiery first basemen Dimitri Young is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through April 14.

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Tampa Bay

6.41

Bal

Cle

Seattle

4.79

Min

at LAA

Kansas City

4.39

at Det

Min

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Boston

2.79

at Tor

NYY

Oakland

2.95

LAA

at Tex

LA Angels

3.63

at Oak

Sea

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Philadelphia

5.14

NYM

at Cin

Washingotn

5.06

Atl

at Fla

San Francisco

4.40

at Col

Ari

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

New York Mets

2.69

at Phi

Atl

San Diego

2.76

at ChC

at Col

St. Louis

3.03

Pit

at ChC

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – AL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Tampa Bay

6.41

Bal

Cle

Seattle

4.79

Min

at LAA

Kansas City

4.39

at Det

Min

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Boston

2.79

at Tor

NYY

Oakland

2.95

LAA

at Tex

LA Angels

3.63

at Oak

Sea

BEST/WORST PITCHING STAFFS – NL

BOTTOM 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

Philadelphia

5.14

NYM

at Cin

Washingotn

5.06

Atl

at Fla

San Francisco

4.40

at Col

Ari

TOP 3

ERA

OPP1

OPP2

New York Mets

2.69

at Phi

Atl

San Diego

2.76

at ChC

at Col

St. Louis

3.03

Pit

at ChC

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