* The BIG news of the week is the Yankees acquisition of OF Bobby Abreu and SP Corey Lidle from the Philadelphia Phillies. I might be the first and only person who thinks Bobby Abreu is a bust, not only in Fantasy, but also on the playing field. Abreu had more HR's in the HR derby last year, then he did all of the second half of last year, and to this point this year. A guy who consistently was a 30-30 guy, does not even have 10 HR's this year, somthings not right here. Abreu goes from Citizen Bank Park, considered by most to be a very friendly hitters park, where he hit just .267-5 HR-35 RBI-33 R-11 SB, to the short porch at Yankee Stadium. Will this help the struggling Abreu? My bet is no. Thank goodness, OBP does not factor into Fantasy Baseball, because that's all Abreu seems to have. Lidle is a guy too, who I think will struggle going from the NL to the AL. Lidle, over his last 3 years does not quiet have "Yankee" numbers. He's averaging 12 wins and 13 loses, and a whopping 5.042 era. Some think that the Yankees lineup will carry him, but I do not think he'll be any better then Jaret Wright.
* Chipper Jones is heading to the DL again. After straining his left oblique Friday night against the Mets, Jones, who prior to getting hurt was having an awesome second half of the season, will have to wait until mid-August before he comes off the DL. Fantasy Owners must love his production, but down the stretch he's no help on the DL
* Nomar Garciaparra heads to the DL with a strained ligament in his right knee. Bad news for Garciaparra owners, but is this really a surprise. There is a bright side to this. Garciaparra, who qualifies at 1B, gives owners plenty of options to pluck a quality 1B off the waiver.
* Scott Kazmir, who has inflammation in his left rotator cuff, will be put on the DL this week. Kazmir who was slated to have 2 starts this week, will force Fantasy Owners to look for a replacement. Kazmir, 10-7 on season, is going to be a hard to replace. Look to replace him with a SP that has a low era or whip.
* Remember All-Star 2B Jose Lopez of the Seattle Mariners. The kid was having an excellent season prior to the All-Star break. Since the All-Star break Lopez is batting .158 (6-38) and has not had an extra base hit. A nice surprise in the first half of the season, but it's time to look for a new option at 2B.
* Dan Kolb's tenure as the Brewers closer has come to an end. Brewers manager, Ed Yost said the he would split time at the closers spot between Derrick Turnbow, and newly acquired Francisco Cordero until either one of them proves they could keep the spot. Nothing like good old fashion competition.
* Although Jason Jennings WL (6-9) record does not show the quality pitcher he really is, Fantasy Owners are starting to take notice. Over Jennings last 7 games, he's only given up more then 2 runs once, is averaging 7 innings a start, and 6 K's a game. Wins are great in fantasy, but keeping your era and whip down is key as well.
* Ben Sheets, after being on the DL for most of the year, got his first win since coming off the DL this past week. In his second start since coming off the DL, Sheets had 10 K's and only walked one, while picking up the win. Sheets will be a nice pickup for the remember of the season. Scourer the waiver wires and make sure he ends up on your team.
* After being traded to the Brewers, Kevin Mench has to be extremely happy. Here's a guy who was having a hard time getting into Texas's lineup everyday even with the numvers he was putting up. Now, Mench will be batting 4th for the Brewers which will give him plenty of RBI chances.
* Ivan Rodriguez missed his 4th straight game on Sunday due to a bruised right thumb. Rodriguez contends that the thumb is getting better, but that it's still bothering him. Hold him back until he shows he completely ready to go.
With 10 RBI in two games, it was an easy choice as to who my Who's Hot player of the Week award would go to, Carlos Beltran of the Mets. Beltran not only helped the Mets to their first sweep of the Atlanta Braves since 1985, but helped propel his Fantasy Owners to victory with his monster week. Beltran ended the week with a .385-5 HR-15 RBI-7 Runs-2 SB. Fantastic Fantasy stats for a player, who at this point last year, was no better then a number 3 Outfielder.
At one point this season, Hanley Ramirez was listed on my Rookie Watch. Since that time Ramirez has hit a brick wall. Ramirez is only batting .208 (11-53) since the All-Star break and has been moved to the bottom of the order for the Florida Marlins. Ramirez's is no better then a back up now, with more viable options on the waiver. Replace this guy as fast as you can, you'll thank me later.
John Smoltz leads this weeks 2 Start Studs with games at Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Smoltz who has not lost in his last 9 starts, has had quality starts in his last 6 games. In his last outing against Philadelphia, Smoltz studordudwent 7 innings, gave up 7 hits, and also gave up 2 HR's. Look for Smoltz to be solid this week as Atlanta comes off the sweep to the Mets.
Chris Capuano has struggled of late, but with games at Colorado and St. Louis, I'm looking for him to bounce back this week. Now, I know when you look at who and where he's playing, you're thinking I must be crazy, but Capuano, even though he's been roughed up, is the type of pitcher who'll bounce back.
Since the All-Star break, Brad Penny has been getting crushed. Having to face the St. Louis Cardinals twice will do that to a pitcher. Even though Penny is on the road twice this week, he has a better era on the road (3.36) then at home (3.69). With both games being at night, this is a clear advantage for Penny who has almost a 3 run difference in era. Look for Penny to bounce back this week to help out his Fantasy Owners.
Kenny Rogers is coming off his 1st loss since May 28th against the Cleveland Indians. In that game, Rogers did not make it out of the 1st inning, and gave up 7 runs. I look at it this way, he should be refresh right? His first game this week is against the Tampa Bay Devils and Casey Fossom. In his previous start against the Devil Rays, Rogers went 8 innings, giving up 4 hits, and 1 run. I look for more of the same this week. Rogers' second game is against the team that slammed him last week, the Cleveland Indians. I look for Rogers to redeem himself with a strong start against the Indians.
Noah Lowry finishes off this 2 Start Stud lineup. Lowry intrigues me because both of his games are at home where Lowry has a 3.90 era. In his first start against the Washington Nationals, Lowry faces Pedro Astacio, a guy who has been getting knocked around the park. Later in the week Lowry goes against Aaron Cook and the Colorado Rockies, a team who's only hitting .208 against him. Lowry's a sleeper, and with some SP's going on the DL, his a great replacement for this week.
When there are Stud there has to be Duds. The next 5 SP are guys I see as having bad weeks, and why.
Bronson Arroyo, has looked his worst of late since being traded from the Boston RedSox. When Arroyo first arrived, he was lights out. Now, he's just struggling. In his last 2 starts, Arroyo has given up 5 HR in 14.2 innings, but on the bright side he has struck out 15 batters. I'd lay off Arroyo this week as he travels to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers who have been hot, and then against the Arizona Diamondback's.
CC Sabathia has never beaten the Boston RedSox in his career, and what makes it worse for CC, is that he'll be on the road against one of the hottest hitting team in baseball right now. To add to those problems, Sabathia is 0-3 in his last 3 starts. In those 3 starts Sabathia has surrendered 28 hits, ouch, bye-bye whip. Sit Sabathia this week, there's no reason to make things worse for your team.
Mark Prior is still having body problems. Now it's just not the arm, but the leg, hip, and toe too. Prior was once a diamond in the rough for Fantasy Owners, now it's just rough to watch him get slammed all over the park. Prior does have favorable starts this week, but I'm just not sold on him being health and getting out of the 5th. Until he shows you that he's "FIT" I'd sit him.
Ian Snell has quietly had a nice season (9-6), but this week he goes up against the Atlanta Braves, who coming off a sweep at home, throw their ace, John Smoltz. Snell is a nice story this year for Fantasy Owners, but do not be fooled with his two starts this week. Sit'em until next week.
Paul Bryd, love the way this guy throws, to bad he has to face the Boston RedSox and Detroit Tigers, both on the road. In his last 2 starts, Byrd has given up 20 hits, not something you look for out of your SP. Late the man sit on your bench this week, so he does not destroy whats left of your era and whip.
This weeks Start'em Lineup, starts with one of the best in the game right now, Joe Mauer. This kid, a catcher, is leading the AL in hitting, and if he continues he tear of AL pitchers, he'll be the first catcher to have won the batting title since 1942 when Ernie Lombardi did it with Boston. Mauer startem sitem faces the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals this week, and has had mild success against both teams. Look for Mauer to have another outstanding week.
Nick Markakis is a rookie outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles and is a guy you need to know about. Over his last 2 weeks, this kid has done nothing, well except hit .421, with a .488 OBP. A rising star, and I do not expect the sun to set at time soon.
Mark Teahan, there's that name again. I told you a few weeks ago to keep on eye on this 3B from Kansas City. Since that time Teahan has hit .326, 3 HR's, 11 RBI, 10 Runs, and 2 SB. Not bad for a kid no one knew about huh. This week Teahan will have to be a star for his team, as the Kansas City Royals play host to two of the best in the AL right now, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. I look for Teahan to remain hot, since the All-Star break he's hitting .327 with 5 HR and 16 RBI.
When you start the season as the teams "Utility" guy, you get overlooked in most drafts. That's exactly what happened to Bill Hall of the Brewers. Bill makes a return trip to the Start'em lineup because his hitting .341 with 7 HR's, 17 RBI, and 12 Runs over his last 12 games. Not bad numbers for a "Utility" guy. Hall this week, will head to Colorado and St. Louis and will continue his hitting attack, make sure you've got him in your starting lineup.
Remember this guy, a little known catcher named Mike Piazza. Ya, the guy who used to hit towering HR's for the New York Mets. Well, Piazza now plays for the San Diego Padres, no he did not retire Geeks. Not only did not he retire, but Piazza had been hitting the cover off the ball. In his last 10 games, Piazza is hitting .394 (13-33) with 3 HR's. Piazza is still a nice option at catcher for Fantasy Owners.
These next 5 guys, are going to be guys your going to want to look at sitting this week because of their tough schedule.
Luis Castillo lead this Sit'em team only because he has to face 6 SP who are lefties. Castillo, who's hitting .238 against lefties this year, will not fair well this week. If you need steals though, and are desperate and have no other option, I'd leave Castillo in your starting lineup. But, if you have the chance to snag someone off the waiver wire at 2B, I'd do it now.
The Captain of the Boston RedSox, Jason Varitek, like Castillo, has difficulties against lefties. Varitek is hitting .213 against lefties this year, and will have to face 4 lefties this week. With a .235 average over his last 10 games, this looks like a great week to find a catcher off the waiver wire. Bench Varitek this week, and thank me next week.
Todd Helton is flat out terrible. This guy was the darling of Fantasy baseball when the balls were flying out of the park. Now, he's no better then anyone else on the waiver wire. A complete disappointment to Fantasy Owners, Helton needs to be dropped in most leagues. Over his last 12 games he's batting .261 with 0 HR and only 3 RBI. Not bad for a # 3 guy in the lineup. That's why Manager Clint Hurdle has dropped him in the order, and so should you, drop him.
Johnny Gomes was once the prince of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder, now he's just another Tampa Bay Devil Ray. Gomes over his last 12 games is hitting an outstanding .089. Man what a sweet number that is, .089. He's a guy that you're going to have to put on the bench, because there are several other options out there. Thanks Johnny for making my team great in the first two months of the season, so I have to boot you, so Geeks do the same, and give Johnny the boot.
Ken Griffey Jr, like Ahmad Rashad who'd say, "My Man". Well Griffey used to be. Now, he's just a fading star trying to make it through another season. Griffey's been batting .170 over his last 11 games, and it will not get any easier for him as he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. If you have any better options in the OF, use them this week, and put, or keep Griffey on the bench.
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Source by Paul Greco