The Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every weekend, we provide you with favorable and unfavorable matchups as well as lineup changes for each team.
Weather planner: Taking into account all games with at least a 50 percent chance of precipitation according to Weather.com, the following games could potentially get rained out: Oakland at Chicago White Sox (60 percent chance) on Monday.
This week's news and notes for each team:
Schedule: @LAD3, @SD3
Heating Up: Gerardo Parra continues to hit for a high batting average and extra-base power at the top of the Diamondbacks lineup, batting .364 (8-for-22) with seven RBI over his last five games. He deserves a flier even in mixed leagues if the hot hitting continues. Justin Upton is batting .438 (14-for-32) over his last eight games and is an obvious must-start.
Cooling Off: Chris B. Young has struggled all season, but he's hitting only .154 in May and appears to have lost his starting job. You can cut him in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Felipe Lopez finally returned to the lineup Saturday after missing six games with a hamstring injury and appears to be a safe start for the upcoming scoring period. Conor Jackson still isn't close to returning from his bout with valley fever, and depending how his body responds, his absence might measure in months rather than weeks.
Platoon Possibilities: The Diamondbacks face only one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-righty platoons unless one develops with Chad A. Tracy and the emerging Ryan Roberts.
Lineup Changes: Roberts was getting starts at second base and batting leadoff with Lopez hurt, but he played third base and hit eighth Saturday. He doesn't have more than gap power, but he can steal some bases and deserves a look in deeper NL-only leagues. Eric Byrnes appears to be the favorite to start over Young right now, though neither is hitting .230. Both have serviceable power and speed -- and Young still has plenty of upside, of course -- but you shouldn't bother with either in mixed leagues.
Schedule: CHC3, MIL3
Heating Up: Kelly Johnson, whose batting average had fallen all the way to .230 on May 22, has gone 10-for-32 (.313) with two home runs in seven games since. He's worth a flier while hot. Garret Anderson is batting .328 (20-for-61) over his last 16 games, but he has yet to hit a home run.
Cooling Off: Jeff Francoeur is batting .154 (4-for-26) over his last six games and doesn't have a single extra-base hit during that stretch. He has a pathetic .344 slugging percentage and isn't worth using in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Chipper Jones will have to miss games periodically because of a sore toe, but you knew the risks when you drafted him. You probably don't have much choice but to keep him active.
Platoon Possibilities: The Braves face two left-handed pitchers this week, but with Johnson and Anderson playing so well, they might not have to sit anybody. Matt Diaz got a start in center field in place of Jordan Schafer on Saturday, and the trend might continue if Schafer continues to struggle.
Lineup Changes: Johnson has continued to hit leadoff even with the return of Yunel Escobar from a hip injury, dropping Casey Kotchman to the bottom third of the order. Obviously, Johnson stands to contribute more Fantasy points when he gets more at-bats, so you want him to keep hitting leadoff.
Schedule: @SEA3, @OAK3
Heating Up: Luke Scott has hit like a man possessed in four games since coming off the DL, batting .533 (8-for-15) with six home runs. If you ever needed an excuse to start him, you have it now. Aubrey Huff is batting .370 (10-for-27) during an eight-game hitting streak, but you'd start him regardless.
Cooling Off: Nobody, really.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Orioles face four left-handers to kick off the week, which would have given them reason to bench Scott for Ty Wigginton in the past. Scott actually has better numbers against lefties, though, and should remain in the lineup during this hot streak.
Lineup Changes: You've probably heard by now about the arrival of Matt Wieters. He doubled and tripled in his second major-league game Saturday and is already a must-start in Fantasy despite his inexperience. Players of his talent don't come around every year.
Boston Red Sox
Schedule: @DET3, TEX3
Heating Up: Mike Lowell, coming out of a mini slump in the middle of May, is batting .462 (12-for-26) with one home run over his last six games. He's a must-start for now.
Cooling Off: J.D. Drew is 1-for-16 (.063) over his last six games, though his one hit was a home run. He has gotten to bat third recently -- a spot where he normally thrives -- but he's barely viable in mixed leagues until he heats up.
Injury Concerns: Rocco Baldelli returned from a hamstring injury Saturday but had to leave the game after slamming his knee against the outfield wall. He's day to day, but he only plays against left-handers anyway.
Platoon Possibilities: The Red Sox face two left-handed pitchers this week, but whether or not Drew sits for those games depends on the health of Baldelli. The chance of him sitting is just another reason to bench him this week.
Lineup Changes: The Red Sox have dropped struggling David Ortiz to sixth in the batting order, moving Drew up to third. You probably lost confidence in Big Papi long before they did, though.
Schedule: @ATL3, @CIN3
Heating Up: Milton Bradley has teased us once already this season, but he looks like he might finally be ready to start playing up to his ability (assuming he doesn't get injured or suspended in the next 24 hours). He's batting .438 (7-for-16) with one home run over his last five games. Mike Fontenot has also played better lately, batting .450 (9-for-20) over his last seven games.
Cooling Off: The infinitely streaky Alfonso Soriano has clearly fallen into his first real slump of the season, batting .122 (5-for-41) over his last 10 games. Sitting him would take serious guts, though. He's the kind of player who can break out of a slump with five homers in one week.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Cubs face right-handed pitchers in all six of their games this week, so Kosuke Fukudome will play every day and potentially get hot again. Fontenot also has a good chance of continuing his recent resurgence.
Lineup Changes: Jake Fox, who has eye-popping minor-league numbers but is kind of old for a rookie at age 26, could steal some at-bats at both corner infield spots, but he'll likely just play a reserve role. Leave him for NL-only leagues.
|1.||Jake Fox, 1B, CHC||31|
|2.||Ben Zobrist, SS/OF, TB||30|
|3.||Luke Scott, OF, BAL||29|
|4.||Gary Sheffield, OF, NYM||26|
|5.||Adam Kennedy, 2B, OAK||22|
|6.||Jerry Hairston, SS, CIN||17|
|7.||Michael Cuddyer, OF, MIN||16|
|8.||Fernando Martinez, OF, NYM||13|
|9.||Nolan Reimold, OF, BAL||11|
|10.||Matt Wieters, C, BAL||10|
Chicago White Sox
Schedule: OAK4, CLE3
Heating Up: Alexei Ramirez is back. He's hitting .441 (15-for-34) with two home runs and three stolen bases over his last eight games and is on the verge of making up for all the lousy he numbers he posted earlier in the year. Whatever you do, don't sit him now. Jermaine Dye has five home runs in his last 10 games, so you wouldn't want to sit him now either.
Cooling Off: Nobody, really.
Injury Concerns: Dewayne Wise (shoulder) returned from the disabled list Saturday, but he doesn't appear to be the favorite to start given the emergence of both Brian N. Anderson and Scott Podsednik.
Platoon Possibilities: The White Sox face four left-handers this week, which means Chris Getz will likely sit those games in favor of Jayson Nix. Jim Thome will probably also get a breather for one or two of those games.
Lineup Changes: With Carlos Quentin on the DL, Anderson and Podsednik both figure to see regular playing time. Anderson has enough potential to make an impact in mixed leagues, but you shouldn't bother with him outside of AL-only leagues just yet. Podsednik remains nothing more than a speedster, and he hasn't done much with his speed yet this year, stealing three bases in six opportunities.
Schedule: @STL4, CHC3
Heating Up: Not only has Jerry Hairston heated back up, but he suddenly looks like a power hitter, batting .321 (9-for-28) with three home runs over his last seven games. Might as well pick him up and ride him as long as the hot hitting lasts. Ramon Hernandez has begun to show off some of his power too, batting .385 (10-for-26) with two home runs over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Jay Bruce is batting .143 (4-for-28) over his last eight games, but he does have a two-homer game during that stretch. You have to expect some inconsistency from the 22-year-old, but his power makes him hard to sit. Willy Taveras is batting .135 (7-for-52) since May 15, when his 14-game hitting streak ended.
Injury Concerns: Brandon Phillips has a broken bone in his right thumb, but he homered in his return Saturday. By all indications, he'll try to play through the injury, so keep him active. The Reds placed Joey Votto on the 15-day DL on Saturday for personal reasons that Votto has asked to keep private. The issue seems to have something to do with his inner-ear infection but, at the same time, isn't directly related. The Reds don't know exactly when he'll return, but he's such a valuable player that you obviously have no choice but to bench him and hope for the best. Adam Rosales, Jonny Gomes and Ramon Hernandez could all see time at first base in his absence. Keep an eye on how much Rosales and Gomes play. They could have some appeal in NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Reds face only one left-handed pitcher this week, which means Gomes will likely spell Laynce Nix only once, assuming he doesn't end up taking over at first base.
Lineup Changes: With Phillips back in the lineup, Hairston has moved back over from second base to third, where he figures to stay at least until Edwin Encarnacion returns from the DL.
Schedule: NYY1, @MIN3, @CHW3
Heating Up: Ben Francisco is batting .450 (9-for-20) with one home run and one stolen base over his last six games, looking like a viable option in mixed leagues while he gets everyday at-bats. Ryan Garko has also come around with more playing time, batting .389 (7-for-18) with three home runs over his last five games.
Cooling Off: Victor Martinez's batting average has dropped 50 points since May 21 -- a period during which he has hit .094 (3-for-32). Of course, 50 points only means so much when you start at .400.
Injury Concerns: Martinez left Saturday's game after fouling a ball off his knee. He could only walk to first base after tapping a grounder to third in an effort stay in the game. He then needed help down the dugout steps. X-rays were negative, and the Indians list him as day to day. If you think he has any chance of playing this week, go ahead and start him. He could do in one game what any waiver wire catcher this time of year would do in an entire week. Travis Hafner, who was originally expected to return Monday, is -- surprise, surprise -- feeling more discomfort in his shoulder. He didn't play in a Triple-A rehab game Saturday and doesn't look like a safe start for the upcoming scoring period.
Platoon Possibilities: The Indians face one left-hander this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Grady Sizemore has had to play DH because of a sore elbow that prevents him from throwing. If Hafner does end up returning this week, Sizemore might have to go on the DL. You could actually justify sitting him if you play in a shallower league and have viable alternatives, especially since he's struggling now anyway. Francisco has taken his place in center field and obviously benefited from the increased at-bats.
Schedule: @HOU4, @STL3
Heating Up: Brad Hawpe returned from a groin injury to go 3-for-5 with a home run Saturday. He's batting .343 on the season, so don't hesitate to get him active.
Cooling Off: Todd Helton has hit a little bump in the road, batting .125 (2-for-16) over his last five games. He never goes cold for long, though, so continue to use him as you normally would.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Rockies face only one left-handed pitcher this week, which could mean Seth Smith steals a start or two from Dexter Fowler or Ryan Spilborghs. He looks like just a backup at this point in the season, though.
Lineup Changes: None
Schedule: BOS3, LAA3
Heating Up: Magglio Ordonez is batting .381 (24-for-63) during a 16-game hitting streak. He hasn't hit for much power yet, but you still have to keep him active in mixed leagues. Curtis Granderson is batting .409 (9-for-22) over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Miguel Cabrera doesn't ever really go cold, but he is batting .158 (3-for-19) over his last five games. Keep him active.
Injury Concerns: Marcus Thames could potentially return from a strained oblique this week, but he'll likely play a platoon role even if he does. He has monster power, but you should leave him for AL-only Rotisserie leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Tigers face only one left-handed pitcher, so Josh Anderson should pretty much get to play a full week while Ryan Raburn remains on the bench. Then again, Jeff Larish could steal some at-bats from Anderson. So could Thames, assuming he returns.
Lineup Changes: The Tigers have moved Clete Thomas up to the leadoff spot and dropped Granderson to fifth, where his power will make more of an impact. Of course, he might not get to steal as many bases there. Ordonez has moved into the third spot, where the protection of Cabrera can only work to his advantage.
|1.||Gary Sheffield, OF, NYM||36|
|2.||Luke Scott, OF, BAL||35|
|3.||Milton Bradley, OF, CHC||39|
|4.||Jerry Hairston, SS, CIN||34|
|5.||Kosuke Fukudome, OF, CHC||36|
|6.||Michael Bourn, OF, HOU||39|
|7.||Mike Fontenot, 2B, CHC||13|
|8.||Gerardo Parra, OF, ARI||11|
|9.||Ben Francisco, OF, CLE||8|
|10.||Willy Aybar, 2B/3B, TB||6|
Schedule: MIL4, SF3
Heating Up: Cody Ross is batting .375 (9-for-24) over his last six games, but he's too useless when he cools off for you to start him in mixed leagues. Jeremy Hermida went 3-for-5 with a home run Saturday, but he entered the game 1-for-13 over his previous three.
Cooling Off: Dan Uggla had a brief power surge in the middle of May, but he's batting .200 (4-for-20) with only one home run over his last six games. Then again, if you bench him and he gets hot again, you'll be sorry.
Injury Concerns: Wes Helms missed Saturday's game with an illness, but he rarely starts and doesn't matter outside of deeper NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Marlins face three left-handed pitchers this week, which really only affects their catchers. You probably wouldn't want to start John Baker this week since he figures to sit three times for Ronny Paulino.
Lineup Changes: The Marlins have decided they like Chris Coghlan's .359 on-base percentage -- amazing considering his .210 batting average -- at the top of the lineup, so they've moved him back up to the No. 2 spot, dropping Hermida to fifth or sixth. Hermida wasn't doing much in the second spot anyway.
Schedule: COL4, PIT3
Heating Up: Miguel Tejada has a 13-game hitting streak during which he's batting .434 (23-for-53) with three home runs. Not only is he hot, but he's showing some of his old power again, making him a must-start in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Ivan Rodriguez is batting .188 (6-for-32) over his last nine games. He's not a bad Fantasy catcher, but he's no longer a clear, must-start No. 1.
Injury Concerns: Geoff Blum has missed five straight games with a strained hamstring, though he's nothing more than a light-hitting platoon player who barely matters in NL-only leagues. His platoon partner, Jeff Keppinger, will continue to fill in for him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Astros face two left-handers this week, so Keppinger will start at least those games. He might start more if Blum remains sidelined.
Lineup Changes: Kazuo Matsui has gone on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury, and Edwin Maysonet has started four straight games in his absence, going 7-for-13. He deserves a look in deeper NL-only leagues, but he's not a high-upside player.
Kansas City Royals
Schedule: @TB3, @TOR3
Heating Up: Billy Butler has a seven-game hitting streak during which he's batting .321 (9-for-28) with one home run. He's a worthwhile stopgap in mixed leagues who still hasn't quite reached his potential power-wise. Mark Teahen is batting .571 (8-for-14) over his last four games.
Cooling Off: The infinitely streaky Mike Jacobs is batting .067 (1-for-15) over his last five games. David DeJesus is batting .182 (4-for-22) over his last six. You can afford to sit both in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Coco Crisp hasn't played since Tuesday because of a sore right shoulder and likely won't play until Tuesday at Tampa Bay. He's no guarantee to return even then, so you might want to take the cautious approach and bench him in mixed leagues. The Royals don't want him throwing at all, which isn't a good sign. John Buck left Saturday night's game with back spasms -- an injury that usually sidelines players for at least a few days. He doesn't get consistent enough at-bats to matter in mixed leagues anyway.
Platoon Possibilities: The Royals face two left-handed pitchers this week. Mitch Maier and Willie Bloomquist might continue to platoon in center field during Crisp's absence, with Maier getting the majority of at-bats.
Lineup Changes: Luis Hernandez has started at shortstop with Mike Aviles (forearm) on the DL, but he doesn't hit well enough to matter in any Fantasy leagues.
Schedule: @TOR3, @DET3
Heating Up: Juan L. Rivera got to keep his starting job after the return of Vladimir Guerrero from a pectoral injury and responded by batting .500 (12-for-24) with two home runs over his last six games. He's a must-own in AL-only leagues.
Cooling Off: Guerrero himself hasn't fared well since his return, going 4-for-21 (.190). You had to expect some rust, though. His upside is too high for you to bench him. Mike Napoli has also gone cold, as you'd expect for a streaky player, with only one hit in his last 24 at-bats. You might have to sit him in Head-to-Head leagues, but you can afford to ride out these cold streaks in Rotisserie.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Angels don't face any left-handed pitchers this week, but they don't have any platoon players anyway.
Lineup Changes: Guerrero has hit third since his return, dropping Rivera to fifth and Kendry Morales to sixth, but the Angels could continue to shuffle the middle of their order as streaks dictate. Don't worry too much about where these players bat as long as none drop to eighth or ninth.
Schedule: ARI3, PHI4
Heating Up: Matt Kemp is quickly regaining the form that made him a Rotisserie stud at the beginning of the season, batting .368 (14-for-38) with one home run and three stolen bases over his last 10 games.
Cooling Off: Coming off back surgery, Rafael Furcal hasn't looked anything like the extra-base speedster that made him a must-start Fantasy option in years past. He's batting .167 (2-for-12) over his last five games and doesn't have a single stolen base in May. You're better off benching him.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Dodgers face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None of significance.
Schedule: @FLA4, @ATL3
Heating Up: Prince Fielder has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .429 (6-for-14) over his last four. J.J. Hardy has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, batting .306 (11-for-36) during that stretch.
Cooling Off: Mike Cameron has finally started to level off after his blazing start, batting .192 (5-for-26) over his last seven games. You'll want to bench him in mixed leagues soon enough, if not now.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Brewers face two left-handed pitchers this week. Casey McGehee might get to start in place of Craig Counsell for those games, but the Brewers lineup should remain more or less the same otherwise.
Lineup Changes: Mat Gamel has understandably taken some at-bats away from Bill Hall during his time in the majors, but he's hitting only .160 and could end up back in the minors soon. Either way, Hall has little appeal outside of NL-only leagues.
|2.||Yankees||@CLE1, TEX3, TB3|
|3.||White Sox||OAK4, CLE3|
Schedule: CLE3, @SEA3
Heating Up: Justin Morneau has a nine-game hitting streak during which he's batting .424 (14-for-33) with two home runs. He's an obvious must-start.
Cooling Off: Michael Cuddyer has cooled off to hit .174 (4-for-23) over his last seven games, but he does have two home runs during that stretch. You should probably stick with him for now.
Injury Concerns: Just when he started to heat up, Joe Crede had to go and get hurt Saturday, fouling a ball off his left knee. He entered the game with four home runs in his last six games, but the Twins would have to provide an optimistic outlook Sunday for you to even consider starting him. Jason Kubel, who missed last weekend with a sore knee, sat out Saturday as well. Of course, the Twins were facing left-hander David Price, which might have had something to do with their decision to rest Kubel. He seems like a safe start for the upcoming scoring period.
Platoon Possibilities: The Twins face three left-handed pitchers this week but don't have any clear platoon situations.
Lineup Changes: With Nick Punto going on the DL with a groin injury, Alexi Casilla has returned from the minor leagues and will likely start more often than not at second base. He doesn't have much power potential, which limits his appeal to AL-only leagues.
Schedule: @PIT4, @WAS3
Heating Up: Gary Sheffield, who had seemingly reached the end of his usefulness last year in Detroit, has recaptured his youth since becoming the Mets' cleanup hitter. He has hit safely in seven straight games, batting .429 (9-for-21) during that stretch, so he's clearly still capable of performing at a high level. He deserves a flier in all Fantasy leagues.
Cooling Off: Daniel Murphy has gotten fairly consistent starts at first base with Carlos Delgado on the DL, but he's batting only .136 (6-for-44) since May 8.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Beltran missed Saturday's game with a stomach virus, but it shouldn't sideline him into this week. His right knee remains a bigger concern. He had a cortisone shot to relieve the pain and thinks he can play through it, so get him active. Jose B. Reyes, who went on the DL with a calf injury early last week, could return Friday at Washington, but he'll have to prove his health first. Even if he can return, he'll play only three games, so keep him reserved in mixed leagues. Ramon E. Martinez has had to start in Reyes' absence, but Alex Cora could displace him if he returns from a calf injury when eligible Tuesday. No need to bother with him outside of deeper NL-only leagues, though.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mets face two left-handers this week, which likely means Murphy will sit twice for Fernando Tatis and Fernando Martinez will sit twice for Angel Pagan. Then again, the Mets might continue to play Pagan every day since he's batting .325 as the fill-in leadoff hitter with Reyes sidelined.
Lineup Changes: The Mets called up 20-year-old prospect Martinez with all the injuries to their outfield, but Pagan and Sheffield have played so well that the team might not need Martinez once Beltran returns for good. He's at risk of going back to the minor leagues, so you might want to avoid starting him in NL-only leagues.
Schedule: @CLE1, TEX3, TB3
Heating Up: The Yankees have several players on hitting streaks, not that you'd ever sit any of them. Mark Teixeira is batting .392 (20-for-51) with seven home runs during a 12-game hitting streak. Derek Jeter is batting .390 (23-for-59) with two home runs and three stolen bases during a 13-game hitting streak. Robinson Cano has only a seven-game hitting streak, but he's batting .409 (18-for-44) with three home runs and one stolen base over his last 10 games.
Cooling Off: Nick Swisher homered Saturday, but he's still batting only .167 (4-for-24) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: Melky Cabrera, who hasn't played since Tuesday because of a bruised right shoulder, has a good chance of returning Monday. But Brett Gardner has played so well in his absence that he might end up stealing at-bats. Cabrera remains a viable option in mixed leagues but a somewhat risky start this week.
Platoon Possibilities: The Yankees face three left-handed pitchers this week, so if nothing else, you can feel pretty confident Gardner won't start those games instead of Cabrera.
Lineup Changes: Jorge Posada returned from a hamstring injury Friday and is batting sixth, dropping Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher to seventh and eighth. He's a must-start Fantasy catcher and should get plenty of RBI opportunities there.
Schedule: @CHW4, BAL3
Heating Up: Adam Kennedy seemed like an obvious choice for this category, but he has actually started to cool off over his last five games, batting .167 (3-for-18). He really doesn't have the hitting ability to matter in mixed leagues in the long run, but his five steals so far make him an intriguing add in Rotisserie leagues.
Cooling Off: Kurt Suzuki is on a downslope in another up-and-down season, batting .185 (5-for-27) over his last seven games. You probably couldn't find an equally viable catcher even if you wanted to replace him, though.
Injury Concerns: Jack Cust missed Saturday's game with back spasms -- an injury that has a tendency to linger. If he doesn't return Sunday, you really have no reason to start a low-end option like him in mixed leagues. Jack Hannahan is also having back spasms and missed Saturday's game. Neither he nor his replacement, Gregorio Petit, have any Fantasy appeal outside of deeper AL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Athletics face three left-handed pitchers this week, but with Travis Buck on the DL and Hannahan hurting, matchups won't make a difference to their starting lineup.
Lineup Changes: The Athletics have called prospect Aaron Cunningham back up to the majors, and he'll likely get to start with Buck on the DL. He has upside, but until he actually does something, he's not worth owning in mixed leagues.
Schedule: @SD3, @LAD4
Heating Up: After struggling for a week or two in the middle of May, Shane Victorino has heated up again, batting .429 (21-for-49) with five stolen bases over his last 12 games. Start him as always. Same goes for Ryan Howard, who's batting .346 (9-for-26) with four home runs over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Jayson Werth has cooled off with a .156 (7-for-45) batting average over his last 11 games. Raul Ibanez might have begun a course correction of his own, batting .167 (3-for-18) over his last five games. You might consider benching Werth in shallower mixed leagues -- might -- but don't bench Ibanez.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Phillies face three left-handed pitchers his week, but they don't have any obvious lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Phillies have reverted back to their usual starting lineup, batting Victorino second, Chase Utley third, Ibanez fifth and Werth sixth.
Schedule: NYM4, @HOU3
Heating Up: Freddy Sanchez is batting .636 (14-for-22) over his last six games, though much of that came from a six-hit game. His streakiness might drive you crazy at times, but he's never a bad stopgap option. Andy LaRoche has also become a viable option in mixed leagues even though his hitting streak ended at 11 games. He's batting .440 (22-for-50) over his last 14.
Cooling Off: Nate McLouth has only one hit in his last 25 at-bats, but his combination of power and speed makes him too valuable to sit. Nyjer Morgan's batting average has fallen from .311 to .275 since May 14, but he's just a low-end option anyway.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Pirates face only two left-handed pitchers this week, so Brandon Moss should continue to get the majority of at-bats over Craig Monroe.
Lineup Changes: None of permanence.
|3.||Blue Jays||LAA3, KC3|
San Diego Padres
Schedule: PHI3, ARI3
Heating Up: A couple of down-and-out veterans have begun showing signs of life. Brian Giles has a seven-game hitting streak during which he's batting .409 (9-for-22). David Eckstein has a five-game hitting streak during which he's batting .400 (8-for-20) with six runs scored. Leave both players for NL-only leagues.
Cooling Off: Kevin Kouzmanoff still can't hit anything. He's batting .138 (4-for-29) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Padres face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-right platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Padres seem to have a four-man outfield rotation going with Giles, Scott Hairston, Chase Headley and Tony K. Gwynn. The only player with even low-end mixed-league appeal right now is Hairston, and he figures to get the most consistent at-bats of the bunch.
San Francisco Giants
Schedule: @WAS3, @FLA3
Heating Up: Aaron Rowand has been on fire since moving to the leadoff spot, batting .364 (16-for-44) during a 10-game hitting streak. He might not be a legit 20-homer guy, but he can suffice in mixed leagues when playing this well.
Cooling Off: Bengie Molina has been in a slump since mid May, batting .109 (5-for-46) over his last 11 games. You couldn't find an adequate replacement for him, though.
Injury Concerns: Pablo Sandoval missed some time with a sore throwing elbow, but he has returned to play the last two games at first base.
Platoon Possibilities: The Giants face two left-handed pitchers this week, but the Giants don't have any clear platoon situations now that Travis Ishikawa has seemingly moved out of the starting lineup.
Lineup Changes: Yes, at least until Sandoval can play third base again, Ishikawa will have to ride the pine -- just when he was getting hot too. Juan Uribe has taken over at third base and can fill in admirably enough in NL-only leagues. Sandoval has hit fifth since his return, moving Randy Winn up to third, which really doesn't change either player's value much.
Schedule: BAL3, MIN3
Heating Up: The Mariners have a trio of players cruising at the plate right now. Ichiro Suzuki needs no introduction; he's batting .386 (39-for-101) during a 23-game hitting streak. Russell Branyan continues to defy the odds and play like a must-start Fantasy option, batting .393 (11-for-28) over his last eight games. And Adrian Beltre has finally come around, batting .342 (13-for-38) over his last nine games.
Cooling Off: Wladimir Balentien has only two hits in his last 23 at-bats, squandering his chance to gain a starting role.
Injury Concerns: Mike Sweeney missed his third straight game with back spasms Saturday, but he pretty much just plays against lefties anyway.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mariners face two left-handers this week. Balentien might get to start those games in place of Endy Chavez. Ken Griffey normally sits against left-handers, but if Sweeney continues to miss time, he might not this week.
Lineup Changes: Lately, the Mariners have hit Yuniesky Betancourt second, dropping Beltre to third and Jose Lopez to sixth. Betancourt will gain a few at-bats, but it's not like he now has stellar lineup protection in Beltre.
St. Louis Cardinals
Schedule: CIN4, COL3
Heating Up: Skip Schumaker is batting .400 (12-for-30) over his last seven games. His lack of power or speed makes him hard to use in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Yadier Molina has three hits in his last two games, showing his slump might be coming to an end, but he's still batting only .184 (9-for-49) since May 12.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Cardinals face only one left-handed pitcher this week, but Schumaker isn't a sure bet to sit against lefties now that Khalil Greene has gone on the DL, forcing Brendan Ryan to play shortstop every day. Brian Barden might start against the lefty instead of Joe Thurston, but neither player matters in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel both returned from the DL this week, forcing rookie Colby Rasmus to the bench. You'll want to get Ludwick active right away, but Ankiel needs to get hot before you take a chance on his all-or-nothing power in mixed leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays
Schedule: KC3, @NYY3
Heating Up: Ben Zobrist, now an everyday player, is batting .450 (9-for-20) during a six-game hitting streak. He's on pace for 28 homers and 18 steals this season and is a must-add in all Fantasy leagues. Carl Crawford is batting .357 (15-for-42) during a 10-game hitting streak and is obviously a must-start.
Cooling Off: Carlos Pena is batting .161 (9-for-56) since May 14, but his power potential makes him too valuable to sit.
Injury Concerns: Pat Burrell got more injections in his neck Friday and doesn't seem on the verge of returning. By now, you have to hope he doesn't have a problem more serious than simply a stiff neck. Keep him reserved for now.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rays face right-handed pitchers in all six of their games this week, which should mean plenty of at-bats for Gabe Gross and not so many for Gabe Kapler. Gross should essentially function as an everyday player, making him a bit of a one-week sleeper in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: With Akinori Iwamura out for the season and Jason Bartlett also on the DL, Zobrist has become an everyday player, splitting time between shortstop, second base and the outfield. Willy Aybar gets most of the starts at second base and has enough power to deserve a look in AL-only leagues. Prospect Reid Brignac might also get some starts, especially since the team faces so many righties this week.
Schedule: @NYY3, @BOS3
Heating Up: Nelson R. Cruz has been arguably the best player in Fantasy over his last 11 games, batting .415 (17-for-41) with seven home runs and five stolen bases. Considering he recently weathered a cold streak only to bounce back and play at this level, nobody has any reason to question the legitimacy of his breakout anymore.
Cooling Off: You wouldn't dare bench Ian Kinsler -- and you shouldn't -- but he's batting only .172 (10-for-58) since May 13.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Rangers face three left-handers this week, so Andruw Jones will make at least three starts. Hank Blalock usually sits in favor of him against lefties, but the Rangers might opt to sit struggling Chris Davis instead, as they did Saturday.
Lineup Changes: None
Toronto Blue Jays
Schedule: LAA3, KC3
Heating Up: Marco Scutaro hasn't homered in May, but he has improved his batting average. He has a seven-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in his last six games, batting .441 (15-for-34) during that stretch. No sense in sitting him until he cools off. Aaron Hill is batting .316 (18-for-57) during a 13-game hitting streak, but you wouldn't ever bench him.
Cooling Off: Adam Lind is batting .156 (7-for-45) over his last 12 games, dropping his batting average below .300. He did go 2-for-3 with a home run Saturday, though, so he might be ready to snap out of it.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Blue Jays face one left-hander this week, so Lyle Overbay will likely have to sit that one out.
Lineup Changes: With Travis Snider in the minor leagues, Jose A. Bautista has gotten to play some against right-handers, but so has Kevin Millar. Both have some renewed appeal in AL-only leagues, but they remain just low-end options since neither has claimed full-time at-bats.
Schedule: SF3, NYM3
Heating Up: Adam Dunn has four homers over his last six games, not that he doesn't have stretches like that all the time.
Cooling Off: Ryan Zimmerman has hit a little snag recently, batting .067 (1-for-15) over his last four games, but he's an elite player now -- the kind you'd never bench in Fantasy. Cristian Guzman is batting .167 (7-for-42) over his last 10 games and isn't necessarily a must-start.
Injury Concerns: Elijah Dukes (hamstring) should return to the lineup Tuesday against the Giants. He has potential, but you wouldn't want to activate him right away in mixed leagues. Jesus Flores (shoulder) was also on track to return this week, but he had a setback and has to visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Keep him reserved.
Platoon Possibilities: The Nationals face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Justin Maxwell has seen the majority of playing time in center field with Dukes sidelined, but his poor hitting forced the Nationals to play Austin Kearns there Saturday. None of this matters if Dukes returns Tuesday as expected.
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