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Week 19 Fantasy Hitting Planner

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The Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every week, we provide you with news and notes for each team, tracking hot and cold players, injuries and lineup changes.

All statistics are up to date as of Friday, Aug. 6.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Schedule: @MIL4, @WAS3
Heating Up: Adam LaRoche looks like he's beginning his usual second-half surge, batting .478 (11 for 23) with three homers over his last five games. He hit .311 with a .915 OPS in the second half last year and has an OPS 130 points higher in the second half over the course of his career. He's looking like a good sleeper. Kelly Johnson is more like a must-start. He's batting .500 (14 for 28) with a homer and two stolen bases over his last seven games.
Cooling Off: Chris B. Young hasn't exactly fallen off a cliff, but his .143 (3 for 21) batting average over his last five games isn't especially thrilling. Still, he has never stayed down for long this season, emerging as one of the top Fantasy outfielders as a result.
Injury Concerns: Mark Reynolds, who left early Wednesday after taking a pitch to the head Tuesday, sat out Thursday and will likely sit out Friday as well. He just didn't seem like himself in Wednesday's game. Because doctors have ruled out a concussion, he has a good chance of returning over the weekend, but if there's any talk of him going on the DL, you'll obviously want to avoid him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Diamondbacks face four lefties this week, which means Rusty Ryal will get more starts than usual. He typically spells Gerardo Parra against the lefties.
Lineup Changes: None.

Atlanta Braves
Schedule: @HOU3, LAD3
Heating Up: Omar Infante is showing why he was an All-Star. Filling in for the injured Martin Prado at second base, the utility player has hit safely in eight straight games, collecting multiple hits in seven of them. He's batting .444 (16 for 36) during that stretch and is worth a flier since he's eligible at the weak shortstop position. Brian McCann is a must-start, but his turnaround is worth noting. Since July 3, he's batting .330 (30 for 91) with six home runs, raising his season batting average from .257 to .278.
Cooling Off: Jason Heyward was hot when he first came off the DL but has cooled off lately, batting .125 (3 for 24) over his last six games. Considering he has just one homer since May 30 -- a span of 45 games -- he's less than a must-start in Fantasy. Eric Hinske may be starting still, but he isn't playing like a starter, batting .087 (2 for 23) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Braves face three left-handers this week, which means Troy Glaus could make something of a resurgence. He has been the odd man out with the arrival of Rick Ankiel but could potentially spell Ankiel or Hinske against lefties.
Lineup Changes: Other than the removal of Glaus, none.

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Baltimore Orioles
Schedule: CHW1, @CLE3, @TB3
Heating Up: Luke Scott is going off again. The 32-year-old slugger, who homered five times in eight games when he first returned from the DL in late July, apparently isn't done yet, going 7 for 18 (.389) with three homers over his last four games. Considering he's the kind of player who does half a year's worth of damage in one month, he's worth a flier right now. Adam Jones seems to be heating up again, collecting multiple hits in four of his last five games for a .474 (9 for 19) batting average. Felix Pie is still too unproven for mixed-league use, but he's again showing some of the potential that made him a top prospect for the Cubs a few years ago, batting .474 (9 for 19) with two steals over his last five games.
Cooling Off: Nobody is significantly underachieving right now.
Injury Concerns: Josh Bell left Wednesday's game with a tight left hamstring and then wasn't in the lineup Thursday. The rookie has pop but also a crazy strikeout rate and isn't worth using in mixed leagues even when healthy.
Platoon Possibilities: The Orioles face one left-hander this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

Boston Red Sox
Schedule: @NYY1, @TOR3, @TEX3
Heating Up: Adrian Beltre hit a grand slam Thursday and is having a monster second half, batting .358 (29 for 81) with seven home runs in 20 games. Of course, he also had a monster first half. Maybe we should just accept the fact he's a monster. David Ortiz, who has had his share of hot and cold streaks this year, seems to be on the right side of streaky now, hitting safely in 13 of his last 14 games with a .304 (17 for 56) batting average and five homers during that stretch.
Cooling Off: J.D. Drew, who missed some time recently with a hamstring injury, hasn't played well since returning, batting just .176 (3 for 17) over his last six games. Don't bother with him until he heats up.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Red Sox face three left-handed pitchers this week, but Ryan Kalish looks like he's going to play regardless of whether a lefty or righty is on the mound.
Lineup Changes: Kevin Youkilis tore a muscle in his thumb and will miss the rest of the season, forcing the Red Sox to make Mike Lowell their starting first baseman. He's still a good enough hitter to make an impact in AL-only leagues but will likely lose a few starts to Victor Martinez. The good news is Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing pretty much all season with a rib injury. You can wait for him to find his rhythm before activating him in Fantasy, but when at full capacity, he's a must-start because of his steals potential.

Chicago Cubs
Schedule: @SF4, @STL3
Heating Up: Starlin Castro is batting .500 (9 for 18) so far in August and .432 (38 for 88) over his last 21 games. The rookie doesn't offer much in the way of power or speed -- at least not yet -- but at the weak shortstop position, his hot hitting is good enough. Blake DeWitt has been a different player since coming over from the Dodgers in the Ted Lilly trade, batting .375 (6 for 16) with a homer. Perhaps the change of scenery will help him meet his full potential, but for now, he's just an NL-only option.
Cooling Off: Alfonso Soriano is batting just .154 (4 for 26) over his last eight games. He's good for nothing more than off-and-on power at this stage of his career, making him just a borderline starter in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Aramis Ramirez has missed some time recently with renewed pain in his sore left thumb, but he homered as a pinch hitter Wednesday, indicating he might be feeling better. If he plays over the weekend, you should keep him active in Fantasy, but the situation is worth monitoring since the thumb put him out for three weeks earlier this year.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cubs face three lefties this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

Chicago White Sox
Schedule: @BAL1, MIN3, DET3
Heating Up: Juan Pierre has put together a 12-game hitting streak during which he's batting .396 (19 for 48) with six stolen bases. If steals count for something in your league, he's worth activating. Paul Konerko has three straight two-hit games and is batting .349 (15 for 43) with six homers over his last 12 games. So much for him being a one-half performer.
Cooling Off: Alex Rios had a big game Tuesday but otherwise has not hit well over his last eight games, batting .125 (4 for 32). His five-category potential makes him a must-start in Fantasy, however.
Injury Concerns: Mark Teahen, who has been out since May 30 with a fractured right middle finger, could return this week. Because his role is unclear with Omar Vizquel and Dayan Viciedo both playing well, you can leave him for AL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The White Sox face two left-handers this week. Andruw Jones will likely replace Mark Kotsay for those games.
Lineup Changes: None.

Scott's top sleepers for Week 19
Player Start %
1. Raul Ibanez, OF, Phillies 59
2. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Diamondbacks 61
3. Juan Pierre, OF, White Sox 60
4. Chris Johnson, 3B, Astros 44
5. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs 62
6. Luke Scott, OF, Orioles 54
7. Stephen Drew, SS, Diamondbacks 67
8. Colby Rasmus, OF, Cardinals 54
9. Carlos Ruiz, C, Phillies 34
10. Omar Infante, 2B, Braves 22
* Sleepers are players started in less than 70 percent of CBSSports.com leagues

Cincinnati Reds
Schedule: STL3, FLA3
Heating Up: Scott Rolen, who missed some time recently with a strained right hamstring, is batting .480 (12 for 25) with one homer over his last seven games. Looks like his hot hitting is going to carry over into the second half, making him worth starting in all Fantasy leagues.
Cooling Off: Jay Bruce, who was at least showing signs of becoming a better contact hitter earlier in the season, isn't showing any signs of progress now. He's batting .100 (2 for 20) over his last six games and deserves to sit in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Chris Dickerson has a chance of returning this weekend after missing more than three months because of wrist surgery. The Reds have a crowded enough outfield as it is, so you can't expect Dickerson to get the at-bats necessary to matter in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Reds face two left-handed pitchers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Rookie Chris Heisey has overtaken the struggling Drew Stubbs for starts in center field, starting four straight games. With seven homers in 98 at-bats, he's worth an immediate pickup in NL-only leagues and could ultimately make an impact in mixed leagues as well. But first, he has to prove he can hold down the job.

Cleveland Indians
Schedule: BAL3, SEA3
Heating Up: Shin-Soo Choo is the only Indian who even comes close. He's batting .318 (7 for 22) with a homer and a steal over his last six games. You probably already have him starting, though.
Cooling Off: Asdrubal Cabrera was a mixed-league option at the time he broke his forearm in mid-May, but he hasn't played like one since returning from the DL, batting .203 (12 for 59) in 15 games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Indians face one lefty this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: With Carlos Santana out for the season with a knee injury and Travis Hafner on the DL with a shoulder injury, Lou Marson and Jordan Brown have come up from the minor leagues and assumed everyday duty. Both have done OK in the minors, but neither has the upside to make a big impact in Fantasy.

Colorado Rockies
Schedule: @NYM3, MIL3
Heating Up: Carlos Gonzalez is only creeping closer and closer to elite territory with his performance over his last eight games. He's batting .441 (15 for 34) with six home runs and a stolen base during that stretch. Troy Tulowitzki has been a-OK since returning from a fractured wrist, batting .371 (13 for 35) with a homer and four doubles in nine games. You need to have him active.
Cooling Off: Ian Stewart, who is routinely in this category for the Rockies, is batting .208 (5 for 24) over his last eight games. He'll hit a few homers but is otherwise a drain to your Fantasy team.
Injury Concerns: Dexter Fowler, who hasn't started since slamming into the outfield fence on a leaping catch Sunday, came off the bench for a second straight game Thursday. He has been able to swing the bat and play the field, suggesting he should return to the lineup this weekend. He plays in a crowded outfield, though, and has yet to develop the consistency for mixed-league use.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rockies face four left-handed pitchers this week, which is bad news for Seth Smith, who typically sits in favor of Ryan Spilborghs against lefties.
Lineup Changes: Of course, with Todd Helton off the DL, Smith might be sitting a good bit anyway. Brad Hawpe is back in the outfield mix, and somebody has to go to the bench when Fowler returns. Gonzalez is looking like the only safe Rockies outfielder for Fantasy purposes.

Detroit Tigers
Schedule: TB3, @CHW3
Heating Up: Austin Jackson, who was having perhaps the worst slump of his rookie season right before the All-Star break, continues to hit well in the second half, batting .353 (6 for 17) over his last four games. Because he lacks power, he's less than a must-start.
Cooling Off: Brennan Boesch's second half couldn't be going any worse. The surprise rookie is batting .100 (8 for 80) in 21 game since the All-Star break, lowering his season batting average from .342 to .282. Maybe the league finally discovered how to get him out, or maybe he's just in a really big slump. Either way, you wouldn't want him in your lineup right now.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Guillen, who has been out since July 24 with a strained right calf, is set to begin a rehab assignment over the weekend and could return early this week. Because he's less than a must-start even when healthy, you should hold off on activating him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Tigers face two left-handers this week, which means Don Kelly will sit twice for Ryan Raburn. The two barely matter in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: Brandon Inge, who missed only two weeks with a broken hand, returned to the lineup Wednesday, bumping Jhonny Peralta over to shortstop and Ramon Santiago to the bench. The bone couldn't have completely healed yet, so a setback is certainly possible. Considering his inconsistency, you can leave him for AL-only leagues.

Florida Marlins
Schedule: @WAS3, @CIN3
Heating Up: Michael Stanton is still striking out too much, but he has looked a little better lately, batting .333 (12 for 36) with three homers and a stolen base over his last 10 games. If you can tolerate the strikeouts, he's a decent sleeper this week.
Cooling Off: Hanley Ramirez, who was batting .301 at the All-Star break, is all the way down to .279 because of a 10-game stretch during which he's batting .150 (6 for 40). Still, you wouldn't dare bench him.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Marlins face three lefties this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

Houston Astros
Schedule: ATL3, PIT3
Heating Up: Chris Johnson is doing his best to become the face of a depleted lineup. He has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games, batting .431 (28 for 65) with five homers during that stretch. His poor plate discipline suggests he could be another streaky type, but he's certainly worth using now. Carlos Lee is on one of his better runs of the season, batting .385 (10 for 26) with two homers over his last seven games, so now might be a good time to start him. Hunter Pence has probably already been starting for you and is batting .380 (19 for 50) with two homers over his last 11 games.
Cooling Off: Michael Bourn has hit safely in four straight games but is batting just .154 (4 for 26) with nine strikeouts over his last seven. Start him only if you're trying to make up ground in stolen bases.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Astros face one left-handed pitcher, which means rookie Brett Wallace should get nearly a full week of at-bats. He'll sit in favor of Pedro Feliz or Jason Michaels against tougher lefties.
Lineup Changes: None.

Top 10 Hitters Added
Player % Change
1. Chris Johnson, 3B, Astros 36
2. Neil Walker, 2B, Pirates 18
3. Carlos Ruiz, C, Phillies 18
4. Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals 17
5. Andres Torres, OF, Giants 16
6. J.P. Arencibia, C, Blue Jays 15
7. Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros 14
8. Mike Lowell, 1B, Red Sox 14
9. Omar Infante, 2B, Braves 13
10. Jeff Keppinger, 2B, Astros 12

Kansas City Royals
Schedule: @LAA3, NYY4
Heating Up: Don't look now, but Alex Gordon might not be a lost cause just yet. The former top prospect, long considered a bust, has three homers in his last six games. His 1.019 OPS at Triple-A Omaha is also encouraging (if somewhat misleading since he has always hit well at that level). The sample size is too small to determine anything, but his upside makes him worth a flier if you have a free roster spot.
Cooling Off: Jason Kendall is batting .129 (4 for 31) over his last nine games. Since he offers no power, he has to be red-hot for you to use him in Fantasy.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Royals face one lefty this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Royals designated Jose Guillen for assignment on Thursday, meaning they have 10 days to trade or release him. He's as good as gone, which means Gregor Blanco and Mitch Maier -- two of the lightest hitters you'll ever see -- are both everyday starters. Kila Ka'aihue -- he of the 1.060 OPS at Triple-A Omaha -- also seems to have a starting job. The scouts aren't in love with him, but those numbers are too intriguing to pass up in deeper leagues. Chris Getz has started six straight games at second base and seems to have emerged as the team's leadoff hitter, sending Mike Aviles to the bench.

L.A. Angels
Schedule: KC3, TOR3
Heating Up: Torii Hunter has come roaring back from a post-break slump, batting .588 (10 for 17) with two homers in four games to begin the month of August. He's too reliable of a run producer to bench in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Erick Aybar, who was racking up multi-hit games early in July, has come back to earth over his last 10 games, batting .118 (4 for 34). Because he's not a consistent source of power or speed, you don't have much reason to stick with him now. Maicer Izturis for some reason continues to get semi-regular at-bats even though he's batting .097 (3 for 31) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Angels face one left-hander this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Angels promoted prospect Peter Bourjos from Triple-A Salt Lake to take the place of a slumping Juan Rivera. Bourjos can hit for a good batting average, steal some bases and even pop a few homers, making him potentially another Angel Pagan, but he's too inexperienced for mixed-league use. To get Izturis in the lineup, the Angels have been moving Howard Kendrick over to first base, forcing Mike Napoli to compete with Jeff Mathis for at-bats at catcher. It's certainly not an everyday thing, but it's common enough to annoy the heck out of Napoli owners.

L.A. Dodgers
Schedule: @PHI3, @ATL3
Heating Up: Kind of a stretch, but Andre Ethier has multiple hits in back-to-back games and has hit safely in five straight, batting .364 (8 for 22) with a homer during that stretch. It's a decent turnaround for the must-start Fantasy outfielder who began the second half in a 6-for-47 (.128) slump.
Cooling Off: Scott Podsednik has three stolen bases in eight games since coming over from the Royals, but he's batting only .188 (6 for 32) during that stretch. Avoid him unless you really need steals.
Injury Concerns: Rafael Furcal missed his third straight game Thursday with soreness in his surgically repaired back and likely won't play over the weekend. He's reportedly feeling better, though, and manager Joe Torre said he should return for the start of a road trip Tuesday at Philadelphia. You'll have to decide whether you want to start him before you actually see him return to action, which is always risky, but at the weak shortstop position, it's probably worth it. When healthy, he has been one of the best.
Platoon Possibilities: The Dodgers don't face a single left-handed pitcher this week, which doesn't mean much since they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: With Russell Martin most likely out for the year because of a torn labrum in his right hip, 29-year-old rookie A.J. Ellis figures to get most of the starts behind the plate. He isn't really a prospect and likely won't contribute enough offense to matter in Fantasy.

Milwaukee Brewers
Schedule: ARI4, @COL3
Heating Up: Ryan Braun, who began the second half 10 for 61 (.164), dropping his season batting average to .273, is batting .550 (11 for 20) over his last five games. Of course, he has only one extra-base hit during that stretch, but it's a step in the right direction.
Cooling Off: Corey Hart, who has just two home runs since the All-Star break, is batting .244 (11 for 45) over his last 11 games. He has proven to be too valuable to sit during a little cold streak, however.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Gomez, who has a mild concussion after getting hit in the head by a pitch Monday, could potentially go on the DL. He's batting only .228 on the year, so you shouldn't be using him unless you're desperate for steals.
Platoon Possibilities: The Brewers face one left-hander this week, so you have to figure Jim Edmonds will play more often than not, especially with Gomez hurting.
Lineup Changes: None.

Minnesota Twins
Schedule: @CHW3, OAK3
Heating Up: Joe Mauer may be hurt, but he's showing no signs of it at the plate, batting .567 (17 for 30) over his last eight games. Keep him active.
Cooling Off: Michael Cuddyer, who finished July on a high note with a 15-game hitting streak, hasn't gotten off to a good start in August, batting .190 (4 for 21) in five games. His versatility means he should probably be starting for you somewhere.
Injury Concerns: Mauer is dealing with a sore right shoulder, but he has been able to start the last two games at DH and should be fine for Fantasy purposes.
Platoon Possibilities: The Twins face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: With Mauer hurting, Drew Butera has spent more time behind the plate, and Jim Thome has spent more time on the bench. In their current roles, both are just AL-only options.

N.Y. Mets
Schedule: COL3, PHI3
Heating Up: Angel Pagan hasn't been quite as hot over the last couple days but is still batting .364 (12 for 33) with a homer and two stolen bases over his last nine games. He currently rates as a top-20 outfielder in standard Head-to-Head leagues, so he deserves to be starting in yours.
Cooling Off: Carlos Beltran has yet to regain his form since coming back from knee surgery, batting .176 (3 for 170 over his last six games. He isn't going to steal bases anymore, so until his power comes around, you have no reason to start him. David Wright is hitless in 15 at-bats to begin the month of August, but you wouldn't sit a five-category performer like him.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mets face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

N.Y. Yankees
Schedule: BOS1, @TEX2, @KC4
Heating Up: Mark Teixeira is doing his best to live up to his high second-half standards, homering three times in his last five games. He's an obvious must-start. Nick Swisher has become a must-start himself and is showing why with five homers in his last 10 games.
Cooling Off: Alex Rodriguez finally connected for his 600th homer Wednesday. Of course, that's his only hit in his last 20 at-bats. He's getting up there in years, but he's still a good enough run producer to start in all Fantasy formats. Robinson Cano is having a rare cold spell, batting .071 (1 for 14) over his last four games, but surely you know better than to sit him.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Yankees face three lefties this week, which puts Lance Berkman and Curtis Granderson at risk of missing some time. Marcus Thames and Austin Kearns sometimes intrude against lefties. If you have safer options in mixed leagues, go with them instead.
Lineup Changes: None.

Oakland Athletics
Schedule: @SEA3, @MIN3
Heating Up: Rajai Davis, who emerged as a viable mixed-league option with a strong performance in the second half last year, is off to a good start in the second half this year, batting .367 (11 for 30) with three stolen bases over his last eight games. Don't forget about him in mixed leagues, especially if you need stolen bases.
Cooling Off: Jack Cust, whose batting average was up over .300 during a hot streak after the All-Star break, is back to his usual low-contact ways, batting .214 (6 for 28) over his last nine games. He's good for cheap power, but nothing more. Daric Barton, whose lack of home-run power makes him a low-end Fantasy option to begin with, isn't doing much to contribute right now, batting .176 (5 for 29) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Athletics face two left-handed pitchers this week, but lately, Matt Watson has been starting in left field regardless of the opposing pitcher, forcing Gabe Gross to the bench.
Lineup Changes: Other than the change in the outfield, none.

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Diamondbacks @MIL4, @WAS3
2. Yankees BOS1, @TEX2, @KC4
3. White Sox @BAL1, MIN3, DET3
4. Indians BAL3, SEA3
5. Brewers ARI4, @COL3

Philadelphia Phillies
Schedule: LAD3, @NYM3
Heating Up: Despite playing with bone spurs in his elbow, Placido Polanco is hitting as well as ever, batting .354 (23 for 65) over his last 14 games. He's still plenty dangerous at the top of the Phillies lineup. Raul Ibanez continues to prove he still has something left at age 38, batting .447 (21 for 47) with three homers during a 13-game hitting streak. He has been a streaky player in the past, so a big second half isn't out of the question. Carlos Ruiz has never been much of a Fantasy option, but he's worth using as a stopgap right now, batting .439 (18 for 41) with three homers over his last nine games.
Cooling Off: Jimmy Rollins still isn't hitting like the elite shortstop he can be, batting .188 (6 for 32) over his last seven games. Still, who else are you going to start at the position?
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Phillies face two left-handed pitchers this week, which means Domonic Brown will likely sit twice for Ben Francisco and Ross Gload will likely sit twice for Cody Ransom.
Lineup Changes: The Gload-Ransom platoon is in effect because Ryan Howard had to go on the DL with a sprained left ankle. Neither Gload nor Ransom offers much pop, so you can leave both for deeper NL-only leagues.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Schedule: @SD3, @HOU3
Heating Up: Jose Tabata has been piling up hits since the All-Star break, batting .375 (30 for 80) in 19 games. Unfortunately, he has only two stolen bases during that stretch, and his speed would be the main reason you'd start him in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez have both homered recently but are struggling overall, with Jones batting .087 (2 for 23) over his last six games and Alvarez batting .132 (5 for 38) over his last 11. You probably wouldn't want to start either this week.
Injury Concerns: Ryan Doumit, who has been out since July 21 with a concussion, played right field on the first day of a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. He's set to return from the DL on Saturday, but is sort of a rover now that the Pirates have Chris Snyder behind the plate.
Platoon Possibilities: The Pirates face two lefties this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Lastings Milledge, Jones and Snyder all figure to lose at-bats when Doumit returns over the weekend. Of the three, Jones is the only one with any real mixed-league appeal, and even he's just a borderline starter.

San Diego Padres
Schedule: PIT3, @SF3
Heating Up: Yorvit Torrealba has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games, collecting multiple hits in nine of them. He's batting .452 (28 for 62) during that stretch. He doesn't have any power, but when he's this hot, he deserves a look even in mixed leagues. Chase Headley is on a pretty nice streak himself, hitting safely in nine of 10 games for a .387 (12 for 31) batting average. He's still not enough of a power hitter to get away with so many strikeouts and so little consistency.
Cooling Off: Will Venable, who recently spent some time on the DL with lower back stiffness, is batting only .182 (6 for 33) with a homer and five stolen bases in 14 games since his return. He's little more than a bottom-of-the-barrel source of stolen bases.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Padres face three left-handed pitchers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons, meaning Venable and Tony Gwynn probably aren't your best bets in NL-only leagues. They'll have to share a good number of at-bats with Scott Hairston and Chris Denorfia.
Lineup Changes: None.

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rangers NYY2, BOS3
2. Mets COL3, PHI3
3. Reds STL3, FLA3
4. Cubs @SF4, @STL3
5. Royals @LAA3, NYY4

San Francisco Giants
Schedule: CHC4, SD3
Heating Up: Andres Torres just keeps getting better and better. The late bloomer is batting .365 (23 for 63) with three homers and two steals over his last 14 games and is simply too productive to bench in mixed leagues right now. Aubrey Huff, who is putting together arguably the best season of his career, has only gotten hotter since the All-Star break, batting .377 (29 for 77) with three homers and two steals.
Cooling Off: Edgar Renteria is batting .059 (1 for 17) over his last seven games and, as always, has to look over his shoulder for Juan Uribe. He clearly isn't a mixed-league option at this stage of his career.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Giants face three left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Pat Burrell has started six straight games in left field, with the Giants opting for more offense in recent days. Of course, the recent return of Uribe from a hamstring injury further complicates the situation since Pablo Sandoval is able to play first base and Huff is able to play the outfield. Better avoid Burrell in all but the deepest of leagues.

Seattle Mariners
Schedule: OAK3, @CLE3
Heating Up: Chone Figgins is finally beginning to look like the player he was all those years with the Angels, batting .419 (18 for 43) with three stolen bases over his last 11 games. He still has some course correcting to do to meet his career averages, so he's worth starting if you need a second or third baseman. Ichiro Suzuki, who was putting up one-hit games most of July, has multiple hits in five of his last eight games. He's batting .378 (14 for 37) with five stolen bases during that stretch and is clearly still a must-start in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Russell Branyan, who is back playing every day now that Justin Smoak is in the minors, has one hit in his last 17 at-bats. Start him only if you're desperate for power.
Injury Concerns: Josh Bard has missed the last couple games with a stiff neck. He's looking like just a backup to rookie Adam Moore, though.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mariners face three left-handed pitchers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Mariners optioned Rob Johnson to Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday and called up Moore, who hit .321 with three homers in 36 games for Tacoma. Moore, who was with the Mariners at the beginning of the season, could be a nice little sleeper now that he's the clear starter. He's worth a look if you need a second catcher.

St. Louis Cardinals
Schedule: @CIN3, CHC3
Heating Up: After some rough times to begin the second half, Colby Rasmus seems to be coming around again, batting .400 (8 for 20) with two homers over his last five games. With a bunch of righties on the schedule this week, he's looking like a good sleeper. Brendan Ryan is finally doing some damage, batting .447 (17 for 38) over his last 10 games, but he was too cold for too long for you to count on him for anything in Fantasy. Albert Pujols is batting .478 (11 for 23) with four homers over his last five games. There's the guy you drafted first overall.
Cooling Off: Skip Schumaker is batting .154 (2 for 13) over his last five games, but considering he doesn't hit homers or steal bases, he's just a low-end option even when hot.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cardinals don't face a single left-handed pitcher this week, which means Allen Craig, who recently returned from the minor leagues, will probably spend most of his time on the bench. He spells Jon Jay against tough lefties.
Lineup Changes: David Freese has been ruled out for the season because of an ankle injury, meaning Felipe Lopez will continue to start for the Cardinals. His lack of pop makes him just a low-end option, though.

Tampa Bay Rays
Schedule: @DET3, BAL3
Heating Up: B.J. Upton, whose batting average has hovered around the .220 mark all year, has actually been productive to begin the month of August, batting .381 (8 for 21) with two homers and three stolen bases in five games. If you can live with the strikeouts, he's worth starting.
Cooling Off: Evan Longoria has been mostly quiet since the All-Star break, batting .167 (8 for 48) over his last 14 games, but you wouldn't sit a player with his potential. Jason Bartlett, who has been struggling all season, isn't doing much to win back the trust of mixed-league owners, his grand slam Thursday aside. He's batting .182 (4 for 22) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Pena missed his fifth straight game with a foot injury Thursday. When he returns, he'll be playing through pain, which means he might not be as good as he was before ... when he hit a whopping .212. Despite his power potential, he's looking like a risky start the rest of the way.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rays face one left-hander this week, which means Matt Joyce should get close to a full week of at-bats. He typically sits for Gabe Kapler against lefties.
Lineup Changes: The Rays promoted former Athletic Dan Johnson from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday. He has always been a good power hitter in the minors but has been unable to translate that ability to the majors. Since he'll be out of the lineup when Pena returns, you can leave him for deeper AL-only leagues.

Texas Rangers
Schedule: NYY2, BOS3
Heating Up: Elvis Andrus, who was about the only cold Ranger during the month of July, is making up for it now, batting .417 (10 for 24) with three stolen bases over his last six games. Despite his lack of pop, he's a must-start at the weak shortstop position.
Cooling Off: Michael Young, who has hit over .300 for the better part of the season, is at .298 after going 4 for 26 (.154) over his last six games. He's still one of the better contact hitters in the game and has just enough power to be a must-start at third base.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rangers face one left-hander this week, which means Jorge Cantu probably won't get much playing time. Mitch Moreland gets most of the starts against righties.
Lineup Changes: David Murphy has been spelling Julio Borbon more often lately, but the Rangers haven't indicated the job has changed hands. You should probably avoid both players in mixed leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays
Schedule: BOS3, @LAA3
Heating Up: After four miserable months, Aaron Hill is off to a good start in August, batting .400 (6 for 15) with two home runs in four games. Vernon Wells seems to have pulled out of his midseason funk, batting .364 (8 for 22) with two homers over his last five games. Jose Bautista, who is batting .486 (18 for 37) with seven homers over his last 10 games, has emerged as the top outfielder in Fantasy and is showing no signs of slowing down. Start all three.
Cooling Off: Adam Lind, who showed some signs of coming around with a homer each of the first two weeks after the All-Star break, is back struggling, batting .059 (1 for 17) over his last five games. If you own him in a mixed league, you should be used to sitting him by now.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Blue Jays face one left-hander this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: John Buck went on the DL with a cut right thumb Thursday, allowing the Blue Jays to call up slugging catcher prospect J.P. Arencibia, who had hit 32 homers in 379 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas. His high ceiling at the weak catcher position makes him worth a flier in all Fantasy leagues. Travis Snider, who returned from a wrist injury late last week, has begun picking up starts for the Blue Jays, rotating with Fred Lewis, Lind and Lyle Overbay. Three spots for four players is generally bad news in Fantasy since all four end up losing at-bats.

Washington Nationals
Schedule: FLA3, ARI3
Heating Up: Roger Bernadina has made the most of a little extra playing time recently, batting .364 (8 for 22) with a homer and a stolen base over his last six games. His combination of power and speed is intriguing, but he likely doesn't have the upside to make an impact in mixed leagues. Ryan Zimmerman sure does. In fact, he's single-handedly winning games now, batting .435 (10 for 23) with four homers over his last six. Adam Dunn has five homers over his last six, which is what he normally does when he gets hot. Keep him active.
Cooling Off: Josh Willingham was overdue for a lengthy slump and seems to be experiencing it now, batting .219 (14 for 64) in 19 games since the All-Star break. He has played a little better lately, though, batting .357 (5 for 14) over his last four games.
Injury Concerns: Nyjer Morgan, who began feeling tightness in his right hip flexor back on July 21, had to sit out both Wednesday and Thursday. He had been getting looks in mixed leagues because of his hot start to the second half, but if he doesn't return this weekend, you wouldn't want to take a chance on him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Nationals face one left-hander this week, which means Adam Kennedy will sit once for Alberto Gonzalez. Mike Morse normally replaces Bernadina against lefties, but both are starting with Morgan sidelined.
Lineup Changes: None.

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