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2012 Draft Prep: National League 5x5 auction

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The National League may not have the overall offensive firepower of the American League, but it offers NL-only owners a bevy of top outfield options. In our 12-team, NL-only Rotisserie league auction, many of those elite outfielders, like Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun and Justin Upton, came off the board early and set the tone for big spending at the position. Six of the first nine players nominated were outfielders, and they cost their owners a collective $188, even though the group included a $5 Bryce Harper.

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In fact, the highest bids came for players who qualify at what are arguably the NL's three deepest positions at the upper levels: outfield, shortstop and pitcher. Of the 16 players who fetched at least $30, only Joey Votto ($44) and Brandon Phillips ($30) played a position other than one of those three. This is not to say that position scarcity didn't matter, though. Votto has a greater advantage over his fellow elites at first base as compared to the top players at other positions, and he wound up being the most expensive player in the auction. Meanwhile, there are many similarly-productive options at the top of the second base, third base and catcher rankings, so owners were typically willing to wait to fill those positions, rather than spend $25 or more for the likes of Rickie Weeks or Brian McCann.

Scarcity also drove prices up as players were coming off the board. Phillips and Dee Gordon ($25) were both nominated relatively late, and both saw their values inflated compared to some similar alternatives. There weren't many late-auction bargains, as a few owners held onto their dollars deep into the auction, though Tim Hudson ($5) and Jason Kubel ($10) likely came more cheaply than they would have if they were nominated earlier.

Scoring for Batting Categories

BA - Batting Average
HR - Home Runs
R - Runs
RBI - Runs Batted In
SB - Stolen Bases

Pitching Categories

ERA - Earned Run Average
K - Strikeouts (Pitcher)
S - Saves
W - Wins
WHIP - Walks + Hits / Inning

The owners ...

1. Scott White, CBSSports.com
2. Scott Swanay and Steve Parsons, OptimalBaseball.com
3. John Toczydlowski and Mike Gianella, Patton & Co.
4. Al Melchior, CBSSports.com
5. Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire.com
6. Patrick Davitt, Baseball HQ
7. Marc Normandin, FakeTeams.com
8. Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble, Razzball
9. Tim McLeod, RotoRob
10. Mike Kuchera, FanDuel.com
11. Christopher Kreush and Todd Zola, Mastersball.com
12. Bernie Pleskoff, RotoWire.com

Editor's note: Utilize the sortable functionality to get a sense of the auction. View by team, dollar amount and position.

Have a take on our latest auction results? Share your thoughts on our Fantasy Baseball Facebook page and on our Twitter feed @CBSFantasyBB !

2012 NL-only Fantasy Auction Draft (sortable)
OrderPlayerPosPriceBid Won by
2Joey Votto, CIN1B$44Baseball HQ
40Carlos Gonzalez, COLOF$43FakeTeams.com
3Ryan Braun, MILOF$43RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
1Matt Kemp, LADOF$42RotoRob
16Troy Tulowitzki, COLSS$39OptimalBaseball.com
25Hanley Ramirez, MIASS$36OptimalBaseball.com
9Justin Upton, ARIOF$36Razzball
21Giancarlo Stanton, MIAOF$34RotoRob
11Clayton Kershaw, LADP$34RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
7Roy Halladay, PHIP$33Mastersball.com
8Andrew McCutchen, PITOF$32Mastersball.com
5Cliff Lee, PHIP$31CBSSports.com (Melchior)
68Brandon Phillips, CIN2B$30Baseball HQ
17Jose Reyes, MIASS$30Patton & Co
51Hunter Pence, PHIOF$30RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
4Matt Holliday, STLOF$30RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
47David Wright, NYM3B$29FanDuel.com
52Starlin Castro, CHCSS$28Baseball HQ
37Tim Lincecum, SFP$28Baseball HQ
34Dan Uggla, ATL2B$28CBSSports.com (White)
18Michael Bourn, ATLOF$28FakeTeams.com
100Jay Bruce, CINOF$27Razzball
10Emilio Bonifacio, MIASS$26CBSSports.com (White)
14Michael Morse, WAS1B$26FanDuel.com
89Ryan Zimmerman, WAS3B$26Razzball
13Cole Hamels, PHIP$25FanDuel.com
70Dee Gordon, LADSS$25RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
39Corey Hart, MILOF$24Baseball HQ
32Shane Victorino, PHIOF$24Baseball HQ
61Andre Ethier, LADOF$24CBSSports.com (Melchior)
22Ike Davis, NYM1B$24CBSSports.com (White)
41Zack Greinke, MILP$24FanDuel.com
76Pablo Sandoval, SF3B$24Razzball
98Michael Cuddyer, COLOF$24RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
19Craig Kimbrel, ATLP$23CBSSports.com (Melchior)
30Adam Wainwright, STLP$23FakeTeams.com
15Stephen Strasburg, WASP$23FakeTeams.com
60Chris Young, ARIOF$23Mastersball.com
57Matt Cain, SFP$23OptimalBaseball.com
49Madison Bumgarner, SFP$23Patton & Co
96Drew Stubbs, CINOF$22FanDuel.com
56Brandon Beachy, ATLP$22RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
46Paul Goldschmidt, ARI1B$22RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
62Rickie Weeks, MIL2B$21CBSSports.com (Melchior)
29Yovani Gallardo, MILP$21CBSSports.com (White)
28Lance Berkman, STLOF$21CBSSports.com (White)
90Jayson Werth, WASOF$21FakeTeams.com
110Aramis Ramirez, MIL3B$21Patton & Co
55Jimmy Rollins, PHISS$21Patton & Co
33Brian McCann, ATLC$21RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
58Buster Posey, SFC$20Baseball HQ
20Freddie Freeman, ATL1B$20CBSSports.com (Melchior)
35Ian Kennedy, ARIP$20CBSSports.com (White)
104Lucas Duda, NYMOF$20FakeTeams.com
74Miguel Montero, ARIC$20Mastersball.com
31Chase Utley, PHI2B$20Mastersball.com
43Drew Storen, WASP$19Baseball HQ
53Mat Latos, CINP$19CBSSports.com (Melchior)
82Logan Morrison, MIAOF$19CBSSports.com (White)
48Ryan Madson, CINP$19FakeTeams.com
72Jason Heyward, ATLOF$19FanDuel.com
67Jonathan Papelbon, PHIP$19Mastersball.com
109Daniel Hudson, ARIP$19Razzball
83Cameron Maybin, SDOF$19RotoRob
64Matt Garza, CHCP$18Baseball HQ
23Josh Johnson, MIAP$18CBSSports.com (White)
59Heath Bell, MIAP$18FanDuel.com
75Neil Walker, PIT2B$18Mastersball.com
87Carlos Marmol, CHCP$18RotoRob
77Gio Gonzalez, WASP$18RotoRob
122Cory Luebke, SDP$18RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
63John Axford, MILP$18RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
101Angel Pagan, SFOF$17CBSSports.com (Melchior)
106Martin Prado, ATLOF$17CBSSports.com (White)
88Ian Desmond, WASSS$17FanDuel.com
73Joel Hanrahan, PITP$17Mastersball.com
102Carlos Beltran, STLOF$17Patton & Co
44Gaby Sanchez, MIA1B$17Razzball
79Danny Espinosa, WAS2B$17RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
45Tommy Hanson, ATLP$17RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
12J.J. Putz, ARIP$16CBSSports.com (White)
97Rafael Betancourt, COLP$16RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
69Jordan Zimmermann, WASP$16RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
92Ryan Roberts, ARI3B$15CBSSports.com (Melchior)
71Yadier Molina, STLC$15CBSSports.com (Melchior)
141John Mayberry, PHIOF$15CBSSports.com (White)
38Daniel Murphy, NYM1B$15FanDuel.com
84Jason Motte, STLP$15Mastersball.com
65Melky Cabrera, SFOF$15Mastersball.com
85Chris Carpenter, STLP$15OptimalBaseball.com
81Jose Tabata, PITOF$15Patton & Co
128Wilson Ramos, WASC$15RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
131Frank Francisco, NYMP$15RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
116Jose Altuve, HOU2B$15RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
136Jaime Garcia, STLP$14FanDuel.com
121Carlos Lee, HOUOF$14FanDuel.com
120Huston Street, SDP$14OptimalBaseball.com
36Adam LaRoche, WAS1B$14OptimalBaseball.com
26Ryan Howard, PHI1B$14OptimalBaseball.com
95Dexter Fowler, COLOF$14Patton & Co
27James Loney, LAD1B$14Patton & Co
113Anibal Sanchez, MIAP$14Razzball
172Jhoulys Chacin, COLP$14RotoRob
132David Freese, STL3B$14RotoRob
107Chase Headley, SD3B$13Patton & Co
91Aaron Hill, ARI2B$13Razzball
140Jed Lowrie, HOUSS$13RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
54Brian Wilson, SFP$13RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
135Mat Gamel, MIL3B$13RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
24Jonathan Lucroy, MILC$12FakeTeams.com
78Brandon Belt, SFOF$12OptimalBaseball.com
117Johnny Cueto, CINP$12Patton & Co
133Zack Cozart, CINSS$11CBSSports.com (Melchior)
93Stephen Drew, ARISS$11FanDuel.com
108Ramon Hernandez, COLC$11OptimalBaseball.com
152Shaun Marcum, MILP$11Patton & Co
149Will Venable, SDOF$11Patton & Co
124Geovany Soto, CHCC$11Razzball
94Javy Guerra, LADP$11Razzball
162Bud Norris, HOUP$11RotoRob
125Carlos Quentin, SDOF$10CBSSports.com (Melchior)
103Alex Presley, PITOF$10Mastersball.com
99Yonder Alonso, SDOF$10OptimalBaseball.com
80Marco Scutaro, COLSS$10OptimalBaseball.com
50Aubrey Huff, SF1B$10OptimalBaseball.com
42Brett Myers, HOUP$10OptimalBaseball.com
111Jason Kubel, ARIOF$10Razzball
66Trevor Cahill, ARIP$10Razzball
210Bryan LaHair, CHCOF$10RotoRob
153J.D. Martinez, HOUOF$10RotoRob
86Devin Mesoraco, CINC$10RotoRob
147Chipper Jones, ATL3B$9FakeTeams.com
146Ian Stewart, CHC3B$9FanDuel.com
137Andres Torres, NYMOF$9OptimalBaseball.com
123John Buck, MIAC$9OptimalBaseball.com
180Chad Billingsley, LADP$9Patton & Co
126Carlos Ruiz, PHIC$9Patton & Co
213Jordan Schafer, HOUOF$9RotoRob
206Jason Bartlett, SDSS$9RotoRob
145Jason Bay, NYMOF$9RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
134Tyler Pastornicky, ATLSS$9RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
176Ryan Dempster, CHCP$8CBSSports.com (Melchior)
127Kenley Jansen, LADP$8CBSSports.com (Melchior)
112Wandy Rodriguez, HOUP$8CBSSports.com (White)
144Jimmy Paredes, HOU3B$8Mastersball.com
130Vance Worley, PHIP$8Patton & Co
251Luke Gregerson, SDP$8Razzball
169Jair Jurrjens, ATLP$8RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
119Todd Helton, COL1B$8RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
138Wilin Rosario, COLC$7Baseball HQ
182Jonny Venters, ATLP$7FakeTeams.com
181Garrett Jones, PITOF$7FakeTeams.com
139Rafael Furcal, STLSS$7FakeTeams.com
142Marlon Byrd, CHCOF$7Patton & Co
189Nick Hundley, SDC$7RotoRob
187Allen Craig, STLOF$6CBSSports.com (Melchior)
159Mike Minor, ATLP$6CBSSports.com (Melchior)
186Tim Stauffer, SDP$6FakeTeams.com
115Chris Heisey, CINOF$6FakeTeams.com
105Johan Santana, NYMP$6Mastersball.com
150Edinson Volquez, SDP$6OptimalBaseball.com
195Ted Lilly, LADP$6Patton & Co
114Alfonso Soriano, CHCOF$6Patton & Co
217Clint Barmes, PITSS$6Razzball
178Pedro Alvarez, PIT3B$6RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
129Jonathon Niese, NYMP$6RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
192Edwin Jackson, WASP$5Baseball HQ
184Nyjer Morgan, MILOF$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
170Jon Jay, STLOF$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
143Homer Bailey, CINP$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
205Rod Barajas, PITC$5CBSSports.com (White)
168Mark Ellis, LAD2B$5FakeTeams.com
161Tim Hudson, ATLP$5FakeTeams.com
151David DeJesus, CHCOF$5FakeTeams.com
154A.J. Burnett, PITP$5Mastersball.com
6Bryce Harper, WASOF$5OptimalBaseball.com
157Mark Buehrle, MIAP$5Patton & Co
118Tony Campana, CHCOF$5Razzball
198Tyler Greene, STL2B$5RotoRob
158Brett Wallace, HOU1B$4CBSSports.com (Melchior)
248Taylor Green, MIL2B$4CBSSports.com (White)
183Aroldis Chapman, CINP$4FakeTeams.com
204Mike Leake, CINP$4FanDuel.com
174Chris Capuano, LADP$4OptimalBaseball.com
160Ty Wigginton, PHI3B$4OptimalBaseball.com
227Brett Jackson, CHCOF$4Razzball
175Juan Nicasio, COLP$4Razzball
167Ryan Hanigan, CINC$4Razzball
163Ricky Nolasco, MIAP$4Razzball
244Juan Rivera, LADOF$4RotoRob
220Nolan Arenado, COL3B$4RotoRob
188Omar Infante, MIA2B$4RotoRob
185Carlos Zambrano, MIAP$4RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
202Tyler Clippard, WASP$3CBSSports.com (Melchior)
208Jason Bourgeois, HOUOF$3CBSSports.com (White)
199Ryan Ludwick, CINOF$3CBSSports.com (White)
173R.A. Dickey, NYMP$3CBSSports.com (White)
203Erik Bedard, PITP$3FanDuel.com
200Jason Castro, HOUC$3FanDuel.com
225Brian Bogusevic, HOUOF$3Mastersball.com
212Chris Snyder, HOUC$3Mastersball.com
156Josh Collmenter, ARIP$3Mastersball.com
148Jesus Guzman, SD1B$3Mastersball.com
171Orlando Hudson, SD2B$3Patton & Co
164Josh Thole, NYMC$3Patton & Co
193Alex Gonzalez, MILSS$3Razzball
166Ryan Vogelsong, SFP$3RotoRob
233Drew Pomeranz, COLP$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
221Nate Schierholtz, SFOF$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
197Ruben Tejada, NYM2B$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
229Freddy Sanchez, SF2B$3RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
201A.J. Ellis, LADC$3RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
207Sean Marshall, CINP$2Baseball HQ
237Darwin Barney, CHC2B$2CBSSports.com (Melchior)
219Randy Wolf, MILP$2CBSSports.com (White)
211Casey Blake, COL3B$2CBSSports.com (White)
165Placido Polanco, PHI3B$2CBSSports.com (White)
236Juan Uribe, LAD3B$2FakeTeams.com
209David Ross, ATLC$2FakeTeams.com
194Anthony Rizzo, CHC1B$2FakeTeams.com
179Jeremy Guthrie, COLP$2FakeTeams.com
177Dillon Gee, NYMP$2FakeTeams.com
245Scott Rolen, CIN3B$2Mastersball.com
218Brandon Crawford, SFSS$2Mastersball.com
190Roy Oswalt, PHIP$2OptimalBaseball.com
191Aaron Harang, LADP$2Razzball
240Sergio Romo, SFP$2RotoRob
216Fernando Salas, STLP$2RotoRob
235Jerry Sands, LADOF$2RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
261Kyle Lohse, STLP$2RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
276Adam Kennedy, LAD1B$1Baseball HQ
275Derrek Lee, PIT1B$1Baseball HQ
274Daniel Descalso, STL3B$1Baseball HQ
273Paul Maholm, CHCP$1Baseball HQ
272Domonic Brown, PHIOF$1Baseball HQ
271Matt Belisle, COLP$1Baseball HQ
269Skip Schumaker, STL2B$1Baseball HQ
265Nate McLouth, PITOF$1Baseball HQ
260Chris Coghlan, MIAOF$1Baseball HQ
254Jeff Karstens, PITP$1Baseball HQ
223Edward Mujica, MIAP$1Baseball HQ
246Clayton Richard, SDP$1CBSSports.com (Melchior)
224Tim Federowicz, LADC$1CBSSports.com (Melchior)
238David Hernandez, ARIP$1CBSSports.com (White)
226Jorge De La Rosa, COLP$1CBSSports.com (White)
214Welington Castillo, CHCC$1CBSSports.com (White)
268Jesus Flores, WASC$1FanDuel.com
263Casey McGehee, PIT3B$1FanDuel.com
258Kyle Blanks, SDOF$1FanDuel.com
252Charlie Morton, PITP$1FanDuel.com
243Carlos Gomez, MILOF$1FanDuel.com
232Francisco Rodriguez, MILP$1FanDuel.com
196Barry Zito, SFP$1FanDuel.com
266Shelby Miller, STLP$1Mastersball.com
255Eric Surkamp, SFP$1Mastersball.com
247Roger Bernadina, WASOF$1Mastersball.com
257Ryan Theriot, SFSS$1OptimalBaseball.com
250Brad Lincoln, PITP$1OptimalBaseball.com
228James McDonald, PITP$1OptimalBaseball.com
242Joe Blanton, PHIP$1Patton & Co
231Jordan Lyles, HOUP$1Patton & Co
241Chris Narveson, MILP$1Razzball
230Gerardo Parra, ARIOF$1Razzball
234Randall Delgado, ATLP$1RotoRob
222Rex Brothers, COLP$1RotoRob
264Tyler Colvin, COLOF$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
259Mike Nickeas, NYMC$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
253Jordan Pacheco, COL1B$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
270Chris Johnson, HOU3B$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
267Norichika Aoki, MILOF$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
262Juan Pierre, PHIOF$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
256Willie Bloomquist, ARISS$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
249John Lannan, WASP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
239Joe Saunders, ARIP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
215Mike Pelfrey, NYMP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
155Bronson Arroyo, CINP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)

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Player News
Cardinals' Kolten Wong 'getting more comfortable' leading off
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:32 am ET) Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong is 8 for 19 with three walks in his last five games, which have all come with him slotted in the leadoff spot.

"I’m definitely getting more comfortable," Wong said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I’m starting to realize what kind of hitter I am. I understand that I can see some pitches and still be comfortable going deep into at-bats. Before, I kind of panicked leading off because I wasn’t someone who was comfortable taking pitches. Now I know I can still drive balls, no matter what the count. It just takes time. Leadoff isn’t an easy place to hit at. It’s all about learning and understanding how to hit leadoff and then buying into it."

The lineup change as pushed third baseman Matt Carpenter to the No. 2 spot, a move he sees as positive for the offense.

"I think we’re a better offense with him hitting leadoff and me hitting in the second spot," Carpenter said. "He just needed to develop as a hitter, and we’re seeing what he’s been able to become — a guy that can have tough at-bats. That’s the key to what a leadoff (hitter) is. It’s not giving away at-bats. And he hasn’t given away at-bats all year."

Wong's recent hot stretch gives him a .315/.369/.469 line with five home runs and 22 RBI in 162 at-bats.


Orioles 1B Chris Davis not in starting lineup Monday
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:26 am ET) Slumping first baseman Chris Davis is not in the Orioles' starting lineup Monday, the first time this season Davis has not started a game in which he was eligible. 

Davis did not start on Opening Day, which was the last game of the 25-game suspension he incurred last season for violating MLB's drug policy. 

Davis has been in a prolonged slump this season, and with the Astros starting tough left-hander Dallas Keuchel, it seemed as good as day as any to give Davis a day off. 

Steve Pearce gets the start at first base, while Everth Cabrera is in the lineup for the second straight day, this time at second base. 


Mets' Collins: Jacob deGrom on innings limit
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:25 am ET) Mets manager Terry Collins said Monday that pitcher Jacob deGrom is on an innings limit this season, The Star-Ledger reports.

deGrom threw 178 1/3 innings last season, with a majority of them coming in the majors during his Rookie of the Year campaign. He's up to 55 2/3 innings this season through nine starts and owns a 2.75 ERA and 54:13 K:BB ratio.

Collins also spoke about his plans to use a six-man rotation, saying that he told his pitchers it was to keep them fresh late in the year.


C Drew Butera gets nod behind the plate for Royals
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:18 am ET) Catcher Drew Butera will make his third start for the Royals on Monday since being acquired from the Angels, starting against the Yankees and hitting ninth. 

Butera's last start came on May 14 and he's seen just two plate appearances since then. He has two hits in eight at-bats with the Royals. 

Second baseman Omar Infante is the only Royals starter with experience against Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, with two hits in three at-bats. 


Rockies' Charlie Blackmon, Troy Tulowitzki out of lineup Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:18 am ET) Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are out of the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Reds.

Blackmon will get a break after starting 12 straight games, and Brandon Barnes will man both center field and the leadoff spot in the lineup. Tulowitzki is sitting for the second time in three games and will be replaced by Daniel Descalso, who's batting eighth.

The Rockies are underdogs (+132) on Monday, per VegasInsider.com.


Reds move Votto, Frazier, Bruce up in order Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:14 am ET) The Reds have shifted the heart of their order up, with first baseman Joey Votto batting second, third baseman Todd Frazier batting third and right fielder Jay Bruce batting fourth on Monday against the Rockies.

The Reds have tried a multitude of options in the No. 2 spot after moving Votto out of it on April 26, but they'll go with Votto, Frazier and Bruce in the second, third and fourth positions for just the second time this season, with former cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips batting leadoff.

The Reds are favorites (-140) against the Rockies on Monday, per VegasInsider.com.


Royals SP Danny Duffy (biceps) headed to 15-day DL
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:11 am ET) The Royals announced Monday that they have placed starter Danny Duffy on the 15-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis and recalled Brandon Finnegan to take his spot on the roster. 

Duffy's move was retroactive to May 17, meaning he can come off the disabled list on June 1. Duffy complained of shoulder stiffness on Friday and he was scratched from his Saturday start and pushed to Tuesday. 

With Duffy headed to the DL, Jason Vargas will start Tuesday's game against the Yankees. 


Reds' Billy Hamilton back in lineup Monday vs. Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton is back in the starting lineup and batting ninth in Monday's matchup with the Rockies.

Hamilton suffered shoulder and wrist injuries on a slide on Saturday and was held out of Sunday's game, but it appears the issue was minor. He has hit .211/.256/.322 with three home runs, nine RBI and a league-high 17 stolen bases in 152 at-bats.

It's the first time this season manager Bryan Price has batted the pitcher eighth. The Reds are favorites (-140) on Monday, per VegasInsider.com.


2B Jose Altuve returns to Astros lineup
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:03 am ET) After missing his first game of the season and his first in 88 starts, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is back in the lineup for Monday's matinee against the Orioles, hitting second. 

Altuve has had some success against Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen, going 4-for-10 with two RBIs against the pitcher. 

Altuve is hitting second behind leadoff man George Springer, who will get his second consective start at the top of the lineup, the first two times all year the right fielder has hit leadoff. 


Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe raising average
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:54 am ET) Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe responded to a minor skid with a solid week that saw him raise his batting average by 11 points, as he picked up at least one hit in five of his last six contests. 

Plouffe is now hitting .265 on the year with six homers and 22 RBIs, and he's done much of his damage at pitcher-friendly Target Field, where he's registered five of his longballs and 17 of his RBIs. 


 
 
 
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