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Top 70 starters for Week 12

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Fantasy Week 11 was something like a horror movie for pitchers and their Fantasy owners. Injuries knocked out three-fifths of the Blue Jays' starting rotation in a five-day span, and by the weekend, only Ricky Romero and Henderson Alvarez had survived the onslaught. Then Josh Beckett was taken down by shoulder inflammation and placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. Bud Norris (knee) had a start skipped this weekend, while Brandon Beachy (elbow) left his Saturday outing against the Orioles early, and he may be headed for some DL time as well.

These developments thinned out the pool of viable starters for Fantasy Week 12 (June 18-24), but there may be some quality reinforcements on the way. Jered Weaver (back) and Roy Oswalt could both get called into action this coming week, though neither makes the top 70 starters list, as their return is no sure thing.

Here are the 70 starters who are still healthy enough and good enough to start in standard mixed leagues in Week 12.

Starting Rotation breakdown for Fantasy Week 12
Rank Player Start 1 Start 2 Stat of note
1 Matt Cain @LAA (Williams) @OAK (McCarthy) 11 percent swinging strike rate, last six starts
Cain's perfecto was just the latest in a string of dominant starts.
2 Justin Verlander STL (Lynn) @PIT (Correia) Opponents' .157 batting average on grounders
With a shaky infield behind him, it's unclear how Verlander gets as many groundouts as he does, but he beat similar odds last season, too.
3 CC Sabathia ATL (Minor) @NYM (Dickey) .345 BABIP, last six starts
Sabathia's ERA has been inching up over the past month, but he has been missing bats as well as ever. A few too many hit balls have been finding the gaps.
4 Cole Hamels COL (Outman) TB (Price) 14 percent home run per flyball ratio, last four starts
Hamels' home run rate has been doing some regressing to the mean, but during his recent slump, the law of averages has been overcompensating.
5 David Price @WAS (Wang) @PHI (Hamels) 4 HRs allowed in 41 road innings
Price has been worse on the road than at home, but homers haven't hurt him away from pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field.
6 R.A. Dickey BAL (Arrieta) NYY (Sabathia) No earned runs, last 34 innings
Dickey's scoreless inning streak came to an end in Wednesday's one-hitter at the Rays, but his string of innings without an earned run is intact.
7 Clayton Kershaw @OAK (Parker) N/A .381 BABIP, last four starts
Kershaw's recent strikeout and popup rates have been sensational, so the biggest factor in his disappointing WHIP and ERA has been apparent bad luck on balls in play.
8 Cliff Lee TB (Shields) N/A No starts fewer than six innings
Though Lee was underwhelming on Saturday against the Blue Jays, he is practically a lock to pitch well enough to win (even though he hasn't yet).
9 Stephen Strasburg TB (Hellickson) N/A Opponents' .287 SLG vs. lefties
Strasburg has been especially tough against left-handers, and that will come in handy when facing a lefty-heavy Rays lineup.
10 Jake Peavy CHC (Garza) MIL (Wolf) 4.05 home ERA
It helps that Peavy is facing the offensively-challenged Cubs, but he still ranks a few notches lower than he would otherwise because his starts come at U.S. Cellular Field.
11 Ian Kennedy CHC (Maholm) N/A 11 percent swinging strike rate
Kennedy's whiff rate is up by two percentage points this year, so if he can get his called strike rate to rebound, owners could enjoy a bonanza of Ks.
12 Zack Greinke @CHW (Quintana) N/A 3.00 ERA vs. CHW since 2009
Greinke got rocked by the Sox often earlier in his career, but he has been solid against his former divisional foes over his last seven starts.
13 Lance Lynn @DET (Verlander) @KC (Sanchez) 2.32 road ERA
Lynn's sparkling stats aren't a product of Busch Stadium; he's actually allowed earned runs at a lower rate in his away games.
14 Madison Bumgarner @OAK (Colon) N/A 70 percent strikes thrown, last five starts
Owners have benefited from a recent surge in strikeouts, but they are also getting treated to some elite-level control.
15 Dan Haren SF (Vogelsong) N/A 48 percent flyball rate, last four starts
Haren has had some trouble keeping the ball down lately, but that shouldn't hurt him much against the Giants.
16 Chris Sale CHC (Dempster) N/A Eight quality starts in 12 tries
Sale got clobbered by the Dodgers on Friday, but it was the first time all season that he had allowed more than three runs.
17 C.J. Wilson SF (Zito) N/A 80 percent strand rate
Sure, Wilson leads the AL in ERA, but he doesn't rank higher on this list because he's unlikely to strand so many runners going forward.
18 Josh Johnson TOR (Cecil) N/A 2.70 ERA, last seven starts
Quietly, Johnson has rounded back into ace form over the past five weeks.
19 Matt Garza @CHW (Peavy) @ARI (Miley) 1.00 WHIP, last three starts
Garza has had some bouts of wildness and getting hit hard, but now he seems to be settling in.
20 Felix Hernandez @SD (Richard) N/A .415 BABIP. last six starts
Like Sabathia and Kershaw, Hernandez is yet another ace who has underwhelmed his owners, though largely through no fault of his own.
21 Yovani Gallardo TOR (Villanueva) N/A 14 BBs over last 38 1/3 innings
Gallardo's control was erratic early on this season, but over the past month, his walk rate has been more respectable.
22 Gio Gonzalez TB (Moore) N/A 62 percent strikes thrown
Gonzalez's strike-throwing rate is still mediocre, but it's a step forward from his days in Oakland.
23 James McDonald MIN (Hendriks) N/A 18 percent ground ball rate, last three starts
McDonald's flyball tendencies will get the better of him eventually, but he has the good fortune of getting a home start against the majors' least flyball-prone lineup.
24 Mat Latos @CLE (Lowe) MIN (Diamond) Opponents' .239 Avg, last eight starts
Latos has been much harder to hit since April, and if he can slow down Trevor Plouffe, he could get a week off from the long ball.
25 Adam Wainwright @KC (Mendoza) N/A 3.6 percent popup rate
Wainwright's rate stats look much like those from his two most recent seasons, but a dearth of easy flyouts is helping to keep his WHIP elevated.
26 Matt Moore @WAS (Gonzalez) N/A 1.06 WHIP, last six starts
Moore is starting to look scary-good, as is evidenced by a low WHIP that has withstood a mediocre walk rate.
27 Clay Buchholz MIA (Buehrle) ATL (Minor) 28 Ks, 6 BBs over last 31 innings
Buchholz isn't throwing many more strikes in recent starts, but he is getting far more whiffs, and that's making a huge difference in his results.
28 Daniel Hudson SEA (Ramirez) N/A 2 HRs allowed over last 29 1/3 innings
Despite weak ground ball tendencies, Hudson has a history of avoiding homers, and he's at it again after a rocky beginning this year.
29 Anibal Sanchez TOR (Romero) N/A 3.34 home xFIP (per Fangraphs.com)
Sanchez's 4.60 ERA at Marlins Park doesn't look impressive, but give him a normal strand rate, and his results there would look just fine.
30 James Shields @PHI (Lee) N/A Opponents' .244 road Avg
Strangely, Shields has been hittable at the Trop so far this year, but he has been able to keep batters in check on the road.
31 Andy Pettitte @NYM (Niese) N/A 8.5 K/9
Pettitte's strikeout rate has been a pleasant surprise, and it could grow further with a matchup against a Mets team that is piling up the Ks.
32 Matt Harrison @SD (Marquis) COL (Outman) Opponents' .290 SLG, last five starts
Harrison wasn't getting grounders consistently earlier in the season, but now he seems to be building on the gains he made last year.
33 Johan Santana BAL (Hunter) N/A 56 percent strikes thrown, last two starts
Santana has had problems finding the strike zone in his starts since his no-no. While it's a small sample, the magnitude of the problem is at least a mild concern.
34 Johnny Cueto MIN (Manship) N/A 51 percent ground ball rate
Earlier in the season, it looked like Cueto's high grounder rate in 2011 might have been a one-shot deal, but he's recaptured his form.
35 Jon Lester ATL (Beachy) N/A 10 percent swinging strike rate (entering Sat.)
After struggling to get whiffs earlier in the season, Lester now has his rate just above last year's level.
36 Brandon McCarthy LAD (Harang) SF (Cain) 3.45 P/PA
McCarthy has been even more efficient this year than last year, so as long as his shoulder holds up, he should avoid early exits.
37 Vance Worley COL (Francis) N/A .362 home BABIP
There is nothing alarming about Worley's batted ball and strikeout rates at Citizens Bank Park, so his 4.30 ERA and 1.52 WHIP at home look like bad-luck flukes.
38 Yu Darvish @SD (Bass) N/A 3 ERs or fewer allowed in 10 of 13 starts
Darvish walks too many hitters, but in spite of that, he hasn't had many meltdowns.
39 Shaun Marcum TOR (Chavez) N/A 20 percent called strike rate since May 1
Marcum isn't getting as many whiffs lately, but he has made up for it by getting hitters to look at strikes at a higher rate.
40 Doug Fister @PIT (Burnett) N/A 66 percent strikes thrown, Sat. vs. COL
Fister's control was just a bit below his usual standards before his DL stint, but in his first start back, he was in top form.
41 Wade Miley SEA (Noesi) CHC (Garza) Opponents' .190 Avg on grounders
Miley and Trevor Cahill are Arizona's premier ground ball specialists, and both are giving up hits on grounders at a low rate.
42 Jordan Zimmermann @BAL (Hammel) N/A 53 percent ground ball rate (entering Sat.)
No longer a flyball pitcher, it was just a matter of time before Zimmermann slowed down his homer pace; he held the Yankees homerless on Saturday.
43 Wandy Rodriguez KC (Hochevar) N/A 3.86 interleague ERA since 2011
Rodriguez has performed decently against AL opponents going back to last year, and the Royals have scored fewer runs than any other AL team in 2012.
44 A.J. Burnett DET (Fister) N/A Fewer than six innings in two of last five starts
Burnett has been on a roll, but a couple of short outings shows that he still may not be a reliable source of innings in points leagues.
45 Jeff Samardzija @ARI (Saunders) N/A 4.1 K/BB ratio vs. righties (entering Sat.)
Samardzija's command has been far stronger against right-handed hitters, and that should serve him well against the Diamondbacks.
46 Jerome Williams SF (Cain) LAD (Harang) 3 HRs allowed over last 40 2/3 innings
A Juan Rivera tater ruined Williams' most recent start, but in general, you don't have to worry about him getting taken out of the park.
47 Jeremy Hellickson @WAS (Strasburg) N/A 14 percent line drive rate, last two starts
Shaky command has gotten Hellickson into trouble his last two times out, but when hitters make contact off him, they rarely hit him hard.
48 Ryan Dempster @CHW (Sale) N/A .167 BABIP, last three starts
Dempster is on an impressive run, not allowing a run in any of his last three outings, but he has allowed a lot of contact and escaped due to some good fortune.
49 Ryan Vogelsong @LAA (Haren) N/A 1.31 interleague ERA since 2011
Vogelsong has been just so-so on the road this year, but given the Angels' pitcher-friendly park and a recent history of success against AL foes, Vogelsong should be safe to use.
50 Trevor Cahill SEA (Vargas) N/A 1.78 ERA, last five starts
Cahill has skated through a series of favorable recent matchups, and the Mariners are yet another club that has struggled at the plate, especially over the last couple of weeks.
51 Chris Capuano @LAA (Richards) N/A 14 percent line drive rate
Capuano has been surprisingly wild lately, but all season long he has kept his WHIP low by avoiding liners.
52 Justin Masterson CIN (Arroyo) N/A 10 straight starts of six innings or more
Despite not being a big strike-thrower, Masterson is highly efficient, so he is giving his owners innings on a consistent basis.
53 Felix Doubront MIA (Nolasco) N/A 16 BBs over last 47 1/3 innings
Doubront consistently posted subpar walk rates in the upper minors, so his recent 3.0 BB/9 rate is a nice bonus for his owners.
54 Mark Buehrle @BOS (Buchholz) TOR (Alvarez) 6.7 innings per start
Being an innings-eater is nothing new for Buehrle, but he is living up to his reputation in Miami.
55 Tim Hudson @NYY (Kuroda) N/A .204 flyball BABIP
The Braves' pitching staff has been the best in the NL at preventing in-the-park flyball base hits, but Hudson hasn't benefited from the incredible range of his outfielders. Though he's a groundball guru, his hit rate should improve going forward.
56 Colby Lewis COL (Guthrie) N/A 2.33 home ERA
Lewis has gotten by with a surprisingly high strand rate in home starts, but his success could stretch for one more start against a Rockies team that doesn't hit well on the road.
57 Tommy Hanson @NYY (Hughes) N/A 1.1 HR/9 rate since 2011
Hanson has seen the benefit of the aforementioned superb Braves outfield defense, but he's a big risk to have the ball leave the park altogether at Yankee Stadium.
58 Hiroki Kuroda ATL (Hudson) N/A 22 Ks over last 28 innings
It looked as if Kuroda was becoming a contact pitcher, but his K-rate is starting to inch up again.
59 Scott Diamond @PIT (Correia) @CIN (Latos) 62 percent ground ball rate
Diamond's minor league grounder rates hovered around 50 percent, but if he can somehow keep this up, he'll be useful in standard mixed leagues at least as often as not.
60 Dillon Gee BAL (Matusz) N/A 65 percent strikes thrown
Gee had been a reliable strike-thrower in the minors, but this season he's setting the bar even higher.
61 Max Scherzer @PIT (Lincoln) N/A 10 BBs over last 16 1/3 innings
Scherzer is going through one of his patented wild spells, but this week he will face one the majors' least selective teams, the Pirates.
62 Ricky Romero @MIA (Sanchez) N/A 5 BBs over last 23 innings
Romero's overall results haven't been great lately, but his control has been much better over his last four starts.
63 Jonathon Niese NYY (Pettitte) N/A 41 Ks over last 35 2/3 innings
Niese's strikeout rate had been creeping upward over the last two seasons, and now he is a bona-fide source of Ks in Fantasy.
64 Jason Hammel WAS (Zimmermann) N/A 0.91 ground ball-to-flyball ratio, last six starts (entering Sat.)
Hammel hadn't been getting grounders like he was earlier this year, though Saturday's one-hitter could represent a turning point.
65 Edwin Jackson @BAL (Chen) N/A 14 percent line drive rate
Jackson probably won't maintain such a low liner rate all season, but at least we can be reassured that last season's 25 percent rate was not a sign of more trouble to come.
66 Ivan Nova @NYM (Young) N/A 7.8 runs of support per nine innings
Even the Yankees probably can't give Nova this much support over a full season, but with a 3.92 road ERA, Nova can win this week, even with a little less backing.
67 Nate Eovaldi @OAK (Milone) N/A 89 percent strand rate
Eovaldi is clearly lucky to have a sub-2.00 ERA, but with a mid-90s heater than has the potential to generate whiffs and grounders, he's becoming a standard mixed league option.
68 Aaron Harang @OAK (McCarthy) @LAA (Williams) 0.7 HR/9
Harang is not exactly known for his ability to keep the ball in the park, but with starts in Oakland and Anaheim, he could have a five-game homerless streak by the end of the week.
69 Bronson Arroyo @CLE (Masterson) N/A 67 percent strikes thrown
The Indians are one of the best teams in the majors at drawing walks, but with his pinpoint control, Arroyo can take away one of their main weapons.
70 Francisco Liriano @PIT (Bedard) N/A Opponents' .247 SLG, last four starts
Liriano continues to be wild, but he's been effectively so, as he has been avoiding hard contact since returning to the rotation.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Rangers' Josh Hamilton to play left field when activated
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:02 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to play left field on Monday when he is activated, manager Jeff Banister said on Sunday per the Dallas Morning News.

"We're going to open our arms and give him a great big hug and welcome him," Banister said of Hamilton. "And then we're going to treat him like he's one of 25, just like we do with everybody else."

Hamilton is expected to bat in the middle of the order, most likely fifth behind Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. 

"We want him to come in and be one of the guys, enjoy the game," Beltre said. "We know what we can do. We don't expect him to come in and carry the offense. That's not going to be his job. With the guys we have, he doesn't have to do that."


Mariners 2B Robinson Cano working through struggles
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7:55 pm ET) Robinson Cano is one of the game's best players, but he's been embroiled in a season-long slump for the Mariners, one that has seen his usually solid batting average dip to .247. Cano told MLB.com that he has "no excuses" for his slow start. 

Cano went 0-for-11 in the Mariners' three-game series at Toronto, and Sunday, twice hit into double plays to kill potential big innings for Seattle. 

"I don't know. I feel good. I'm swinging at good balls," Cano said. "I think it's just more just missing my pitches, pitches right down the middle that I've been hitting for foul balls. There's no excuses for that. I'm just struggling."

Cano's on-base percentage is .290, below his career average of .356. 

"The last thing I want to do is hang my head. It's a long season," he said. "And hopefully it'll turn soon."


Padres' Will Middlebrooks hits fifth HR of season
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:40 pm ET) Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks hit a solo home run to left center field in the top of the third inning of Sunday afternoon's 11-3 victory over the Dodgers. 

The homer was Middlebrooks' fifth of the season. He's now slashing .218/.255/.376.

Middlebrooks finished the game 2 for 5 and also had a single. It's his third two-hit showing in his past five games. In this span, Middlebrooks is hitting .316. 


Padres OF Justin Upton hits grand slam against Dodgers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) There is a clear reason why the Padres have Justin Upton hitting cleanup. 

In the first inning of Sunday's 11-3 win over the Dodgers, Upton hit a grand slam. Dodgers pitcher Carlos Frias loaded the bases and Upton cleared them with a deep shot to center field on a 2-2 pitch. 

This helped set the tempo of San Diego's barrage of hits and runs for the day. 

Upton finished the game 2 for 4 with six RBI. He also hit a two-run double in the second inning. Upton now has 35 RBI for the season. 

Upton is now slashing .284/.343/.562. 


SS Jose Reyes in Blue Jays clubhouse, expected off DL Monday
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7:34 pm ET) Jose Reyes was in the Blue Jays' clubhouse after their victory over Seattle on Sunday, a positive sign that the shortstop will indeed come off the disabled list Monday, per the Associated Press

Reyes, who has been sidelined since April 27 with a rib injury, played in three rehab games at Triple-A Buffalo over the weekend, setting the stage for his return. 

In 60 games this season, Reyes is hitting .250/.266/.300 with three stolen bases.


Padres' Will Venable, Cory Spangenberg combine for 7 hits
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:27 pm ET) As a team, the Padres posted 20 hits in Sunday afternoon's 11-3 win over the Dodgers. 

Outfielder Will Venable and infielder Cory Spangenberg combined for seven of those hits in the win. Venable went 4 for 5 and scored three runs while Spangenberg went 3 for 5 with one run scored. 

Despite the barrage of hits and runs, neither recorded an RBI. 

For Venable, this marked the first time this season and the ninth time in his career that he's recorded four hits in a game. Venable now has a slash line of .292/.354/.472. 

This is the second time Spangenberg has recorded a three-hit game. He's slashing .236/.296/.371. 


Dodgers' Alex Guerrero hits homer in loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:19 pm ET) Dodgers third baseman Alex Guerrero blasted a two-run homer in the seventh inning of Sunday afternoon's 11-3 loss to the Padres. 

Guerrero took a 1-0 pitch deep to center field for the home run off of Padres pitcher James Shields. Guerrero finished the day 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. Guerrero is slashing .300/.329/.638 for the season but is only hitting a batting average of .235 in his last five games. 


Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt blasts 12th home run of the year
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:17 pm ET) Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 3 at the plate in Arizona's 4-3 win over the Cubs on Sunday.

Goldschmidt did his damage in the third inning when he blasted a two-run shot off of Jason Hammel to deep center field, his 12th of the season. Goldschmidt continues to tear up pitching early in the season and is now hitting .333 with 38 RBI in 156 at-bats. 


Cubs LF Chris Coghlan blasts seventh home run of the season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:14 pm ET) Cubs left fielder Chris Coghlan went 1 for 2 at the plate in Chicago's 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Coghlan did his damage in the fifth inning when he took a Jeremy Hellickson pitch to deep right field for a two-run shot, his seventh of the season. Coghlan is now hitting .208 with 11 RBI in 125 at-bats this year.


Dodgers P Carlos Frias gives up 10 runs in lopsided loss
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:14 pm ET) Dodgers pitcher Carlos Frias had an afternoon to forget. 

In four innings of work, Frias was rocked for 10 earned runs in Sunday afternoon's 11-3 loss to the Padres. He was unable to strike out anybody and walked two batters. 

Frias had been having a solid season until this game. In four previous starts and two relief appearances, Frias had only allowed a total of seven earned runs while striking out 19 batters. Twelve of San Diego's 20 hits came against Frias. 

This disastrous game ballooned his ERA from 2.55 to 5.34 for the season. 

Frias' next start is projected for Saturday against the Cardinals. 


 
 
 
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