In case you missed it, MLB reset it's divisions and now there are 15 teams in the NL and 15 in the AL. Sounds like a good thing to even up each league, right? Well it may be except for one aspect of the game. Since there are an uneven number of clubs in both league guess what? Interleague play will be rampant in 2014. For the 2014 season, here is how the matchups break down.

NL East and AL West
NL West and AL Central
NL Central and AL East

All teams will play 20 interleague games.

Instead of like years past though when there were weeks and weekends of interleague play, the unbalanced schedule has forced MLB to do something different this year – that is keep interleague play going all year long.

Given that each team will play 20 interleague games, and that there are 30 teams, that means there will be 600 interleague team games. Since each game has two teams in it, we're really looking at 300 interleague games being played this season. Since the MLB season is 180 days long, that's an average of 1.67 interleague games a day. Yep, every day.

That means you will need to monitor each week which teams are playing in an AL city and therefore being able to avail themselves of a designated hitter, and which teams will be playing in NL cities and therefore be unable to deploy an additional slugger.

Let's take a look at some key matchups for Week 2 of the MLB season (April 7-April 13) and how that might effect your fantasy lineup next week.

Monday, April 7
Chicago White Sox at Colorado
San Diego at Cleveland

Tuesday, April 8
Chicago White Sox at Colorado
San Diego at Cleveland
Detroit at LA Dodgers

Wednesday, April 9
Chicago White Sox at Colorado
San Diego at Cleveland
Detroit at LA Dodgers

WINNERS – Padres (Sort of)

The Padres will need to come up with a DH. Yasmani Grandal, Xavier Nady and Seth Smith look like the most likely to see extra work. We'd lean to Smith seeing the most work, but he's not a good hitter against lefties (career: .588 OPS) so you will have to see who is scheduled to take the hill for the Indians.

LOSERS – White Sox, Tigers

The White Sox situation will have to be closely watched since they lose the DH. Given that Jose Abreu is their shinny new toy, and has had a good start to the year, he's likely playing first base. That means Paul Konerko is most likely to be limited to pinch hitting duties. It also means the Sox outfield will become a jumbled mess. Have to think that Adam Eaton and Alejandro De Aza see a good deal of time, but Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo and Avisail Garcia need work too. This is a tough team to count on next week if you can't set your lineups daily.

We'll see just how serious the Tigers were about catching Victor Martinez. The loser is obviously Alex Avila who could see mere pinch hitting duty if V-Mart does indeed move behind the dish.


What is the Fantasy Alarm Assistant GM Product and why do you need ?

Thursday, April 10
None

Friday, April 11
Detroit at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati
NY Mets at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Saturday, April 12
Detroit at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati
NY Mets at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Sunday, April 13
Detroit at San Diego
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati
NY Mets at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

WINNERS – Padres, Mets

Maybe talk of Ike Davis hitting the bench and first base falling to Lucas Duda is a bit premature? Maybe not, but this seems like a good time for Davis to get into the lineup, does it not? With the injury to Chris Young, there is less of a reason to get Juan Lagares in as a DH – he could just play in the field or stay on the bench in case the team needs a late inning replacement in the outfield. Davis should get some work.

LOSERS – Tigers, Rays

If the Rays go with David DeJesus, Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers in the outfield that leaves Matt Joyce totally out in the cold. Of course, depending on the arm of the man on the bump, Joyce could start in the outfield and push DeJesus to the bench. Any way you slice it though, it sure seems like the outfielders won't be getting as much work as they are used too (we might not see much of Sean Rodriguez either, at least in the starting lineup).

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

From the Player News Section of Fantasy Alarm...


Report: Manager Bryan Price says Jonathan Broxton could come off the disabled list next week and would be the closer until Aroldis Chapman returns from head injury.

My Response: Unbelievable. (1) Broxton threw only 30.2 innings last season and has failed to throw 31 innings in two of the last three years. (2) His ERA was season was 4.11 and in three of the past four years the mark has been over four. (3) The last time he had a WHIP under 1.26 was 2009. (4) The last time he struck out 7.35 batters per nine innings was 2010. Oh yeah, that screams out closer. Bryan Price may not be long for the job in Cincy.

 




Comments

Joe 

Ray...the schedule changed last year.....

Ray Flowers 

DW - What are you referring to?

DW 

You know that Astros thing happened last season, right?


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

I'll be out of the office until Monday, October 27th. Have a good weekend all.