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Monday through Friday each week The Oracle will give his thoughts on the best and worst matchups of the day.
You would also be wise to bookmark the following two sources to check daily after you read this wondrous piece (I'm so afraid of giving myself props).
Fantasy Alarm Lineups
* Make sure you check out the column titled Interleague Play: Week 2 Effects. It deals with the DH/non-DH situation for the coming week.
*** NOTE II: The game between the Phillies and Brewers has already been canceled.
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Ryan Howard will hit Monday. Period. Kyle Lohse can only hope to contain him, something he's never been able to do as Howard has brutalized Lohse for a .455 average, two homers and eight RBIs in 22 at-bats. Oh wait, no he won't since the game has been postponed (the opener has been moved to Tuesday cause of a deluge coming Monday in Philadelphia). Thanks a bunch Phillies.
Yangervis Solarte is 7-for-13. He gets to play in New York. Monday. He gets to face Ubaldo as well. You can read about my concerns with the righty below.
Matt Wieters loves him some aging meat on the hill. The 27 year old is set to face the 39 year old Hiroki Kuroda Monday. Wieters has six hits in 15 at-bats (.400). Also of note, Chris Davis has struck out seven times in 18 at-bats against against Kuroda, but in the other 11 at-bats the duo has squared off Davis has gone deep twice with five RBIs and five hits.
Matt Kemp looked impressive Sunday night. That is all.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Elvis Andrus had a nice weekend, but he will be challenged to keep that going against John Lackey who has pretty much held the shortstop in check with only five hits in 28 at-bats (.179). While that is a terrible mark, it's also worth noting that Adrian Beltre has long had his struggles against the righty. In 61 at-bats he's hitting only .213 with a .627 OPS. He's also struck out 14 times. Oddly, when he makes contact he does do some damage with three homers and 13 RBIs. Alex Rios is batting .240 with a .520 OPS in 25 at-bats against Lackey to complete the Rangers trio of terror for Monday.
Raul Ibanez has no clue against anyone now. Not only is he hitting .211 on the young season but he's also racked up nine Ks in 19 at-bats.
I went dancing Saturday night. Yes, the Oracle was grooving. Turns out, even though I can't dance, that the ladies love my personality. Note. Doesn't matter if you can dance or not. Personality wins out on the dance floor unless you're trying out for a break dancing crew.
Brian McCann is batting .238. That number dips to .214 on the young season against righties. Is Ubaldo the answer for what ails him? McCann has hit .320 in the matchup (25 ABs) but...
Kurt Suzuki has but two hits in 22 at-bats in his lifetime against Scott Kazmir. He's not alone as Joe Mauer (.278 in 18 at-bats), Brian Dozier (.143 in 14 at-bats) and Josh Willingham (.176 in 17 at-bats) also struggle against the lefty.
I re-watched Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers Sunday night as I prepped for Captain America: The Winter Solider. Yes, I just ruined my street cred in some circles. I might make it even worse when I admit to having a Captain America bobblehead in my office.
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Tony Cingrani has had success against the Cardinals (2.50 ERA) but he also walked 11 batters in 24 innings. He also pitched very well on the road last season with a 2.85 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 60 innings.
Scott Kazmir tossed 7.1 shutout innings the first time he took the hill this year and he has 167 punchouts over his last 165.1 innings. He will be facing a Twins club that he has had some success against with only two homers allowed an a .230 batting average over 122 at-bats.
I like popcorn. With butter on it. And salt. Lots of salt. Having movie flashbacks as I get prepped for Capt. America II.
Hiroki Kuroda has allowed a mere .243 batting average over 140 at-bats to current Orioles. He's set to pitch at home where he had a 2.35 ERA and .216 BAA against last season. He's also 18-9 with a 2.57 ERA and 1.01 WHIP at home over 33 starts. Oh yeah, he also faces Ubaldo which you can read more about below.
Michael Wacha dominated last season when he was called up. He dominated in his first start this year with 6.2 shutout innings and seven Ks. In two his young career he's allowed a total of seven hits and not a single RBI over 46-bats to the Reds. That's a .1523 average, .204 OBP and .196 SLG. Plug and play has a nice ring to it, even if the matchup appears a bit difficult to trust based on the name Reds being across the aisle. Still, look at those numbers again. Oh, and Wacha also has 14 Ks in those 46 at-bats while walking only two batters.
C.J. Wilson had a great spring before a slow first outing this season. He takes on an Astros team that will be without Dexter Fowler, and he's posted a 2.98 ERA over 63.1 innings against the 'Stros. Also dominated them the last time they faced off with a seven inning, one run allowed (unearned) 10 K effort.
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Ubaldo Jimenez - avoid. Not only does he own a terrible 6.45 ERA and 1.57 WHIP over four starts versus the Yankees but he also allowed seven runs over 4.1 innings against the Bronx Bombers the last time he faced them and he also allowed four runs in a loss in Week 1 against the Red Sox.
Do I really need to tell you to avoid Jordan Lyles? He's facing a potent White Sox lineup in Colorado after allowing four runs in five innings to the Marlins in Miami. Pass.
Matt Moore only had four strikeouts while walking three batters in his first outing. In two starts against the Royals he has a 6.29 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. He was better on the road last season (2.74 and 1.29) than at home (4.02 ERA, 1.31 WHIP), but he still makes me nervous.
Tanner Scheppers gave up seven runs in his first outing. He now has to head into Boston to face the Red Sox. That sound like a spot you want to start him in?
Make sure you tune in to the Fantasy Alarm's Daily Game Show at 6 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87) as Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster will help you to set your daily lineups.