Week 13 Fantasy Hitting Planner

The Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every weekend, we provide you with favorable and unfavorable matchups as well as lineup changes for each team.

Weather planner: Taking into account all games with at least a 50 percent chance of precipitation according to Weather.com, no games are in danger of being rained out.

This week's news and notes for each team:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Schedule: @CIN3, @COL3
Heating Up: Justin Upton has gone hitless in his last two games, but he's coming off an eight-game hitting streak during which he hit .485 (16 for 33) with two home runs and a stolen base. Stephen Drew is batting .450 (9 for 20) over his last five games and is back to being a must-start.
Cooling Off: Rookie Gerardo Parra 's batting average continues to tank after a hot start. He's 5 for 34 (.147) over his last eight games and irrelevant in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Eric Byrnes went on the DL with a broken left hand, which would have cleared an everyday job for Chris Young if he didn't continue to battle a strained groin. He won't return until at least Tuesday, with Alex Romero starting in his absence. Chad Tracy could come off the DL any day and regain semi-regular at-bats at first base, but you can leave him for NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Diamondbacks face one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-righty platoons now that Tony Clark has seemingly replaced Josh Whitesell at first base. Then again, once Tracy returns, he might get the better half of a lefty-righty platoon with Clark.
Lineup Changes: Other than the changes at first base, none.

Atlanta Braves
Schedule: PHI3, @WAS3
Heating Up: After a slow start, Garret Anderson is clearly in midseason form now, batting .371 (13 for 35) over his last nine games. You could do worse if you needed a stopgap in a deeper mixed league. Brian McCann power numbers have lagged most of the year, but he has two home runs in his last five games, batting .375 (6 for 16) during that stretch. Keep him active.
Cooling Off: Kelly Johnson has dealt with leg cramps lately, but his poor hitting remains his biggest problem. He has one hit in his last 23 at-bats and doesn't deserve to start in mixed leagues. Chipper Jones batting average has dipped below .300 with his poor hitting of late. He's batting only .167 (10 for 60) since June 9, but you wouldn't bench him in Fantasy.
Injury Concerns: Nate McLouth missed Saturday's game after leaving Friday with a sore hamstring, but he doesn't believe he'll miss more than the weekend. He has heated up lately, hitting .297 with two homers and nine RBI over his last nine games, so keep him active.
Platoon Possibilities: The Braves face three left-handed pitchers this week, and Martin Prado might start those games in place of the slumping Johnson. He's stealing at-bats from Johnson even against righties.
Lineup Changes: Shortstop Yunel Escobar sat for a second straight game Saturday against the Red Sox, with the official reason being the strained hip flexor that has bothered him on and off for the last month. But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves have grown tired of his immature behavior. Most recently, he mouthed an expletive to the official scorer after he was charged with an error during Thursday's game against the Yankees. He spent the rest of the inning pouting, appearing disinterested with the game. Bench coach Chino Cadahia scolded Escobar between innings, and he hasn't played since, with Diory Hernandez starting in his absence. Escobar has just enough power and hits for just a high enough batting average to start in all Fantasy formats, but he comes with some risk this week.

Baltimore Orioles
Schedule: BOS3, @LAA4
Heating Up: Aubrey Huff has multiple hits in six of his last 10 games and is batting .375 (15 for 40) with two home runs during that stretch. He's not quite a must-start anymore, but he should start now. Nick Markakis , who hit only .240 in May after a .381 April, has multiple hits in two of his last three games and is batting .615 (8 for 13) during that stretch. He remains a must-start.
Cooling Off: Luke Scott batting average has dipped below .300 with a recent cold stretch. He's batting only .172 (5 for 29) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Orioles face two left-handers this week. The team doesn't have any strict lefty-righty platoons, but Ty Wigginton sometimes spells Scott against tough lefties.
Lineup Changes: None.

Boston Red Sox
Schedule: @BAL3, SEA3
Heating Up: David Ortiz June has gone from encouraging to outstanding. He's batting .317 (20 for 63) with seven home runs, showing he still has something left to contribute in mixed leagues. The Red Sox even used him at first base during interleague play just to keep his bat in the lineup. Time to get him active again.
Cooling Off: Jacoby Ellsbury has hit safely in only three of his last nine games, batting .222 (6 for 27) during that stretch. He's the kind of player you don't sit, though.
Injury Concerns: Jed Lowrie continues to rehab from wrist surgery at Triple-A Pawtucket, but he likely won't return until after the All-Star break. Nick Green continues to start in his absence.
Platoon Possibilities: The Red Sox face two left-handed pitchers, which means J.D. Drew might have to sit twice in place of Rocco Baldelli . The Red Sox have shied away from that platoon a bit lately, though.
Lineup Changes: None.

Chicago Cubs
Schedule: @PIT3, MIL4
Heating Up: Geovany Soto certainly has his power stroke working now even if his batting average continues to suffer. He's batting .286 (8 for 28) with four home runs over his last nine games and deserves to start again in all leagues. Rookie Jake Fox has capitalized on regular playing time in AL parks, batting .400 (10 for 25) with two home runs over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Milton Bradley has lost playing time to Micah Hoffpauir recently and will likely lose more and more if he continues to struggle. He has one hit in his last 13 at-bats and doesn't deserve to start in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Aaron Miles , who missed Friday's game with a hyperextended right elbow, sat out again Saturday. He doesn't start regularly, though, and doesn't matter outside of deeper NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cubs face only one left-hander in their seven games this week, meaning Mike Fontenot will likely start six, sitting one in favor of either Andres Blanco or Ryan P. Freel . Kosuke Fukudome , who normally sits against lefties, will likely get to start all seven games with Reed Johnson on the DL.
Lineup Changes: Fox has played every day lately, mostly at designated hitter, but he'll likely man third base when the team goes back to NL parks. With Aramis Ramirez (shoulder) expected back around the All-Star break, you probably shouldn't bother with Fox outside of NL-only leagues.

Chicago White Sox
Schedule: @CLE3, @KC4
Heating Up: Paul Konerko has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, batting .295 (13 for 44) with four home runs during that stretch. Jermaine Dye has two hits in five straight games, batting .526 (10 for 19) with two home runs during that stretch. Scott Podsednik is batting .378 (14 for 37) with two home runs and two stolen bases over his last eight games. Konerko and Dye should start in mixed leagues, and Podsednik is reaching that point, particularly in Rotisserie leagues.
Cooling Off: Jim Thome , just getting back to playing every day after three straight series in NL parks, is batting .118 (2 for 17) over his last 10 games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The White Sox face three left-handed pitchers this week, so Jayson Nix will likely start three times for Chris Getz . Neither player matters in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

Cincinnati Reds
Schedule: ARI3, STL3
Heating Up: Jonny Gomes isn't a full-time player -- not yet, anyway -- but he's playing out of his mind as a designated hitter in interleague play, batting .455 (10 for 22) with two home runs over his last seven games.
Cooling Off: Streaky Brandon Phillips has cooled off again, batting .091 (2 for 22) over his last six games. You wouldn't sit him, though.
Injury Concerns: Edwin Encarnacion , out since April with a fractured wrist, is on a Triple-A rehab assignment and should return sometime this week. He was slumping badly before the injury, so you don't need to bother with him in mixed leagues unless you just have a desperate need at third base.
Platoon Possibilities: The Reds don't face a single left-hander this week, which means the red-hot Gomes will probably have to remain out of the lineup unless manager Dusty Baker forces Laynce Nix to the bench instead. Also, Dickerson has gotten the majority of at-bats against right-handers recently, forcing Willy Taveras to the bench.
Lineup Changes: Joey Votto 's return to the lineup means Ramon Hernandez goes back to catcher, which means Ryan Hanigan goes back to the bench. No sense in owning him outside of deeper NL-only leagues. Jerry Hairston will have to vacate third base when Encarnacion returns, but the Reds still have an opening for him at shortstop.

Cleveland Indians
Schedule: CHW3, OAK3
Heating Up: Jhonny Peralta has seemingly begun his usual midseason surge, batting .333 (12 for 36) with two home runs over his last nine games. Get him active in all leagues.
Cooling Off: Victor Martinez batting average continues to regress back to a reasonable number. He's batting .120 (3 for 25) over his last seven games, though he does have two home runs during that stretch. Ben Francisco isn't looking like a viable option even in AL-only leagues right now, batting .103 (3 for 29) over his last nine games.
Injury Concerns: Asdrubal Cabrera (shoulder) will likely come off the DL and return to the lineup Sunday. He was getting on base, scoring runs and stealing bases before the injury, looking like a must-start option, so you'll probably want to get him active unless he looks awful Sunday.
Platoon Possibilities: The Indians face two left-handers this week, but Luis Valbuena has become an everyday player, no longer platooning with Josh Barfield .
Lineup Changes: The Indians traded Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals on Saturday, which should make their starting lineup much more stable on a day-to-day basis. Cabrera will likely play shortstop when he returns, with Valbuena at second base and Peralta at third. Grady Sizemore has hit second since returning from the DL. He should start in all Fantasy formats even though his sore left elbow will likely remain a concern all season.

Top 10 Hitters Added
Player % Change
1. Casey McGehee , 3B, MIL 21
2. Juan Rivera , OF, ANA 11
3. Jake Fox , 1B, CHC 11
4. Scott Rolen , 3B, TOR 9
5. Brett Gardner , OF, NYY 9
6. Cody Ross , OF, FLA 7
7. Scott Podsednik , OF, CHW 7
8. Everth Cabrera , SS, SD 7
9. Kevin Kouzmanoff , 3B, SD 6
10. Miguel Olivo , C, KC 6

Colorado Rockies
Schedule: @LAD3, ARI3
Heating Up: Don't look now, but Garrett Atkins has multiple hits in three straight games. He's batting .615 (8 for 13) with one home run during that stretch. Troy Tulowitzki is clearly back to being one of the premier Fantasy shortstops, batting .338 (24 for 71) with seven home runs in June. Todd Helton is batting .429 (12 for 28) with two home runs over his last eight games and remains too valuable to sit in most Fantasy formats.
Cooling Off: Ian Stewart didn't make the most of his regular playing time in AL parks, batting .087 (2 for 23) over his last six games. He might lose his job to Atkins again when the team returns to NL parks.
Injury Concerns: Yorvit Torrealba looks like he'll finally return from his personal absence Sunday, but he backs up Chris Iannetta and is no more than a low-end NL-only option.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rockies face three left-handers this week, which means Ryan Spilborghs , who has begun playing against left-handers recently, could make as many as three starts. He has to contend with Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez for at-bats, though.
Lineup Changes: Other than the muddled outfield and the confusion at third base, none.

Detroit Tigers
Schedule: @OAK3, @MIN3
Heating Up: After falling behind some of the other big sluggers in home runs at the beginning of June, Miguel Cabrera has made up ground with five home runs in his last 11 games. He's batting .419 (18 for 43) during that stretch. Placido Polanco has had a power surge of his own, homering three times in his last six games. He's worth a look in mixed leagues again.
Cooling Off: Marcus Thames got off to a hot start in his return from the DL, winning an everyday job, but he's now batting .143 (3 for 21) over his last six games. Leave him for AL-only leagues. Curtis Granderson is batting .115 (3 for 26) over his last seven games, but you wouldn't sit him.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Tigers face four left-handers this week, which probably means four starts for Ryan Raburn . His platoon partner is somewhat up in the air right now, but it's either Josh Anderson or Don Kelly . None of these players matters in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

Florida Marlins
Schedule: WAS3, PIT3
Heating Up: Hanley Ramirez is probably the hottest player in the world right now, not that you'd ever bench him. He's batting .400 (14 for 35) with four home runs and two stolen bases over his last nine games. Dan Uggla also has four home runs over his last nine games, though with an unspectacular .281 (9 for 32) batting average. Jorge Cantu looks like he might be recapturing the form he had in April, batting .393 (11 for 28) over his last six games. Get him active again in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: John Baker doesn't look like the same player from earlier in the season. He's batting .191 (9 for 47) in June and doesn't deserve to start in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Marlins face two left-handed pitchers this week, which really only affects their catcher situation. Baker will sit at least twice for Ronny Paulino .
Lineup Changes: None.

Houston Astros
Schedule: @SD4, @SF3
Heating Up: Lance Berkman homered twice Thursday and has continued to swing well in the two games since. He's batting .667 (6 for 9) over his last three games and also has three walks during that period. He still has plenty of time to build up that .255 batting average.
Cooling Off: As expected, Miguel Tejada has cooled down after that torrid streak at the end of May and beginning of June. He's batting .211 (8 for 38) over his last 10 games, but he remains too valuable to sit in most formats. Hunter Pence has struggled out of the sixth spot, going 2 for 16 over his last four games. Like Tejada, you wouldn't sit him.
Injury Concerns: Geoff Blum (hamstring) could return from the DL on Sunday, but he's a light-hitting shortstop who hardly matters even in NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Astros face two left-handers this week. Jeff Keppinger will likely start those games instead of Blum, assuming Blum regains his starting job upon his return.
Lineup Changes: None.

Kansas City Royals
Schedule: MIN3 CHW4
Heating Up: Mark Teahen has hit safely in six of his last seven games, batting .296 (8 for 27) with one home run during that stretch. He's not a major source of power, but he's a viable stopgap in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Willie Bloomquist , who gets to play on almost an everyday basis with all the injuries to the Royals lineup, once looked like a viable option in Rotisserie leagues because of his ability to steal bases, but he's batting only .158 (3 for 19) over his last six games.
Injury Concerns: John Buck (back) is on a Triple-A rehab assignment and could return this week, but he splits at-bats with Miguel Olivo and has little Fantasy appeal.
Platoon Possibilities: The Royals face four left-handed pitchers this week, which could mean big numbers for Billy Butler , but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

Scott's top Week 13 sleepers
Player Start %
1. Juan Rivera , OF, LAA 63
2. Kendrys Morales , 1B, LAA 45
3. Billy Butler , 1B/DH, KC 31
4. Paul Konerko , 1B, CHW 61
5. Michael Bourn , OF, HOU 56
6. Kurt Suzuki , C, OAK 52
7. Denard Span , OF, MIN 28
8. Scott Podsednik , OF, CHW 32
9. Lyle Overbay , 1B, TOR 23
10. Jhonny Peralta , SS, CLE 64
* sleepers are players started in less than 65 percent of CBSSports.com leagues

L.A. Angels
Schedule: @TEX3, BAL4
Heating Up: Bobby Abreu is batting .333 (5 for 15) with one home run and two stolen bases over his last four games. He's a must-start, but he's still not hitting for much power.
Cooling Off: Torii Hunter has slowed his pace a little after looking like a top-five Fantasy outfielder much of the season. He has only one home run in his last 11 games and is batting .237 (9 for 38) during that stretch. You wouldn't sit him, though.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Angels face only one left-hander this week, which means Kendrys Morales shouldn't lose many at-bats. He has sat against some tough lefties in favor of Robb Quinlan , but the situation doesn't look like a true platoon yet.
Lineup Changes: None.

L.A. Dodgers
Schedule: COL3, @SD3
Heating Up: James Loney has found his power stroke in June, hitting three of his five home runs this year within the last eight games. He's batting .276 (8 for 29) during that stretch.
Cooling Off: Every time Russell Martin shows signs of life, he can never sustain it. He's batting only .211 (4 for 19) over his last six games. Still, you can't expect to do much better than him off the waiver wire.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Dodgers don't face any left-handed pitchers this week, not that they have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Manny Ramirez will make his grand return Friday, coming back from a 50-game suspension. He'll play only three games, which limits his upside to the point you probably shouldn't use him in standard mixed leagues. Still, three games from him is better than six games from most players. Juan Pierre figures to go back to the bench with Ramirez's return, especially after Andre Ethier solidified his job with a three-homer game Friday. Go ahead and sit Pierre in mixed leagues.

Milwaukee Brewers
Schedule: NYM3, @CHC4
Heating Up: The Brewers are having trouble keeping Casey McGehee bat out of the lineup. He's batting .407 (22 for 54) with four home runs over his last 15 games and has reached a point where he deserves a look even in mixed leagues. J.J. Hardy is showing signs of snapping out of his season-long funk, batting .333 (8 for 24) with one home run over his last six games. Ryan Braun is batting .438 (7 for 16) with one home run over his last four games, not that you'd ever consider benching him.
Cooling Off: Corey Hart has only one hit over his last five games, batting .056 (1 for 18) during that stretch. He's a candidate to sit in shallower mixed leagues. Same goes for Mike Cameron , who's batting only .149 (11 for 74) in June.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Brewers face two left-handers this week, which means Bill Hall will probably start those two games, filling in for Craig Counsell . McGehee has effectively become an everyday player, bumping Mat Gamel out of the lineup and switching between third base and second as necessary.
Lineup Changes: Other than McGehee's increased playing time, none.

Minnesota Twins
Schedule: @KC3, DET3
Heating Up: Michael Cuddyer is about the only Twin playing up to his capabilities right now, batting .333 (7 for 21) with one home run over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Minnesota's two biggest hitters, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau , have fallen on hard times lately, with Mauer batting .200 (4 for 20) over his last six games and Morneau batting .136 (3 for 22) over his last six. You'd never bench either of them, though.
Injury Concerns: Nick Punto has missed four straight games with a rib injury, but the slap hitter gets only semi-regular playing time and doesn't matter outside of deeper AL-only leagues. Matt Tolbert has started in his absence.
Platoon Possibilities: The Twins face all right-handed pitchers this week, not that their lineup consistently changes against lefties.
Lineup Changes: None.

N.Y. Mets
Schedule: @MIL3, @PIT1, @PHI3
Heating Up: Nobody stands out as playing exceptionally well right now.
Cooling Off: Ryan Church , who looked like he was getting back on track earlier in June, is back to struggling, batting .167 (4 for 24) over his last seven games. Leave him for NL-only leagues.
Injury Concerns: Too many to count, but nobody's on the verge of returning soon.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mets face three left-handed pitchers this week, which means Daniel Murphy will miss at least three games. Their outfield is such a mess, though, that no player stands out as someone who'll start exclusively against lefties.
Lineup Changes: With all the injuries to their outfield, the Mets have had to promote prospects Nick Evans and Fernando Martinez from the minor leagues, though neither has gotten regular starts. Fortunately, Gary Sheffield managed to avoid a DL stint despite continued soreness in his knee, so you can bet the Mets will lean on him as much as his body allows.

N.Y. Yankees
Schedule: SEA3, TOR3
Heating Up: Alex Rodriguez seems back on track after taking last weekend off. He's batting .429 (6 for 14) with two home runs over his last four games and is an obvious must-start.
Cooling Off: Jorge Posada is batting only .176 (6 for 34) over his last 10 games, but he might've gotten back on track with a home run Saturday. You wouldn't sit him regardless.
Injury Concerns: An illness is going around the Yankee clubhouse, starting with Chien-Ming Wang , Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera and moving on to Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon . It must not be that bad, though, since the former three have already returned. Continue to use Jeter and Damon as you normally would.
Platoon Possibilities: The Yankees face four left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Brett Gardner made a statement with a five-hit game Friday, which might give him a chance to get at-bats over Melky Cabrera . With Damon out, though, both players have started in the outfield, making the distribution of at-bats between them still a bit of a mystery.

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Angels @TEX3, BAL4
2. Yankees SEA3, TOR3
3. Cubs @PIT3, MIL4
4. Astros @SD4, @SF3
5. Rangers LAA3, TB3

Oakland Athletics
Schedule: DET3, @CLE3
Heating Up: Kurt Suzuki is starting to heat back up again, homering in two of his last three games. Orlando Cabrera has a 10-game hitting streak during which he's batting .342 (13 for 38).
Cooling Off: Jack Cust 's batting average has dipped below .230, making him hard to use even in Rotisserie leagues. He's batting .194 (6 for 31) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: Mark Ellis , out since April with a calf injury, will return to the lineup Sunday and immediately become the everyday second baseman. He wasn't hitting well before the injury, and even at his best, he's barely viable in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Athletics face one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-righty platoons with Ellis coming back because ...
Lineup Changes: ... Adam Kennedy will remain an everyday player, but the kind that bounces from position to position. He'll play mostly first and third base, which will cut into the playing time of Nomar Garciaparra , Jack Hannahan and Bobby Crosby , not that any had any real Fantasy appeal.

Philadelphia Phillies
Schedule: @ATL3, NYM3
Heating Up: Jayson Werth has gotten back on the right side of streaky, going 4 for 4 with two home runs Saturday. He's batting .444 (8 for 18) with three home runs over his last five games and deserves to start in all leagues.
Cooling Off: Shane Victorino , coming off an 11-game hitting streak during which he had multiple hits in six games, has gone 1 for 14 over his last four games. He remains too valuable to sit.
Injury Concerns: Raul Ibanez , one of the hottest players in baseball at the time of his groin injury, could come off the DL on Friday. That gives him only half a week to accumulate stats, though, so you'll probably want to keep him reserved in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Phillies face only one left-handed pitcher this week, though it's a good one in Johan Santana . They don't presently have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Manager Charlie Manuel has taken a David Ortiz approach with Jimmy Rollins , hoping rest will bring him out of his slump. Rollins sat out for a third straight game Saturday, but you have to think he won't miss more than a game or two more, if even that. For all of his struggles this year, he still ranks 13th among shortstops in standard Head-to-Head scoring, so you might as well keep him active in Fantasy in case he comes around. Eric Bruntlett -- an offensive liability in his own right -- has started in place of Rollins.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Schedule: CHC3, NYM1, @FLA3
Heating Up: Adam LaRoche is batting .400 (8 for 20) with two home runs over his last five games. He's notoriously streaky, but he's worth a look right now. Nyjer Morgan has gotten back on track after a rough May and beginning of June, batting .458 (11 for 24) over his last six games. He should start in all Rotisserie leagues.
Cooling Off: Andy LaRoche has only two hits in his last five games, batting .118 (2 for 17). He was hot in May, but he's not worth using in mixed leagues right now.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Pirates face only two left-handers this week. Delwyn Young looks like the platoon partner for left-handed-hitting Brandon Moss , not Steve Pearce . None of these players matter in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

San Diego Padres
Schedule: HOU4, LAD3
Heating Up: Kevin Kouzmanoff has six home runs in June and is batting .278 for the month, making him a viable stopgap in mixed leagues while he remains hot. Everth Cabrera , a 22-year-old who has gotten regular playing time at shortstop lately, is batting .333 (9 for 27) in eight games since returning from the minors, but he doesn't figure to make an impact outside of NL-only leagues.
Cooling Off: After going 2 for 5 in his return from the DL on Tuesday, Scott Hairston is 0 for 15. He'll have some appeal in mixed leagues when he gets hot again, but you can bench him for now.
Injury Concerns: Nick Hundley , on the DL with a bruised wrist, could return as early as Thursday. He has done little offensively this season, though, and doesn't matter outside of NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Padres face three left-handers this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Hairston returned from his biceps injury and immediately went back to hitting third, ahead of Adrian Gonzalez . Rookie Kyle Blanks , who has started mostly at designated hitter this week, figures to get regular at-bats in left field when the team returns to NL parks.

San Francisco Giants
Schedule: @STL4, HOU3
Heating Up: Pablo Sandoval hit two home runs Saturday, giving him three in his last two games, and is beginning to look more and more like a legitimate middle-of-the-order hitter and must-start Fantasy option. He's batting .414 (12 for 29) over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: The struggles haven't subsided for cleanup hitter Bengie Molina , who's batting .105 (2 for 19) over his last five games and .220 since April. Still, his RBI opportunities alone make him a must-start Fantasy option at such a weak position.
Injury Concerns: Rich Aurilia went on the bereavement list Saturday, which means the Giants have one less player to platoon with Travis Ishikawa .
Platoon Possibilities: The Giants don't face any left-handed pitchers this week, so Ishikawa should get a full week of at-bats, making him a viable option in NL-only leagues. Same goes for Nate Schierholtz .
Lineup Changes: Fred Lewis hasn't started a game since Monday, meaning Schierholtz and Andres Torres have effectively taken over as an outfield platoon. Both deserve looks in deeper NL-only leagues, Schierholtz especially. Juan Uribe started at second base Saturday and might continue to do so since Matt Downs , the intended replacement for Emmanuel Burriss , is hitting only .207.

Seattle Mariners
Schedule: @NYY3, @BOS3
Heating Up: Ichiro Suzuki is sizzling even for his normally hot self, having no fewer than two hits in any of his last seven games. He's batting .594 (19 for 32) during that stretch. Franklin Gutierrez has begun to show some signs of his potential, batting .361 (13 for 36) with three home runs over his last nine games, but he remains just an AL-only option. Russell Branyan has hit safely in eight straight games with four home runs during that stretch.
Cooling Off: No one stands out as significantly underperforming.
Injury Concerns: Adrian Beltre hasn't officially gone on the DL yet, but he plans to have surgery to remove bone spurs from his left shoulder and will miss at least a month. You'll want to reserve him, obviously. The Mariners don't have an obvious choice to replace him at third base, especially with Yuniesky Betancourt already sidelined. They could get creative and move Russell Branyan to third, allowing prospect Mike Carp to play first, but that might just be wishful thinking. Michael Morse could also come up from the minors to man third.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mariners face three left-handed pitchers this week, meaning Ken Griffey will likely lose three starts to Mike Sweeney .
Lineup Changes: Other than the expected Beltre shakeup, none.

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Brewers NYM3, @CHC4
2. Rockies @LAD3, ARI3
3. Mariners @NYY3, @BOS3
4. Nationals @FLA3, ATL3
5. Phillies @ATL3, NYM3

St. Louis Cardinals
Schedule: SF4, @CIN3
Heating Up: Skip Schumaker has gotten to start against left-handers a little more lately and is batting .422 (19 for 45) over his last 12 games. Albert Pujols is the hottest player in baseball just about every week and has five home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Colby Rasmus has cooled off after swinging a hot stick early in June, batting .083 (2 for 24) over his last seven games. Ryan Ludwick has yet to play up to his capabilities since returning from the DL in late May, batting .165 (14 for 85). Neither player qualifies as a must-start.
Injury Concerns: Brendan Ryan , who has emerged as the team's everyday shortstop in recent weeks, missed a second straight game Saturday with a sore right wrist. He received a cortisone injection Friday morning and will likely return sometime next week. You wouldn't use him outside of NL-only leagues, though.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cardinals face two left-handed pitchers this week, but their platoon situations have become less clear with the injury to Ryan. Schumaker will most likely sit for those games in favor of Tyler Greene , but he's probably still worth starting in NL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: Mark DeRosa comes over in a deal with the Indians and most likely assumes the everyday job at third base. He remains a must-start in all leagues and is a must-add in mixed leagues. Ludwick has drawn the short straw lately in the four-man outfield rotation with Rasmus, Rick Ankiel and Chris Duncan , sitting two of the last four games. If he heats up, he'll probably play every day again, but you might want to sit him for now in mixed leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays
Schedule: @TOR3, @TEX3
Heating Up: Melvin Upton continues to make up for lost time, batting .395 (15 for 38) with a homer and three steals over his last nine games. Keep him active in all leagues. Carl Crawford is batting .440 (11 for 25) over his last six games and remains a must-start.
Cooling Off: Ben Zobrist has slowed down a bit after bursting onto the scene in early June, batting .139 (5 for 36) over his last 10 games. He has two home runs during that stretch, though, and remains a must-start.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rays face three left-handed pitchers this week and still have Gabe Gross and Gabe Kapler platooning in right field. Kapler will get the three starts against lefties, and Gross will get the three against righties.
Lineup Changes: None.

Texas Rangers
Schedule: LAA3, TB3
Heating Up: Ian Kinsler has a batting average of right around .250 since April, but he's starting to get back on track, batting .341 (15 for 44) with three home runs and five stolen bases over his last 11 games. He remained the top second baseman in Fantasy even with the sub-par batting average, so you obviously want him starting. Chris Davis has homered in two of his last three games and is batting .545 (6 for 11) during that stretch. That's not enough of a streak for you to start him, though, if you're not already.
Cooling Off: Nelson Cruz has struggled for most of June after a sizzling May, batting .130 (7 for 54) over his last 14 games. He's kind of in Alfonso Soriano territory, though: You know as soon as you bench him, he'll go off with five home runs. Andruw Jones has seemingly fallen into some old habits, batting just .178 (8 for 45) in June. He's hardly worth using even in AL-only leagues right now.
Injury Concerns: Josh Hamilton feels like he's well ahead of schedule as he works his way back from abdominal surgery and plans to return by this weekend. Just to guard against a setback, you should probably keep him reserved in mixed leagues -- he is pushing the envelope a bit, after all -- but in AL-only leagues, why not take a shot?
Platoon Possibilities: The Rangers face two left-handed pitchers this week, which likely means two starts for Jones. Depending on when Hamilton returns, he'll either sub for David Murphy or Hank Blalock .
Lineup Changes: None.

Toronto Blue Jays
Schedule: TB3, @NYY3
Heating Up: Scott Rolen got a day off Saturday, but he's riding a 15-game hitting streak during which he's batting .429 (27 for 63) with two home runs. He's not much of a power hitter anymore, but he's worth starting in all leagues when he's hitting this well. Vernon Wells has underachieved all season, but he's starting to come around now, batting .327 (16 for 49) with two home runs and two stolen bases over his last 11 games. Keep him active.
Cooling Off: Alex Rios was hot in the middle of June, but he's batting only .077 (1 for 13) over his last four games. He still hasn't played his best this season, but he's a must-start.
Injury Concerns: The Blue Jays planned to put Rod Barajas on the DL after he strained his hamstring Friday, but he woke up feeling better Saturday. They'll hold off for now, but Barajas is still too risky to use this week outside of AL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Blue Jays don't face a single left-handed pitcher this week, meaning streaky Lyle Overbay should get to play a full week. He's worth a flier if you need a stopgap. Also, Russ Adams figures to start over Jose Bautista .
Lineup Changes: Adams has emerged as the team's designated hitter against right-handed pitchers, moving Adam Lind to left field. Lind returns to DH against lefties, with Bautista manning left. Adams failed as a middle infielder earlier in his career, so you can't expect him to do much at DH. Leave him for AL-only leagues.

Washington Nationals
Schedule: @FLA3, ATL3
Heating Up: Cristian Guzman has a 10-game hitting streak during which he's batting .426 (20 for 47). He has multiple hits in eight of the 10 games. Willie Harris has gotten hot with regular playing time, batting .290 (9 for 31) with two homers and two steals over his last eight games. Josh Bard has seemingly become the everyday catcher with his performance of late. He's batting .357 (10 for 28) over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Nick Johnson is hitless in his last 12 at-bats and sat out with a bruised shin recently. He appears healthy now, but consider benching him if you have viable alternatives in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Nationals face one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: Harris has begun playing regularly of late, stealing at-bats from the Josh Willingham - Austin Kearns platoon as well as Elijah Dukes . He has the least ability of the bunch, so ignore him outside of NL-only leagues.

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Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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