Week 13 Hitting Planner
Another week of interleague play has hitters potentially gaining or losing at-bats based on where they are playing. Our Scott White addresses the situation, team-by-team, in his Week 13 Hitting Planner.
The Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every Saturday, we provide you with favorable and unfavorable matchups, along with news and notes on lineups. The Pitching Planner, complete with upcoming two-start pitchers, will be posted on Sunday.
Don't forget to check out our Weekly Planner page, under the stats tab on your league pages. It has the weekly matchups for each team broken down by day, the number of games ahead for each team, and finally, the hitting and pitching stats for each team (broken down by home and away).
Weather planner: Taking into account all games with at least a 50 percent chance of precipitation according to Weather.com, the following games are in danger of being rained out: Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs (50 percent chance) on Monday, L.A. Angels at Washington (50 percent chance) on Monday and Seattle at N.Y. Mets (60 percent chance) on Monday.
Interleague schedules ahead
Fantasy Week 13 features another full slate of interleague games apart from the Brewers visiting the Braves at the beginning of the week (June 23-25) and the Diamondbacks visiting the Marlins over the weekend (June 27-29).
Consequently, any AL team playing in an NL park will have to remove a player from its starting lineup, and any NL team playing in an AL park will have to add a player to its starting lineup. You'll find the players expected to gain or lose at-bats in the team-by-team notes that follow.
This week's news and notes for each team:
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks play three games at Boston, so even with Eric Byrnes due to come back Monday, both Conor Jackson and Chad Tracy should retain spots in the everyday lineup at the beginning of the week. Expect Tracy to come off the bench by the end of the week. Byrnes has enough stolen-base potential that you'll want to get him active right away ... For better or worse, Stephen Drew has become the team's leadoff hitter. He's batting only .242 in the role and appears reluctant to unleash his power swing, compiling a .394 slugging percentage. Maybe the return of Byrnes will relieve him of leadoff duties.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves play three games at Toronto, meaning Greg Norton and Omar Infante might get a few more at-bats than usual. Neither deserves attention outside of deeper NL-only leagues ... Chipper Jones , who enters a week batting below .400 for the first time all season, has the worst strain of his right quadriceps yet. He's aggravated the injury a few times this season and always managed to play through the pain, but the Braves plan to sit him over the weekend in hopes he can return next week. Don't count on it. Jones himself calls the injury "pretty bad," and he'll probably need a DL stint to give his quad the rest it needs.
Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles play six games in NL parks, meaning Aubrey Huff , Kevin Millar and Luke Scott will likely each spend some time out of the starting lineup. Huff seems the least likely candidate after his recent performance at the plate. He's hitting .480 with five home runs over his last seven games and three over his last two. The torrid stretch puts him on pace for 30 home runs and a .500 slugging percentage -- two milestones he hasn't reached since 2003, when he looked like he'd become a Fantasy stud. Don't mistake him for a Fantasy stud again just yet, but he clearly deserves a starting spot in all Fantasy leagues right now.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox play three games at Houston, meaning Coco Crisp and Jacoby Ellsbury might go back to splitting starts for half the week, depending on how much time Crisp gets shaved off his seven-game suspension. He'll appeal the suspension Monday and probably miss at least four or five games, making him worthless this week in mixed leagues ... Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup Friday after missing three games with muscle spasms. Don't hesitate to get the power hitter -- yes, power hitter -- back active in all leagues ... J.D. Drew shows no signs of slowing down in June, hitting his fourth home run in his last six games Saturday and 10th in 66 June at-bats. Forget your Fantasy team; he might deserve starting spot on the All-Star team.
|1.||Chase Headley , 3B, SD||33|
|2.||Mike Aviles , SS, KC||30|
|3.||Marcus Thames , OF, DET||25|
|4.||Troy Tulowitzki , SS, COL||22|
|5.||Chris Iannetta , C, COL||15|
|6.||Russell Branyan , 3B, MIL||14|
|7.||Chone Figgins , 3B, LAA||13|
|8.||David DeJesus , OF, KC||13|
|9.||Jeff Clement , C, SEA||12|
|10.||Aubrey Huff , 1B, BAL||9|
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs play three games at the White Sox, giving Micah Hoffpauir a few more chances to show off his power stroke. The 27-year-old rookie entered Saturday with a .571 slugging percentage in 35 at-bats, but he won't see consistent enough action to merit use outside of deeper NL-only leagues ... Eric Patterson and Matt Murton have begun platooning in the outfield with Alfonso Soriano on the DL. Both have untapped potential but diminished Fantasy appeal while splitting at-bats. Besides, Mark DeRosa might get the occasional start in the outfield as well ... Kosuke Fukudome appears to have settled into Soriano's leadoff role, batting .353 in 17 at-bats. His RBI will decrease batting high in the order, but his runs scored should skyrocket. Consider the shift a better use of his skill set and an overall boon to his Fantasy worth.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox play three games at the Dodgers, theoretically making Jim Thome a shaky start in mixed leagues. Then again, according to the Chicago Tribune, manager Ozzie Guillen wants to give Thome a shot playing first base with Paul Konerko on the DL. "I'm going to let him know I don't want him doing anything at first base. Just get there and catch the ball when they throw it to you. If they hit a ground ball to you and you miss it, blame it on me." For all of Guillen's talk, Thome has yet to play a game at first base during the White Sox's three game series at the Cubs ... The only player hotter than Aubrey Huff right now is Jermaine Dye , who with another blast Saturday, now has six home runs in his last six games. He can get a little streaky at times and probably won't ever hit 44 home runs again, but he looks much more like the player from last year's second half (.298, 16 homers) than last year's first half (.214, 12 homers). Start him in all leagues ... Orlando Cabrera has become viable in mixed leagues again. He entered Saturday's game batting .359 with a .526 slugging percentage in June. He batted .242 during the first two months.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds play six games in NL parks, making Corey Patterson a regular fixture in the lineup for one week ... Jolbert Cabrera , the Reds' fourth choice to start at shortstop this season, suffered a pretty gruesome finger injury Friday and had to go on the DL. Fortunately, Jeff Keppinger , choice No. 2, is on a rehab assignment coming back from a broken left kneecap. He makes contact as well as anyone this side of Placido Polanco , but he isn't worth the risk this week outside of NL-only leagues ... Hopefully, you didn't trade an established Fantasy star for Jay Bruce . The 21-year-old super prospect is batting .200 over his last 70 at-bats. That doesn't mean he's a .200 hitter, but it probably means you can't rely on him as an every-week start during these early stages of his career. Think about spelling him in shallow leagues.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians play all their games at home this week, so they don't stand to lose any hitters. Of course, they might be better off if they did. With both Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez on the DL, Ben Francisco has become their most reliable hitter, bringing a nice combination of power and speed. He's hit safely in eight of his last nine games, batting .353 (12-for-34) with two home runs and one stolen base over that stretch. His upside makes him no more than a low-end Fantasy outfielder in mixed leagues ... Jamey Carroll has begun playing every day at second base. He'll need some good luck just to make his batting average palatable, so forget about him helping in any other category.
Colorado Rockies: The Rockies play six games in AL parks, but with SS Troy Tulowitzki already back and Clint Barmes soon to join him, Ryan Spilborghs will have to contend with now-benched utility man Jeff Baker for at-bats at DH. Spilborghs has the better offensive potential for NL-only owners looking for a one-week stopgap ... Tulowitzki played his first game since April 29 on Friday and looked about like he did before he hurt his quadriceps, going 0-for-4. He's batting only .147 overall, but you have to get him active in all leagues. Don't forget he hit .291 with 24 home runs last year as a rookie ... Brad Hawpe entered Saturday's game batting .385 (10-for-26) with three home runs over his last seven games. If someone in your league cut him following his slow start and DL stint, time to pick him up.
Detroit Tigers: Utility man Brandon Inge has a strained oblique and had missed four straight games going into Saturday. The injury has bothered him most of the month, and doctors have pretty much told him he can either play through the pain or miss a month. He'll try for the former, so keep him active in AL-only leagues ... Gary Sheffield , on the DL with a strained left oblique since late May, has struggled in his rehab assignment for Class A Lakeland just like he did all season before the oblique injury. He's due back soon, but in light of his struggles, you probably won't have to make a mad rush to the waiver wire to get him ... Marcus Thames maintains his starting job for now, but he's gone 1-for-7 in two games since his homer streak ended. He'll always have above-average power, but if you just now picked him up in a mixed league, you might have missed the boat ... Placido Polanco is batting .500 (24-for-48) over his 11-game hitting streak.
Florida Marlins: Josh Willingham is set to play his first game since April 27 on Tuesday, but the Marlins won't turn him loose right away. "We'll see how he feels," manager Fredi Gonzalez told The Sports Xchange. "If the first two games are OK, we'll let him go three in a row. But I'm not going to run him out in the first seven days in a row." Willingham has a herniated disk, so he might have to shut down his season early to undergo surgery ... Dan Uggla latest cold streak dropped his batting average to a still-lukewarm .285. He's back hot again, hitting .462 (6-for-13) with four home runs over his last three games. If his streaks follow that pattern all season, his studliness is here to stay.
Houston Astros: Michael Bourn good work at the plate got him back in the leadoff spot for the last five games. Fantasy owners might not welcome the promotion. Bourn is batting .223 (47-for-211) as a leadoff hitter and .320 (16-for-50) anywhere else in the lineup ... Carlos Lee is back playing up to his standard, batting .304 with two home runs over his last seven games. No need to worry.
Kansas City Royals: Shortstop Mike Aviles quick start (.309 batting average and three home runs in 55 at-bats) has made him one of the hotter pickups in Fantasy, and the 27-year-old rookie certainly deserves a flier since he plays a weak position. Just keep in mind players who stay in the minors until age 27 usually do so for a reason ... With three home runs in his last six at-bats, David DeJesus is finally having his long-awaited power breakthrough. It might not last, but get him active while he's playing like a poor man's Johnny Damon .
|1.||New York Yankees||@PIT3, NYM1, @NYM3|
|2.||Texas Rangers||@HOU3, PHI3|
|3.||St. Louis Cardinals||@DET3, @KC3|
|4.||Philadelphia Phillies||@OAK3, @TEX3|
|5.||New York Mets||SEA3, @NYY1, NYY3|
L.A. Angels: The Angels play six games in NL parks, meaning Garret Anderson will most likely take a seat, with Gary Matthews also a possibility ... Vladimir Guerrero , a model of consistency for much of his career, has trended the other way this season, batting .434 (23-for-53) in June after batting .246 (49-for-199) in April and May. He also connected for his fifth home run of the month Saturday. Clearly, he hasn't outlived his standing as a Fantasy stud and deserves to start in all formats.
L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers might not be turning cartwheels over Angel Berroa as their starting shortstop, but they'll have to live with him for now. Nomar Garciaparra has scar tissue in his calf and will take a week off baseball activities to try to break it down. He likely won't return until after the All-Star break, around the same time regular starter Rafael Furcal expects to make his return. If you picked up Garciaparra hoping for a renaissance performance in his return to the middle infield, no sense holding on to him outside of NL-only leagues ... James Loney , a disappointment for much of the season, is batting .467 (14-for-30) over his eight-game hitting streak. If you drafted him in a mixed league and didn't give up on him, get him active for this next week.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers will play three games at Minnesota, making Gabe Kapler a nice one-week stopgap in NL-only leagues. He's still batting an impressive .310 entering Saturday ... With 10 bombs in 66 at-bats, journeyman third baseman Russell Branyan is hitting home runs as regularly as ever. But at .303, his batting average isn't sagging as usual. Time to turn to him for power help even in mixed Rotisserie leagues ... Granted one of them came inside the park, but Prince Fielder entered Saturday with three home runs in his last four games. He has six in June, and his .677 slugging percentage for the month tops his .618 mark from last year. You can't expect him to hit 50 home runs at this point, but he's on pace for 31 and is clearly still one of the top sluggers in baseball.
Minnesota Twins: The Twins play three games at San Diego, meaning Jason Kubel will see inconsistent at-bats ... Nick Punto (hamstring) might come off the DL at the beginning of the week, but his role remains unclear. Alexi Casilla has earned everyday at-bats at second base, but Brendan Harris hasn't at shortstop. Even as an everyday player, Punto doesn't offer much but a few stolen bases, so leave him for AL-only leagues.
N.Y. Mets: The Mets visit Yankee Stadium for the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, so if you think an extra start for Fernando Tatis will make a difference in your league, knock yourself out ... Ryan Church , still feeling the effects of a concussion suffered May 20, won't return to the lineup in time for the upcoming scoring period. He has to work out with the team for a few days before he can even begin a minor-league rehab assignment ... Trot Nixon has assumed starting duties in left field, at least against right-handers. He entered Saturday's game batting .188 in four games, but he has nice OPS ability and deserves a pickup in NL-only leagues.
N.Y. Yankees: The Yankees play six games in NL parks, meaning Johnny Damon , Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada will each likely lose a handful of at-bats ... Alex Rodriguez has quietly reaffirmed his standing as the top player in Fantasy. Since returning from a quadriceps injury May 20, he has 10 home runs and 12 multi-hit games in 31 total ... Melky Cabrera is batting .136 (3-for-22) over his last six games and .229 (38-for-166) since the end of April. If anyone in your mixed league has him active, that owner has clearly stopped paying attention.
Oakland Athletics: Kurt Suzuki has quickly righted himself after a May swoon. He entered Saturday with a .632 batting average (12-for-19) and two home runs in his last five games. He entered that stretch with only one home run all season. Time to give the emerging 24-year-old a look again in mixed leagues.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies play six games in AL parks, which means Jayson Werth might see a few at-bats against right-handed pitchers. He has the kind of OPS bat that makes him viable in all leagues when playing regularly.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Ryan Doumit suffered a concussion Tuesday, but not one of Ryan Church proportions. The Pirates expect him to return sometime over the weekend, making him a must-start for Fantasy Week 13. His numbers (.341 batting average, nine home runs) would rank him among the elite catchers if he could only stay healthy ... Xavier Nady , another surprise performer, has missed the whole week with a sprained shoulder but hasn't gone on the DL yet. Unless he makes a start over the weekend, you shouldn't risk putting him in your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Jason Michaels continues to see at-bats in his absence.
San Diego Padres: Kevin Kouzmanoff has an irritated disk in his back that shouldn't require him to go on the DL. Then again, he's missed four games and probably will miss at least a few more. He could return early next week, but the Padres could just as easily play it safe and put him on the DL. His performance so far probably doesn't justify the risk. His absence means top prospect Chase Headley has a greater opportunity to solidify his spot in the lineup. He's hitting .375 with two home runs in his first four games and has yet to go hitless. Pick him up if you need a stopgap. He could emerge as something much, much more.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants play six games in AL parks, meaning John Bowker , Rich Aurilia and Jose Castillo get regular at-bats for a week. The three normally have an infield rotation that restricts their Fantasy appeal to NL-only leagues. Then again, the trio might have gotten regular at-bats anyway in light of Ray Durham sprained ankle. Durham's lack of upside makes him not worth the risk this upcoming week in shallow NL-only leagues.
|1.||Florida Marlins||TB3, ARI3|
|2.||Cincinnati Reds||@TOR3, @CLE3|
|3.||Arizona Diamondbacks||@BOS3, @FLA3|
|4.||Oakland Athletics||PHI3, SF3|
|5.||Milwaukee Brewers||@ATL3, @MIN3|
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners play six games in NL parks, making Jose Vidro an even worse start than usual this week ... With the demotion of prospect Wladimir Balentien , utility man Willie Bloomquist has become a semi-regular player again, platooning in center field with Jeremy Reed . Bloomquist isn't much of a hitter, but he has eight stolen bases and can help in that category in AL-only leagues.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals play six games in AL parks, making Brian Barton the likely choice to get extra at-bats unless Albert Pujols (calf) comes off the DL heading into the weekend -- a real possibility, according to manager Tony La Russa. Let's examine their lineup, assuming Pujols does return:
, RF -- The scrappy
outfielder is heating up again, batting .355 in June and more than
doubling his season home run count with three blasts in the month. He
deserves attention even in mixed leagues when he's this hot.
2. Rick Ankiel , CF -- After battling an infection in his knee for part of June, Ankiel is starting to heat up, batting .353 (6-for-17) over his last four games.
3. Albert Pujols , 1B -- Pujols, on the DL since June 10 with a strained left calf, wouldn't return until Thursday if at all, so starting him comes with a high degree of risk. But the Cardinals seem fairly optimistic, and half a week from Pujols is better than a full week from his replacement.
4. Ryan Ludwick , LF -- The big power hitter is batting 1-for-11 over his last three games and hasn't homered since June 11, but he could get hot at any time. Keep him active.
5. Troy Glaus , 3B -- Glaus, another streaky hitter, had slowed a bit after a hot early June, but his four-RBI day Saturday shows you should keep him active.
6. Chris Duncan , DH -- Duncan, a sleeper entering the season, actually spent some time in the minors before Pujols' injury. He hasn't made the most of his second chance, batting .147 (5-for-34).
7. Yadier Molina , C -- Like half the players in this lineup, Molina recently returned from an injury, his a concussion. His high batting average makes him useful in mixed leagues.
8. Adam Kennedy , 2B -- Kennedy is a slap hitter without much speed who splits at-bats with Aaron Miles . Hopefully, that doesn't appeal to you.
9. Brendan Ryan , SS -- The 26-year-old semi-prospect likely starts at shortstop this week with Cesar Izturis battling a strained hamstring. He has a better bat than Izturis, but not enough potential for mixed leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays play six games in NL parks, meaning Willy Aybar , a utility player miscast as a starting first baseman with Carlos Pena (broken finger) on the DL, returns to the bench. All that changes if Pena can return Tuesday, but considering he hasn't even started a rehab assignment, don't hold your breath. Since he has a .227 batting average so far, you could stand to sit him during his first week back anyway ... Melvin Upton is batting .211 (4-for-19) over his last five games and .254 in June. But he's the kind of player you never sit under any circumstances.
Texas Rangers: The Rangers play three games in NL parks, meaning Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Frank Catalanotto will each likely get a day or two off ... Hank Blalock , transitioning to first base and working his way back from not only a partially torn hamstring, but carpal tunnel syndrome, is on a rehab assignment and might return at the beginning of the week. All those question marks make him not worth starting in mixed leagues, but his upside makes him worth a roster spot in all leagues ... What do you know? Milton Bradley is flaking out again. The emerging but often injured Fantasy superstar hasn't started over the last four games, but he's appeared as a pinch hitter in the last two. His performance this season makes him worth starting in Fantasy Week 13, but he might go the way Jimmy Rollins did in April and tease us with pinch-hit appearances for the next week or two before giving in and going on the DL.
Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Hill won't return from his concussion anytime soon. He's still feeling symptoms from the May 29 blow and will be reevaluated in two weeks ... Gregg Zaun has made his presence known coming off the DL, launching two home runs in his first eight at-bats. He's not worth using in most mixed leagues, but he has good strike-zone judgment and can suffice as a No. 2 catcher.
Washington Nationals: The Nationals lineup is in a constant state of flux, but one guy the team won't bench anytime soon is Elijah Dukes . The troubled 23-year-old, who looked like he was playing in slow motion in his first few weeks off the DL in mid-May, is batting .352 with five stolen bases over the last two weeks. He has better power than his two home runs indicate and deserves a flier in all leagues ... Dmitri Young has taken over first base full time with Aaron Boone nursing a sore knee. His limited offensive potential makes him more of an NL-only option.
Have a burning question regarding Fantasy Baseball? We invite you to send your questions, comments and scouting reports on players to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, city and state. You'll have the chance to be heard by thousands of Fantasy players just like yourself!
What to do with some of the biggest disappointments in Fantasy? Chris Towers looks at some...
Luis Robert is close to signing with the White Sox, and Gleyber Torres is moving up in the...
Is Brad Hand the new closer in San Diego? What about Koda Glover in Washington? Is Tyson Ross...
Chris Towers looks at some slow starters who could be had for a discount.
Heath Cummings says it's time for Joe Ross to be universally owned, and offers five options...
Anthony Rizzo is a game away from qualifying as a second baseman in Fantasy. Chris Towers looks...