Week 15 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.

This week's news and notes for each team:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Schedule: @STL3
Heating Up: Gerardo Parra has gone back to playing like he did in his first week on the job, batting .457 (16 for 35) with two triples over his last nine games. His lack of home run pop limits his appeal in mixed leagues, but he should start in all NL-only formats right now.
Cooling Off: Mark Reynolds hit .100 (2 for 20) in the final six games before the All-Star break, dropping his batting average below .260 for the first time since early June. He has overcome most of his past streakiness this year and likely won't stay in this slump long enough for you to consider benching him.
Injury Concerns: Chris Snyder might return from a lower back strain this week, but Miguel Montero has played so well in his absence that you have to wonder how the Diamondbacks will split playing time between the two. Better just leave both for NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Diamondbacks face only right-handers in their three games this week, so Chad Tracy shouldn't lose any playing time to Tony Clark .
Lineup Changes: None.

Atlanta Braves
Schedule: NYM4
Heating Up: Martin Prado doesn't show any signs of slowing down as an everyday player, batting .400 (10 for 25) over his last six games. He has some low-end mixed-league appeal. Nate McLouth , who's more of a must-start option, is off to a great start in July, batting .333 (15 for 45) with two home runs and one stolen base.
Cooling Off: The Braves' two biggest Fantasy options, Brian McCann and Chipper Jones , didn't enter the break playing their best. McCann is batting .172 (5 for 29) over his last eight games, and Jones, dealing with a groin injury, is batting .214 (3 for 14) over his last six games. Both remain too valuable to sit in Fantasy.
Injury Concerns: Yunel Escobar (back) and Casey Kotchman (flu) both had day-to-day issues going into the break. They should return in time for Thursday's game, so use them both as you normally would, which means Escobar in mixed leagues and Kotchman in NL-only formats. Kelly Johnson (wrist) is on a Triple-A rehab assignment, but he lost his job to Prado before the injury and would likely return as a reserve.
Platoon Possibilities: The Braves face two left-handers this week, which means Matt Diaz will get to spell Ryan Church twice against the Mets. Neither looks like an advisable start this week, not that you'd consider either outside of NL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: Church, who came over in a deal for Jeff Francoeur last week, figures to sit against left-handers, but when in the lineup he'll hit sixth, behind McCann and Garret Anderson .

Baltimore Orioles
Schedule: @CHW3
Heating Up: Luke Scott has an 11-game hitting streak during which he's batting .357 (15 for 47), but he's not the most advisable start this week given the Orioles matchups. Adam Jones still has only one home run since May, but he's starting to get his batting average back up, batting .324 (12 for 37) over his last nine games.
Cooling Off: Aubrey Huff is batting only .146 (6 for 41) in July and doesn't figure to break out against two left-handers this week. You might actually want to consider sitting him even in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Orioles face two left-handers, which means Ty Wigginton should make two starts, filling in for a different player each time. Since they play only three games total, you might want to sit Huff, who struggles against left-handers, and Scott, who most often sits for Wigginton.
Lineup Changes: None.

Boston Red Sox
Schedule: @TOR3
Heating Up: Don't look now, but Dustin Pedroia might've just begun a midsummer hot streak much like the one that captured him the AL MVP last year. He's batting .484 (15 for 31) with two home runs in his last seven games, collecting multiple hits in five of those games. He began a stretch like that on June 14 last year and hit .375 with 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases the rest of the way. Yeah, start him. Kevin Youkilis , who hit only .244 in June, has started to put that slump behind him, batting .438 (7 for 16) with two home runs in his final four games before the break.
Cooling Off: Amid all the talk of David Ortiz breaking out of his slump, pundits everywhere seem to have overlooked the fact he's batting only .200 (8 for 40) in July. Sure, he has four homers, but he's still not good enough to start in most leagues. J.D. Drew has gone cold out of the leadoff spot, batting .115 (3 for 26) over his last seven games.
Injury Concerns: Mike Lowell , on the DL since late June with pain in his surgically repaired hip, will likely return after the All-Star break, which would move Kevin Youkilis back to first base and force Mark Kotsay to the bench. If you have a viable alternative, you should probably keep Lowell reserved since he might need a few games to find his stroke. He's not exactly a stud at full strength anyway.
Platoon Possibilities: The Red Sox face two left-handed pitchers this week, which means Rocco Baldelli will likely start twice, probably in favor of Drew. You wouldn't start Baldelli outside of AL-only leagues no matter how many lefties the Red Sox face, and you should probably opt to bench Drew this week as well.
Lineup Changes: None.

Chicago Cubs
Schedule: @WAS4
Heating Up: Ryan Theriot has multiple hits in eight of 12 games this month, batting .396 (19 for 48) with a stolen base. His lack of pop makes him a low-end option at best in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Aramis Ramirez has yet to get an extra-base hit in six games since returning from a dislocated shoulder, which is a concern since shoulder injuries can affect a hitter's power. He's so good that you have to start him anyway, but keep a close eye on his performance.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cubs face two left-handers in their four games this week, meaning Kosuke Fukudome and Reed Johnson will get equal playing time.
Lineup Changes: Jeff Baker , who spent most of the last two months on the DL with the Rockies, started at second base three games in a row after joining the Cubs. He has intriguing power potential at a weak position -- enough that he deserves a look in NL-only leagues. Mike Fontenot apparently doesn't have a starting job anymore, so feel free to cut him if you need the roster space.

Chicago White Sox
Schedule: BAL3
Heating Up: Most of the White Sox lineup has heated up at the same time, but Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez in particular have stood out in July. Konerko is batting .421 (16 for 31) with three home runs, and Ramirez is batting .412 (14 for 34) with one homer and one steal. Jermaine Dye entered the break on a nine-game hitting streak, batting .394 (13 for 33) with two home runs during that stretch.
Cooling Off: With his teammates all heating up, Scott Podsednik is the only one cooling off, batting .176 (6 for 34) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Quentin , who will try to play the second half with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, is on a Triple-A rehab assignment and could return as soon as Friday. No one knows just how much he'll play or how well he'll play with the injury, so you should probably sit him until you have some evidence one way or another. To clear a lineup spot, the White Sox will probably bench the platoon of Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise .
Platoon Possibilities: The White Sox don't face a left-hander in any of their three games this week, so Chris Getz should play every day. His speed makes him worth a look in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

Top 10 Hitters Added
Player % Change
1. Franklin Gutierrez , OF, Mariners 21
2. Josh Willingham , OF, Nationals 15
3. Garrett Jones , OF, Pirates 15
4. Andruw Jones , DH, Rangers 11
5. Michael Bourn , OF, Astros 7
6. Colby Rasmus , OF, Cardinals 7
7. Martin Prado , 1B, Braves 7
8. Miguel Montero , C, Diamondbacks 7
9. Luke Scott , OF, Orioles 6
10. Ryan Doumit , C, Pirates 5

Cincinnati Reds
Schedule: MIL4
Heating Up: Brandon Phillips hit three home runs in the six games before the break, batting .318 (7 for 22) during that stretch. He remains a must-start.
Cooling Off: Jerry Hairston is batting .174 (4 for 23) over his last six games and .238 since May. He's probably due for a hot streak, but he doesn't look like an advisable start in mixed leagues right now.
Injury Concerns: Chris Dickerson left Sunday's game with back spasms, which probably won't be an issue coming out of the All-Star break. He's likely an everyday player now that Jay Bruce has a fractured wrist, but this injury is reason enough to avoid him this week in shallower NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Reds face one left-handed pitcher this week, so expect Jonny Gomes to get a start in place of Laynce Nix .
Lineup Changes: Other than Dickerson getting everyday at-bats now, none.

Cleveland Indians
Schedule: SEA4
Heating Up: Grady Sizemore is hitting well despite a sore elbow, batting .343 (12 for 35) with three home runs and two stolen bases over his last nine games. He's a must-start again.
Cooling Off: Victor Martinez continues to crash and burn after hitting over .340 most of the first half, batting .104 (7 for 67) since June 20. Catcher is such a weak position that you might as well keep him active. Shin-Soo Choo is only 1 for 16 (.063) over his last five games, but that's not a long enough slump to justify benching him.
Injury Concerns: Asdrubal Cabrera , who missed three weeks with a shoulder injury, still has soreness in the shoulder according to the Akron-Beacon Journal. He started six straight games before the All-Star break, so he likely won't miss any time, but this report just gives you another excuse to sit him. He's batting .234 since returning.
Platoon Possibilities: The Indians face three left-handed pitchers in their four games this week, making Travis Hafner a poor start. Kelly Shoppach will likely spell him at least twice and is worth a look if you need a stopgap No. 2 catcher. Jamey Carroll might also replace Luis Valbuena against the lefties, which has some significance in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

Colorado Rockies
Schedule: @SD4
Heating Up: Dexter Fowler entered the break batting .444 (8 for 18) with four stolen bases during a five-game hitting streak. Troy Tulowitzki had a streak of his own, batting .348 (8 for 23) with three home runs over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Brad Hawpe didn't play much like an All-Star in the days leading up to his first trip to the game, batting .219 (7 for 32) over his last nine. He remains a must-start.
Injury Concerns: Todd Helton missed the final game of the first half with the flu, but he should be fine for the four-game series at San Diego. His week-to-week consistency makes him an advisable start in Head-to-Head leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rockies don't face a single left-handed pitcher this week, which means Seth Smith might play enough to make an impact in deeper leagues if the Rockies continue to start him over Carlos Gonzalez .
Lineup Changes: None.

Scott's top Week 15 sleepers
Player Start %
1. Josh Willingham , OF, Nationals 27
2. Franklin Gutierrez , OF, Mariners 42
3. Denard Span , OF, Twins 46
4. Nick Johnson , 1B, Nationals 32
5. Mike Napoli , C, Angels 55
6. Martin Prado , 1B, Braves 31
7. Jason Kubel , OF/DH, Twins 47
8. Michael Cuddyer , OF, Twins 61
9. Orlando Cabrera , SS, Athletics 32
10. Hank Blalock , DH, Rangers 55
* sleepers are players started in less than 65 percent of CBSSports.com leagues

Detroit Tigers
Schedule: @NYY3
Heating Up: Marcus Thames is one of the streakiest players in baseball but a bit of an underrated option in Rotisserie leagues now that he's playing every day. He's having another power surge, batting .344 (11 for 32) with four home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Curtis Granderson is batting only .197 (15 for 76) since June 20, but his combination of power and speed makes him too valuable to sit.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Guillen , out since May 5 because of a shoulder injury, has begun a Class A rehab assignment but likely won't return until August at the earliest. Josh Anderson , who got hit on the triceps by a pitch, is questionable for the upcoming series at New York, but he's just an AL-only option.
Platoon Possibilities: The Tigers will likely face only one left-hander, CC Sabathia , during the shortened week, which means Clete Thomas will sit once for Magglio Ordonez . Anderson also has somewhat of a platoon with Ryan Raburn , though Raburn has gotten more starts against right-handed pitchers lately. None of these players matter in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: Yup, Ordonez has struggled enough to become just a platoon player in right field -- and the one that starts less often. The Tigers called Thomas back up from the minor leagues and will start him against righties, showing faith in the 25-year-old outfielder who has the potential to become a Nate McLouth type. He's worth a look in AL-only leagues, and Ordonez no longer deserves a roster spot in mixed leagues.

Florida Marlins
Schedule: PHI4
Heating Up: Without much fanfare, Emilio Bonifacio is having his best month. He's batting .311 (14 for 45) and has enough speed and versatility to start in all Rotisserie leagues. Jorge Cantu , hampered by a wrist injury much of the season, is batting .421 (8 for 19) over his last four games.
Cooling Off: Cody Ross has gotten more consistent this year, but he's in a little bit of a funk right now, batting .176 (3 for 17) over his last five games. Sit him if you can in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Marlins face three left-handers in their four games this week, so you wouldn't want to get anywhere near John Baker . He usually sits in favor of Ronny Paulino against lefties. Brett Carroll has also begun to spell Chris Coghlan against lefties, rendering both just NL-only options.
Lineup Changes: None.

Houston Astros
Schedule: @LAD4
Heating Up: Michael Bourn is batting .350 (7 for 20) with five stolen bases over his last five games and is approaching must-start status even in Head-to-Head leagues. Miguel Tejada entered the All-Star break batting .361 (13 for 36) during an eight-game hitting streak. He remains a must-start. So does Carlos Lee , who's beginning to come around with a .462 (12 for 26) batting average over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Ivan Rodriguez is batting only .214 (6 for 28) in July and has sat five of the 12 games in favor of Humberto Quintero . He's a No. 2 Fantasy option at best.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Astros face two left-handers in their four games this week, but Geoff Blum has begun playing more and more against lefties, relegating Jeff Keppinger to a reserve role. He's still just an NL-only option.
Lineup Changes: None.

Kansas City Royals
Schedule: TB3
Heating Up: Billy Butler continues to improve his mixed-league appeal, batting .327 (16 for 49) in July. He's still just a low-end option since he hasn't developed much power yet.
Cooling Off: Alberto Callaspo wasn't hitting his best heading into the break, batting .217 (5 for 23) over his last seven games. He's only worth starting when hot.
Injury Concerns: Alex Gordon (hip surgery) and Yuniesky Betancourt (hamstring) will both come off the disabled list and rejoin the team Friday. You'll probably want to activate them in AL-only leagues. Neither matters in mixed leagues yet, though Gordon has the potential to matter if he can bounce back quickly from this procedure, which is similar to the one Alex Rodriguez had this spring.
Platoon Possibilities: The Royals face one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any clear lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: The Royals acquired Ryan P. Freel from the Cubs and started him in five straight games before the break, mostly in right field. He deserves a look in AL-only Rotisserie leagues because of his ability to steal bases, but keep in mind the Royals have several so-so players they could move in and out of the lineup in his place. Mitch Maier has lost most of the playing time to Freel so far, but he hardly mattered in AL-only leagues. Someone who did matter, Willie Bloomquist , sat out the final two games before the break, losing time to both Freel and Tony Pena . It might just be a short-term arrangement, but you shouldn't start him right now.

L.A. Angels
Schedule: @OAK4
Heating Up: Bobby Abreu is batting .438 (14 for 32) during an eight-game hitting streak and remains a must-start even if he hasn't offered much power this year. Erick Aybar has multiple hits in each of his last five games, batting .579 (11 for 19) during that stretch. He and Maicer Izturis split at-bats almost equally, though, making them both useless in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Chone Figgins isn't exactly cold enough to sit, but he's batting only .240 (6 for 25) over his last seven games.
Injury Concerns: Juan Rivera missed the last two games of the first half with separate quadriceps and hamstring issues, but the Angels think he'll be fine for the four-game series at Oakland. He's a bit of a risk this week, so if you have plenty of viable alternatives on your bench, you might want to go with one of them.
Platoon Possibilities: The Angels face two left-handed pitchers in their four games this week, opening up the possibility for them to try a new platoon at first base, with Brandon Wood spelling Kendrys Morales against the lefties. Morales owners would rather them avoid that tactic, obviously, but Wood clearly has renewed appeal in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: Mike Napoli has taken over at DH with Vladimir Guerrero on the DL with a knee injury. As a catcher getting everyday at-bats, he's a must-have in Fantasy right now. Gary Matthews has taken over for the injured Torii Hunter , but he doesn't matter outside of AL-only leagues.

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cubs @WAS4
2. Rockies @SD4
3. Mariners @CLE4
4. Braves NYM4
5. Twins @TEX3

L.A. Dodgers
Schedule: HOU4
Heating Up: Even though it didn't amount to anything, Matt Kemp did his best to prove he deserved a spot as an All-Star alternate over the final nine games, batting .471 (16 for 34). Start him as always. You probably never did bench Russell Martin , but now he's actually rewarding you for it, batting .343 (12 for 35) over his last eight games. Rafael Furcal looks like he might have something to contribute in the second half. He's batting .372 (16 for 43) in June and deserves a look in mixed leagues again.
Cooling Off: Orlando Hudson might have hit two home runs in the final game before the break, but he desperately needed them. He entered the game batting .118 (6 for 51) over his previous 14.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Dodgers face two left-handers this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: With Andre Ethier and Hudson both slumping, manager Joe Torre decided to boost one and bury the other, dropping Hudson to the eighth spot and elevating Ethier to second, in front of Manny Ramirez . Ethier responded by homering twice in four games, and Hudson homered twice in the final game before the break. Since the shakeup worked, Torre will likely stick with it, meaning Ethier might have a big second half ahead.

Milwaukee Brewers
Schedule: @CIN4
Heating Up: Mike Cameron , who hit .153 in June, is so far having a rebound July, batting .394 (13 for 33). He's not a long-term solution in most mixed leagues, but you could give him a look now.
Cooling Off: Ryan Braun has only one hit in his last four games, batting .059 (1 for 17) during that stretch. He has yet to homer in 48 July at-bats.
Injury Concerns: J.J. Hardy felt a pop in his shoulder on a swing Saturday and sat out Sunday with an injury that sounds like it could lead to a DL stint. The extent of it remains unknown right now, but considering Hardy's hitting only .232 during a disappointing season, you should probably play it safe and sit him. Craig Counsell started in his place Sunday even with left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Platoon Possibilities: The Brewers don't face a single left-hander this week, so you know Bill Hall will stay on the bench. The better half of his platoon isn't so obvious after Mat Gamel homered twice last week. Gamel and Casey McGehee will probably split starts against righties, making neither all that useful right now in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: The Brewers have played around with Jason Kendall in their leadoff spot recently, but you can't honestly expect him to stay there -- not when he's hitting only .233. The Brewers have had a hard time finding a leadoff man since losing Rickie Weeks to a wrist injury in May.

Minnesota Twins
Schedule: @TEX3
Heating Up: Denard Span is batting .364 (16 for 44) with four stolen bases in July and appears to have rediscovered his form after missing some time in June with an illness. Get him active in all leagues.
Cooling Off: Justin Morneau is batting .143 (3 for 21) over his last six games, but you wouldn't sit him in Fantasy.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Twins don't face a single left-handed pitcher in their three games this week, but they don't have anyone who routinely sits against lefties.
Lineup Changes: None.

N.Y. Mets
Schedule: @ATL4
Heating Up: Luis Castillo hit .474 (9 for 19) in the six games leading into the break, but he's no longer enough of a base stealer to matter in mixed leagues. David Wright seems to be back on the right track, batting .350 (7 for 20) over his last five games.
Cooling Off: Nobody's significantly underperforming right now, but that's not saying much with this lineup.
Injury Concerns: Jose Reyes no longer seems on the verge of returning after getting a cortisone shot in his injured hamstring July 7, but he has run since then and still has a chance of returning before the end of July. Keep him stashed.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mets face only right-handers this week, making Daniel Murphy worth a look in NL-only leagues. He loses at-bats to Fernando Tatis against lefties.
Lineup Changes: The Mets acquired Jeff Francoeur from the Braves and immediately made him their everyday right fielder. He'll get consistent at-bats, but he's still not hitting well enough to matter in mixed leagues. Angel Pagan has also taken over as an everyday outfielder, batting leadoff and playing center field since returning from a groin injury. His ability to steal bases makes him useful in NL-only leagues, but injuries have become an all-too-frequent problem for him.

N.Y. Yankees
Schedule: DET3
Heating Up: Alex Rodriguez is batting .364 (12 for 33) with four home runs over his last nine games. Derek Jeter is batting .419 (18 for 43) with two four-hit games over his last 10. Robinson Cano is batting .382 (13 for 34) during an eight-game hitting streak. All three are obvious must-starts in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Johnny Damon hasn't hit the ball well so far in July, batting just .147 (5 for 34), but his all-around production makes him too valuable to sit.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Yankees face one left-hander in their three games this week, but nobody starts exclusively against left-handers.
Lineup Changes: The Yankees have recently replaced two switch-hitting outfielders, Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera , with two left-handed hitters, Eric Hinske and Brett Gardner , and stuck with the changes even when they last faced a left-handed pitcher. They'll probably shuffle those four around all season, but Gardner seems like the most valuable right now just because of his ability to steal bases.

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Diamondbacks @STL3
2. Yankees DET3
3. Tigers @NYY3
4. Pirates SF3
5. Orioles @CHW3

Oakland Athletics
Schedule: LAA4
Heating Up: Kurt Suzuki is batting .381 (16 for 42) during a 10-game hitting streak and looks like a must-start right now. Orlando Cabrera has multiple hits in seven of 10 games this month, batting .362 (17 for 47) with two home runs and five RBI. He's worth a flier in mixed leagues now that he appears back on track. He hit .298 in the second half last year after a .269 first half.
Cooling Off: Mark Ellis is batting only .143 (2 for 14) over his last four games, but you can only expect so much from him offensively anyway. He's hitting .219 on the year.
Injury Concerns: Jason Giambi missed Sunday's game after bruising his right elbow Saturday. The break will likely give him enough time to heal, but you should sit him anyway considering he's hitting .192.
Platoon Possibilities: The Athletics face only one left-handed pitcher this week. Ryan Sweeney might sit for Rajai Davis that game.
Lineup Changes: The Athletics acquired Scott Hairston from the Padres early last week and immediately made him their everyday center fielder. He bumps Travis Buck from the lineup, which isn't a big loss in Fantasy since he was hitting only .226. Hairston has hit third, with Matt Holliday fourth, Jack Cust fifth and Kurt Suzuki sixth. He still has some sleeper appeal in mixed leagues, but keep in mind the Athletics' last few acquisitions -- Holliday and Giambi, specifically -- haven't turned out well.

Philadelphia Phillies
Schedule: @FLA4
Heating Up: Seemingly every Phillie found his form before the break, including Jayson Werth , who homered in four straight games, Shane Victorino , who hit .419 (18 for 43) in 10 games, and Chase Utley , who's batting .364 with three home runs in July. But the most encouraging hot streak had to be Jimmy Rollins . The 30-year-old shortstop, who's in a season-long slump, hit .405 (17 for 42) with one home run and six stolen bases in the final 11 games before the break. He remained a must-start even at his worst with the shortstop position offering so little high-end talent, but you have to feel at least somewhat optimistic he has a big second half coming.
Cooling Off: Everyone's hot. Nobody qualifies here.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Phillies face one left-hander this week, which might actually mean something if they had any platoon players. Carlos Ruiz might start for Paul Bako that game, but you had to figure Bako would sit at least once anyway.
Lineup Changes: Raul Ibanez (groin) returned from the DL on Saturday and went back to hitting fifth, behind Ryan Howard and in front of Jayson Werth . He doubled twice in his first game back and remains a must-start.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Schedule: SF3
Heating Up: Defying all expectations, Garrett Jones has emerged as a viable mixed-league option, homering in three straight games just before the All-Star break. He's batting .310 with five home runs in only 42 at-bats since taking over as the Pirates' everyday left fielder. You can't expect the 28-year-old rookie to keep playing this well, but you could do worse if you need some pop off the waiver wire.
Cooling Off: Adam LaRoche seems to end up in the hot or cold category every week. This week, he looks like a player to sit, batting .038 (1 for 26) over his last seven games. Same goes for his brother, Andy LaRoche , who's batting .167 (4 for 24) over his last seven games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Pirates face one left-hander this week, so Delwyn Young figures to get a start in place of Brandon Moss . Leave both players for NL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: Ryan Doumit , out since late April with a broken wrist, has hit cleanup since returning Friday, behind Jones. He's only 2 for 13 since returning, but he was a must-start in Fantasy before the injury and should remain a consistent source of runs and RBI (for a catcher, anyway) batting in the middle of the Pirates lineup.

San Diego Padres
Schedule: COL4
Heating Up: Kevin Kouzmanoff is batting .375 (12 for 32) with two home runs over his last eight games, but his hot streaks never last for long. You probably shouldn't even bother with him.
Cooling Off: Everth Cabrera cooled off after a hot start as the team's everyday shortstop, batting .148 (4 for 27) over his last seven games. Leave him for NL-only leagues. Adrian Gonzalez continues to slump after a torrid start this year, batting .130 (6 for 46) in July.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Padres don't face any left-handed pitchers this week, but their outfield is too much of a mess to have any clear platoons right now.
Lineup Changes: Will Venable has benefited most from the team trading Scott Hairston to the Athletics, but he, Tony Gwynn and power prospect Kyle Blanks are competing for time in two outfield spots. Don't bother with any of these players outside of NL-only leagues.

San Francisco Giants
Schedule: @PIT3
Heating Up: Pablo Sandoval remained as hot as ever leading up to the All-Star break, batting .382 (13 for 34) with four home runs over his last nine games. He might be the hottest player in the world since the beginning of June, batting .365 with 12 home runs. Juan Uribe , now the everyday second baseman, has renewed appeal in NL-only leagues. He's batting .480 (12 for 25) with two home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Aaron Rowand is batting .143 (4 for 28) over his last seven games and isn't looking like much of an option for mixed leagues anymore. Nate Schierholtz never was more than an NL-only option, but he's batting just .120 (3 for 25) over his last eight games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Giants face two left-handers in their three games this week, making Schierholtz and Travis Ishikawa inadvisable starts this week even in NL-only leagues. They often sit against lefties in favor of Andres Torres and Rich Aurilia . Then again, both started against the last left-hander the Giants faced, so those platoons might be on the verge of dissolving.
Lineup Changes: None.

Seattle Mariners
Schedule: @CLE4
Heating Up: Franklin Gutierrez continues to swing one of the hottest bats in baseball, batting .404 (19 for 47) with three home runs in June and .378 (37 for 98) with seven home runs since June 16. He should start in all leagues right now.
Cooling Off: Russell Branyan might have begun his inevitable regression to the mean. He's batting .095 (2 for 21) over his last six games.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mariners face three left-handers in their four games this week, so you shouldn't expect Branyan to snap out of his slump. You should expect Wladimir Balentien to start three times for Ryan Langerhans , as well as Chris Woodward for Jack Hannahan and Chris Shelton for Ken Griffey . None of these players -- except for Branyan, obviously -- matters in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: Yup, the Mariners acquired Hannahan from the Athletics last week, somehow believing he'll fill their hole at third base. They also traded away Yuniesky Betancourt , meaning Ronny Cedeno will get to play every day at shortstop. He deserves a look in AL-only leagues.

St. Louis Cardinals
Schedule: ARI3
Heating Up: After a horrendous June that started to make his breakout 2008 season look like a fluke, Ryan Ludwick has caught fire over his last seven games, batting .481 (13 for 27) with four home runs. The All-Star break interrupted his momentum, but he still looks like a must-start for the upcoming scoring period. Colby Rasmus cooled off a little just before the break, but he's batting .333 with six home runs since May.
Cooling Off: Rick Ankiel is batting .071 (2 for 28) in July and frequently sitting in favor of other, hotter hitters. Don't even bother with him in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: The Cardinals still have yet to offer a timetable for Mark DeRosa return, so you have to think that wrist injury will keep him out for the weekend. Keep him reserved. Joe Thurston will continue to start in his absence.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cardinals face three right-handed pitchers this week, meaning Skip Schumaker won't have to sit for Jarrett Hoffpauir or anyone else.
Lineup Changes: None.

Tampa Bay Rays
Schedule: @KC3
Heating Up: Just when Ben Zobrist looked like he had finally come back down to earth, hitting only .167 (9 for 54) during a 17-game stretch, he rebounded to hit .455 (10 for 22) with one home run and three stolen bases over the final six games before the break. He remains a must-start.
Cooling Off: Carlos Pena is always going to be either hot or cold, but he's looking like the latter right now, batting .152 (5 for 33) in July. His power makes him too valuable to sit in most leagues, but in shallower leagues, you might want to consider it. Jason Bartlett batting average has fallen 15 points in July. He's batting only .219 (7 for 32) this month but remains a must-start at a weak position.
Injury Concerns: Evan Longoria had to miss the All-Star game because of an infected finger, but it was a close call. Unless you hear something cryptic Wednesday, you should probably keep him active. Dioner Navarro sat out Sunday's game after getting hit in the head with a foul ball Saturday, but he didn't suffer a concussion and shouldn't have any problems playing.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rays don't face a single left-handed pitcher this week, so Gabe Kapler probably won't get a start. Conversely, Gabe Gross is a viable stopgap in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: None.

Texas Rangers
Schedule: MIN3
Heating Up: Hank Blalock , now an everyday player, is batting .455 (10 for 22) with two home runs over his last six games and deserves a look in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Ian Kinsler has fallen into such a tailspin that he actually didn't make the All-Star team -- something that seemed unfathomable back in April. He's batting .225 (58 for 258) since that first month and .122 (5 for 41) in July. Still, you can't sit him.
Injury Concerns: Leading into the break, David Murphy missed three straight games with a strained finger on his right hand, but he might be the odd man out anyway with Josh Hamilton back. Avoid him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rangers face two left-handed pitchers this week, but the days of lefty-righty platoons for them appear over.
Lineup Changes: Andruw Jones , who used to just replace Blalock against left-handed pitchers, looks like an everyday player now with Chris Davis in the minors. He started seven straight games before the break and has enough power potential to matter in deeper mixed leagues. Blalock himself has become an everyday player, starting at first base. The Rangers might occasionally work Murphy into the lineup, but Jones and Blalock look like the clear favorites to get at-bats in the second half.

Toronto Blue Jays
Schedule: BOS3
Heating Up: Adam Lind enters the break on an eight-game hitting streak, batting .270 (10 for 37) with three home runs during that stretch. The All-Star snub should remain active even though the Blue Jays play only three games this week. Marco Scutaro has multiple hits in four of his last five games and is batting .429 (9 for 21) during that stretch. No sense in benching him now.
Cooling Off: Lyle Overbay is batting only .125 (2 for 16) over his last five games but doesn't have any mixed-league appeal as a platoon player.
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Blue Jays face one lefty in their three games this week, meaning Overbay will get two starts to Kevin Millar one. Jose Bautista also figures to start against the lefty, replacing Dave Dellucci .
Lineup Changes: None.

Washington Nationals
Schedule: CHC4
Heating Up: Josh Willingham has hit safely in all 11 games this June, batting .366 (15 for 41) with three home runs and two stolen bases. He has earned the everyday job in right field with his hot hitting, not to mention a place on mixed-league rosters. Nick Johnson has also hit safely in every game this month, which adds up to 10 for him. He's batting .375 (15 for 40). Nyjer Morgan seems to have settled in after coming over from Pittsburgh, batting .361 (13 for 36) with five steals over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Josh Bard , who looked like he was on the verge of becoming the everyday catcher, is batting .233 (7 for 30) over his last nine games. He continues to split time with Wil Nieves .
Injury Concerns: None.
Platoon Possibilities: The Nationals face one left-hander in their four games this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None.

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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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