Week 4 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, the following games could potentially get rained out: Seattle at Chicago White Sox (70 percent chance) on Monday and Toronto at Kansas City (80 percent chance) on Monday.

This week's news and notes for each team:

Arizona Diamondbacks
Schedule: CHC3, @MIL4
Heating Up: Eric Byrnes has finally started to look like the player who went 20-30 in back-to-back seasons before leg injuries limited him last year. He's batting .375 (6-for-16) with two home runs and two stolen bases over his last four games. Keep an eye on him in mixed leagues, but don't look to add him until he becomes a full-time starter.
Cooling Off: Chris Young hasn't hit the ball well all season, and he's batting just .095 (2-for-21) over his last six games. Don't start him in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Stephen Drew has to go on the DL with a hamstring injury that forced him to miss a few games earlier this week. Unfortunately, he tried to return and played as recently as Friday, so he'll have to serve the full 15 days. Augie Ojeda will most likely start in his absence, but he's strictly a glove man and doesn't matter in Fantasy. Conor Jackson missed Friday's game with an illness and didn't return to the lineup Saturday. He should return Sunday, but his poor hitting so far this season should keep him out of your lineup regardless.
Platoon Possibilities: The Diamondbacks face two left-handers this week. They play seven games total, though, so Chad Tracy should remain in the lineup for at least five of them. He's a solid NL-only start. Byrnes has begun to steal at-bats against righties, so he has some NL-only appeal no matter how many left-handers the Diamondbacks face.
Lineup Changes: None

Atlanta Braves
Schedule: STL3, HOU3
Heating Up: Casey Kotchman still hasn't hit for much power, but he's batting .385 (10-for-26) during a seven-game hitting streak. He can factor in mixed leagues when playing at his best.
Cooling Off: Kelly Johnson got off to a hot start, but he has only three hits in his last nine games, batting .097 (3-for-31). Sit him for now.
Injury Concerns: Brian McCann finally had to go on the DL with blurred vision in his left eye -- a condition that has bothered him for most of the season. Since contact lenses didn't solve the problem, he'll likely need laser surgery. The Braves termed the condition an "infection," but only because they didn't have a better way to describe it within the limited vocabulary available for DL assignments. The Braves don't think McCann will miss more than the minimum 15 days, but you should obviously reserve the elite Fantasy catcher for now. Garret Anderson also had to go on the DL this past week with a strained quadriceps. He had a strained calf earlier this year and looks too fragile at age 36 to own in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Braves face only one left-hander this week, but with Matt Diaz already starting with Anderson injured, the lineup likely won't change much.
Lineup Changes: David Ross will take over as the team's starting catcher with McCann on the DL, and his power potential gives him some low-end mixed-league appeal. Kotchman has replaced McCann in the cleanup spot, which only adds to his Fantasy appeal by giving him more at-bats and more RBI opportunities.

Baltimore Orioles
Schedule: TEX1, LAA2, @TOR3
Heating Up: After last year's resurgence, Aubrey Huff has established a steady pace so far in 2009. He picked up his performance a little over the last five games, though, batting .318 (7-for-22) with two home runs.
Cooling Off: Felix Pie and Gregg Zaun have yet to get going at the plate, batting .156 and .109, respectively. If they don't start hitting soon, the Orioles could always turn to Luis Montanez and -- oh yes -- Matt Wieters . Brian Roberts is batting .185 (5-for-27) over his last seven games. He's still a must-start, though, batting .342 overall.
Injury Concerns: Melvin Mora (hamstring) is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, but he hasn't begun a rehab assignment yet. Most likely, Ty Wigginton will get most of the team's starts at third base this week.
Platoon Possibilities: The Orioles face three left-handers this week, so Montanez will probably start for Pie three times, assuming Mora remains on the DL. Montanez deserves a look in the deepest of AL-only leagues, but he'll likely go back to the minors once Mora returns.
Lineup Changes: None

Top 10 Hitters Added
Player % Change
1. Brandon Wood , 3B, ANA 25
2. John Baker , C, FLA 22
3. Yadier Molina , C, STL 15
4. Ben Zobrist , SS, TB 14
5. Mike Lowell , 3B, BOS 12
6. Kurt Suzuki , C, OAK 12
7. Asdrubal Cabrera , 2B, CLE 12
8. Orlando Hudson , 2B, LAD 11
9. Jason Kubel , DH, MIN 11
10. Jason Bartlett , SS, TB 11

Boston Red Sox
Schedule: @CLE3, @TB4
Heating Up: Kevin Youkilis hasn't had a slow week all year. He went 2-for-3 Saturday, raising his batting average to .444. He also has five home runs, including two in the last week. Mike Lowell had a six-RBI game Saturday, adding to an already hot week. He's batting .447 (17-for-38) with two home runs over his last nine games.
Cooling Off: Few Red Sox stand out as cold after Saturday's 16-11 victory over the Yankees, but J.D. Drew has slowed down lately, batting .188 (3-for-16) over his last five games.
Injury Concerns: Julio Lugo , who had surgery on his right knee this spring, is on a rehab assignment and will likely return to the Red Sox's lineup Monday. At age 33, he likely won't have another 30-steal season, so you can leave him for AL-only leagues. Nick A. Green will become a reserve once Lugo returns, losing his already minimal Fantasy value.
Platoon Possibilities: The Red Sox face only one left-hander in their seven games this week, but they don't have any clear platoon players with Rocco Baldelli on the DL with a hamstring injury.
Lineup Changes: None

Chicago Cubs
Schedule: @ARI3, FLA4
Heating Up: Alfonso Soriano just had an 11-game hitting streak come to an end Saturday. He hit .313 (15-for-48) with three home runs during that stretch.
Cooling Off: Derrek Lee 's cold start continues after he hit only seven home runs over the final four months last year. He's batting .150 (3-for-20) over his last five games and is no longer a must-start in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Aramis Ramirez strained his left calf Friday and was out of the lineup again Saturday. He won't return to the lineup until Thursday at the earliest, when the Cubs return home to open a four-game series against the Marlins. The Cubs feel Ramirez will make a speedy enough recovery that they'd like to avoid putting him on the DL. Knowing he'll miss at least half of Fantasy Week 4 (April 27-May 3) makes him hard to recommend in mixed leagues, where you could probably find a one-week stopgap off the waiver wire. In deeper NL-only leagues, you have no choice but to start Ramirez. After all, he's good enough to do in half a week what most third basemen do in a full week. The Cubs think Milton Bradley (groin) can return before the end of the road trip Thursday, but he tried to return once before and ended up having a setback. He has struggled too much so far for you to put him back in your lineup.
Platoon Possibilities: The Cubs face one left-handed pitcher this week, giving you every reason to keep the streaking Kosuke Fukudome in your lineup.
Lineup Changes: With Ramirez injured, Mike Fontenot will move to third base for now, allowing Aaron Miles to play second. Reed Johnson has passed Micah Hoffpauir as the favorite to start in the outfield until Bradley returns. With the loss of so many of their power hitters, the Cubs have dropped Soriano from first in the lineup to third. He's batting 1-for-8 there with a double. The move likely won't last long enough to affect his Fantasy value.

Chicago White Sox
Schedule: SEA3, @TEX3
Heating Up: Chris Getz has established himself as the team's starting second baseman and leadoff hitter, going 13-for-30 (.433) with two stolen bases over his last seven games. Brian Anderson , starting with Dewayne Wise on the DL, has upped his batting average by more than 100 points with a .409 (9-for-22) mark over his last six games.
Cooing Off: Carlos Quentin , who hit seven early home runs, has gone cold lately, batting .111 (2-for-18) over his last five games. He remains a must-start, though.
Injury Concerns: Getz missed Saturday's game with a bruised finger, though the White Sox don't consider the injury serious. Hopefully not, because Gets had just started to approach mixed-league viability. Brent Lillibridge will start until Getz returns.
Platoon Possibilities: The White Sox face two left-handers this week, thought their lineup variations have become less clear with Getz's recent hot streak and subsequent injury. Jim Thome will likely sit those two games, with Jerry Owens starting in his place.
Lineup Changes: None

Cincinnati Reds
Schedule: HOU3, @PIT3
Heating Up: Jay Bruce , the 22-year-old who has as much upside as any player in baseball, has finally gotten going during his sophomore season. He's batting .368 (7-for-19) with two home runs over his last five games.
Cooling Off: Brandon Phillips still hasn't gotten going, batting .161 with nine hits overall and three hits in his last 10 games. He remains a must-start, though.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Reds face two left-handers this week, so Chris Dickerson will likely get four starts, not that he's done anything to make him a worthwhile Fantasy option yet. Continue to avoid Jerry Hairston , as usual.
Lineup Changes: None

Cleveland Indians
Schedule: BOS3, @DET3
Heating Up: Victor Martinez continues to establish himself as a slam dunk for AL Comeback Player of the Year and reestablish himself as the No. 1 Fantasy catcher. He's batting .524 (11-for-21) over his last five games, raising his season average to .405.
Cooling Off: Mark DeRosa has run hot and cold so far this season and has reverted back to cold, batting .087 (2-for-23) over his last six games.
Injury Concerns: David Dellucci (calf) has begun a minor-league rehab assignment, but he would play just a reserve role upon his return. Ignore him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Indians face only one left-handed pitcher this week, but they don't have any players in a straight platoon.
Lineup Changes: None

Colorado Rockies
Schedule: SD3, @SF3
Heating Up: Brad Hawpe is batting .357 (10-for-28) with two home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Troy Tulowitzki has gone from cooling off to cold to ... whatever comes next. He's 0-for-13 over his last five games and is batting .176 overall. With the Rockies set to play three games in a pitcher's park, you might consider benching Tulowitzki if you have viable alternatives.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Rockies face two left-handers this week, but Seth Smith has clearly become the third wheel in a three-man rotation with Ryan Spilborghs and Dexter Fowler , regardless of who's on the mound. None of these three should start in mixed leagues right now, but Spilborghs and Fowler could make an impact eventually.
Lineup Changes: Ian Stewart continues to steal at-bats at second base and left field and could gain Fantasy eligibility at both positions as soon as this week. As a second baseman with 30-homer potential, he deserves a roster spot in all Fantasy leagues.

Scott's top Week 4 sleepers
Player Start %
1. Billy Butler , 1B, KC 15
2. Jason Kubel , DH, MIN 42
3. Eric Byrnes , OF, ARI 9
4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia , C, TEX 41
5. Travis Snider , OF, TOR 29
6. Casey Kotchman , 1B, ATL 16
7. Kurt Suzuki , C, OAK 46
8. Lyle Overbay , 1B, TOR 15
9. Kendrys Morales , 1B, ANA 12
10. Andruw Jones , OF, TEX 4
* sleepers are players started in less than 50 percent of CBSSports.com leagues

Detroit Tigers
Schedule: NYY3, CLE3
Heating Up: Curtis Granderson has broken out over his last five games, hitting .400 (8-for-20) with four home runs. He's obviously a must-start. Brandon Inge has gotten back on track after a mini slump made his hot start look like a fluke, going 12-for-33 (.364) with two home runs over his last nine games. He should start in all Fantasy leagues since he qualifies at catcher.
Cooling Off: Miguel Cabrera has begun a predictable regression to the mean after a blistering start, batting .111 (2-for-18) over his last five games. You obviously wouldn't sit him, though.
Injury Concerns: Marcus Thames had to go on the DL this week with a strained ribcage, giving Josh Anderson nearly every-day at-bats. Anderson has five stolen bases in his last eight games and has become a must-start in AL-only Rotisserie leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Tigers face three left-handed pitchers this week, which would normally mean lost at-bats for Anderson, but not with Thames on the DL. Anderson might not have a particularly high batting average against all those lefties, though.
Lineup Changes: None

Florida Marlins
Schedule: @NYM3, @CHC4
Heating Up: Hanley Ramirez has started to look like himself again, batting .345 (10-for-29) with two stolen bases during a seven-game hitting streak. You'd like to see more power, obviously, but it'll come.
Cooling Off: Emilio Bonifacio has gone 3-for-35 (.086) over his last nine games. Avoid starting him if you can, but you probably shouldn't cut him in Rotisserie leagues. You can't expect to replace his stolen bases with anybody you'd find on waivers.
Injury Concerns: Jorge Cantu missed much of the last week with a wrist injury, but he returned Saturday and went 2-for-5 with a home run. He appears a safe -- not to mention advisable -- start in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Marlins face three left-handers in their seven games this week, so John Baker might get only four starts. He has played like a No. 1 option in Head-to-Head leagues, though, so you shouldn't necessarily bench him. Compare him to your alternatives before making a decision.
Lineup Changes: None

Houston Astros
Schedule: @CIN3, @ATL3
Heating Up: Carlos Lee has finally come around, batting .318 (7-for-22) with four home runs over his last six games.
Cooling Off: Lance Berkman is 0-for-11 over his last three games and batting .177 on the year.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Astros won't face any left-handers this week, so Geoff Blum will likely stay in the lineup, not that he has much Fantasy value. Jeff Keppinger in all leagues.
Lineup Changes: Michael Bourn has hit well enough so far, batting .286, that the Astros have decided to move him back to the top of the lineup. He's now batting second, moving Miguel Tejada to fifth and Hunter Pence to sixth. Bourn will obviously score more runs batting that high, and Tejada and Pence still bat in favorable enough spots that their Fantasy values shouldn't change much.

Kansas City Royals
Schedule: TOR4, @MIN3
Heating Up: Mark Teahen , who has become the everyday third baseman with Alex Gordon on the DL, is batting .364 (8-for-22) during a six-game hitting streak. Coco Crisp is batting .381 (8-for-21) with two stolen bases over his last five games.
Cooling Off: David DeJesus is 1-for-13 over his last four games and hitting only .215 on the season. His low ceiling makes him not worth starting in mixed leagues right now. Mike Aviles also doesn't deserve to start in mixed leagues, going 1-for-18 over his last five games.
Injury Concerns: Jose Guillen , who played only the first three games this year before going on the DL with a partially torn right hip flexor tendon, returned to the lineup Saturday. He went 0-for-2 and is batting only .143 so far, so keep him reserved in mixed leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Royals face four left-handed pitchers this week, meaning Mike Jacobs has the potential to struggle. He'll likely still play every day, though. On the other hand, Billy Butler has a good chance to break out considering he had a .985 OPS last year against lefties and a .598 mark against righties.
Lineup Changes: Teahen has moved up to third in the batting order, bumping DeJesus up to second and dropping Aviles to seventh. None of these moves have much permanence, probably, but Teahen's only affirms his place a viable mixed-league option.

L.A. Angels
Schedule: @BAL2, @NYY4
Heating Up: Torii Hunter hit his seventh home run of the season Saturday and is batting .333 (6-for-18) over his last three games. Kendrys Morales is finally showing some of his potential, batting .333 (7-for-21) with two home runs over his last five games. He could end up viable in mixed leagues before this season ends.
Cooling Off: Chone Figgins is looking as cold as he did at times last year, when he hit .276. He's 4-for-30 (.133) over his last seven games and probably doesn't deserve to start in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Angels face two left-handers this week, but they don't really have any platoon players.
Lineup Changes: None

Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cardinals @ATL3, @WAS4
2. Athletics @TEX3, @SEA3
3. Rangers @BAL1, OAK3, CHW3
4. White Sox SEA3, @TEX3
5. Yankees @DET3, ANA4

L.A. Dodgers
Schedule: @SF3, SD4
Heating Up: Orlando Hudson is on an 11-game hitting streak that began the day he hit for the cycle. He's batting .444 (20-for-45) during that stretch. Continue to start him in all leagues. You wouldn't ever bench Manny Ramirez , but especially not now. He's batting .394 (13-for-33) with four home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Matt Kemp is only 2-for-15 over his last four games and is due for somewhat of a course correction, given his frequent strikeouts. You couldn't justify benching him just because of a poor four-game stretch, though.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Dodgers face two left-handed pitchers this week, but they don't have any platoon players.
Lineup Changes: None

Milwaukee Brewers
Schedule: PIT3, ARI4
Heating Up: Fantasy first-rounder Ryan J. Braun, who came out of the gate cold, has made up for lost time over his last five games, batting .684 (13-for-19) with three home runs.
Cooling Off: J.J. Hardy homered Tuesday, but he's still batting only .200 (6-for-30) over his last eight games. Hard to find a better shortstop than him, though.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Brewers face only one left-hander during their seven games this week, but they don't have any lefty-righty platoons.
Lineup Changes: None

Minnesota Twins
Schedule: TB3, KC3
Heating Up: Jason Kubel continues to swing a hot bat, batting .417 (10-for-24) with two home runs since hitting for the cycle on April 17. He deserves a roster spot in all mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: The Twins have an extra outfielder, and Michael Cuddyer has hardly established himself as a regular coming off an injury-plagued 2008. He's batting .150 (3-for-20) over his last five games. Leave him for AL-only leagues.
Injury Concerns: Joe Mauer , who began the season on the DL with back soreness related to offseason kidney surgery, has begun a rehab assignment and could return as soon as Tuesday. The original plan had him returning Friday, which would have made him hard to use in mixed leagues. This improved timetable makes him worth starting in all leagues this week. If you have a viable alternative, you might want to take a cautious approach and keep Mauer reserved for one more week, but in most leagues, an elite catcher is hard to replace.
Platoon Possibilities: The Twins face one left-handed pitcher in their five games this week, meaning Kubel, who homered twice Saturday, stands to lose only one start, if any. With his performance lately, the Twins might just consider him a full-time starter.
Lineup Changes: Delmon Young went 3-for-5 Saturday, potentially earning him more at-bats in his platoon with Carlos Gomez , who's hitting .205. Neither player matters in mixed leagues until one emerges as a full-timer. Alexi Casilla made his second straight start at second base Saturday, but he, Brendan Harris and Nick Punto continue to have a three-man rotation at two middle-infield positions.

N.Y. Mets
Schedule: FLA3, @PHI3
Heating Up: Fantasy stud Carlos Beltran , known for contributing in every category but batting average, actually leads the NL with a .415 mark through Saturday. He's batting .609 (14-for-23) over his last five games.
Cooling Off: Carlos Delgado , who just a week ago was one of the hottest players in baseball, has gone 3-for-26 (.115) over his last seven games.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Mets face only one left-handed pitcher this week, so Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church remain serviceable options in deeper mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: With Beltran swinging such a hot bat, the Mets have flipped him and David Wright in the lineup, moving Beltran up to third and dropping Wright to fifth. Beltran obviously benefits from the move, but neither player's Fantasy value changes much because of it.

Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Astros @CIN3, @ATL3
2. Indians BOS3, @DET3
3. Cubs @ARI3, FLA4
4. Twins TB3, KC3
5. Mariners @CHW3, OAK3

N.Y. Yankees
Schedule: @DET3, LAA4
Heating Up: Robinson Cano upped his hitting streak to 12 games with a two-homer game Saturday. He's batting .340 (18-for-53) with four home runs during that stretch. Melky Cabrera has four home runs in his last seven games, but he remains just a part-time player.
Cooling Off: After winning a starting job in part because of four early home runs, Nick Swisher is batting only .185 (5-for-27) over his last seven games.
Injury Concerns: Alex Rodriguez won't play this week, but he could make his return late next week if he can begin a minor-league rehab assignment by Friday. Whatever you do, don't trade him now. Meanwhile, his replacement, Cody Ransom , will have to go on the DL with a quadriceps injury. Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena will hold down the hot corner for now, but don't bother with them outside of the deepest of AL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Yankees likely will face only one left-handed pitcher this week, so Brett Gardner might get as many as six starts even though Cabrera has outplayed him recently. Gardner's speed makes him worth a look in Rotisserie leagues.
Lineup Changes: Cano's hot streak has earned him a more favorable spot in the lineup. The Yankees have moved him up to fifth, dropping Hideki Matsui to seventh. Matsui remains no better than a No. 4 Fantasy outfielder in mixed leagues.

Oakland Athletics
Schedule: @TEX3, @SEA3
Heating Up: Kurt Suzuki is batting .393 (11-for-28) with a home run over his last seven games, reestablishing himself as a potential starter in mixed leagues.
Cooling Off: Matt Holliday is batting only .185 (5-for-27) without a single base hit over his last six games. You still can't sit him, though, especially since the A's play three games at Texas this week. Fellow newcomer Orlando Cabrera is batting .045 (1-for-22) over his last five games. Since he's normally just a low-end option in mixed leagues, you can afford to sit him, but again, that series in Texas is plenty enticing.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Athletics face only one left-hander this week, but Eric Chavez and Travis Buck are less than full-time players anyway. Still, with the team's good matchups, Buck deserves a look in AL-only leagues this week.
Lineup Changes: Eric Chavez , struggling in his return from shoulder surgery, hasn't played much recently. Nomar Garciaparra and maybe even Jack Hannahan , back up from the minors, might continue to steal starts from him.

Philadelphia Phillies
Schedule: WAS3, NYM3
Heating Up: Shane Victorino is hitting .320 (8-for-25) during a six-game hitting streak and even hit a game-winning grand slam against the Marlins on Friday. He's coming around after a slow start and remains too valuable to sit in Fantasy.
Cooling Off: Pedro Feliz has gone 0-for-13 over his last four games, bringing his batting average to a more reasonable .269. He's just an NL-only option. Jimmy Rollins still hasn't turned the corner, batting .162 on the season.
Injury Concerns: Carlos Ruiz , working his way back from a strained oblique, has begun a Triple-A rehab assignment and could return sometime this week. He doesn't contribute much offensively, though, so you should probably just avoid him if possible. Chris Coste will lose at-bats once he returns, making him just a low-end NL-only option.
Platoon Possibilities: The Phillies face two left-handed pitchers this week, but nobody stands to lose at-bats against them.
Lineup Changes: None

Pittsburgh Pirates
Schedule: @MIL3, CIN3
Heating Up: Freddy Sanchez is batting .400 (14-for-35) over his last eight games, raising his season average to .351. He deserves to start right now in mixed leagues. Low and behold, Andy LaRoche has quietly started living up to his potential, batting .375 (12-for-32) during a nine-game hitting streak. Still no homers, though.
Cooling Off: Adam LaRoche had a nice little hot streak going, but he's now 0-for-7 over his last two games. He's too streaky to trust in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: Nate McLouth has a strained right oblique, but the Pirates consider it just a day-to-day problem. Still, they'll want to take a cautious approach with him to prevent a six-week DL stint. If he doesn't return to the lineup Sunday, you should probably play it safe and bench him. Jack Wilson has had more problems with a sprained finger, but you'd have to play in a deeper NL-only league to care about him.
Platoon Possibilities: The Pirates don't face any left-handed pitchers this week, which would seemingly mean Craig Monroe wouldn't get any starts. Seemingly ...
Lineup Changes: The Pirates have begun to realize Brandon Moss might not be the answer in left field, starting Eric Hinske out there as well as -- you guessed it -- Monroe. Monroe finally got to start against a right-hander at San Diego on Saturday and went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Could it be a precursor to him playing every day? NL-only owners hope so. He has 20-hoemr potential, after all. If nothing else, he should continue to play with McLouth sidelined, making him an intriguing, albeit low-end, stopgap option.

San Diego Padres
Schedule: @COL3, @LAD4
Heating Up: Adrian Gonzalez is batting .357 (10-for-28) with three home runs during a seven-game hitting streak, but he's a must-start anyway.
Cooling Off: Brian Giles is batting only .164 with two extra-base hits on the season. The 38-year-old has begun to lose his grip on full-time at-bats, sitting against left-handers.
Injury Concerns: Luis Rodriguez had an allergic reaction to something he ate Saturday. He likely won't miss much time, but he's just a low-end NL-only option anyway.
Platoon Possibilities: The Padres face three right-handers this week, meaning Scott Hairston will get three starts in some form or fashion. Lately, he has started for Giles, though Jody Gerut or Chase Headley could lose at-bats as well.
Lineup Changes: None

San Francisco Giants
Schedule: LAD3, COL3
Heating Up: Bengie Molina is batting .423 (11-for-26) with one home run over his last seven games, raising his season batting average to .328. He's a must-start regardless because he bats cleanup. Edgar Renteria has raised his batting average a few points recently, hitting .346 (9-for-26) with two home runs over his last eight games.
Cooling Off: Aaron Rowand is batting .136 (3-for-22) over his last seven games. Emmanuel Burriss is batting only .157 overall. Neither player should start in mixed leagues.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Giants face two left-handed pitchers this week, meaning Travis Ishikawa will make only four starts. He hasn't shown much power yet and doesn't belong on mixed-league rosters.
Lineup Changes: None

Seattle Mariners
Schedule: @CHW3, OAK3
Heating Up: Ichiro Suzuki has begun to work his batting average up to the .350 range, batting .474 (9-for-19) over his last four games. Russell Branyan , who typically gets off to hot starts before fading in the middle months, hasn't begun fading yet. He's batting .600 (6-for-10) with two home runs over his last three games, but he remains just an AL-only option.
Cooling Off: Ken Griffey has gone 3-for-20 over his last five games and has virtually no mixed-league appeal at age 39. Adrian Beltre has some, but he's still batting only .171 so far.
Injury Concerns: Mike Sweeney and Ronny Cedeno have each missed three games -- Sweeney with back spasms and Cedeno with a strained hamstring. Neither player matters outside of deeper AL-only leagues, though.
Platoon Possibilities: The Mariners face four left-handed pitchers this week, so you have to expect Branyan to sit at least some of those games. Wladimir Balentien might get more starts than usual, so the young power hitter deserves a flier in AL-only leagues.
Lineup Changes: None

St. Louis Cardinals
Schedule: @ATL3, @WAS4
Heating Up: Albert Pujols is always hot, but he's batting .533 (8-for-15) with three home runs over his last four games. Yadier Molina is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak, emerging as a must-start in the process. He's batting .394 (13-for-33) with six walks during that stretch.
Cooling Off: Chris Duncan , who got off to a hot start after missing much of last season with a neck injury, has finally come back down to earth, going 1-for-15 over his last four games.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Cardinals face two left-handed pitchers this week, which mostly affects Skip Schumaker . He should still make five starts, though, and he's more of an NL-only option anyway.
Lineup Changes: None

Tampa Bay Rays
Schedule: @MIN3, BOS4
Heating Up: Carl Crawford , who battled leg injuries last season, appears healthy now, batting .379 (11-for-29) with three stolen bases over his last seven games. He remains a must-start.
Cooling Off: Melvin Upton has yet to get going since returning from his quadriceps injury -- or all season, really. He's batting .171 overall and is 0-for-12 over his last three games. Carlos Pena is batting .150 (3-for-20) over his last five games, but he did have a two-homer game during that stretch. He remains an on-and-off player too valuable when "on" to sit.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Rays face only one left-hander, so Gabe Kapler likely won't get much playing time. Gabe Gross might not either, though, given the recent performance of Ben Zobrist . Neither Kapler nor Gross will get enough at-bats to matter in mixed leagues.
Lineup Changes: Zobrist is batting .375 (6-for-16) with two home runs over his last six games, prompting the Rays to play him more and more. Because he still has shortstop eligibility, he bears watching in mixed leagues, but he likely will lose at-bats too often to make a significant impact.

Texas Rangers
Schedule: @BAL1, OAK3, CHW3
Heating Up: The top two hitters in the Rangers lineup have shown surprising power lately. Ian Kinsler homered twice Saturday and is now batting .259 (7-for-27) with four home runs over his last six games. Michael Young is also batting .259 (7-for-27) over his last six games, but with three home runs. We're finally seeing signs of life from Jarrod Saltalmacchia. He's batting .438 (7-for-16) over his last four games.
Cooling Off: Elvis Andrus has only one hit in his last 14 at-bats and doesn't deserve a look in mixed leagues right now.
Injury Concerns: Josh Hamilton had to leave Saturday's game at Baltimore with a sore rib cage -- a recurrence of an injury he suffered earlier in the week at Toronto. Players who aggravate a prior injury usually end up missing more time the second time around, but Hamilton expects to play Sunday. If he doesn't and the Rangers don't give a clear indication when he'll return, you might prefer to take an ultra-cautious approach and bench him for this week, especially if you play in a 10- or 12-team mixed league. Andruw Jones or David Murphy would benefit most from his absence.
Platoon Possibilities: The Rangers face four left-handers in their seven games this week, meaning Jones should make at least four starts. Really, he deserves more than that. He hit his second homer in a start Saturday and is now batting .409.
Lineup Changes: None

Toronto Blue Jays
Schedule: @KC4, BAL3
Heating Up: Lyle Overbay still sits against left-handers, but he might be swinging one of the hottest bats in the majors, batting .400 (10-for-25) with two home runs over his last seven games. Aaron Hill hasn't slowed his ridiculous pace, batting .444 (20-for-45) with three home runs during his 10-game hitting streak. He has emerged as a must-start at a weak position. And Alex Rios is finally showing some life, batting .313 (10-for-32) over his last seven games.
Cooling Off: Marco Scutaro has come back down to earth after beginning the year on a ridiculous pace, batting .192 (5-for-26) over his last seven games. Vernon Wells is batting .156 (5-for-32) over his last eight, but you can't bench him.
Injury Concerns: None
Platoon Possibilities: The Blue Jays face only one left-hander this week, so Lyle Overbay and Travis Snider should each get six starts -- or what amounts to a full week for most players. If you have Kevin Millar or Jose Bautista in an AL-only league, you'll want to keep them reserved.
Lineup Changes: None

Washington Nationals
Schedule: @PHI3, STL4
Heating Up: Nick Johnson is batting .417 (15-for-36) during a nine-game hitting streak, and he finally started to show some power with his first home run Friday. He's worth adding in mixed leagues. Also, catcher Jesus Flores , who ranked 11th among catchers with 59 RBI last year, is batting .333 (6-for-18) over his last seven games.
Cooling Off: The Nationals keep finding at-bats for Josh Willingham , but he hasn't exactly earned them, hitting .148 so far.
Injury Concerns: Willie Harris , on the DL with an oblique injury, has begun a rehab assignment and will likely return sometime this week. He's a reserve, though, and worthless outside of deeper NL-only leagues.
Platoon Possibilities: The Nationals have only one left-hander on their seven-game schedule this week. They don't really have any platoon players to benefit from all the right-handers on tap, but at least Adam Dunn doesn't have any obvious roadblocks.
Lineup Changes: Despite Willingham's struggles, the Nationals have started him in three of their last five games even though Austin Kearns , their designated starter coming out of spring training, has played well with an .862 OPS so far. Don't mess with either of these part-timers outside of deeper NL-only leagues.

You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball hitting questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Hitting Planner in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.

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

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    Jonah Keri Podcast