Detroit Tigers at San Francisco Giants
Not to beat a dead horse, but in case you haven't noticed, Giants pitcher Barry Zito has gone from perennial Cy Young award winner to epic bust since signing a ridiculous $126 million contract in 2006.
The point of this is not to suggest a start for Zito, rather, it's to point out that the Tigers have to be licking their chops as they prepare to face him tonight in San Fran. This Tigers offense has finally come around is starting to perform like the sluggers fantasy owners expected them to be and Zito will only help out your cause.
Any Tiger that you have on the roster should be in the starting lineup against Zito and I wouldn't be surprised if Marcus Thames goes deep again for the sixth straight game.
Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers
Yesterday, I correctly told you that starting Braves pitcher Tim Hudson against the Rangers' young and talented offense wasn't a great idea.
Today I'm telling you that the Braves are going to bounce back in a big way at the plate with Rangers rookie pitcher Eric Hurley getting the start. Hurley is making only his second big league appearance and while he didn't get the loss in his first start against the Royals, he didn't really do much to impress. This will also be the first time for him pitching in front of the home crowd in Arlington and it's going to have an effect on him.
Plus, with veteran hitters like Chipper Jones and Mark Texiera leading the way for the Braves, look for the crafty vets to take advantage of the young Hurley and do some damage early and often.
Toronto Blue Jays at Milwaukee Brewers
Look for Milwaukee to continue their recent hot streak at home with the Blue Jays in town for the second game in their three-game set.
Truth be told, I'm a big believer in playing the odds and right now they don't particularly favor Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum. In his last three outings, Marcum has posted an impressive 1.71 ERA and 15 K. However, the Jays managed to waste all three of those solid performances on losses due to a lack in offensive production.
Every pitcher, regardless of his talent, is due for a bad day every now and then and it's setting up to be Marcum's turn tonight. The Brewers offense is starting to produce and Marcum must be getting frustrated with his teammates after they have consistently failed to back him up throughout the season.
I'd think long and hard about starting him, and in turn, I'd be rushing to the computer to insert Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Mike Cameron into my lineup.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago White Sox
From the South-Side point of view, this is a very appealing matchup for fantasy owners. Last night the Sox offense erupted for 16 runs, staying true to the idea that this lineup is simply feast or famine in terms of fantasy production.
Mark Buehrle gets the start this evening and should have a very nice outing against this young Pirates offense. Their two biggest bats, Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, are out of the lineup and Buehrle should have an easy time of keeping the Pirate hitters off balance throughout the contest.
On the other side of the coin, the Sox offense should benefit greatly with Tom Gorzelanny (5-5, 6.65 ERA) starting for the Bucs. The Evergreen Park, Ill. native has given up at least three earned runs in nine of 13 starts this season and will help give the Sox some momentum heading into this weekend's series with the Cubs.
Start your Sox, bench your Bucs. Easy as that.