From a fantasy perspective, this week is the first full week of games after the All-Star break, so we'll get some two-start pitchers and twice as much data to analyze. So join me and my musical guest, Akron bluesmen, The Black Keys, as we give you the start/sit recommendations that will help you dominate your fantasy week.
Carlos Silva vs. HOU, vs. STL: Silva has faced the Astros and Cardinals one time each this season, and in both outings he was spectacular. Silva beat the Astros by allowing zero earned runs and only five hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking none. Silva was even better in his defeat of the Cardinals, tossing a two-hitter over seven innings (no ERs), while striking out 11 and again walking none. Even though he faces Chris Carpenter, who pitched a gem of his own this season against the Cubs, I have a good feeling about doubling up on Silva this week; there's just something about that 16/0 K/BB ratio.
Ricky Nolasco vs. COL: Nolasco flat out owns the Rockies. In five games (four starts) Nolasco is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.979 walks plus hits per innings pitched, and .246 batting average against; but what really impresses me about Nolasco against the Rockies is his 35:2 K:BB ratio. In Nolasco's three starts prior to the All-Star break he was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 26:4 K:BB ratio.
Ross Ohlendorf vs. MIL: It's hard to make a case for a guy who is 1-7 this season, but if you're in dire straits and need some pitching help this week, you could do worse than Ohlendorf. In three career starts against the Brewers (all last season), Ohlendorf is 2-1 with a respectable 3.50 ERA and a decent .266 BAA. It also helps that Ohlendorf is at home where he has a 9-7 career record, quite an improvement over his 4-14 road record, and his ERA is also almost two runs better at home.
Jaime Garcia vs. PHI: Solid first-half for the youngster (8-4, 2.17 ERA); beat the Phillies earlier this year allowing only one ER and three hits (with six Ks) in six IP.
Tommy Hanson vs. SD: Won both his career starts against the Padres, allowing only three ERs in 12 IP (2.25 ERA) with 12 Ks and a .225 BAA.
Ted Lilly vs. HOU: In 10 career starts against Houston, Lilly is 7-1 (including a 4-0 record last year) with a 2.49 ERA, .923 WHIP, and 51 Ks/13 BBs.
Johan Santana @ LAD: 3-0, 0.44 ERA (one ER in 20.2 IP), .169 BAA in three career starts vs. LA.
Doug Davis @ PIT, vs. WAS: Davis is over .500 (8-6) in his 23 starts against the Pirates, but his 4.91 ERA, .298 BAA, and 1.668 WHIP leave something to be desired. Davis has struggled in his visits to PNC Park, sporting a 3-5 record with a 5.97 ERA, .320 BAA, and 1.753 WHIP. He's has been a little better against Washington, although you wouldn't know it looking at his 1-5 career record. His 3.45 ERA and 1.203 WHIP in nine starts against the Nats aren't too bad, but Davis' 1-4 record and 7.51 ERA this season doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Best to leave Davis on the shelf despite what some might consider favorable matchups.
Zach Duke vs. MIL: The Brewers have destroyed Duke this year; in two starts he's only lasted nine innings and allowed 14 ERs (14.00 ERA), 16 hits, and eight BBs (with only seven Ks). Duke's last three starts prior to the break were awful (0-3, 7.02 ERA), and I don't have much hope he'll turn things around this week.
Jair Jurrjens vs. SD: Obliterated would be a good word to describe what San Diego did to Jurrjens the last time he faced them; the Padres lit him up for eight ERs in 3.1 IP. Jurrjens has had a little more success on the road in his career than at home, so this is a good week to give him a rest.
Jorge De La Rosa @ FLA: Despite a solid season and a win against Florida earlier this year, De La Rosa faces Josh Johnson this week, so getting a win will be a tall order.
Jason Hammel @ FLA: 0-2 with an 8.71 ERA (10 ERs in 10.1 IP) in two career starts vs. Florida; facing the aforementioned Nolasco.
Livan Hernandez @ CIN: Livan hasn't beaten the Reds since 2000, going 0-5 over that stretch with a 6.26 ERA.
Rodrigo Lopez vs. SF: 0-1 in three career starts vs. SF, allowing 13 ERs in 14.1 IP (8.16 ERA) and pitching to a .375 BAA.
Chris Carpenter 7/20 vs. PHI; 7/25 @ CHCR.A. Dickey 7/20 @ ARZ; 7/25 @ LADUbaldo Jimenez 7/19 @ FLA; 7/24 @ PHIClayton Kershaw 7/20 vs. SF; 7/25 vs. NYMTim Lincecum 7/20 @ LAD; 7/25 @ ARZCarlos Silva 7/19 vs. HOU; 7/25 vs. STL
You're the one
Madison Bumgarner 7/19 @ LAD; 7/24 @ ARZYovani Gallardo 7/20 @ PIT; 7/25 vs. WASJeff Karstens 7/19 vs. MIL; 7/24 vs. SDKyle Kendrick 7/19 @ STL; 7/24 vs. COLJamie Moyer 7/20 @ STL; 7/25 vs. COLNate Robertson 7/20 vs. COL; 7/25 vs. ATLAnibal Sanchez 7/19 vs. COL; 7/24 vs. ATLHisanori Takahashi 7/19 @ ARZ; 7/24 @ LAD
Doug Davis 7/19 @ PIT; 7/24 vs. WASJeff Francis 7/20 @ FLA; 7/25 @ PHIKenshin Kawakami 7/20 vs. SD; 7/25 @ FLABlake Hawksworth 7/19 vs. PHI; 7/24 @ CHCBrad Lincoln 7/20 vs. MIL; 7/25 vs. SDJ.D. Martin 7/19 @ CIN; 7/24 @ MILWandy Rodriguez 7/19 @ CHC; 7/25 vs. CIN
Adam Dunn, 1B/OF, @ CIN, @ MIL: Don't let a road trip scare you off of Dunn this week; especially in July. Dunn's July 2009 was outstanding (.319 batting average, .427 on-base percentage, .615 slugging percentage, 1.043 on-base plus slugging) and he was hot prior to the break. Dunn will keep it going as he visits his old stomping grounds in Cincinnati, where in his first time as a visitor last year he went 4-for-8 (two doubles, one HR) with six walks and no strikeouts (that's right, no strikeouts). Dunn has also had success in his 63 games at Miller Park, where his 56 BB/68 Ks in his best BB/K ratio at any park where he has at least 100 at-bats. Although his average at Miller Park is a pedestrian .247, his .410 OBP is outstanding, and he does have 15 HRs, 37 RBIs, and six stolen bases during his visits to Milwaukee.
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, @ ATL, @ PIT: When Gonzo hits the road (as long as he's with the Padres at least) you'll want to make sure he's in your fantasy lineup. For his career Gonzalez hits .47 points higher on the road and has 43 more HRs, 94 more RBIs, and his OPS is .152 points higher (he's played two more road than home games). This week sets up especially well for Gonzalez, as he visits Atlanta and Pittsburgh. In 13 career games at Turner Field, Gonzalez is a .314 hitter with a .397 OBP, .985 OPS, three HRs, eight RBIs, and a solid 7 BB/8 K ratio. Gonzalez's batting average at PNC Park isn't great (.260), but in 13 games he doest have four HRs, 12 RBIs, and five doubles.
Angel Pagan, OF, @ ARZ, @ LAD: I expect a confidence boost with Pagan taking the regular right-field job from Jeff Francoeur, and I fully expect him to be up to the task this week. Pagan was red-hot before the break (.410 BA, .464 OBP, 1.136 OPS in his last 16 games) and is hitting .301 on the road this season, so don't worry about him being away from Citi Field; just plug him in your lineup and enjoy the results.
Kelly Johnson, 2B, vs. NYM, vs. SF: In 44 home games this season: .329 BA, .434 OBP, 1.073 OPS, 10 HRs, 32 RBIs, 15 doubles, 30 BBs/35 Ks.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, vs. HOU, vs. STL: Red-hot in his first 15 games after returning from injury (.328 BA, 1.053 OPS, five HRs, 10 RBIs).
Scott Rolen, 3B, vs. WAS, @ HOU: Last 12 games vs. Washington: 14-for-44 (.318), one HR, seven RBIs; hasn't been great against Houston, but the Astros have a below average staff (4.43 ERA, .273 BAA).
Justin Upton, OF, vs. NYM, vs. SF: Has hit over .300 at home the last two years, so he's due to improve on his current .256 home BA. Crushes the Mets (10 games: .303 BA, .477 OBP, .932 OPS).
Hurt like mine
Derrek Lee, 1B, vs. HOU, vs. STL: Lee is starting to show is age, and his bat speed is slowing down. Lee only hit .227 with runners in scoring position during the first half, and only .219 with men on base. In six games against Houston this year Lee is 6-for-25 (.240) with a .269 OBP and eight Ks/one BB. Against St. Louis Lee has only managed one hit in 11 at-bats this year, with six Ks/one BB. Lee is traditionally a better second-half hitter, but I'm not expecting much from him the rest of the way.
Russell Martin, C, vs. SF, vs. NYM: This year Martin is hitting around .30 points better on the road, and has more home runs and RBIs in fewer games away from Dodger Stadium. In 69 career games against San Francisco Martin is a .229 hitter; in five games against the Giants this season he's hitting .222 with no HRs or RBIs, but four Ks. Martin's career .271 average against the Mets isn't bad, but the majority of that success has come in New York, where Martin is a .378 hitter (he's hitting .194 against the Mets at home).
Juan Uribe, 2B/3B/SS, @ LAD, @ ARZ: Uribe has been a valuable injury fill-in for the Giants, but his Fantasy value has taken a major hit as he's struggled recently at the plate and with injury. In the first-half this season Uribe hit .292 at home, but only .216 on the road, while hitting two more HRs at home in three less games. July is traditionally Uribe's worst month; he hits .30 points lower in July than any other month. Until he shows he's healthy and snaps out of his funk, I'd keep Uribe on the bench, especially when he's on the road.
Clint Barmes, 2B/SS, @ FLA, @ PHI: Hits .60 points better at home for his career with much better HR and RBI numbers; .217 career hitter in Florida, hasn't had a hit (or even reached base) in his last six games in Philadelphia.
Alex Gonzalez, SS, vs. SD, @ FLA: New team, new city, new league; despite a solid season in the AL, I don't trust Gonzalez until he's had a chance to acclimate to his new surroundings. Starting off the week against the best staff in the NL is a tough break, especially since he's hitting .222 in his last nine games.
James Loney, 1B, vs. SF, vs. NYM: 1-for-11 (.091) with four Ks in three games this year vs. the Mets; .234 lifetime hitter with a .388 SLG in 59 games against the Giants.
Cody Ross, OF, vs. COL, vs. ATL: Hitting .182 (6-for-33) in nine games this season against the Rockies and Braves with seven Ks and one BB.
By this point in the season you should have a good handle on where your strengths and weaknesses are, so let's take a look at some players who can help you in one or two specific categories. As usual, all of these players are owned in fewer than 20 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Stolen bases (NL leader has 28)
Will Venable, OF (14 SBs): Currently on the DL, but should be back this week; 89 total bases, 35 runs scored.
Tony Gwynn, OF (13 SBs): Hasn't done much with the bat, but hasn't made an error yet.
Carlos Gomez, OF (10 SBs): Hits .30 points higher, and is 5-for-5 in SBs on the road (5-for-7 in SBs at home).
Adam Kennedy, 1B/2B/3B (nine SBs): Triple eligibility is a bonus; 20 BBs/23 Ks.
Roger Bernadina, OF (seven SBs): .282 BA; 24 RBIs.
Total bases(NL leader has 188)
Jeff Keppinger, 2B/3B/SS (122 TBs): Triple eligibility; .284 BA, 36 runs scored.
Ike Davis, 1B (120 TBs): 25 of 71 hits have gone for extra bases.
Seth Smith, OF (110 TBs): .287 BA, 12 HRs, 38 RBIs, 36 Rs.
Ian Desmond, 2B/SS (107 TBs): Also flashes speed with eight SBs.
Runs scored(NL leader has 66)
Skip Schumaker, 2B/OF (42 Rs): .319 career second-half hitter (210 games).
Alcides Escobar, SS (35 Rs): Seven SBs.
Dexter Fowler, OF (32 Rs): Eight SBs.
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B/3B/SS/OF (31 Rs): Quadruple eligibility; six HRs, 32 RBIs, six SBs.
* All stats through 7/14/10.
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