– Happy Stephen Strasburg day, everyone. Strasburg is set to pitch tonight’s Nationals-Dodgers affair against Ted Lilly. Could there be a bigger difference in pitchers in a single game? This author thinks not. While we don’t have a definite pitch count for Strasburg, the righty threw seventy pitches in his final rehab outing, so it’s probably safe to assume he’ll sit around the same mark during his first major league start of 2011.
– Brandon McCarthy has been studly lately, but don’t forget that he was facing the lowly Indians and Mariners. The Mariners offense may not be the same suckfest it was earlier this season, but it still has a tendency to strike out a little more than it should due to Eric Wedge’s aggressive moustache approach. McCarthy faces off against the Rangers this week, and you should do your best to keep him on the bench. In three starts against his former team this season, the rejuvenated righty hasn’t fared well.
– Grady Sizemore is off the DL for the third time this year, and the Indians decided to bat him leadoff. At this point, Cleveland needs to start looking elsewhere for a center fielder of the future, and that player is probably going to be Michael Brantley. Sizemore hasn’t been very good these past couple of years, posting contact rates 10% lower than his 2005-2009 rates. It’s hard to remember, but this was a 30-30 guy and a 7-win player just a few years ago, but his career may be all but over. In fantasy land, Grady isn’t ownable unless you’re trying to take a chance on him in dynasty leagues.
– In news that didn’t make waves in the roto community, Franklin Gutierrez is done for the season after straining his oblique on a swing Sunday night against the A’s. I was watching the game at the time, and he appeared to be in obvious pain, so it’s no surprise that he’s done for 2011. Guti really struggled this year after dealing with offseason GI issues that sapped most of his strength, but he showed some signs of life over the past month or so. In his last 34 games, Guti was hitting .276, and he even stole five bases in as many tries. His power was still non-existent, but he’ll have a full offseason to build up his strength. Hopefully Guti will come back strong and be a CF option in AL-only leagues next season.
A Pitcher for Today: Brad Lincoln vs HOU
Lincoln’s latest start didn’t look great, but his outing against the Cardinals last week was super duper nice. He’s got good stuff, he just needs to figure it all out.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Guillermo Moscoso vs KC
Moscoso has been somewhat of a fantasy asset this year if you’re willing to deal with a limited amount of strikeouts. Odds are you’ll get a win and a low ERA and WHIP, to boot.
PickSix Lock of the Day: Jay Bruce ($27.75) vs CHC (Rodrigo Lopez)
Bruce is my first repeat pick, and although he failed me last time, I’m willing to bet on him against someone like Rodrigo Lopez. If you’re so inclined, combine him with Joey Votto today.
Prediction: 1-3, HR, BB; 15 points
Last Week’s Predictions: 4 players, $116.25, 24.2 pts, 1 perfect prediction
All Past Predictions: 20 players, $357.75, 128.1 pts, 1 perfect