THURSDAY’S PRE-GAME DAILY FANTASY UPDATE
Well, the weather gods cooperated in Motown, as the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers have at least played an official game Thursday afternoon. Will they be as lucky in Cleveland? Or will there be a rainout for a second consecutive game?
It is cloudy with even some peeks of sun in downtown Cleveland right now, but there is a large shield of rain which stretches from Columbus north to the shores of Lake Erie. The batch of rain is moving to the northeast, so it appears that at or around game-time, the weather could certainly be much more soggy. That batch of rain extends all the way back to the Indiana/Illinois border, so once it rains, it will be raining for several hours. It is still a very good idea to avoid any New York Yankees or Cleveland Indians.
As far as all of the other venues tonight, weather should not be a factor.
Did you know that the Orioles have gotten just one more hit than you or I from their designated hitter spot this entire season? It's true. After OF Nolan Reimold ($4,000) went hitless in three at-bats Wednesday, the DH spot in manager Buck Showalter's lineup is a combined 1-for-26 this season. Reimold has the only hit as a DH. In case you were considering him for Thursday's lineup, he is a combined 1-for-10 (.100) in his career against Boston Red Sox SP Alfredo Aceves ($5,000). SS J.J. Hardy ($3,400) is 3-for-18 (.167) with no RBI and three strikeouts against Aceves, while C Matt Wieters ($4,200) has just one hit in 12 career at-bats against the Boston starter.
BOSTON RED SOX
Aceves makes the spot start for the injured SP John Lackey (biceps). Aceves could be a really sneaky play in this one, as his salary is awfully tempting and he is pitching at home. Since the start of the 2010 season, Aceves is 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA over 20 appearances with four saves, although he hasn't faced them as a starter. Still, he has 37 strikeouts and just five walks over 37 1/3 innings, allowing only four homers with the O's batting .221 against him. With a short slate of games, and the need for at least two starting pitchers in some formats, Aceves will likely be a popular gamble.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
OF Dayan Viciedo ($3,600) is not in manager Robin Ventura's starting lineup for a second straight day, as the White Sox wrap up their series in a National League park in Washington. 1B Adam Dunn ($3,800), who would normally serve as the designated hitter, cannot be used as DH in an NL park, so someone has to suffer to get his power potential into the lineup. That someone is Viciedo, as Dunn makes a second straight start in left field. However, keep in mind that Dunn is just 2-for-15 (.133) with a homer, two RBI and seven strikeouts in his career against Washington Nationals SP Dan Haren ($8,400). Still, that's better than Viciedo, who is hitless in four career at-bats against the Nats' hurler. 3B Jeff Keppinger ($4,000) has 16 career at-bats against Haren, and he has managed eight hits, including a home run and three RBI. He will start regularly at second base with 2B Gordon Beckham (hand) out with a broken hamate bone.
If they do play baseball on the corner of Carnegie Avenue and Ontario Street in Cleveland, C Yan Gomes is expected to make a second straight start in place of the injured C Carlos Santana (thumb). The good news is that Santana is nursing a bruised left thumb, and it should be a long-term issue.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
It was mentioned in today's earlier blog, but it is worth repeating...Dodgers OFs Andre Ethier ($4,000) and Matt Kemp ($5,300) haven't fared well against San Diego Padres SP Jason Marquis ($6,100) over the years. Ethier is just 3-for-24 (.125) with one RBI, while Kemp is 2-for-17 (.118) with no RBI and five strikeouts.
NEW YORK YANKEES
DH Travis Hafner ($3,800) is penciled in as the designated hitter and is slotted in the cleanup spot for manager Joe Girardi. He hit his 100th career homer at Progressive Field in Monday's game, and he has never faced Cleveland Indians SP Zach McAllister ($7,900), a right-handed starter. Hafner could be a cheap source of power if this game does indeed go off. OF Ichiro Suzuki ($4,300) is back in the lineup after being slated for a rest Wednesday in a game which was eventually postponed. Ichiro is hitless in five career at-bats against McAllister, however.
SP A.J. Griffin ($7,900) spun eight scoreless innings in his only career appearance at Angel Stadium Sept. 12, 2012. He allowed six hits while walking none and striking out six. It's a little far-fetched to expect those kind of results, but on a light schedule, Griffin might be worth a roll of the dice. OF Yoenis Cespedes ($5,100) managed just four hits in 16 at-bats against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Jason Vargas ($6,700) last season, when the pitcher plied his trade with the Seattle Mariners. However, two of those balls left the yard, and Cespedes finished with a double, walk and three RBI.
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