In this section, we will suggest a starting pitcher for the upcoming scoring period that should experience some success. The pitcher will not be a considered a top-notch starter or reliever, because you would start them anyway. Instead, the pitcher will be one who may be on your bench, or even available in mixed leagues.
NL: Kerry Wood (SP- CUBS)
I can hear the moans already and I know what you are thinking..."doesnt this guy ALWAYS get hurt?" And the answer is yes. However, Wood is apparently healthy now, and still posseses the stuff to dominate opponents. He will be kept on a pitch count, and he does pitch for the lowly Cubs, but he is a 2-start pitcher for this week. His two matchups can be considered favorable ones, as he will face the Minor League team otherwise known as the Marlins, (vs. Scott Olsen and his ERA of 6.55), and will be home vs. Atlanta (vs. Jorge Sosa and his 1-5, 5.55 ERA statline)
AL: Tim Wakefield (SP- RED SOX)
Old as dirt and by no means the flashiest pitcher around, but still effective. Wakefield will have two favorable matchups this week as well, when he faces the Yankees and D-Rays both at Fenway. Wait...the Yankees are a favorable matchup? Wakefield has always pitched well vs. NY and his counter-part is scheduled to be the erratic Jaret Wright. Boston will have to find a way to slow down Tampa Bay in his second start, but Boston should handle the Rays.
Hitter of the Week:
In this section, we will list a hitter in both leagues who may have a big week for the upcoming scoring period. As it is with the "Pitcher of the Week", the "Hitter of the Week" will be considered a 'fringe' starter in mixed leagues, and by mo means a superstar stud.
NL: Bill Hall (Util.- BREWERS)
This guy has been the definition of super utility player. The Brew Crew have found a way to get his bat into the lineup almost on a regular basis, and now with SS J.J. Hardy on the shelf, Hall should see the starting lineup every day. So far, he has 9 HR and trust me, he can run too and is due for a couple of stolen bases. Now for the bad news: he will be on the road all week and away from hitter-friendly Milwaukee. The good news: if you thought Milwaukee was hitter friendly, try at Cincinnati and at Philadelphia, where I think even I could hit one out.
AL: Mike Lowell (3B- RED SOX)
After a flat-out miserable 2005 season, Lowell has re-emerged as the hitter that people think he is capable of being. Thus far, he is hitting a robust .330, and has been on fire as of late. Being home this week will certainly not hurt him, where he can bang doubles off the green monster all week. The only pitchers that could potentially give Lowell a problem this week are Chien-Ming Wang of the Yankees, who has a tough sinker, and Scott Kazmir of the D-Rays, who has been lights out lately for everyone.
Pickup of the week:
Here, we will try and identify a guy that maybe can be had in most mixed leagues off of the waiver wire, and could have some potential to help your squad down the stretch.
Elmer Dessens (RP ROYALS)
Whenever you can find cheap saves on the waiver wire, it's not a bad idea to jump at the chance. After struggling badly, Royals closer Ambiorix Burgos has been replaced by the veteran Dessens. Normally I would not promote any Royals pitcher, but the chance at a handful of saves, and the fact that Dessens has been pitching pretty well (2.74 ERA), makes him a guy worth taking a flier on.