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Sunday, May 3, 2009
Updated: May 4, 12:10 PM ET
Daily Notes for Monday: Zack Greinke back at it

By Adam Madison
Special to ESPN.com

Phil Hughes, Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, John Lannan, John Maine and Joe Blanton are now set to pitch Monday, and the starters' rankings below have been updated to reflect this.

Rain will continue to be a storyline this week, so make sure you check your lineups every morning so as not to miss any starts.

Selected notes: Normally, Jon Lester sees his ERA increase dramatically when pitching on the road, but in two starts in Yankee Stadium last season, Lester pitched a combined 15 2/3 innings while allowing just one run and striking out 16. He's striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings, so you have to think his .305 opponent batting average allowed is just bad luck. It's a little risky, but you have to throw him out there with confidence. … It's a good thing for his fantasy owners that the Pirates are in the same division as the Brewers, as Yovani Gallardo has owned Pittsburgh in his brief career, with a 1.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings. … At home, Paul Maholm resembles a No. 2 starter, with a 3.54 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in his career; on the road, he sports a forgettable 5.02 ERA. Just due to the change of venue, Maholm should be much more successful versus the Brewers. … Many starters have tough matchups today, so Edwin Jackson gets a boost because his start is versus the Twins. Still, it's probably an opportunity to sell high on him afterward, as he's benefited from four unearned runs and came into the season with a career 5.15 ERA. He's been lucky so far, but there are people out there who remember "Edwin Jackson, pitching prospect extraordinaire" and may be willing to buy into his stock. … Two runs allowed in 6 2/3 innings is a start, and Francisco Liriano has way too much potential for you to think about giving up him on yet, but a tough matchup against the Tigers may set him back a bit. The Tigers have been strong against southpaws for a while now -- they finished second and fourth in OPS against left-handers the past two seasons -- and Liriano has to go on the road to boot, where he has an 8.25 ERA in 12 innings at Comerica Park. … Aaron Harang has an unseemly 6.70 ERA in eight starts against the Marlins, thanks to allowing an outrageous 12 home runs in 42 2/3 innings. Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermida and even Wes Helms are among those who have gone yard off of Harang, and with his overwhelmingly poor track record, you're better off leaving him on the bench. … The Giants are a great team to rebound against as they strike out often (seventh in K's) and lack power (13 home runs, last in the NL). Ryan Dempster has a 3.49 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in his career at Wrigley Field, and four of his five starts this season have been on the road, so play him and give him a chance to redeem himself. … King Felix is one of the few pitchers able to limit the power potential of the Rangers; the team is slugging only .376 against him in 181 career at-bats, and only Ian Kinsler and David Murphy have gone yard. Even though the Rangers currently have the second-highest OPS in baseball, at .833, Hernandez is worth the risk.

Now batting

Hitters' count

Luis Castillo, 2B, Mets: A career .358 hitter (24-for-67) against Javier Vazquez, Castillo hit one of his rare homers when facing Vazquez.
Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pirates: He's one of the few Pirates not fooled by Yovani Gallardo: While his teammates combine to hit .189 off the fireballer, LaRoche is 5-for-12 with a double and a walk, although Gallardo has struck him out four times.
Curtis Granderson, OF, Tigers: Granderson is usually awful against left-handers, and Liriano has struck him out in eight of 14 at-bats. But Granderson still has four hits, including a double and a home run, and Liriano is struggling.
Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B, Orioles: One of the few left-handed batters with a positive track record against Scott Kazmir, he's 5-for-11 with a home run versus the southpaw.
David DeJesus, OF, Royals: He's 10-for-28 (.357) with five extra-base hits, including a homer, off Bartolo Colon in his career.
Garrett Atkins, 3B, Rockies: He could use Kevin Correia as a slump-buster, as he's 5-for-14 (.357) with three doubles and a home run against Correia. Even though Atkins is on the road, he's actually had success in Petco, with a lifetime .314 average in 140 at-bats.
• Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers: One of the few Rangers with any success against Felix Hernandez, he's managed only six hits in 24 at-bats (.250) versus the righty, but it's what he's managed to do with them: two were doubles and one was a home run. He's also been able to work five walks, which have helped lead to three steals.

Pitchers' count

Carlos Delgado, 1B, Mets: Even though he has three home runs versus Javier Vazquez, overall he has just four hits in 24 at-bats, which equates to a .167 batting average. He's struck out 25 percent of the time, and is coming off an injury, too, so there may be some kinks to work out.
Rickie Weeks, 2B, Brewers: Weeks' strongest quality is his power from the keystone, though he has trouble getting hits. Against Paul Maholm, he has five walks in 27 at-bats, but a measly .222 average and .259 slugging percentage.
Melvin Mora, 3B, Orioles: He can draw a walk (six in 24 at-bats versus Scott Kazmir), but that's it; otherwise, he's struck out seven times and has just two hits, although he did go yard once.
Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox: Konerko always struggles versus Zack Greinke, with 11 strikeouts in 39 at-bats and just five hits, giving him a .128 lifetime average.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies: He has more strikeouts (four) than hits (three) against Adam Wainwright in 12 at-bats, and he's not exactly seeing the ball well these days.
Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers: Furcal has six singles in 21 at-bats versus Doug Davis, good for a .286 average, but that leaves his slugging percentage the same as his average, and despite sitting on first base eight times -- he's also walked twice -- he is 0-for-1 in stolen base attempts.
Hank Blalock, 3B, Rangers: King Felix has limited Blalock to a .557 OPS in 29 at-bats, allowing six hits while striking him out 10 times. In 49 career games at Safeco Field, he's struck out 47 times, hitting just .254 in the process.

If you're hard-core

Nick Johnson, 1B, Nationals: He's still raking, hitting .341 on the season, and considering his track record -- he always hits well when he's healthy -- it's surprising he's not owned in more leagues. Brian Moehler, the opposing pitcher Monday, allows lefties to hit .325 and slug .524 against him.
Bill Hall, 3B, Brewers: At this point, Paul Maholm may as well intentionally walk Hall, because it's as though he's tipping his pitches against Hall, who is 16-for-28 (.571) with four doubles and three home runs versus Maholm. When they met Tuesday, Hall went 2-for-3 with a home run.
• Matt LaPorta, OF, Indians: He was called up Saturday, and many fantasy owners have wasted no time in pouncing on him: His ownership has increased 5.6 percent in the past week. In the wake of Travis Hafner's injury, LaPorta has an opportunity to play regularly, and should eventually get eligibility at first base, too. An MLB-ready hitter in a strong lineup, he should be worth the hype.
Gabe Gross, OF, Rays: Adam Eaton allows an unseemly .320 AVG/.401 OBP/.549 SLG line against left-handers, and since Gross plays against most righties, it could be an opportunity for lightning in a bottle.
• Jeremy Hermida, OF, Marlins: Hermida has plunged into one of his cold streaks (two hits in his past 25 at-bats), but he is 6-for-12 with two homers and a double versus Aaron Harang.
Edgar Renteria, SS, Giants: He's 11-for-36 (.305) in his past nine games, more in line with his career .290 average. Against Ryan Dempster he's even better, with six hits in 19 at-bats, including two home runs and four walks.
Skip Schumaker, 2B, Cardinals: While he's not known for his power, Schumaker has two home runs and a double in 10 at-bats versus Brett Myers, hitting .500 overall against the righty. Myers is quite prone to the gopher ball, with a career home run rate of 1.32 per nine innings.

Triage

Injury list: Out

Eric Chavez, 3B, Athletics (15-day DL, elbow)
• Travis Hafner, DH, Indians (15-day DL, shoulder)
Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers (15-day DL, rib cage)
Brandon Morrow, RP, Mariners (15-day DL, shoulder)
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs (calf; out until at least Thursday)

Injury list: Day-to-day

Bobby Abreu, OF, Angels (back)
Jason Bay, OF, Red Sox (ankle)
Milton Bradley, OF, Cubs (groin)
Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers (back)
• Carlos Delgado, 1B, Mets (hip; expected to play)
Khalil Greene, SS, Cardinals (forearm)
Jason Kubel, OF, Twins (illness)
• Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs (calf)
Nick Swisher, 1B/OF, Yankees (elbow)
Randy Winn, OF, Giants (side)
Brad Ziegler, RP, Athletics (illness)

Weather concerns

• Toronto (Indians-Blue Jays), Tampa Bay (Orioles-Rays) and Seattle (Rangers-Mariners) are all weatherproof Monday.
• In the Northeast, Washington (60 to 70 percent chance of rain), New York (40 to 50 percent) and Pittsburgh (40 percent) all are at risk of showers. Atlanta also has a 40 percent chance of scattered storms.
• Oakland (20 percent) and St. Louis (30 percent) both have a moderate chance of rain, but the weather is supposed to be clearing up into the night, so the risk is a slick playing field rather than a rain delay or postponement.

Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com.