There are only four games on Thursday's American League docket, including a potential pitching duel between the Twins' Scott Baker and John Lackey of the Angels. Among the six National League contests, Phillies veteran Jamie Moyer opposes the Nationals, seeking to allow three runs or fewer for the 14th consecutive start.
Matchups for Thursday, Aug. 21
All times are ET.
Carl Crawford, OF, Rays (hand)
Tom Glavine, SP, Braves (elbow)
Orlando Hudson, 2B, Diamondbacks (wrist)
Maicer Izturis, SS, Angels (thumb)
Adam Jones, OF, Orioles (foot)
Carlos Lee, OF, Astros (finger)
Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays (wrist)
Mike Lowell, 3B, Red Sox (oblique)
Kazuo Matsui, SS, Astros (back)
Brandon Moss, OF, Pirates (ankle)
Troy Percival, RP, Rays (knee)
George Sherrill, RP, Orioles (shoulder)
Billy Wagner, RP, Mets (shoulder)
C.J. Wilson, RP, Rangers (elbow)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Hitters: Toronto's Roy Halladay is one of the American League's best again this year, but Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez has gotten the best of him over the years, going 10-for-26 with two doubles and two home runs. Teammate Bobby Abreu hasn't been as successful against Halladay, with just four hits and nine strikeouts in 21 at-bats. ... Rays outfielder Eric Hinske plays against nearly all right-handers, and his three home runs in six games have caught the attention of mixed-league owners. However, Hinske's 1-for-16 history with Angels ace John Lackey may see him on the bench Thursday, so plan accordingly. ... A's second baseman Mark Ellis is rebounding from a poor July. He's 7-for-22 with two home runs in his past six games. ... Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez is in line for a big day Thursday. Not only is Ramirez on a 9-for-17 tear with five extra-base hits in his past five starts, but he's also 9-for-27 with four homers and 16 RBIs versus Reds fill-in Josh Fogg. ... Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young has found the bench in many leagues thanks to a poor June and July. The 24-year-old is heating up in August, though, slugging .500 in a month for the first time all year and smacking five extra-base hits during his current 11-for-30 run.
Pitchers: Derek Lowe was knocked around at St. Louis to open August, but the Dodgers sinkerballer has settled down in two subsequent home starts this month. Lowe has been much better at Chavez Ravine this year, posting a 2.72 home ERA as opposed to a 5.88 figure on the road. ... Mets veteran Pedro Martinez owns a 2.59 ERA in four starts since returning from the disabled list at the beginning of the month. He's held the current Braves roster to a .163 batting average in 135 career at-bats.
Hitters: Blue Jays designated hitter Matt Stairs is 9-for-24 with four home runs against Yankees starter Sidney Ponson. Red-hot teammate Adam Lind has never faced Ponson, but he's an identical 9-for-24 with four home runs in the past six games. ... With a meager .655 OPS, Royals catcher John Buck is rarely used in mixed leagues, but he is 10-for-29 with three doubles and three home runs off Indians ace Cliff Lee. ... Outfielder Andre Ether is swinging the Dodgers' hottest bat, with four home runs in his past four games and six multi-hit games in his past 11 starts.
Pitchers: Twins right-hander Scott Baker has struggled with the Mariners twice in August, but he's still displaying elite command and should be owned in more than 35 percent of mixed leagues. ... In seven starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson has allowed more than three runs just once, while fanning 36 batters in 42 innings. Johnson draws the light-hitting Giants Thursday. ... Jamie Moyer isn't exactly a mixed-league mainstay, but it's hard to argue with 13 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer, especially when the potential number 14 is against the lowly Nationals. The 45-year-old Phillies left-hander is sporting a 2.68 second-half ERA and has already shut down the Nats twice this season.
Games in Toronto, Seattle and Arizona are always weatherproof. None of Thursday's games should be affected by rain.
Will Harris is a fantasy baseball and college football analyst for ESPN.com