Tuesday would have been a satisfying day indeed for Erik Bedard owners, whose prized possession was set to make his return from a shoulder injury that has kept him out for just less than a year. Unfortunately, the key word in the previous sentence is "was." Bedard was scratched from his Tuesday start because of stiffness in his throwing shoulder, leaving the M's scrambling for a replacement.
Thus, Bedard, owned in 16.9 percent of ESPN leagues as of Monday, continues in the rehab phase of his return. He has been scratched below as well, but there are plenty of decent pitchers to choose from.
Starting pitcher rankings for July 6
Rk.: The author's ranking of that pitcher for that day only. T: Pitcher throws left-handed or right-handed. Opp: The pitcher's opponent for the day. Rating: The starting pitcher's matchup rating -- separate from the author's ranking -- which accounts for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. Ratings range from 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. W-L: Pitcher's win-loss record. ERA: Pitcher's earned run average. WHIP: Pitcher's average number of walks plus hits surrendered per inning.
• C.J. Wilson is really turning into a WHIP killer, and if he turns in another bad start or two, it might be time to think about moving on. He walked a whopping 5.6 batters per nine innings in June, and he allowed four more free passes in his latest start, which was against the Angels. If he didn't have such an easy matchup Tuesday against the Indians, who are second to last in OPS against left-handers, he would be dinged a lot more in the rankings. It's definitely something to keep in mind moving forward, however.
• Johan Santana is no longer an automatic start. At least he shouldn't be; he's really starting to show some wear and tear from all those 200-plus-inning seasons. His owners have a tough decision to make when he faces the league's best offense (the Reds'), and given that I tend to be risk-averse when it comes to keeping pitchers active against elite offenses, you can probably guess where I fall on this issue. And now that Santana no longer piles up the strikeouts (just 73 in 111 innings in 2010), he has that much less margin for error. Start him at your own risk.
• No matter how great Clayton Richard looked versus the Rockies, you must resist the urge to start him against the Nationals. Sure, the matchup looks like a joke to the naked eye, but the Nats are actually quite competent against southpaws; their .772 team OPS against them ranks seventh in the majors. Pitching away from Petco Park is always a risk for nonelite pitchers, and although Richard has been fine so far this season away from Petco, he hasn't faced a decent offense on the road in more than two months.
• Aside from the litany of home runs Vicente Padilla has allowed, he has pitched pretty well his past six starts. Obviously, home runs are a big part of baseball, but Padilla isn't going to continue to allow a home run per start. A home start against a mediocre offense seems like a good time to bet on him, and for what it's worth, he does have a 3.21 ERA in his two home starts this season, and one of those starts was against the Yankees. As far as spot starters go, Padilla is an above-average option.
Hitter matchup ratings for July 6
Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days) as well as ballpark factors. "LHB" and "RHB" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.
Chipper Jones, 3B, Braves: Chipper continues to show no semblance of power, failing to get his slugging percentage above .400 in any given month. But for a day, at least, here's hoping for a return to greatness. Jones is 9-for-22 (.409) with four doubles and a pair of long balls off Cole Hamels lifetime, making him a strong bet for Tuesday.
Corey Patterson, OF, Orioles: Cheap speed, thy name is Patterson, who is hitting .299 with 13 steals in 127 at-bats against right-handers this season. He already has swiped three bases in July, and he's not sorely without power, either. He could put both tools on display versus Armando Galarraga, who has allowed southpaws to slug .485 against him.
Vernon Wells, OF, Blue Jays: Wells' numbers have regressed each month of the season, his batting average dropping from a high of .337 in April to June's low of .240. He's not off to such a hot start in July, either, going hitless in 11 at-bats. Fortunately, he rakes against Tuesday opponent Carl Pavano. Wells has blasted four home runs in just 20 at-bats against Pavano, so a big game could be in store for him.
Matt LaPorta, 1B/OF, Indians: LaPorta, who just had a six-game hitting streak snapped, seems to be figuring out major league pitching. During the streak, he had four extra-base hits, including three home runs, and he's a rare waiver-wire option who could offer nice power the rest of the season. He's hitting in favorable Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday, so don't be shocked if he goes deep again.
Pat Burrell, OF, Giants: Burrell has shown signs of life in San Francisco and is a good power option against Randy Wolf; in his prime, Burrell was quite a bit better against southpaws than against right-handers. Wolf has allowed 13 home runs to righties this season, allowing them to slug .460 against him. So, on paper, Burrell looks promising.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies: It is undoubtedly disappointing that Rollins has yet to steal a base upon his return, given that his bat alone isn't enough to make him an elite option. And against Jair Jurrjens, even his bat fails him, with Jurrjens having limited him to four hits in 24 at-bats (.167).
Jonny Gomes, OF, Reds: Johan Santana is one left-hander Gomes has yet to solve, going 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in his career against him.
Carlos Quentin, OF, White Sox: After launching eight home runs in June, Quentin is giving his owners reasons to have high hopes for him in July. But temper those expectations versus Jered Weaver. Not only has Weaver been a true ace this season, limiting right-handers to a .239 average, but he has kept Quentin in check in six career at-bats, sending the outfielder down on strikes in half of them.
Adam LaRoche, 1B, Diamondbacks: Oddly enough, LaRoche's batting average is at .244 against right-handers this season, 30 points lower than his mark versus lefties. Not only is Carlos Silva right-handed, but he has been particularly tough on left-handed hitters, holding them to a paltry .169 average. And LaRoche isn't exactly hitting the cover off the ball anyway, having batted .222 in June.
Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics: Be sure to leave Crisp, one of fantasy's hottest pickups, firmly planted on your bench versus CC Sabathia. In their 10 at-bats, Crisp has struck out five times, and only twice has he successfully reached base (two singles).
Baseball Challenge Pick of the Day
Kurt Suzuki, C, Athletics: The catcher has surprised us this season, showing a lot of pop (10 home runs in 222 at-bats), and he appears comfortable stepping into the batter's box against Sabathia. He has gone deep against the big lefty three times in 18 at-bats, slugging .833 off him.
Injury list: Out
Injury list: Day-to-day
Alberto Callaspo, 3B/2B, Royals (wrist)
Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics (hamstring)
Troy Glaus, 1B/3B, Braves (knee)
Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies (rib)
Aaron Hill, 2B, Blue Jays (illness)
Kelly Johnson, 2B, Diamondbacks (flu)
Jorge Posada, C, Yankees (finger)
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs (thumb)
Jose Reyes, SS, Mets (oblique): The Mets brass thinks Reyes can suit up Tuesday, so it seems as if Reyes owners dodged a real scare.
Juan Rivera, OF, Angels (eyes)
Ian Stewart, 2B/3B, Rockies (elbow)
Vernon Wells, OF, Blue Jays (illness)
Weatherproof: Twins-Blue Jays, Red Sox-Rays, Pirates-Astros, Giants-Brewers, Cubs-Diamondbacks and Royals-Mariners.
No weather concerns for the day aside from mild threats of rain in Arlington (Indians-Rangers) and Denver (Cardinals-Rockies).
Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com.