September baseball is finally here, and that means expanded rosters are set to explode onto the scene. With many teams looking to count pitches and preserve those young arms for the future, there will now be extra relievers in the pen to help with that task. Additionally, with a seemingly never-ending supply of pinch hitters, expect managers to be a bit quicker with the late-inning hooks and the chances of seeing Roy Oswalt returning to the outfield to be back to practically zero. Here's the full rankings list for Wednesday:
Starting pitcher rankings for September 1
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.
• Top options: Ubaldo Jimenez has two victories against the San Francisco Giants already this season, and the way Tim Lincecum has struggled (5.40 ERA versus the Colorado Rockies in 2010) a third one may not be as difficult as the matchup would suggest. ... Mat Latos shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks over six innings at the start of August. There shouldn't be much difference this time around.
• One of these days the Baltimore Orioles just might beat Jon Lester. Perhaps the 13th time is the charm? Lester is 12-0 with a 2.00 ERA against the Birds, including two 2010 victories. ... David Price also has an unblemished record facing the Toronto Blue Jays -- 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA, with three of those coming this season. ... Clayton Kershaw's 0-3 career mark with a 5.67 ERA facing the Philadelphia Phillies keeps him out of the top four for the day.
• Tommy Hanson has a 1.69 ERA in two starts against the New York Mets this season, which is light years better than Shaun Marcum's 8.03 ERA facing the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010. However, for his career, Marcum's 3.22 ERA versus the Rays is a bit more respectable.
• Break out the streamers: Do you trust Max Scherzer? He has done well over the last three weeks, but has also allowed 16 earned runs in eight innings against the Minnesota Twins this season. ... Jason Vargas is 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA lifetime against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Chris Volstad's career ERA versus the Washington Nationals is 4.54, but he does own a 4-1 record in those games.
• Maybe tomorrow, but not today: Brett Anderson has never defeated the New York Yankees and has a 5.68 ERA when facing the pinstripes. ... Scott Olsen has an 8.22 ERA against the Florida Marlins in 2010.
Hitter matchup ratings for September 1
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.
Manny Ramirez, OF, Chicago White Sox: Let's face it, when he wants to perform, there are still few players better than Ramirez. He's playing for next year's contract and back in front of the Cleveland fans. He'll show up.
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B, Florida Marlins: The infielder has raised his batting average 30 points since Aug. 16 and is a career 3-for-10 against Scott Olsen.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies: Just pointing out the facts -- in 14 at-bats against Tim Lincecum, Gonzalez has whiffed eight times and had only two hits. Do with it what you will.
Nick Markakis, OF, Baltimore Orioles: His eight-game hitting streak may not make it to double-digits as Markakis is a .205 career hitter against Jon Lester, with 11 strikeouts in 44 at-bats.
Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Yankees: With only one hit in his last 14 at-bats, Granderson seeks to break out of his lifetime goose egg against Brett Anderson. Not looking good today, Curtis.
Shane Victorino, OF, Philadelphia Phillies: After a sad run of at-bats -- 5-for-28 (.179) -- Victorino goes up against Clayton Kershaw. He's had only one hit off the Dodgers' pitcher in his career.
Baseball Challenge Pick of the Day
Ichiro Suzuki, RF, Seattle Mariners: Ichiro's wheels are still working, as he's had three steals in the past week. Against the Angels this season, he's swinging a torrid bat, to the tune of a .388 batting average and eight RBIs.
Injury list: Out
Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Rockies (15-day DL, strained rib cage)
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays (15-day DL, left wrist)
Frank Francisco, P, Texas Rangers (15-day DL, strained lat muscle)
Danys Baez, P, Philadelphia Phillies (15-day DL, back spasms)
Manny Corpas, P, Colorado Rockies (15-day DL, elbow soreness)
Ross Ohlendorf, P, Pittsburgh Pirates (15-day DL, strained shoulder)
J.J. Putz, P, Chicago White Sox (15-day DL, left knee)
Matt Thornton, P, Chicago White Sox (15-day DL, sore forearm)
Jim Edmonds, OF, Cincinnati Reds (15-day DL, right oblique)
Stephen Strasburg, P, Washington Nationals (15-day DL, right forearm)
Injury list: Day-to-day
Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (shoulder)
Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox (bruised hand)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies (tight groin)
Dan Uggla, 2B, Florida Marlins (right groin)
Yunel Escobar, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (back)
Jose Reyes, SS, New York Mets (oblique)
Weatherproof games: Blue Jays at Rays, Cardinals at Astros, Padres at Diamondbacks and Angels at Mariners. The center of the country features a diagonal stripe of thunderclouds reaching from the upper peninsula of Michigan down to the Rio Grande. What that means for you is that games in Chicago and Kansas City may well see some delays due to the wet stuff falling from the sky.