Jonathan Sanchez beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 5, allowing only three hits and striking out nine batters in seven innings of work in a 3-0 shutout. Since that game, the Dodgers' bats have completely vanished and as a team, they are batting a mere .185 on their current road trip. A matchup like this, against a clearly defeated squad playing out the season is what you look for in September, and on a day with a very abridged schedule, Sanchez stands out as a clear fantasy favorite. The complete rankings are as follows:
Starting pitcher rankings for Sept. 16
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.
Jake Westbrook has a career 1.08 ERA against the San Diego Padres, while Tim Stauffer is 0-3 lifetime with a 10.13 ERA facing the St. Louis Cardinals, but it's hard to go against the surging Padres while the Cardinals plummet into obscurity.
Hitter matchup ratings for Sept. 16
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.
Michael Cuddyer, 1B, Twins: Cuddyer could be a Hall of Famer if he faced Mark Buehrle every day of the season. He's batting .337 in 92 lifetime at-bats.
Travis Hafner, DH, Indians: After a .356 August, Hafner is hitting a sad .216 this month and has managed to get only three hits versus the Angels (.188) in 2010.
Aubrey Huff, 1B, Giants: Not all .111 averages are created equal, but after 27 at-bats facing Ted Lilly, it's clear the Dodgers pitcher has the upper hand here.
Baseball Challenge Pick of the Day
Injury list: Out
Bobby Jenks, P, White Sox (elbow, forearm)
Andres Torres, OF, Giants (appendectomy)
Scott Podsednik, OF, Dodgers (plantar fasciitis)
Josh Hamilton, OF, Rangers (ribs)
Injury list: Day-to-day
Chris Getz, 2B, Royals (concussion)
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies (hamstring)
Julio Lugo, 2B, Orioles (sinus infection)
Brian Roberts, 2B, Orioles (knee)
Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals (elbow)
Nick Swisher, OF, Yankees (knee)
Weatherproof games: None. Rain rears its ugly head with every game, save for the one in San Francisco, in jeopardy of being a complete washout on Thursday.