Fantasy Forecaster updated Sunday, June 7, at 3:40 p.m. ET.
On tap: It's a busier week for the National League than the American League, as six NL squads play a full seven games and two others play six games entirely at home. Comparatively, no AL team plays more than six games, two squads -- the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers -- play just five times, and only the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Tigers play more than three games at home.
It's those Tigers who stand out because they're the ones running ice cold -- seven consecutive losses (May 28-June 4) and 13 in their past 18 games, and they have averaged 3.00 runs per game on offense, with a 4.50 ERA -- yet they have some significant names on the mend: Victor Martinez (DL, knee) could be back with the team as early as Tuesday (though perhaps merely to be re-evaluated), while Justin Verlander (DL, triceps) might not be far behind. The shortened schedule, especially against the running-hot pitching staffs of the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, however, might make this a better bandwagon to hop aboard a week from now, rather than beginning in Week 10.
Speaking of the lighter AL schedule, one other aspect it impacts is that of two-start pitchers; you've got Chris Sale, Sonny Gray and then precious few sure things. This means rolling the dice on more matchups if you play in an AL-only league, and one such gamble can be found in my video above.
The St. Louis Cardinals take three of the hottest pitchers in baseball to Colorado's Coors Field: John Lackey has six quality starts and a 2.42 ERA in his past eight turns, and he works there on Monday; Michael Wacha is 8-for-11 in quality starts with a 2.18 ERA for the season, and he pitches there Tuesday; Carlos Martinez has 20 1/3 scoreless frames in his past three starts combined and tackles Coors on Wednesday. The ratings below tell you how I feel. How lucky do you feel rolling them out there?
Quickly jump to any section, if you want specific intel
Monday's slate takes place entirely in the evening, so fantasy owners in weekly leagues have until 7:05 p.m. ET to set their lineups.
Remember game times have tremendous influence upon #DFS planning, so be aware of every day's first scheduled pitch. This week, they are: 7:05 p.m. ET Monday (Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates); 7:05 p.m. ET Tuesday (four games begin at that time); 12:35 p.m. ET Wednesday (Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati Reds, one of four day games); 12:05 p.m. ET Thursday (Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians, one of three day games); 4:05 p.m. ET Friday (Reds at Chicago Cubs, the day's only day game); 1:35 p.m. ET Saturday (Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, one of 10 day games); and 1:08 p.m. ET Sunday (Indians at Detroit Tigers, one of 14 day games).
This week's interleague series:
Miami Marlins at Toronto Blue Jays (three games, Monday-Wednesday)
Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers (two games, Tuesday-Wednesday)
Washington Nationals at New York Yankees (two games, Tuesday-Wednesday)
Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals (three games, Friday-Sunday)
Marlins' probable DH(s): A probable rotation between Jeff Baker, Justin Bour, Michael Morse and Ichiro Suzuki. Two of those hitters are right-handed and two left-handed, so there's a seemingly natural arrangement of Baker at first base and Morse at DH against lefties, and Bour at first and Ichiro at DH against righties, though it's possible Ichiro could be slotted into right field with Giancarlo Stanton at DH. The opposing Blue Jays are scheduled to pitch two righties (Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez) sandwiching a lefty (Mark Buehrle), so it's possible three entirely different players will pick up the additional starts.
Cubs' probable DH(s): Another rotation, including perhaps Mike Baxter, Chris Coghlan, Jonathan Herrera and Matt Szczur. The Cubs routinely mixed and matched their additional lineup spot in 2014 and should do so again in the two games in Detroit, unless they decide to promote either Javier Baez or Arismendy Alcantara before then.
Nationals' probable DH(s): Clint Robinson, Tyler Moore and/or Wilmer Difo. The Nationals should really DH the defensively mediocre Ian Desmond, which would open up the extra infield spot for Difo, but Robinson made two of their three starts at DH during their April 13-15 series at Boston's Fenway Park, and using the DH to give both members of their left-field rotation starts seems the way the team will likely go.
Royals' traditional DH: Kendrys Morales, who has taken every DH plate appearance in the Royals' 48 games in American League parks. When the Royals visited Chicago's Wrigley Field during their May 27-29, two-game series, the team utilized a straight platoon between Morales and Eric Hosmer at first base, so that seems a likely arrangement in St. Louis as well. As the Cardinals' only left-handed starter (Jaime Garcia) isn't scheduled to face the Royals, however, it's possible Morales could get one of those three starts against a right-hander.
The chart below lists each of the 30 MLB teams' schedules and projected starting pitchers and provides a projected Bill James Game Score for each day's starter.
Projected starting pitchers, June 8-14
P: The starting pitcher's projected Bill James Game Score, accounting for past history (three years' worth, as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A "50" is typically deemed a "quality start" by this measure, while a "70" is considered a dominant start.
Bud Norris (DL, bronchitis) returned to the Baltimore Orioles' rotation on June 7, setting him up for a Saturday start during Week 10.
Justin Verlander (DL, triceps) allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings of a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Toledo on June 6, and could rejoin the Detroit Tigers' rotation sometime during Week 10. The team doesn't require a fifth starter due to Monday's and Thursday's off days, but if the team uses one nevertheless, Anibal Sanchez would lose his second start.
Minnesota Twins starters Trevor May, Tommy Milone and Kyle Gibson will each be pitching on five or more days' rest, so it's possible the team could push one back into Week 11. Milone would be the most logical candidate, and if he is skipped this week, it will mean Trevor May becomes a two-start pitcher.
The Cincinnati Reds unexpectedly scratched Raisel Iglesias from his scheduled June 5 start and placed him on the DL, replacing him with Jon Moscot. Moscot is the most likely candidate to pitch the next time that spot in their rotation arrives Wednesday.
The Colorado Rockies pushed Chad Bettis back from Monday to Wednesday to give him additional rest, and will give David Hale a spot start on Monday. This appears to be a spot-start arrangement for Hale, so expect him to be skipped once his spot would've returned on Saturday. If the team goes with a six-man rotation for Week 10 including Hale, then he, and not Jorge De La Rosa, would be the team's two-start pitcher.
Mat Latos (DL, knee) is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Triple-A New Orleans on Monday, and it is possible that he could rejoin the Miami Marlins' rotation immediately afterward. He might be a candidate to take Brad Hand's spot in the rotation on Saturday.
The Milwaukee Brewers will need to summon a fifth starter Tuesday, and neither Tyler Cravy nor Tyler Wagner, their past two options for that role, who were both demoted to the minors afterward, will be eligible to be recalled to pitch that day, barring a coinciding DL move. It is unclear who will get that start.
The Washington Nationals promoted Joe Ross to start June 6, and if they decide to stick with him as their fifth starter for Week 10, that spot would next arrive on Friday, though Monday's off-day affords the team the luxury of pushing it back until Saturday.
This week's pitcher rankings include the entire slate of projected starters, in order to provide a more organized approach to favorable matchups, DFS tidbits and the "Streamer's Delight" picks. Notes for relevant pitchers are included below.
Chris Sale (CWS) -- Mon-HOU (McCullers), Sun-@TB (Karns)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -- Fri-@SD (Despaigne)
Matt Harvey (NYM) -- Wed-SF (Hudson)
Max Scherzer (WSH) -- Tue-@NYY (Tanaka), Sun-@MIL (TBD)
Corey Kluber (CLE) -- Tue-SEA (Walker), Sun-@DET (Sanchez)
Jacob deGrom (NYM) -- Sat-ATL (Miller)
Sonny Gray (OAK) -- Tue-TEX (Martinez), Sun-@LAA (Shoemaker)
Felix Hernandez (SEA) -- Fri-@HOU (Oberholtzer)
Cole Hamels (PHI) -- Mon-@CIN (Leake), Sun-@PIT (Burnett)
Jake Arrieta (CHC) -- Wed-@DET (Greene)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) -- Sat-@DET (Simon)
Madison Bumgarner (SF) -- Fri-ARI (Anderson)
Gerrit Cole (PIT) -- Sat-PHI (O'Sullivan)
David Price (DET) -- Fri-CLE (Salazar)
Johnny Cueto (CIN) -- Fri-@CHC (Hammel)
Zack Greinke (LAD) -- Sat-@SD (Kennedy)
Francisco Liriano (PIT) -- Tue-MIL (TBD): For your #DFS consideration, the Milwaukee Brewers have baseball's third-highest K rate (23.7 percent) against left-handers this season.
Danny Salazar (CLE) -- Fri-@DET (Price)
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) -- Tue-@CWS (Rodon): What makes this matchup so attractive is that the Chicago White Sox have the largest team wOBA differential struggling against lefties; they have a .239 mark against lefties, compared to .302 against righties.
Michael Pineda (NYY) -- Fri-@BAL (Jimenez)
Jon Lester (CHC) -- Tue-@DET (Sanchez), Sun-CIN (DeSclafani)
A.J. Burnett (PIT) -- Mon-MIL (Nelson), Sun-PHI (Hamels)
Garrett Richards (LAA) -- Thu-@TB (Colome)
Chris Archer (TB) -- Fri-CWS (Danks)
James Shields (SD) -- Tue-@ATL (Foltynewicz), Sun-LAD (Bolsinger)
Shelby Miller (ATL) -- Mon-SD (Kennedy), Sat-@NYM (deGrom)
Alex Wood (ATL) -- Fri-@NYM (Colon)
Trevor Bauer (CLE) -- Wed-SEA (Elias)
Collin McHugh (HOU) -- Sat-SEA (Montgomery)
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) -- Tue-@BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-TOR (Estrada)
Jordan Zimmermann (WSH) -- Sat-@MIL (Nelson): Remarkably, he has the majors' lengthiest active quality-start streak (9).
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) -- Tue-SF (Heston), Sun-ATL (Foltynewicz)
Lance McCullers (HOU) -- Mon-@CWS (Sale), Sun-SEA (Walker): No team in baseball has whiffed at a higher rate since the start of fantasy's Week 7 (so May 18-June 4) than the Seattle Mariners (26.3 K%). That's as good a #DFS GPP/Roto streaming opportunity as you'll find on Sunday.
Jason Hammel (CHC) -- Fri-CIN (Cueto)
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) -- Tue-WSH (Scherzer): He was hitting 95 mph in his June 3 return to action, and the opposing Washington Nationals, since the start of fantasy's Week 7, have baseball's worst runs-per-game average (2.67). The ratings say Tanaka would be top-15 worthy for Week 10 if he had zero health/workload questions.
Jesse Chavez (OAK) -- Fri-@LAA (Santiago): He has a 2.38 ERA in eight starts since joining the rotation, and he's 3-for-4 in quality starts versus the Los Angeles Angels since the beginning of last season.
Mike Fiers (MIL) -- Fri-WSH (Ross)
Tyson Ross (SD) -- Wed-@ATL (Perez)
Scott Kazmir (OAK) -- Thu-TEX (Gonzalez): For so long as Adrian Beltre remains sidelined, left-handed pitchers will enjoy tremendous matchups against the lefty-leaning Texas Rangers, especially so when their teams are the hosts. Elvis Andrus has batted second, third and fifth in the team's past three against a lefty!
Matt Shoemaker (LAA) -- Tue-@TB (Karns), Sun-OAK (Gray)
Jose Quintana (CWS) -- Wed-HOU (Hernandez)
Taijuan Walker (SEA) -- Tue-@CLE (Kluber), Sun-@HOU (McCullers)
Jimmy Nelson (MIL) -- Mon-@PIT (Burnett), Sat-WSH (Zimmermann)
Nathan Karns (TB) -- Tue-LAA (Shoemaker), Sun-CWS (Sale)
Jered Weaver (LAA) -- Wed-@TB (Ramirez)
Anibal Sanchez (DET) -- Tue-CHC (Lester), Sun-CLE (Kluber): He is coming off an awful recent month, his ERA 6.27, but at least his K rate was 21 percent in those six starts. It's two home games including one against the K-prone Chicago Cubs, though there's perhaps more downside to Sanchez's matchups than anyone else in the top 50.
Carlos Rodon (CWS) -- Tue-HOU (Keuchel): Oodles of strikeout potential here -- the Houston Astros have the game's fourth-highest K rate against lefties (23.7 percent) and his own 24.8 percent K rate as a starter is 24th of 155 pitchers with at least five starts -- if you can stomach the risk of Astros righty power bats touching him up.
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) -- Tue-SD (Shields), Sun-@NYM (Syndergaard): Both opponents rank among the bottom five in baseball in terms of team strikeout rate since the beginning of fantasy's Week 7.
Mike Bolsinger (LAD) -- Mon-ARI (De La Rosa), Sun-@SD (Shields): Petco Park isn't the only reason to like the latter matchup; the San Diego Padres are righty-leaning and have the game's No. 25 team wOBA against righties (.296).
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) -- Sat-CIN (Leake)
Michael Wacha (STL) -- Tue-@COL (De La Rosa): He'd rank a good 15-20 spots higher if not for the Coors Field matchup, which is one of the few that significantly deflates his ranking. The mediocre strikeout rate contribues; you don't want pitch-to-contact types at Coors.
Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) -- Fri-NYY (Pineda)
Jesse Hahn (OAK) -- Wed-TEX (Gallardo): A risk/reward matchup, as he has five consecutive quality starts but the Texas Rangers have a major league-leading .382 wOBA (MLB average is .307) against right-handers since the beginning of fantasy's Week 7.
Gio Gonzalez (WSH) -- Wed-@NYY (Eovaldi)
Lance Lynn (STL) -- Sat-KC (Guthrie)
Jeff Samardzija (CWS) -- Sat-@TB (TBD): There's some rebound potential here; keep in mind that the Texas Rangers, his last opponent, rank among the hotter offenses in baseball and hit righties better than lefties. The Tampa Bay Rays, meanwhile, have a team wOBA 29 points lower against righties (.301) than lefties (.330).
Julio Teheran (ATL) -- Thu-SD (Cashner)
Andrew Cashner (SD) -- Thu-@ATL (Teheran)
C.J. Wilson (LAA) -- Sat-OAK (Graveman)
John Lackey (STL) -- Mon-@COL (Hale), Sun-KC (Vargas)
Williams Perez (ATL) -- Wed-SD (Ross): Three straight good starts and now he faces a righty-leaning, struggling San Diego Padres squad. He has earned your trust, at least for this week.
Chris Heston (SF) -- Tue-@NYM (Syndergaard), Sun-ARI (De La Rosa)
Brett Anderson (LAD) -- Wed-ARI (Hellickson)
Dan Haren (MIA) -- Tue-@TOR (Buehrle), Sun-COL (De La Rosa)
Yovani Gallardo (TEX) -- Wed-@OAK (Hahn)
Drew Hutchison (TOR) -- Fri-@BOS (Kelly)
Aaron Sanchez (TOR) -- Wed-MIA (Koehler): Nothing more to this than that the Miami Marlins have the majors' largest differential between team wOBA splits struggling against the right-handers (54 points); they have a .292 mark against righties, compared to .346 against lefties.
Carlos Martinez (STL) -- Wed-@COL (Bettis): Ugh. A Coors matchup. And the Colorado Rockies have a .339 wOBA against right-handers this season, second-best in baseball. In Martinez's defense, two of the Rockies' best lefties (Justin Morneau and Corey Dickerson) are on the DL, but should Dickerson return by Wednesday (unlikely), that'd decrease the value of this matchup.
Bartolo Colon (NYM) -- Fri-ATL (Wood)
Marco Estrada (TOR) -- Mon-MIA (Hand), Sun-@BOS (Rodriguez)
Ian Kennedy (SD) -- Mon-@ATL (Miller), Sat-LAD (Greinke)
Carlos Frias (LAD) -- Tue-ARI (Ray)
Tanner Roark (WSH) -- Thu-@MIL (Garza)
Phil Hughes (MIN) -- Mon-KC (Vargas), Sun-@TEX (Martinez): An extreme fly-baller in Texas? With all those lefties in their lineup? That second matchup is precarious, and the first one comes against the contact-hitting Kansas City Royals.
Yordano Ventura (KC) -- Fri-@STL (Garcia)
Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) -- Tue-BOS (Rodriguez), Sun-NYY (Sabathia)
Clay Buchholz (BOS) -- Sat-TOR (Dickey): That lower half of the Toronto Blue Jays' lineup is looking awfully sparse these days.
Adam Warren (NYY) -- Sat-@BAL (Norris)
Roenis Elias (SEA) -- Wed-@CLE (Bauer)
Rick Porcello (BOS) -- Wed-@BAL (Chen)
Tsuyoshi Wada (CHC) -- Thu-CIN (Lorenzen)
Mike Leake (CIN) -- Mon-PHI (Hamels), Sat-@CHC (Hendricks): Here's where I'd draw the line as far as volume-seeking is concerned in shallow mixed leagues. Like the first matchup, don't like the second. Leake would be the first in what was the former "AL/NL-only options" two-start pitchers section in this space.
CC Sabathia (NYY) -- Sun-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Matt Garza (MIL) -- Thu-WSH (Roark)
Hector Santiago (LAA) -- Fri-OAK (Chavez)
Jaime Garcia (STL) -- Fri-KC (Ventura): So far, so good, but the stats need be cited: The Kansas City Royals have .286/.342/.416 triple-slash rates, a fifth-ranked .335 wOBA and the majors' lowest K rate (13.9 percent) against left-handed pitchers this season.
Kyle Lohse (MIL) -- Wed-@PIT (Morton)
Charlie Morton (PIT) -- Wed-MIL (Lohse)
Tim Lincecum (SF) -- Thu-@NYM (Niese): He's the final one-start pitcher I'd give strong consideration to starting, not that a few of the pitchers beneath are off the grid as upside plays.
Alfredo Simon (DET) -- Sat-CLE (Carrasco)
Chi Chi Gonzalez (TEX) -- Thu-@OAK (Kazmir): Here's one of those "upside plays." It's a ballpark pick, O.co Coliseum being a spacious venue for this pitch-to-contact youngster.
Wade Miley (BOS) -- Thu-@BAL (Tillman)
Rubby De La Rosa (ARI) -- Mon-@LAD (Bolsinger), Sun-@SF (Heston)
Mike Montgomery (SEA) -- Sat-@HOU (McHugh)
R.A. Dickey (TOR) -- Sat-@BOS (Buchholz)
Mark Buehrle (TOR) -- Tue-MIA (Haren)
Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) -- Wed-BOS (Porcello)
Odrisamer Despaigne (SD) -- Fri-LAD (Kershaw)
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) -- Tue-PHI (Harang), Sun-@CHC (Lester): He had a 0-K game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 4 and he has pitched worse in home games than road this season, so while he's got some decent two-start potential, he leans more towards "no" this time.
Aaron Harang (PHI) -- Tue-@CIN (DeSclafani)
Erasmo Ramirez (TB) -- Wed-LAA (Weaver)
Jonathon Niese (NYM) -- Thu-SF (Lincecum)
Tim Hudson (SF) -- Wed-@NYM (Harvey)
Trevor May (MIN) -- Tue-KC (Young)
Kyle Gibson (MIN) -- Fri-@TEX (Rodriguez): I'd be all over this matchup if he was A) a left-hander, B) pitching at home or C) had a strikeout rate even slightly higher than his is.
David Phelps (MIA) -- Thu-COL (Butler)
Joe Ross (WSH) -- Fri-@MIL (Fiers): Watch the June 6 outing and let's all make sure the Washington Nationals keep him in their rotation, but with some luck, Ross could be a decent streamer facing the righty-leaning, struggles-against-righties Milwaukee Brewers.
David Hale (COL) -- Mon-STL (Lackey)
Josh Collmenter (ARI) -- Sat-@SF (Vogelsong)
Chase Anderson (ARI) -- Fri-@SF (Bumgarner)
Chris Rusin (COL) -- Fri-@MIA (Urena)
Brad Hand (MIA) -- Mon-@TOR (Estrada), Sat-COL (Kendrick): Remember the old "no thank you" section? The line for two-start pitchers would begin here; Hand's a "no" for me as are any of the two-start pitchers beneath here.
Jon Moscot (CIN) -- Wed-PHI (Williams)
Jason Vargas (KC) -- Mon-@MIN (Hughes), Sun-@STL (Lackey)
Wandy Rodriguez (TEX) -- Fri-MIN (Gibson)
Shaun Marcum (CLE) -- Thu-SEA (Happ)
Edinson Volquez (KC) -- Wed-@MIN (Milone)
Jose Urena (MIA) -- Fri-COL (Rusin)
Alex Colome (TB) -- Thu-LAA (Richards)
Jeff Locke (PIT) -- Fri-PHI (Gonzalez)
Joe Kelly (BOS) -- Fri-TOR (Hutchison)
Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Thu-BOS (Miley)
J.A. Happ (SEA) -- Thu-@CLE (Marcum)
Shane Greene (DET) -- Wed-CHC (Arrieta)
Michael Lorenzen (CIN) -- Thu-@CHC (Wada)
Robbie Ray (ARI) -- Tue-@LAD (Frias)
Chris Young (KC) -- Tue-@MIN (May)
Severino Gonzalez (PHI) -- Fri-@PIT (Locke)
Kendall Graveman (OAK) -- Sat-@LAA (Wilson)
Mike Pelfrey (MIN) -- Sat-@TEX (Lewis)
Brett Oberholtzer (HOU) -- Fri-SEA (Hernandez)
Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) -- Wed-WSH (Gonzalez)
Ryan Vogelsong (SF) -- Sat-ARI (Collmenter)
Sean O'Sullivan (PHI) -- Sat-@PIT (Cole)
Colby Lewis (TEX) -- Sat-MIN (Pelfrey)
Bud Norris (BAL) -- Sat-NYY (Warren)
Chad Bettis (COL) -- Wed-STL (Martinez)
Jeremy Guthrie (KC) -- Sat-@STL (Lynn)
Jerome Williams (PHI) -- Wed-@CIN (Moscot)
Tommy Milone (MIN) -- Wed-KC (Volquez)
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) -- Tue-STL (Wacha), Sun-@MIA (Haren)
John Danks (CWS) -- Fri-@TB (Archer)
Kyle Kendrick (COL) -- Sat-@MIA (Hand)
Nick Martinez (TEX) -- Tue-@OAK (Gray), Sun-MIN (Hughes)
Roberto Hernandez (HOU) -- Wed-@CWS (Quintana)
Tom Koehler (MIA) -- Wed-@TOR (Sanchez)
Jeremy Hellickson (ARI) -- Wed-@LAD (Anderson)
Eddie Butler (COL) -- Thu-@MIA (Phelps)
The chart below lists each of the 30 teams' total number of scheduled games, home games and games versus right- and left-handed pitchers and provides a matchup rating for the week's games in terms of overall offense, offense for left- and right-handed hitters and base stealing. Matchup ratings for each individual game are listed under the corresponding date.
Hitting matchup chart, June 8-14
H: Hitters' matchup rating, which accounts for the opposing starting pitcher's past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days) as well as ballpark factors. L: Hitters' matchup rating accounting only for left-handed hitters. R: Hitters' matchup rating accounting for only right-handed hitters. S: Base stealing matchup rating, which accounts for the opponents' catchers' ability to gun down opposing base stealers. Ratings range from 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst.
Here are this week's "volume plays," defined as the teams that play the most home games or games against right- or left-handed starters:
Total games: Atlanta Braves 7, Miami Marlins 7, Cincinnati Reds 7, Milwaukee Brewers 7, Colorado Rockies 7, San Diego Padres 7. Each American League team plays six games, except for the New York Yankees (5) and Detroit Tigers (5).
Home games: Baltimore Orioles 6, Tampa Bay Rays 6, New York Mets 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Tigers 5.
Versus RH: Los Angeles Angels 6, Chicago Cubs 6, Brewers 6, Rockies 6, Padres 6.
Versus LH: Houston Astros 4, Orioles 3, Cleveland Indians 3, Miami Marlins 3, Reds 3.
The five-game schedule makes the Tigers a flat-out "no," with the obvious exception that Miguel Cabrera is a must-play every day, while Yoenis Cespedes, Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez might be difficult for fantasy owners to sit. Still, Cabrera is the only true sure thing, being that only he (.312) and Cespedes (.316) have a wOBA greater than the league's average since the beginning of fantasy's Week 8 (May 25 forward). Consider the Tigers' starting-pitching opponents: Jon Lester (Tuesday), Jake Arrieta (Wednesday), Danny Salazar (Friday), Carlos Carrasco (Saturday) and Corey Kluber (Sunday) each have a projected Game Score of 58, and the group averages 65.
If you're a Jose Iglesias (42.2 percent owned), Anthony Gose (26.6) or Nick Castellanos (17.6) owner -- their ownership percentages suggest some of you are -- find yourself a stronger alternative for Week 10.
The Marlins' schedule rates as one of the most favorable ones, mainly because none of their individual opponents rate as one of the game's elite starting pitchers. Yes, Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez could possess some sleeper potential in larger leagues, due to the fact that the Marlins have a 54-point wOBA swing favoring their hitting against left-handed pitchers (.346) instead of righties (.292), but those three are still relatively risky, aren't locks to pitch deep into the games and the bullpens behind them have their own question marks. Add in the three games getting the DH, meaning additional at-bats, and Marlins in particular could be worth your while. Beyond the obvious Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich has an opportunity to rebound, and both Justin Bour and Ichiro Suzuki might play enough to warrant your lineup spots.
The St. Louis Cardinals, who have baseball's eighth-highest strikeout rate (21.3 percent) during the past month (May 5-June 4), get quite the bounce-back schedule, with three dream matchups at Colorado's Coors Field followed by three at home against a Kansas City Royals team that will start the hittable Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas in two of them. As the Cardinals tend to do with lesser names such as Randal Grichuk, Jon Jay and Mark Reynolds, pick and choose your daily matchups wherever possible, but Grichuk in particular has picked up his play lately and might be an attractive plug-in even in mixed formats, perhaps for someone such as the aforementioned Gose/Castellanos.