Fantasy Forecaster updated Monday, June 3, at 12:11 a.m. ET.
On tap: Hotshot prospect Michael Wacha, fresh off a brilliant seven-inning, one-run, two-hit May 30 major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals, might be a two-start pitcher in his first full week as a big leaguer -- fantasy's Week 10. Added in more than 60 percent of ESPN leagues in the past week, Wacha will be under the microscope in a home start versus the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he could get a road assignment at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, should the Cardinals decide to pitch either Shelby Miller or Adam Wainwright on three days' rest on Wednesday.
Will Wacha be the top rookie storyline of Week 10, however? Perhaps not, now that we've entered the month of June, traditionally believed the "safe zone" for teams attempting to prevent player eligibility for "Super Two" arbitration status. The New York Mets are widely rumored to be planning to promote Zack Wheeler from Triple-A Las Vegas soon; he might get the call should Jonathon Niese's shoulder injury be deemed serious. Meanwhile, on the hitting side, Wil Myers might not be far off from joining the Tampa Bay Rays, nor might Christian Yelich be far off from joining the Miami Marlins. Keep tabs on those transaction reports as the week's deadline approaches.
The Cleveland Indians have an opportunity to make a statement in the American League playoff race; they play three games apiece at New York's Yankee Stadium and Detroit's Comerica Park, battling fellow contenders. Among their starting-pitching opposition are CC Sabathia (Wednesday), Justin Verlander (Friday) and Anibal Sanchez (Sunday), though in their defense, the Indians have averaged 4.97 runs per game in the month of May, sixth most in baseball.
The New York Yankees get Andy Pettitte back for the opener of that Indians series on Monday, coming at a critical time after they were swept by the New York Mets in four consecutive interleague games, extending their losing streak to five games (through May 30).
Quick click by section, if you're seeking advice in a specific area:
ESPN lineup deadlines | Interleague impact | Projected starting pitchers
Pitching scuttlebutt | Week 10 pitcher rankings | Pitching advantages
Hitting ratings | Hitting advantages
We're back to later Monday deadlines, as fantasy's Week 10 kicks off with a 7 p.m. ET first pitch, that the Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees game on ESPN's Monday Night Baseball. Tuesday also has nothing but night games: That's the only other day of the week with a 7:05 p.m. ET first-game start time.
This week's interleague series:
• Oakland Athletics at Milwaukee Brewers (3 games, Monday-Wednesday)
• Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels (2 games, Tuesday-Wednesday)
• Toronto Blue Jays at San Francisco Giants (2 games, Tuesday-Wednesday)
• Minnesota Twins at Washington Nationals (3 games, Friday-Sunday)
With Brett Lawrie on the disabled list, the Toronto Blue Jays have creatively found a way to get both Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, their first base/designated hitter partners for the first two months of the season, into the same lineup in National League parks: Encarnacion has started back-to-back games at the hot corner. Only owners of backups Mark DeRosa or Maicer Izturis should be upset; they're the ones generally sitting those contests.
The Athletics and Twins, meanwhile, appear to be using straight platoons to wedge all their offensive parts into the lineup without a DH. Seth Smith and Chris Young have alternated starts for the Athletics in right field without the DH, and with the opposing Brewers scheduled to throw three right-handers, Smith might get all three starts. Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit and Chris Colabello, meanwhile, have been shuffling between catcher and right field for the Twins, and under that arrangement it appears that Mauer, the most valuable of the three from a fantasy perspective, wouldn't be affected at all as the Nationals will pitch nothing but right-handers during the series.
Though the Cubs have played only one interleague game at an American League park thus far, they've given indication that they'll use the addition of the DH to get four of their five outfielders into the lineup. They'll probably start Nate Schierholtz and Ryan Sweeney against the right-handed Jered Weaver, and Scott Hairston and David DeJesus against the left-handed Jason Vargas. Considering they play just five games, this won't provide much of an advantage except in deep NL-only leagues.
The chart below lists each of the 30 MLB teams' schedules and projected starting pitchers, and provides a matchup rating for each day's starter. Pitchers scheduled to start at least twice this week are in gold/beige boxes.
P: The starting pitcher's matchup rating, 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.
• The Baltimore Orioles planned to stick with struggling rookie Kevin Gausman through at least his June 2 start, but his status as a member of their rotation might be evaluated on a start-by-start basis.
• The Boston Red Sox haven't formally announced their rotation beyond June 2, but with Clay Buchholz due back that day, spot starter Franklin Morales is probably bullpen-bound, as projected above.
• The Los Angeles Angels face a decision on either Joe Blanton or Jerome Williams as their fifth starter this week. As Blanton has the larger contract as well as back-to-back quality starts, he's the one projected to stick.
• Jeremy Bonderman is expected to join the Seattle Mariners' rotation on June 2, lining him up for a Friday assignment.
• The Tampa Bay Rays face a decision on when to next pitch Alex Cobb, who missed a turn with a finger injury, Matt Moore, who was limited to one inning's work due to rain on May 31, and Chris Archer, who had an unimpressive June 1 outing. All indications were that Moore would start Tuesday, Cobb on Wednesday, and rookie Chris Archer would remain in the rotation with his turn next arriving on Friday, but the entire Rays rotation is subject to change.
• Josh Johnson (triceps) is scheduled to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation on Tuesday, then the team will use Thursday's off day to go with four starters for Week 10.
• Ian Kennedy (finger) was expected to rejoin the Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation on June 1, setting him up for a Thursday start. Tyler Skaggs will assume the injured Brandon McCarthy's (shoulder) rotation spot, giving him a two-start week.
• Chris Capuano (triceps) will miss his scheduled start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, forcing Stephen Fife to fill in. It is unclear whether Capuano will be ready the next time his turn comes up on Saturday.
• Jonathon Niese (shoulder) is expected to rejoin the New York Mets' rotation on Friday. If he suffers any setbacks, however, Collin McHugh or Zack Wheeler could fill in.
• Charlie Morton (Tommy John surgery) was scheduled for his final rehabilitation start in Triple-A on June 2, and he'll likely replace Jeanmar Gomez in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation on Saturday.
• Clayton Richard will have his next start pushed back to Tuesday, after he was called upon to pitch in relief on June 1. Andrew Cashner will move to Thursday.
• The San Francisco Giants recently demoted Mike Kickham to Triple-A, making it likely they'll go with only four starters this week, despite Chad Gaudin getting a June 2 start.
• The Washington Nationals are hoping that by pushing Stephen Strasburg (lat) back in their rotation to Saturday, thanks to Monday's off day, that he'll be ready to pitch.
1. Felix Hernandez (SEA) -- Tue-CWS (Peavy), Sun-NYY (Phelps)
2. Jordan Zimmermann (WSH) -- Tue-NYM (Hefner), Sun-MIN (Deduno)
3. Mike Minor (ATL) -- Tue-PIT (Locke), Sun-@LAD (Lilly)
4. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -- Wed-SD (Marquis)
5. Stephen Strasburg (WSH) -- Sat-MIN (Diamond)
6. Matt Harvey (NYM) -- Sat-MIA (Slowey)
7. Anibal Sanchez (DET) -- Tue-TB (Moore), Sun-CLE (Masterson)
8. Jeff Samardzija (CHC) -- Sat-PIT (Morton)
9. Cliff Lee (PHI) -- Fri-@MIL (Fiers)
10. A.J. Burnett (PIT) -- Mon-@ATL (Medlen), Sun-@CHC (Jackson)
11. Chris Sale (CWS) -- Fri-OAK (Parker)
12. Max Scherzer (DET) -- Thu-TB (Hernandez)
13. Adam Wainwright (STL) -- Fri-@CIN (Leake)
14. Shelby Miller (STL) -- Thu-ARI (Kennedy)
15. Matt Moore (TB) -- Tue-@DET (Sanchez), Sun-BAL (Tillman)
16. Yu Darvish (TEX) -- Sat-@TOR (Ortiz)
17. Cole Hamels (PHI) -- Wed-MIA (Turner)
18. Lance Lynn (STL) -- Mon-ARI (Cahill), Sun-@CIN (Arroyo)
19. James Shields (KC) -- Fri-HOU (Lyles)
20. Gio Gonzalez (WSH) -- Thu-NYM (Marcum)
21. Jake Peavy (CWS) -- Tue-@SEA (Hernandez), Sun-OAK (Griffin)
22. Justin Verlander (DET) -- Fri-CLE (Jimenez)
23. Madison Bumgarner (SF) -- Sat-@ARI (Cahill)
24. Trevor Cahill (ARI) -- Mon-@STL (Lynn), Sat-SF (Bumgarner)
25. Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) -- Fri-@SEA (Bonderman)
26. Patrick Corbin (ARI) -- Fri-SF (Cain)
27. Jered Weaver (LAA) -- Tue-CHC (Feldman)
28. Matt Cain (SF) -- Fri-@ARI (Corbin)
29. CC Sabathia (NYY) -- Wed-CLE (Kluber)
30. Clay Buchholz (BOS) -- Sat-LAA (Wilson)
31. Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) -- Wed-CWS (Axelrod)
32. Jon Lester (BOS) -- Thu-TEX (Holland)
33. Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) -- Fri-ATL (Maholm)
34. Johnny Cueto (CIN) -- Wed-COL (Garland)
35. Homer Bailey (CIN) -- Tue-COL (Nicasio)
36. Kris Medlen (ATL) -- Mon-PIT (Burnett), Sat-@LAD (TBD)
37. Doug Fister (DET) -- Wed-TB (Cobb)
38. Alex Cobb (TB) -- Wed-@DET (Fister)
39. Jason Vargas (LAA) -- Wed-CHC (Garza)
40. Justin Masterson (CLE) -- Mon-@NYY (Pettitte), Sun-@DET (Sanchez)
41. Michael Wacha (STL) -- Tue-ARI (Skaggs)
42. Julio Teheran (ATL) -- Wed-PIT (Rodriguez)
43. Jarrod Parker (OAK) -- Fri-@CWS (Sale)
44. David Phelps (NYY) -- Tue-CLE (Kazmir), Sun-@SEA (Hernandez)
45. Jose Fernandez (MIA) -- Fri-@NYM (Niese)
46. Mat Latos (CIN) -- Sat-STL (Lyons)
47. A.J. Griffin (OAK) -- Tue-@MIL (Lohse), Sun-@CWS (Peavy)
48. Wandy Rodriguez (PIT) -- Wed-@ATL (Teheran)
49. Andy Pettitte (NYY) -- Mon-CLE (Masterson), Sat-@SEA (Saunders)
50. Francisco Liriano (PIT) -- Fri-@CHC (Wood)
51. Kyle Kendrick (PHI) -- Mon-MIA (Koehler), Sat-@MIL (Estrada)
52. Derek Holland (TEX) -- Thu-@BOS (Lester)
53. Marco Estrada (MIL) -- Mon-OAK (Milone), Sat-PHI (Kendrick)
54. Dan Haren (WSH) -- Wed-NYM (Gee)
55. Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Tue-@HOU (Harrell), Sun-@TB (Moore)
56. Ervin Santana (KC) -- Sat-HOU (Bedard)
57. Tommy Milone (OAK) -- Mon-@MIL (Estrada), Sat-@CWS (Danks)
58. Zack Greinke (LAD) -- Thu-ATL (Hudson)
59. Jorge De La Rosa (COL) -- Fri-SD (Volquez)
60. Bronson Arroyo (CIN) -- Mon-COL (Chatwood), Sun-STL (Lynn)
61. Ted Lilly (LAD) -- Tue-SD (Richard), Sun-ATL (Minor)
62. C.J. Wilson (LAA) -- Sat-@BOS (Buchholz)
63. Paul Maholm (ATL) -- Fri-@LAD (Ryu)
64. Yovani Gallardo (MIL) -- Wed-OAK (Colon)
65. R.A. Dickey (TOR) -- Wed-@SF (Zito)
66. John Danks (CWS) -- Mon-@SEA (Saunders), Sat-OAK (Milone)
67. Ricky Nolasco (MIA) -- Tue-@PHI (Pettibone)
68. Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) -- Thu-@HOU (Norris)
69. Matt Garza (CHC) -- Wed-@LAA (Vargas)
70. Jeff Locke (PIT) -- Tue-@ATL (Minor)
71. Jonathon Niese (NYM) -- Fri-MIA (Fernandez)
72. Dan Straily (OAK) -- Thu-@CWS (Quintana)
73. Tyler Skaggs (ARI) -- Tue-@STL (Wacha), Sun-SF (Lincecum)
74. Travis Wood (CHC) -- Fri-PIT (Liriano)
75. Eric Stults (SD) -- Mon-@LAD (Fife), Sat-@COL (Chatwood)
Two-start options for AL-/NL-only leagues:
Erik Bedard (HOU) -- Mon-@LAA (Blanton), Sat-@KC (Santana)
Tyler Chatwood (COL) -- Mon-@CIN (Arroyo), Sat-SD (Stults)
Jeremy Hefner (NYM) -- Tue-@WSH (Zimmermann), Sun-MIA (Koehler)
Josh Johnson (TOR) -- Tue-@SF (Lincecum), Sun-TEX (Grimm)
Tom Koehler (MIA) -- Mon-@PHI (Kendrick), Sun-@NYM (Hefner)
Kyle Lohse (MIL) -- Tue-OAK (Griffin), Sun-PHI (Pettibone)
Jonathan Pettibone (PHI) -- Tue-MIA (Nolasco), Sun-@MIL (Lohse)
No-thank-yous, among two-start pitchers:
Joe Blanton (LAA) -- Mon-HOU (Bedard), Sun-@BOS (Dempster)
Samuel Deduno (MIN) -- Tue-@KC (Mendoza), Sun-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Ryan Dempster (BOS) -- Tue-TEX (Grimm), Sun-LAA (Blanton)
Justin Grimm (TEX) -- Tue-@BOS (Dempster), Sun-@TOR (Johnson)
Lucas Harrell (HOU) -- Tue-BAL (Tillman), Sun-@KC (Mendoza)
Tim Lincecum (SF) -- Tue-TOR (Johnson), Sun-@ARI (Skaggs)
Luis Mendoza (KC) -- Tue-MIN (Deduno), Sun-HOU (Harrell)
Juan Nicasio (COL) -- Tue-@CIN (Bailey), Sun-SD (Richard)
Clayton Richard (SD) -- Tue-@LAD (Lilly), Sun-@COL (Nicasio)
Joe Saunders (SEA) -- Mon-CWS (Danks), Sat-NYY (Pettitte)
• Though Mat Latos' career history against the St. Louis Cardinals is poor -- he has only three quality starts and a 6.85 ERA in nine games against them -- he's 2-for-2 in quality starts allowing only four runs (one earned) in 12 innings against them this season. Latos' most recent game against the Cardinals, at St. Louis' Busch Stadium on April 29, was his best yet: Six shutout innings of five-hit baseball. His history instills hesitation in his owners, but he's the No. 30 pure starting pitcher on our Player Rater, which keeps him firmly in my top 75.
• Let's face it, if his name wasn't Tim Lincecum, or if he didn't have two Cy Youngs on his résumé, the San Francisco Giants right-hander wouldn't even be on the fantasy radar. Since the beginning of last season, Lincecum has a quality start percentage of 36.4; that's third worst among qualified starters during that time. He has been especially dreadful during interleague play, going 0-4 with one quality start, a 7.92 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in five games since the beginning of last year. Lincecum is a no-go against a Toronto Blue Jays team that had the fifth highest slugging percentage in baseball in May (.445) -- and he's even less attractive a play if he gets a second start at Arizona's Chase Field, where he has zero quality starts and an 8.30 ERA in his past three games.
• Justin Masterson's matchups are sneaky-tough, if only because of where they're scheduled. Granted, he has made substantial improvements against left-handed hitters -- they're a combined .227/.321/.330 against him this season -- but he did allow two of his three homers to lefties this year in his past two outings, and New York's Yankee Stadium isn't remotely forgiving to mistake pitches to lefties. Masterson is winless with a 4.97 ERA in his two career starts there, then he'll head to Detroit to take on a Detroit Tigers team leading the majors in batting average (.279) and well-hit baseballs (402) and ranked third in runs (268). His downside is that of a pitcher outside my top 75, so be forewarned.
• Consider John Danks a two-start sleeper for Week 10. Though his fastball velocity hasn't entirely returned -- he averaged 89.0 mph with it in his first two starts, compared to 91.2 mph from 2010 to 2012 -- his cutter and changeup, his two historically most effective pitches, have been fine, combining to limit opponents to a .182 batting average and 12 swings and misses. Why that's significant: The opposing Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics are two of the least successful teams against changeups, batting .173/.201/.270 and .219/.278/.348 respectively.
• Red-hot Jeff Samardzija -- he had a streak of three consecutive quality starts with 23 strikeouts total entering his June 1 assignment -- faces a team he has historically dominated, the Pittsburgh Pirates. In four career starts against the Pirates, each one a quality start, Samardzija has a 1.13 ERA, 0.58 WHIP and 31 K's. Oddly, all four of them were pitched at Pittsburgh's PNC Park; Saturday will represent the first time he has started against them at Wrigley Field.
• Don't underrate the surprisingly reliable Trevor Cahill, a two-start pitcher working first at St. Louis' Busch Stadium, then at home versus the San Francisco Giants. Cahill is riding a streak of 28 consecutive starts allowing four or fewer runs, the game's longest active string, and six of his 11 outings this season have been quality starts. He is also 2-for-2 in quality starts in his career at Busch, and he has six quality starts and a 2.52 ERA in eight career games against the Giants.
• Here are this week's Streamer's Delight picks -- players need to be available in at least 75 percent of ESPN leagues as of our publishing time (Fridays):
1. Dan Straily (@CWS, Thursday): He has gone three straight starts without allowing an extra-base hit; the Chicago White Sox have .223/.286/.364 rates at home.
2. Jhoulys Chacin (SD, Thursday): He has already defeated the San Diego Padres twice this season, with a 2.31 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in those games.
3. Ted Lilly (SD, Tuesday): Current Padres have combined .216/.278/.319 career triple-slash rates against him; he has a 2.51 ERA all-time against the Padres.
4. Chris Tillman (@HOU, Tuesday): Expect a bounce-back from his poor May 29 outing; he's facing the game's most K-prone team, the Houston Astros.
5. Jonathan Pettibone (MIA, Tuesday): Despite lackluster stuff, he has a 3.64 ERA through eight starts, and the Miami Marlins are as good a matchup as there is.
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.
Some of the data used to generate this chart is derived from Baseball Musings' Day-by-day database.
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 opponent's 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:
Home games: Seattle Mariners 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Milwaukee Brewers 7
Versus RH: Houston Astros 7, Philadelphia Phillies 7, Minnesota Twins 6, Tampa Bay Rays 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 6
Versus LH: Atlanta Braves 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 4, San Diego Padres 4, Oakland Athletics 3
• The red-hot Baltimore Orioles couldn't match up much better than by getting three games against the Houston Astros, then another three against the back end of the Tampa Bay Rays rotation (including starts against their wide-open No. 5 slot as well as struggling Jeremy Hellickson). The Orioles had registered eight or more hits in 11 consecutive games through May 30, the game's longest active streak, and they're likely to face five right-handed starters, significant in that they're a .287/.343/.475 hitting team against righties in 2013. Not that you need an endorsement to start Orioles, who largely rate highly on the Player Rater, but there's every reason to believe Nate McLouth, for example, has another week of magic in his bat.
• A lefty-heavy schedule for the Atlanta Braves could create two matchups opportunities for fantasy owners: Be aware that Chris Johnson is a .420/.463/.640 hitter against left-handers, while Evan Gattis has .371/.439/.800 numbers against them, this season. Johnson has started every one of the Braves' 17 games against a lefty, and while Gattis hasn't been platooned in that obvious fashion, his numbers suggest the Braves might want to consider him for that.
• Raul Ibanez has three home runs against his 2012 team, the New York Yankees, in three games this season. Was it a matter of revenge, or was it merely the ballpark? Either could be the case, but that his Seattle Mariners face five right-handed starters, three of them during the Yankees series, suits him well from a matchups perspective. He has slugged .543 against righties in 2013.