Happy Fourth of July, everyone! We've got a bunch of day games on today's schedule, starting with Giants-Nationals at 11:05 a.m. ET. Set your lineups accordingly.
The underrated Jon Niese got us back on the winning track last night, raising our streaming starter record to 51-39. Today's pick is Baltimore's Chris Tillman (owned in 0.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Mariners, while Thursday's selection is Edinson Volquez (7.6 percent owned) against the Reds. Michael Fiers and Rick Porcello were also considered, but PETCO Park trumped them.
On to the news:
- Have you been wondering what's wrong with Dan Haren? Apparently, it's a lingering stiff back, which he should have told his fantasy owners about months ago, and finally fessed up to after last night's loss. Haren's next start is in doubt pending an exam later this week, and he could be headed to the DL for the first time in his career. Stay tuned.
- Cardinals' ace Chris Carpenter is done for the season, with surgery scheduled to remove a rib in an effort to help a nerve issue - read the details here, since I'll butcher them if I try to explain further. Carpenter hopes to be back next season, but his prognosis is TBD.
- Roy Oswalt got rocked last night, and his ERA is now 7.79. Don't panic if you own Oswalt, but remember what we talked about before he was activated: He wasn't exactly an ace last year, so why should he be one now?
- Padres SP Andrew Cashner left his Tuesday start after two innings due to a strained lat muscle, and I'd like to place his odds of going on the DL at 99.8 percent. You could still argue that Cashner had a better night than opposing starter Trevor Bauer, who got hammered.
- Speaking of getting hammered, Tim Lincecum's recent improvements hit a big speed bump last night. I don't know what's going on with that guy, but I'd be stubborn and hold on if I owned him. I doubt that you have a better alternative (trade, waive, etc.).
- Dodgers OF Matt Kemp began a rehab assignment last night - he went two-for-three with a run scored - with hopes of being activated immediately after the All-Star break. Kemp's teammate, Andre Ethier, appears headed for the DL, and might be replaced on the roster by 2B Mark Ellis, who has missed nearly seven weeks with a leg injury.
- Marlins OF Emilio Bonifacio (thumb) is expected to begin a rehab assignment today, with plans to come off the DL next week.
- With Jose Tabata back in Triple A, Drew Sutton could get plenty of time in right field for a little while. Sutton hit a game-winning homer last night, and should be targeted in NL-only leagues. He qualifies at SS/3B.
- Joe Saunders might or might not make a rehab start before returning to the Diamondbacks' rotation.
- Orioles 2B Brian Roberts is DL-bound due to a strained groin. It's time to quit Roberts if you haven't already.
- The DL status of Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks is still TBD. Keep him on your bench until you see his name on a lineup card. Also, do you care if Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the DL? I don't, because he's on my personal "permanently banned" fantasy baseball list.
- Astros 3B Chris Johnson (strained muscle in side) probably won't be back in the lineup before Thursday.
- Look for the Indians to activate DH Travis Hafner today.
- Here's an update on Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy, who's hoping to be reactivated by July 20.
- Glen Perkins got another save for the Twins on Tuesday, but since he's pitched in four straight games, he's off-limits today. Look for Jared Burton to get the ball if there's a save opportunity.
- Here's an update on injured Phillies Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard, whose respective rehabs seem to be going well.
- The Rangers haven't decided if Derek Holland's Saturday start will be in Triple A or the majors. Figure that they'll make an announcement today.
- Tigers SP Max Scherzer, who was scratched Tuesday with a hamstring issue, appears on track to make his Sunday start.
- Drew Storen is about to begin his rehab assignment, but is slated for setup duty when he returns to the Nats after the All-Star break. Damn that Tyler Clippard and his awesomeness!
- In other Nats' news, look for Stephen Strasburg to move to the back of the rotation after the All-Star break. They'll want to give Strasburg rest whenever possible before the debate begins about his shutdown.
- Speaking of rest, the White Sox will skip Chris Sale's turn on Sunday.
- Did you read about Rays C Jose Lobaton getting married at home plate earlier this week? I'm trying to imagine a conversation about that before I got married. "Honey, I want to get married on a baseball field. Yes, really. No, I'm not crazy. Wait! Where are you going?"
See you back here tomorrow morning.
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