If you're the praying type, please spend a little time today concentrating on the wildfires in my former hometown of Colorado Springs. If you're not the praying type, please pray anyway. Some of these photos from the Denver Post are unbelievable.
Dillon Gee's subpar performance against the Chicago Rizzos at Wrigley-Rizzo Field dropped our streaming starter record to 50-34. Today's pick is Kevin Millwood (owned in 2.7 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the A's, while Thursday's selection is Baltimore's still-underrated Wei-Yin Chen (25.5 percent owned) versus the Indians.
On to the news:
- After slugging a home run in a Triple-A rehab game on Tuesday, 2B Chase Utley is expected to return to the Phillies' lineup tonight. As we noted in Monday's post, it's hard to say how effective Utley will be, and we'll need to be skeptical about his usual stolen-base ability considering his knee problems. Until further notice, I've got Utley ranked 11th among fantasy second basemen, behind (in no particular order) Cano/Kinsler/Pedroia/Phillips/Uggla/Zobrist/Kipnis/Hill/Altuve/K. Johnson.
- In other good news for the Phillies, 1B Ryan Howard hopes to begin his rehab assignment on Thursday. Howard has been sidelined since rupturing his Achilles in last year's NLDS.
- Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI in Tuesday's win over the Mets. BBWAA officials are expected to bypass the customary waiting period and induct Rizzo into the Hall of Fame next month. Rizzo is still owned in just 20 percent of FOXSports.com leagues.
- Good news/bad news for the Diamondbacks, who will welcome SS Stephen Drew back tonight, but might be without SP Dan Hudson for awhile. Hudson has apparently been pitching through a sore elbow for a few starts, but decided not to tell anyone. As for Drew, don't expect him to be an everyday player right away.
- In other news from Arizona, the D-backs confirmed that ballyhooed pitching prospect Trevor Bauer will make his big-league debut on Thursday. Bauer has a 2.23 ERA with 116 K in 93 IP between Double A and Triple A this season, but he's also walked 48 batters in 93 innings. At age 21, he could experience some bumps in the road. Temper your expectations.
- The Rangers have placed SP Colby Lewis on the DL with forearm tendinitis. Scott Feldman will take Lewis' rotation spot tomorrow, and rookie Martin Perez will pitch out of the bullpen. If you're a person who gets excited about prospects, chill out on Perez, since he won't help your fantasy team right now.
- Andrew Cashner, who has been stretching out in the minors for a couple of weeks, will start Thursday for the Padres at Houston. Cashner has had control issues this season, but his wipeout stuff (57 K in 42 2/3 IP between Triple A and the majors this season) and pitcher-friendly home ballpark make him and interesting guy to monitor in deep mixed leagues.
- Blue Jays SP Henderson Alvarez, who left Monday's game with a sore elbow, is expected to start Saturday. That's good, because if Alvarez wasn't available, the injury-depleted Jays would have been forced to hold American Idol-style auditions later this week.
- There are eight afternoon games today, starting with Brewers-Reds at 12:35 p.m. ET. Set your lineups accordingly.
- Here's a link to Tuesday's chat transcript, and here's another to this week's Fantasy 15 podcast with Mike Harmon and me. Listen if you want to make me happy.
- White Sox SP Gavin Floyd may have a 4.80 ERA, but he hasn't allowed a run over his last two starts, and owns a career best K/BB ratio (85K/24BB in 90 IP). Hmm ...
- It sounds like Pirates C Rod Barajas will miss a couple more days with a bruised knee, but not go on the DL.
- Angels SP Jerome Williams hopes to come off the DL next Wednesday.
- The Astros have placed OF Justin Maxwell (ankle) on the DL, and still have Jose Altuve listed as day-to-day due to his hamstring injury.
- Why is everyone so fired up about the somersaults Aroldis Chapman did after closing out last night's game? When I heard about it I thought he did some dangerous backflips, but this is pretty tame. If my kids did somersaults like that, I wouldn't worry.
- Here's an update on Clay Buchholz's esophagitis; his return timetable is TBD. Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday.
- The Orioles plan to activate setup man Matt Lindstrom today. Woo, holds!
See you back here tomorrow morning.