The headline for Tuesday morning's baseball post in this space was "Pedroia Calls it a Year." On Tuesday afternoon, Pedroia decided he was going to play despite his fractured left ring finger. This scrappy little guy deserves a round of applause, because while many of your fantasy players are looking for any excuse to shut things down, he's doing everything he can to stay on the field.
Hisashi Iwakuma dropped the hammer on the Angels with six scoreless innings, raising our streaming starter record to 107-63. Today's pick is Cubs' lefty Travis Wood (owned in 6.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) against the Astros. If you need a backup option, see if you can grab Oakland's A.J. Griffin (31.4 percent owned) in this afternoon's huge game against the Rangers, or maybe Cardinals' rookie Shelby Miller (0.2 percent owned) against the Reds. Since the Cardinals clinched a wildcard berth last night, Miller will start in place of Adam Wainwright.
On to the news:
- If Josh Hamilton doesn't hit a home run this afternoon, there's a decent chance that Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera won't play tonight in order to preserve his Triple Crown. I wish I had better advice than "wait and see," but ... wait and see.
- Tigers SP Max Scherzer has been scratched from tonight's start after twisting his ankle during Monday's postgame celebration. Reliever Luis Marte will start in Scherzer's place.
- Even though the Dodgers were eliminated on Tuesday, Clayton Kershaw will make his final start of the season today. The Giants say they'll play their regulars against Kershaw.
- Blue Jays DH Edwin Encarnacion (trapezius muscle) missed his third straight game on Tuesday, and you shouldn't expect to see him in the lineup tonight.
- Today's schedule includes six afternoon games, with Braves-Pirates leading off at 12:35 p.m. ET. You're not going to forget to set your lineup on time on the last day of the season, are you?
- Remember that the regular season might not end today. If the Orioles win and the Yankees lose tonight, there will be a one-game playoff on Thursday in Baltimore for the AL East title. Your fantasy league will almost certainly count stats from that game.
- On the AL MVP debate: I'd vote for Mike Trout, but wouldn't have a problem if Cabrera wins. To listen to the opposing camps discuss this issue, you'd think that Trout was nothing more than a good, speedy defender who should be happy with his AL Rookie of the Year Award, and that Cabrera is a big fat loser whose terrible defense outweighs his largely team-dependent offensive contributions. The only thing I like less than opinions on this right now is the stream of political rants on my Facebook page.
- Ben Sheets will start for the Braves today, and then retire. Sheets is only expected to throw a couple of innings, so don't get all sentimental and try to pick him up.
- Astros 2B Jose Altuve (groin) and 3B Scott Moore (shoulder) won't play today.
- Brewers 1B Corey Hart won't play today after re-aggravating his foot injury.
- R.A. Dickey has apparently been pitching all year with a torn abdominal muscle. And I thought I was already impressed.
- Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins (calf) probably won't play today. I thought about simply making a list of who will play today, but it would be filled with a bunch of guys I've never heard of who wear number 67.
- Did you know that Padres SS Everth Cabrera leads the National League in steals with 43, even though he didn't come up from the minors until mid-May? It's too bad Cabrera can't hit, since stolen bases alone don't guarantee job security.
This is probably my final baseball post of the 2012 season. If the Yankees and Orioles play Thursday, I'll write a brief entry if there's anything interesting or fantasy-relevant to tell you. Otherwise, thanks for following the blog all year. This concludes my fifth season of posting every weekday morning, and I truly appreciate your support.
I'll try to have my initial 2013 rankings ready by early November. If you have any offseason questions, you can always reach me via Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy the playoffs!