This week will mark the end of interleague games as we get ever so close to the All-Star break.
To some, the interleague games have reached a stalemate, but it does provide some intriguing matchups nonetheless.
So, let’s look at some trendy, hot and intriguing names to watch for the week.
Josh Hamilton: Texas Rangers
After being sidelined for the last three games with a stomach virus, Hamilton will go into the week as a question mark.
He’ll likely play at least some of the week. For a guy with the credentials he has, even a half a week is enough to have him active.
This week Hamilton and the Rangers take on the Padres (Jason Marquis, Edinson Volquez and Anthony Bass) on the road before ending the week at home vs. the Rockies (Christian Friedrich, Jeremy Guthrie and Josh Outman). So if he plays, Hamilton will have some juicy matchups.
Pedro Alvarez: Pittsburgh Pirates
He’s at it again!
If you have Alvarez on your bench you may want to activate him, because he is on one of his notorious hot streaks. It’s streaks like these where you to have to capitalize on his talents because they usually only last for a week or two. In his last two games Alvarez is 5-8 with four home runs and nine RBI’s.
With matchups against the Twins (Scott Diamond, Francisco Liriano and Liam Hendriks) and the Tigers (Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander) Alvarez may continue to pounce on these staffs.
Justin Morneau: Minnesota Twins
It’s good to see the Justin Morneau of old. Morneau finally seems to be past his concussion issues and is starting to heat up, going seven for his last 29.
With five righties on the schedule this week, including the Pirates’ Kevin Correia and James McDonald (with a matchup against Erik Bedard sandwiched in between) as well as the Reds’ Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos, Morneau has the potential for a big week.
Torii Hunter: Los Angles Angels
Just as the Angels are starting to heat up so is Hunter.
Hunter has been on a hot streak and is starting to earn back the trust of fantasy players. Hunter is 17-42 in his last ten games while slugging four home runs and driving in 10 runs as well.
Hunter and the Angels will look to keep up their hot ways with home matchups against San Francisco (Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong) and the Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang).
Evan Longoria: Tampa Bay Rays
All indications are that Longoria will finally return to the diamond at some point this week.
However, owners of the talented third baseman may want to take a wait-and-see approach before inserting him back into lineups. With matchups against the Nationals’ (Chien Ming-Wang, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez) and Phillies’ (Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels) staffs, Longoria could be in for a rude awakening.
Trevor Plouffe: Minnesota Twins
This ride Plouffe is on right now has been incredible and seemingly out of nowhere.
In his last 24 games, Plouffe is 29-92 with an astonishing 13 home runs. And with the matchups he has this week (same as Morneau); there is every reason to ride the hot hand.
It’s not like power-hitting shortstops are growing on trees.
Matt Cain: San Francisco Giants
A lot of eyes will be on Cain this week as he tries to follow up his perfect game masterpiece.
Including his perfecto, Cain is riding a seven-game winning streak in which he has thrown 56 K’s to only nine walks in 49.2 innings pitched.
With the way Cain is dealing and with road contests against the Angels and the A’s, there is a good chance for another sensational week.
R.A. Dickey: New York Mets
Lost behind his teammate Johan Santana recovering from injury and throwing the first ever Mets’ no-hitter, a lot of people are overlooking Dickey.
Dickey’s knuckleball isn’t some plodding, awkward pitch, as the velocity he gets on the pitch is something that has never been seen before.
In his last five starts, Dickey is 5-0 with an absolutely, ridiculous 0.23 ERA. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Dickey has amassed a whopping 50 strikeouts to just three walks in 39.2 innings pitched!
And with two starts against the Orioles and the Yankees at home, expect another good week out of Dickey.
Mat Latos: San Diego Padres
With a mediocre 4.67 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP, Latos is going to have to start pulling his weight to justify the Reds trading for him in the offseason. Well, there is no time like the present and with the matchups he has this week (@Cleveland, vs. Minnesota), Latos is a pitcher you can trust.
Clay Buchholz: Boston Red Sox
Buchholz is finally getting his act together, as he is on a three-game winning streak while tossing a quality outing in his last four starts. In that stretch Buchholz has allowed only four earned runs in his last 31 innings pitched. And with two starts at home this week (Miami and Atlanta), Buchholz looks primed to keep it rolling.
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