It’s another day where I got a late jump on these. With that in mind, we’ll get right in to today’s notes and a look ahead at tomorrow. This whole trying to run a blog, work a day job, and handle a one-month old is more tiring than you would expect!

Thursday Notes

Jordan Zimmermann is returning to the mound today for the Nationals. He will take the place of Stephen Strasburg in the rotation. Zimmermann’s rehab from Tommy John surgery has gone as smoothly as anyone could have expected, resulting in a 1.59 ERA in 39.2 minor league innings. He is certainly worth a flyer going forward, but he draws a tough matchup in the Cardinals and Chris Carpenter today.

Adam Dunn is only 4-for-24 with one home run against Carpenter, but Ivan Rodriguez is worth starting if you need a couple hits from the catcher position. Rodriguez is 10-for-28, good for a .357 mark against Carpenter. Ryan Zimmerman is only 1-for-10 himself.

Anibal Sanchez has given up only two earned runs in his last three starts covering 19.2 innings. Batters are hitting only .213 against him in August. Carlos Beltran is 4-for-10 against Sanchez lifetime, but look to avoid the 3-for-19 mark of Jose Reyes and 3-for-16 of David Wright where possible. Sanchez has been a pleasant surprise this month and should be a spot start option here.

Don’t look now, but Wandy Rodriguez has allowed just five earned runs in 26.1 innings this month. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in a start since facing the Cubs on July 19th. No one on the Phillies has more than nine at-bats against the starter, so track record is harder to determine. Jimmy Rollins does have four hits in nine at-bats against him and is the only note worth taking.

Batters are pounding Kyle Kendrick this month to the tune of .346. Kendrick has a 5.40 ERA in August and a 5.46 ERA at home this year. He has allowed 10 earned runs in his last nine innings pitched in Philadelphia. The Astros may not have the most potent offense in the league, but even they should take advantage of these numbers.

Kevin Correia is 2-1 in three starts this year against the Diamondbacks, but has surrendered five home runs in 17.2 innings against them. Of late he has been feast or famine. In his last four starts, he has not allowed a run in two of them and in the others has allowed a combined nine earned. Stephen Drew is just 8-for-41, while Mark Reynolds is 8-for-36. Look to use Gerardo Parra, Adam LaRoche, and Kelly Johnson if you have them. All hit better than .300 against Correia.

Cliff Lee is winless in his last three starts, having been hammered for 18 earned runs in his last 19.2 innings pitched. While it is almost excusable to surrender numbers to the Rays and Yankees, the eight against Baltimore is certainly questionable. Delmon Young (3-for-24) and Jim Thome (.208) have struggled against Lee, but look to start Denard Span.

Francisco Liriano had this start today pushed back three days and he did not throw in-between starts. Ron Gardenhire is not concerned, but has noted that Liriano has a tired arm. It has shown in the fact that he has been roughed up in two of his last three starts, allowing a total of 10 runs in his last 15.1 innings. Of greater concern are the 12 walks against just 16 strikeouts. If you can avoid him here against Texas, do so.

Spot Starts: Gonzalez, Sanchez, Correia

Friday Notes

Alfonso Soriano is 8-for-20 against Johnny Cueto with three home runs, and Aramis Ramirez is 5-for-16 with two home runs himself. Look to avoid Kosuke Fukudome and his 5-for-21 mark where possible. Cueto is just 1-2 in August and has a 4.12 ERA at home this season.

Ubaldo Jimenez is just 2-3 with an ERA over 4.00 since the All-Star break, and he has struggled with the Dodgers in the past. Ryan Theriot and Matt Kemp are both hitting better than .300 and should be in your lineup for this one. Look to avoid Manny Ramirez, as he is only 1-for-13 against Jimenez lifetime.

Tim Lincecum is 0-4 with an 8.38 ERA this month, allowing 18 earned runs and four home runs in 19.1 innings pitched. Only Justin Upton, though, has a career mark worth starting against the ace. Upton is 9-for-26, posting the only average above .200 of players that are likely to be in your fantasy lineup. Avoid the 3-for-31 of Chris Young, and most other Diamondbacks where you have other options. Mark Reynolds has 12 strikeouts in 19 at-bats against Lincecum.

Jon Lester was pushed back from his start against the Mariners so he can take the ball against the Rays on Friday night. Lester is 7-3 with a 2.46 ERA on the road this season and his numbers this month are skewed by the disaster that was against Toronto. Jason Bartlett has a .346 mark against Lester, and only B.J. Upton at .176 is worth benching. Play other Rays as you normally would.

David Price is 7-1 at home this season, posting a 2.11 ERA and .211 BAA. He has held lefties to a .213 mark this season, so keep that in mind when playing J.D. Drew and David Ortiz in particular. Price has had some command issues of late, walking 10 in his last 17 innings. He has recorded just one win in his last three starts.

Spot Starts: Volstad, Figueroa, Vargas, but the pickings are really slim here

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