As we approach the Major League Baseball trade deadline, a lot can change with your fantasy team without you lifting a finger. Stars can be acquired on teams that end up pushing lesser players to the bench, and all of a sudden your starting third baseman is a part-time player. If you play in one of the quickly-becoming-extinct AL-only or NL-only leagues, you know you just lost Dan Haren from your league or else he just became available for all your FAAB dollars.

Speaking of Haren, be wary of teams who posture too much about acquiring players but never do. The New York Yankees were front and center of all trade rumors surrounding Cliff Lee and Dan Haren, but when the deal was finally struck, they were nowhere to be found. They only have a few players that anyone would be willing to trade for (Robinson Cano , Phil Hughes , Joba Chamberlain , and Jesus Montero), but the Yankees aren’t about to trade them away.

Don’t let this be your fantasy team, because no one will take you seriously when you decide that you want to acquire someone. The guy who talks a lot of smack but rarely shows any action is quickly dismissed as a wannabe, unless you have the Yankees bottomless pockets and can buy players and their bad contracts.

Now, the projected two-start pitchers for this week. For those of you in leagues who require you to set your lineup at the beginning of the week, these are guys you should strongly consider:

American League
BAL Brad Bergeson, Kevin Millwood
BOS Clay Buchholz
CWS John Danks , Gavin Floyd
CLE Jake Westbrook , Fausto Carmona
DET Max Scherzer , Justin Verlander
KC Zack Greinke , Bruce Chen
LAA Joel Pineiro
MIN Francisco Liriano
NYY Javier Vazquez , C.C. Sabathia
OAK Gio Gonzalez
SEA Felix Hernandez , Ryan Rowland-Smith
TB Matt Garza , James Shields
TEX Cliff Lee
TOR Brandon Morrow
National League
ARI Barry Enright
ATL Tommy Hanson
CHC Carlos Silva
CIN Bronson Arroyo
COL Jason Hammel , Jorge de la Rosa
FLA Ricky Nolasco , Josh Johnson
HOU Wesley Wright
LAD Chad Billingsley
MIL Randy Wolf
NYM Jon Niese
PHI Joe Blanton , Cole Hamels
PIT Zach Duke
SD Jon Garland
SF Barry Zito , Matt Cain
STL Jaime Garcia
WAS Stephen Strasburg


Rick’s Picks

Five best bets for double-start pitchers this week

1. Josh Johnson pitches in two pitchers’ parks (at SF, at SD) against two weak offenses. This is a no brainer for a guy with a 1.61 ERA.

2. Francisco Liriano has been dominant in six of his last nine starts and games at Kansas City, and home against Seattle should just help him pad his stats. This guy has finally got the 2006-07 form back again.

3. and 4. Gavin Floyd and John Danks both get Seattle and Oakland at home. There is no reason not to play either this week.

5. Facing the Braves and Phillies isn’t usually a recipe for making this list, but Stephen Strasburg isn’t your average pitcher. He gets both divisional juggernauts at home so the wins probably won’t materialize, but look for good ratios and strikeouts from the phenom.

Rick Milleman is the head fantasy baseball contributor at . Check his annual player projections included in the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy to help draft your championship team.

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