Description: Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez made a strong bid to keep the fifth spot in the rotation with 10 Ks over seven innings (5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) Tuesday against the Mets.
Insight: Ramirez has posted a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings over his last five starts, but he's walked 18 batters during that span. Taijuan Walker, who will start Wednesday, is also an option for the No. 5 spot. However, James Paxton is expected to return in early August so both Walker and Ramirez could be out of luck.
Description: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (hamstring) is expected to go on the disabled list, according to William Ladson of mlb.com.
Insight: Zimmerman strained his right hamstring Tuesday at Colorado. The third baseman has gone 24-for-62 (.387) with six doubles, two homers and 16 RBI since June 30, so the injury is bad timing. He already missed six weeks this season with a fractured thumb.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia doesn't have good numbers against Toronto's R.A. Dickey.
Insight: Pedroia is 2-for-15 (.133) against Dickey. He's also batting .150 (6-for-40) with one extra-base hit over his last 10 games and has collected just three extra-base hits and zero home runs in his last 27 contests.
Description: Arizona third baseman Martin Prado owns a .419 career average (13-for-31) with one homer and zero strikeouts against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez.
Insight: The two were frequent opponents when both played in the NL East. With a .272 average, four homers, 36 RBI, 40 runs and two steals in 375 at-bats, Prado hasn't been a good fantasy option this season, but he's a decent option Wednesday.
Description: Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis is 6-for-11 with three triples in his career against Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak.
Insight: Swarzak is making his first start since 2012 Wednesday afternoon against the Indians. Kipnis has had a disappointing season, batting .254 with five home runs, 30 RBI, 38 runs and a .698 OPS, but he's a good play Wednesday.
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker homered for the fourth time in his last 10 games Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Walker is now one home run away from tying his career high of 16. He's batting .286 with 48 RBI, 46 runs and an .831 OPS in 325 at-bats this season. Among second basemen, only Brian Dozier has more home runs.
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit five home runs in four games since the All-Star break.
Insight: Rizzo has gone off for eight homers in July and leads the NL with 25 on the year. He's rebounded from a .233 average, 23 home runs and a .742 OPS last year to hit .283 with a .924 OPS this season. His 67 runs rank second among first basemen.
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara wnt 1-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday against the Padres.
Insight: Darwin Barney was designated for assignment on Tuesday, so Alcantara have a starting spot for the remainder of 2014. He batted .307 with 46 extra-base hits (10 HR) and 21 steals in 335 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa before his call-up and has hit .282 with two home runs, seven RBI and three steals in 39 at-bats so far.
Description: Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was scratched from Tuesday's lineup with lower back tightness, according to Brittany Ghiroli of mlb.com.
Insight: Machado has batted .333 with seven doubles, six homers, 12 RBI, 11 runs and a .931 OPS over his last 29 games after hitting .218 with a .595 OPS in his first 37. He has 10 homers in 258 at-bats after hitting just 14 in 667 at-bats last season. Consider him day-to-day.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor was roughed up again Tuesday against the Marlins. He gave up 10 hits and six runs in three innings.
Insight: Over his last eight starts, Minor has allowed 68 hits (8 HR), 14 walks and 36 earned runs in 42 1/3 innings (7.65 ERA, 1.94 WHIP). The 26-year-old was excellent last season, going 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, but nothing's gone right in 2014. He began the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and has gone 3-6 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Description: The Mariners plan to recall Taijuan Walker for Wednesday's start. SOURCE: Bob Dutton, Tacoma News Tribune
Insight: Seattle pushed back Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez one day each, so they need a spot starter Wednesday and Walker was on schedule to start Wednesday for Triple-A. If he pitches well, the prospect could remain in the rotation ahead of Erasmo Ramirez, who will start Tuesday in the fifth rotation spot. However, James Paxton (lat) is nearing his return and could take that spot.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip flexor strain. SOURCE: Patrick Saunders, Denver Post
Insight: The Rockies have been calling Tulowitzki's injury a quad cramp since he suffered it on Saturday while trying to beat out a hit. Injuries have been the main issue for Tulowitzki in his career -- he averaged just 110 games over the previous four seasons. Josh Rutledge will see regular playing time until Tulo returns.
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara has hit .286 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, six RBI, three steals and seven runs in eight games since his promotion.
Insight: Darwin Barney was designated for assignment on Tuesday, so Alcantara will be Chicago's starting second baseman for the remainder of 2014. He batted .307 with 46 extra-base hits (10 HR) and 21 steals in 335 at-bats for Triple-A Iowa before his call-up.
Description: Cleveland starter Danny Salazar has been called up to start Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: Salazar entered this season with a lot of buzz but posted a 5.53 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP while allowing eight homers in 40 2/3 innings. He's recorded a 4.02 ERA and a 67/28 K/BB in 53 2/3 innings since his demotion to Triple-A, and he's been very good since he returned from a triceps strain on June 15 (3.07 ERA, 52/20 K/BB in 41 IP).
Description: The Blue Jays have called up top pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez, but he'll pitch out of the bullpen.
Insight: Sanchez has posted a 3.95 ERA in 100 1/3 innings in the minors this season. The right-hander has walked 191 batters in 356 1/3 minor league innings, including 57 this season. He can be ignored in re-draft leagues.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (quad) is out of the lineup Tuesday against the Nationals.
Insight: A cramp in Tulowitzki's left quad forced him out of Saturday's game and he will miss his third straight game. Any day without the best hitter in the NL (.340, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 71 runs, 1.035 OPS) is a disaster for fantasy owners, especially for games at Coors Field. Replacement Josh Rutledge has gone 3-for-8 with a homer and two RBI in the past two games.
Description: Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick (knee) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Reddick spent three weeks on the disabled list in June after hyperextending his right knee and he lasted just four games before straining the same knee on June 28. He's batting just .229 with four homers and 24 RBI.
Description: Third baseman Chase Headley has been traded to the New York Yankees.
Insight: Headley hasn't ever reached the levels he posted in 2012, but he'll be an upgrade at 3B for the Yankees. The change in venue from Petco Park to Yankees Stadium will should help Headley's numbers. He's not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Description: Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (hand) is once again not in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
Insight: Puig left Saturday's game after getting drilled in the left hand by a pitch. Both he and Hanley Ramirez will sit this one out, taking a huge piece of the Los Angeles offense with them. Puig is batting .308 with 12 HR, 52 RBI, 53 runs and seven steals.
Description: Third baseman Yangervis Solarte has been traded to the San Diego Padres.
Insight: Solarte went 40-for-119 (.336) with 10 doubles, four homers, 23 RBI, 17 runs and a 16/17 K/BB in his first 34 games this season, but he went 23-for-123 (.187) with two homers and seven RBI since then. In pitcher-friendly Petco Park, Solarte will have no fantasy value.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney is one of the rare hitters with a history of success versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Loney is a career .462 hitter (12-for-26) with a 1.154 OPS against Wainwright. He's a non-power hitting first baseman, who can hit for a decent average and knock in runs when needed, but isn't an everyday fantasy option.
Description: White Sox DH Adam Dunn is not a high-average hitter nor very good against left-handers, but he's a career .333 hitter (8-for-24) with a pair of long balls versus Royals southpaw Bruce Chen.
Insight: Dunn has hit .223 with 14 homers, 39 RBI this season, but just .152 with one home run against left-handers, This matchup goes against everything we know about Dunn.
Description: Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has four career home runs in 19 at-bats against Braves left-hander Mike Minor.
Insight: The slugger has mashed left-handers this season batting .373 with a 1.190 OPS. Stanton hasn't been hitting much of anything of late, however, .154 over the past two weeks, but Minor is still likely to pitch around him in any key situation.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is just 6-for-36 with a lone double over his last nine games and hitless in the past three contests.
Insight: The "Laser Show" hasn't done much over the first half of the season and fantasy owners are likely growing concerned. Contrary to his career numbers, Pedroia has been better on the road than in Fenway this season.
Description: Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (hand) had a second x-ray on his hand and it too came back negative.
Insight: Puig left Saturday's game after getting drilled in the left hand by a pitch. He's batting .308 with 12 HR, 52 RBI, 53 runs and seven steals. The Dodgers need him back, with Hanley Ramirez also sidelined, and we expect him back on the field soon, possibly Tuesday.
Description: Texas outfielder Jake Smolinski is questionable for Tuesday's game against the NY Yankees due to a bruised left foot.
Insight: The 25-year-old is finding early susccess at the major league level. He hasn't been a .300 hitter since 2008 at Single-A, but is batting .389 through his first 11 games. The injury bug continues to plague the Rangers.
Description: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI Monday at Philadelphia.
Insight: Pence has batted .352 in July after hitting over .300 in each of the previous two months. With 12 home runs, 37 RBI and nine steals, he's nowhere close to matching last year's 27 homers, 99 RBI and 22 steals, but he's batting .303 and has scored 71 runs.
Description: Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu improved to 11-5 with a victory over the Pirates Monday.
Insight: Ryu allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five over seven innings. He's given up seven hits and two runs over 13 innings in two starts since he was bombed for seven runs on 10 hits in 2 1/3 on July 8 at Detroit.
Description: Reds GM Walt Jocketty said Sunday that Joey Votto (quad) is still roughly five weeks away from returning. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN and SiriusXM
Insight: Votto (.255, 6 HR, 23 RBI, .799 OPS) has been dealing with a left quad strain since May. He spent nearly a month on the disabled list and batted .250 with zero homers and 11 RBI in 23 games after returning before going back on it on July 8.
Description: Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (ankle) threw a bullpen session Monday, according to Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com.
Insight: Wilson has been out with a right ankle sprain since July 10. He had a 6.81 ERA in his last eight starts before going on the DL. Wilson says he'll probably need a rehab assignment, so he likely won't be back before early August.
Description: Miami right-hander Henderson Alvarez (shin) has been cleared to start Thursday against the Astros, according to the Miami Herald.
Insight: Alvarez took a comebacker off the left shin Saturday and had to exit his start. He's gone 6-5 with a 2.64 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 75 Ks in 122 2/3 innings this season. Fantasy owners might want to sell high; because his K/9 is just 5.5 and he doesn't get a lot of run support from the Marlins, his value relies heavily on his ERA.
Description: Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone has asked the team to trade him, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Insight: Milone went 6-0 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last 11 starts but was sent down when Oakland traded for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The A's are not eager to move him because he may be needed as a replacement later this season. Milone has an ERA of 2.96 at O.co Coliseum and 4.52 on the road in his career, so a trade could hurt his fantasy value depending on where he lands.
Description: Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (shoulder) could begin a throwing program in two weeks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Insight: Wacha had an MRI and CT scan Monday and GM John Mozeliak said the results were positive. He's been out since June 17 due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder and the best-case scenario for a return is early September.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (quad) is not in the lineup Monday against the Nationals.
Insight: A cramp in Tulowitzki's left quad forced him out of Saturday's game and will miss his second straight game. Any day without the best hitter in the NL (.340, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 71 runs, 1.035 OPS) is a disaster for fantasy owners, especially for games at Coors Field.
Description: Blue Jays DH Adam Lind (foot) is scheduled to take batting practice Tuesday, according to John Lott of the National Post, Toronto..
Insight: Lind initially said he would miss 6-8 weeks due to a non-displaced fracture in his right foot, but a second opinion was more optimistic and it appears the second one was closer to fact. He could be back in early August.