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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is not in Monday's starting lineup. He was hit twice in Sunday night's game, the last time by a 99 mph Trevor Rosenthal fastball, and was forced from the game.
Insight: He also collided with Matt Holliday in the field Saturday night. Ramirez's X-rays showed no breaks, but knowing his past injury history he'll likely miss a few days.
Description: Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was out of Sunday's lineup with hamstring tightness, but is probable for Monday's game against the NY Mets.
Insight: The second baseman has batted .414 in July. Cano has batted .335 average with 57 RBI, 49 runs and seven steals this season. Fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned by the leg injury except that he may not steal bases for a while.
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has hit .311 with eight doubles, five home runs, 25 RBI and 25 runs over his last 43 games.
Insight: Mercer went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Sunday against Colorado. He started off batting .190 with one home run and six RBI in his first 47 games, but he's turned into a competent fantasy shortstop option.
Description: Houston second baseman Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and two runs Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Power is just about the only thing the 5-foot-5 Altuve hasn't provided this season. He's batted .336 with an MLB-leading 135 hits, 30 doubles, two triples, 51 runs and 41 steals, but has just three home runs.
Description: Yankees first baseman MarkTeixeira has gone 0-for-12 in his first three games after the All-Star break and 3-for-24 (.125) since his two-homer game on July 9.
Insight: Teixeira (.231, 17 HR) has been unable to overcome the rise of shifts around the league and is hitting a paltry .083 on ground balls this season. He also has just seven doubles and a career-high 19.5 percent K rate, so he's really become a home-run-or-bust player.
Description: Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano is out of Sunday's lineup with hamstring tightness.
Insight: Cano has made up for his lack of power (7 HR) with a .335 average, 57 RBI, 49 runs and seven steals this season. He's dealt with the hamstring injury sporadically this season, so fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned. The second baseman has batted .414 in July.
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is in the midst of a 5-for-47 (.106) skid that has cut his average down by 34 points.
Insight: LaRoche has great numbers against Sunday's starter Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers -- 9-for-28, three doubles, two homers -- but fantasy owners should avoid him until he shows signs of coming out of his slump.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar owns a .583 average against Minnesota's Kevin Correia.
Insight: Escobar is hitting just .249 with four homers and a .657 OPS in 281 at-bats this season so he won't cost you much Sunday, but he could be a good option against Correia. He's gone 7-for-12 with two doubles against the right-hander.
Description: Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez could be a good low-cost fantasy option Sunday against the White Sox.
Insight: Dominguez has a .295 average and an .800 OPS against lefties this season, compared to a .209 average and a .580 OPS against righties. He's also gone 3-for-5 with two homers against White Sox left-hander John Danks.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt left Saturday night's game due to dizziness, according to Giants beat reporter Andrew Baggarly.
Insight: Belt (.238, 10 HR, 22 RBI) hasn't played a lot breaking his thumb in early May and now this. He's likely to take Sunday off as well as a precaution after apparently he was hit in the face during batting practice.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was forced from Saturday's game after pulling up while running out a ground ball.
Insight: Tulowitzki had 21 bombs, 52 RBI and 71 runs to go with a .342 average and a 1.041 OPS heading into the game. Hopefully the injury-prone star won't be out of action for long. Stay tuned for an update.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is just 1-for-10 versus Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton.
Insight: This is certainly an unfavorable matchup which you should probably avoid despite his great season to date. Tulowitzki has 21 bombs, 52 RBI and 71 runs to go with a .342 average and a 1.041 OPS this season. Hopefully his appearance in the Home Run Derby Monday night won't change his swing.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 12-for-24 with three homers and a 1.455 OPS versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera is hitting .308 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .899 OPS this season, but has struggled of late batting just .267 with an .817 OPS over the past four weeks. We expect more for him. We could get it on Saturday.
Description: Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-3 with a homer, two RBI, a walk and two runs scored Friday against the Royals.
Insight: In his last 29 games of the first half, Bogaerts batted .103 (11-for-107) with one extra-base hit, five RBI and seven runs. Before that stretch he had a .299 average, five home runs and an .840 OPS on the season.
Description: Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett hit his eighth homer of the season Friday at Washington.
Insight: Gennett batted .397 with 15 extra-base hits (4 HR) in June and he's gone 13-for-44 (.295) with five extra-base hits (2 HR) in July. Overall, he's hitting .309 with 34 RBI, 42 runs and five steals.
Description: Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis) has begun his rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso, according to Jeff Sanders of the Union-Tribune.
Insight: Plantar fasciitis has kept Gyorko out since June 4. The 25-year-old will return to a .162 average, five homers, 24 RBI and a .483 OPS after hittting .249 with 23 homers in 486 at-bats as a rookie.
Description: Brewers shortstop Jean Segura has returned to the team after flying home to be with his family following the tragic death of his nine-month-old son. SOURCE: Greg Matzek, 620 WTMJ
Insight: Segura will travel with the Brewers on their three-game trip to Washington this weekend but may not play every day yet. Segura was an All-Star in 2013, but he declined in the second half last year and has batted .232 with four homers, 23 RBI and 15 steals in 2014.
Description: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier went 3-for-6 with a double, two homers and four RBI Sunday at Colorado.
Insight: Dozier didn't make the All-Star team because the American League second-base field is so deep, but he has a strong case. He's hit just .242 but has 18 homers, 45 RBI, 69 runs and 16 steals. AL captain Jose Bautista picked Dozier to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday.
Description: Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella had three hits and three RBI Sunday against the Cubs.
Insight: La Stella has batted .292 in his first 154 major league at-bats, but he has zero home runs and just two steals. While he's a huge upgrade over Dan Uggla and Tyler Pastornicky, he's not a good fantasy option.
Description: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier went 1-for-5 Sunday, but his lone hit was a home run.
Insight: Frazier has a big chance to introduce himself to casual baseball fans during the All-Star break, as he'll participate in the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. Fantasy owners are already very familiar with him, as he's batted .290 with 19 homers, 53 RBI, 57 runs, 14 steals and an .852 OPS this season.
Description: For the third time since June 27, Miguel Cabrera has gone three straight games without getting a hit.
Insight: Prior to June 27, he hadn't gone more than two games all season without getting a hit all season. In fact, he only went more than two games without getting a hit one time all of last season, and one of those games he exited with an injury before getting an at-bat. Despite the cold streak to end the first half, Cabrera is hitting .306 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .898 OPS this season.
Description: Milwaukee second baseman Scooter Gennett went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI Sunday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Gennett has picked up three hits in three of the past six games but was hitless in the other three during that span. He's batted .309 with 22 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 33 RBI, 40 runs and five steals this season after taking the starting job from Rickie Weeks.
Description: White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez (back) is not in the lineup Sunday.
Insight: Ramirez left Saturday's game with back stiffness. He made the All-Star team because his first two months were very strong, but he's batted .212 with one homer and a .534 OPS over his last 38 games.
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is limping into the All-Star break.
Insight: LaRoche carried a .300 average for nearly the entire first half, but he's hit .139 in July and is down to .284 for the season. He's gone just 6-for-35 (.171) against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, so he shouldn't be used Sunday.
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 5-for-28 lifetime against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Alvarez is hitting just .238 with 15 home runs, 47 RBI and a .741 OPS. At the All-Star break last year, he was hitting .250 with an .827 OPS and already had 24 homers and 62 RBI. He'll face Cueto Sunday in Pittsburgh's last game before the break.
Description: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has gone 5-for-14 (.357) with a double, two homers and three walks against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano.
Insight: Frazier has been the Reds' best hitter this season, batting .291 with 18 homers, 51 RBI, 56 runs, 14 steals and an .850 OPS. He'll put his power on display Tuesday in the Home Run Derby, but not before getting a crack at Liriano Sunday.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has put together a solid season for fantasy owners, but should be avoided Saturday afternoon, as he's 1-for-23 (.043) versus Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello.
Insight: Escobar has already matched his 2013 stolen base total (22) and is batting .283 with 41 runs scored and 28 RBI. His .709 OPS won't kill you either.
Description: Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has a favorable matchup with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Wainwright is one of the top-two pitchers in the National League, but Ramirez is a career .404 hitter (19-for-47) with a pair of home runs in their matchups. Despite a trip to the injured list, Ramirez is putting together another solid season batting .285 with 11 HR and 42 RBI in 68 games.
Description: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro (back) has been activated from the 60-day disabled list.
Insight: Scutaro hasn't played since spring training and he underwent a non-surgical procedure similar to a PRP therapy in May designed to "speed up the process" of his return from a back injury. He's not in Friday's lineup but should start Saturday.
Description: Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt loves facing Giants starter Tim Lincecum and so do his fantasy owners.
Insight: He's a career .577 hitter with seven homers and 17 RBI in just 26 at-bats. Goldy is having another fine season batting .312 with 16 HR, 61 RBI and a league-leading 193 total bases. He's always a must start when facing Lincecum.
Description: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier is 5-for-12 (.417) with one home run against Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke.
Insight: Frazier carried the Reds offense early on this season and has been playing at an All-Star level, batting .289 with 17 HR, 48 RBI, 13 SB and an .842 OPS. Cincinnati will need him to carry them a bit further with all the injuries they have suffered recently (Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Billy Hamilton).
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is 11-for-28 (.393) with six extra-base hits against Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett.
Insight: LaRoche has been rock solid this season, batting .289 with 12 HR and 47 RBI. This may be his last season in Washington as he's only signed through 2014 and the Nationals need to find a spot for Ryan Zimmerman other than third base.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson slammed his 20th home run of the season Thursday afternoon.
Insight: Donaldson has struggled after a good start, but the home runs have never slowed. He'll easily top last year's total of 24, but he'll be hard-pressed to match last season's .301 batting average or .883 OPS.
Description: Cubs infielder Arismendy Alcantara posted four hits on Thursday, scoring twice, knocking in three runs and missing the home run for a cycle.
Insight: Alcantara is a much lower-rated prospect than fellow Cubs middle infielder Javier Baez, but he's still a top-100 overall prospect and could provide fantasy teams with speed (21 steals at Iowa).
Description: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has been diagnosed with a sprained left thumb and will miss Thursday's game.
Insight: Phillips suffered the injury Wednesday when his glove hand bent while he was diving for a ground ball. His X-rays came back negative so he doesn't have a fracture, but he may have an MRI to check if he has any structural damage. He could easily sit until after the All-Star game.
Description: Mets third baseman David Wright is a career .423 hitter (11-for-26) against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Wright had a bruised rotator cuff and missed seven consecutive games. He's been a solid RBI guy this season (43), but seven home runs and four steals are below expectations for the Mets star third baseman. Perhaps this matchup will help.
Description: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is hitless in 10 tries against Milwaukee starter Matt Garza.
Insight: The best we can say about this matchup is that he's walked twice. Howard started the season decently, but his July has been a disaster, going 3-for-30 with no extra base hits and a .350 OPS. Keep looking.
Description: Chicago third baseman Conor Gillaspie went 2-for-4 with a double and a solo homer Wednesday at Boston.
Insight: Gillaspie has finally started to hit for some pop after failing to hit one out of the park in his first 59 games. He's hit three in his last six games and is now batting .320 with 21 doubles, three triples, 33 RBI, 32 runs and an .835 OPS in 247 at-bats.
Description: Orioles third baseman Manny Machado banged out three hits, including a solo homer Wednesday against the Nationals.
Insight: Tuesday's rainout did nothing to cool off Machado's scorching bat. He's gone 12-for-21 (.571) with two doubles and two homers in his last four games and 22-for-51 with three doubles and five home runs in his last 12.
Description: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has been diagnosed with a sprained left thumb, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Insight: Phillips suffered the injury Wednesday when his glove hand bent while he was diving for a ground ball. His X-rays came back negative so he doesn't have a fracture, but he may have an MRI to check if he has any structural damage.
Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisher has homered in two straight games and he has two homers in 11 career at-bats against Brandon McCarthy.
Insight: McCarthy will make his Yankees debut Wednesday after coming over from the Diamondbacks in a trade over the weekend. Swisher is still hitting just .198 this season, but he could be a decent option Wednesday.
Description: Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes has been playing through a right shoulder injury, according to sportsnet.ca.
Insight: Reyes has hit .344 with four doubles, a triple, two homers and 10 runs in his last 14 games, so the injury isn't affecting him at the plate. However, it has caused his throwing errors to spike. He's made 12 errors already this season, eight throwing. He's never made more than nine throwing errors in a season. While the shoulder soreness bothers him occasionally on swings, he insists it won't keep him out of the lineup.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is getting the day off Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Cabrera has gone three games in a row without getting a hit twice since June 27 after not going more than two without one at any point this season, but he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs Tuesday to snap a 0-for-9 stretch.
Description: Twins third base prospect Miguel Sano (elbow) will not play in the Arizona Fall League but could get some action in winter ball, according to Rhett Bollinger of mlb.com.
Insight: Sano underwent Tommy John surgery in March. The 21-year-old third baseman already has 90 home runs in 1,375 minor league at-bats. Baseball America ranked Sano as the No. 6 prospect in baseball prior to this season.
Description: The Reds Joey Votto has been placed on the disabled list due to a quad injury.
Insight: Votto (.255, 6 HR, 23 RBI, .799 OPS) had zero homers since he returned from the same injury on June 10 after spending nearly a month on the disabled list and he clearly needs more time off. He'll get it. Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Brayan Pena will all likely see time at 1B.
Description: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier is 6-for-17 (.353) with two home runs against Cubs starter Travis Wood.
Insight: Frazier carried the Reds offense early on this season and has been playing at an All-Star level, batting .293 with 17 HR, 48 RBI, 13 SB and an .859 OPS. He has four multi-hit games in the last five contests.