Description: White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez is just 4-for-42 (.095) against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Ramirez is off to a quick start, batting .352 with four homers, 15 RBI, 15 runs and a .944 OPS. he's hit safely in 21 of 22 games this season. All these numbers are well above his six-season averages and he's a "sell high" candidate. Don't start him against Scherzer.
Description: Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie raised his average to .165 with three hits Wednesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Lawrie hit a three-run homer off Chris Tillman in the second inning. Despite the low average, the third baseman has five home runs and 18 RBI because he has been opportunistic with runners on base.
Description: Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit his second home run of the season Wednesday at Toronto.
Insight: Davis (.246, .771 OPS) didn't have one in his first 11 games of the season and went seven games without one between his first and second. However, if there's one thing we aren't worried about with Davis, it's his power hitting.
Description: Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas homered for the second straight game Wednesday at Cleveland.
Insight: Moustakas has drilled four homers and driven in 10 runs over his last eight games but he's still just 11-for-69 (.159) this season. This is the second straight year he raked in spring training and then got off to an ice cold start.
Description: Extra innings certainly helped owners of Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau Wednesday, as he started off 0-for-4 but went 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBI in his last two at-bats.
Insight: The move to Coors Field has led to the resurrection of Morneau, who struggled in Target Field the last four years and PNC Park briefly in 2013. The 32-year-old now has a .346 average, a .984 OPS, five home runs and 17 RBI in 78 at-bats.
Description: St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams is not in the starting lineup Wednesday against Mets left-hander Jon Niese.
Insight: The Cardinals will start Allen Craig at first and Shane Robinson in right field. The 25-year-old Adams is hitting .346 with an .858 OPS this season, though he only has one home run and five RBI.
Description: Though it hasn't kept him out of the lineup yet, Braves 1B Freddie Freeman admitted he's been struggling with dry eyes. SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Insight: It's an issue Freeman has dealt with on and off throughout his career. He said he cleaned his eye lids out and should be back to normal by Friday. The issue hasn't affected Freeman's performance (.346, 5 HR, 14 RBI) so fantasy owners have no reason to be concerned.
Description: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is having a pretty awful season (.205, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 20 games) but he could be worth a look Wednesday against Kansas City left-hander Jason Vargas.
Insight: He's hitting .500 against him in ten career at bats. Two of those five hits went for extra bases so this matchup does have potential. Cabrera still has time to turn things around this season but the clock is ticking.
Description: San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval owns a .417 career average against today's starting pitcher, Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 2.77 ERA).
Insight: Judging by his paltry .169 average this season, Panda hasn't found his stroke yet. But for once, Sandoval does have a favorable matchup with Chatwood throwing for Colorado today. We'll see if he can take advantage of it.
Description: Arizona infielder Martin Prado is not a preferred fantasy option Wednesday against Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija.
Insight: Samardzija has limited Prado to just two hits in 13 career at bats (.157 AVG). Prado has been pretty useless this season (.247 AVG, zero homers in 22 games) and shouldn't be owned in any fantasy leagues.
Description: Los Angeles second baseman Dee Gordon injured his head Tuesday against the Phillies but has already passed all his concussion tests. SOURCE: Ken Gurnick, Dodgers.com
Insight: He suffered the injury while sliding into second for his 12th stolen base of the season. That total leads the major leagues. Gordon's .369 average won't last but fantasy owners can always rely on his blazing speed. We wouldn't expect this ailment to sideline him for more than a day or two.
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney stayed hot with three hits Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: He's been ridiculous over his last four games, providing nine hits over that span (.563 AVG). Loney, who has never been a big power guy, is on pace for 97 RBI this season. Fantasy owners in the market for a corner infielder could do a lot worse than Loney (.302, 1 HR, 12 RBI).
Description: Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu socked a solo homer over the center-field wall off Justin Verlander in the top of the first inning Tuesday night.
Insight: That's the center-field wall at Comerica Park, 420 feet away from home plate, if you were wondering. Abreu went 2-for-3 with two runs in the game and has six homers on the young season. He's done a good job to shake off his first MLB slump, going 8-for-20 with three doubles and two homers after a 1-for-25 stretch.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer blasted four hits Tuesday in an 8-2 win over Cleveland.
Insight: Hosmer hasn't found his home run stroke yet (still homerless in 74 at bats) but who needs the long ball when you're hitting over .300? Here's another thing Hosmer owners should be thrilled about: the 24-year-old has just six strikeouts in 19 games. With a contact rate like that, Hosmer should be in for a great season.
Description: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli homered for the second straight game Tuesday against the Yankees.
Insight: Napoli is hitting .286, but his average will soon tumble. He has struck out in 29.5 percent of his plate appearances and hit .370 on balls in play even though his line-drive rate is just 11.8 percent.
Description: White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham should be activated from the disabled list later this week. SOURCE: WhiteSox.com
Insight: He's hoping to play this weekend against the Rays. Beckham missed the first few weeks of the season with a strained oblique. His return will probably mean less playing time for Marcus Semien (.227, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and Conor Gillaspie (.302, 0 HR, 12 RBI).
Description: Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon is hitting cleanup Tuesday against the Angels.
Insight: Rendon is hitting .304 with six doubles, two triples, three homers, 14 RBI and 12 runs in 79 at-bats this season and will hit behind Jayson Werth and in front of Ian Desmond. He's hit in every spot in the order this season other than third and the pitcher's spot.
Description: Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado will start his rehab assignment with Single-A Frederick on Friday. SOURCE: Eduardo Encina, Baltimore Sun
Insight: Machado will probably miss all of April after undergoing offseason knee surgery but he could be back in the big leagues sometime in early May. Ryan Flaherty (.213, 0 HR, 3 RBI) and Jonathan Schoop (.259, 1 HR, 9 RBI) have been splitting third base duties in his absence.
Description: Cleveland's top first base prospect, Jesus Aguilar, is off to a torrid start, batting .386 with five homers and a 1.190 OPS.
Insight: Aguilar smacked 16 homers with 105 RBI last season at Double-A Akron. Nick Swisher (.197) had better start hitting the ball or could eventually find himself in a platoon situation down the road.
Description: Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez is a stunning 8-for-16 with three homers and a 1.750 OPS versus Phillies ace Cliff Lee.
Insight: Not many guys have that kind of consistent success against Lee, but the Dodgers has two - Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. Ramirez is off to a bit of a slow start batting .246 with a couple of homers this season and missed some time with a hand injury.
Description: Chicago Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena should be in fantasy lineups on Monday.
Insight: Valbuena is a career .462 hitter (6-for-13) off Arizona starter Bronson Arroyo with a pair of homers and a 1.764 OPS. Then add in a wind blowing out to right at Wrigley Field and the left-hander is set up for success despite a .219 season batting average.
Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisheris 14-for-40 (.350) with a pair of homers and a 1.101 OPS versus Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Insight: Swisher is "up" to .181 after going 3-for-11 over the past three games. We've come to expect a low average with Swisher's power, but not this low. Swisher has hit at least 21 homers in nine consecutive seasons.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is a career .500 hitter versus Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen (11-for-22).
Insight: Pedroia (.260, 0 HR, 2 RBI) is just starting to get it going with five hits in his last three games. He's a premier fantasy second baseman in a favorable matchup who is just finding his batting stroke. Make him a must start on Monday morning.
Description: Justin Morneau's resurgence continued Sunday in a loss to the Phillies.
Insight: He plated five of the Rockies' nine runs. Clearly the move to hitter-friendly Coors Field has been beneficial to Morneau's fantasy value. The former Twins slugger is hitting .367 with ten RBI at home this year.
Description: Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins belted three hits in Sunday's win against the Rockies.
Insight: Rollins has been surprisingly effective this season with 13 RBI and a .292 average through 16 games. Last April he hit just .260 with seven runs driven in. We'll see if he can stay hot Monday when the Phillies travel to Chavez Ravine to begin a four-game set with the Dodgers.
Description: Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy left Sunday night's game against Boston after straining his hamstring. SOURCE: Brittany Ghiroli, MLB.com
Insight: Hardy exited after the sixth inning. Stephen Lombardozzi is now in at second base with Ryan Flaherty at shortstop. Though Hardy led all major league shortstops in HR last season (25), he's still searching for his first long ball of 2014.
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker contributed three hits Sunday in a loss to Milwaukee.
Insight: Walker's batting average hasn't been up to snuff (.250 through 19 games) but he's hitting the ball with plenty of power. His 394-foot blast in the fourth inning Sunday was his sixth of the season. That leads all big league second basemen.
Description: Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart broke out for three hits Sunday in a win over the Cubs.
Insight: He also drove in three runs with two of those coming on a homer in the seventh. Cozart hasn't been very productive this season (.153 AVG in 59 at bats) so maybe Sunday is a sign that he's close to getting back on track.
Description: Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki exploded for three hits Sunday in a 10-9 loss to Philadelphia.
Insight: Tulowitzki (.393, 2 HR, 12 RBI) has been out of his mind lately. Over the last week, he's gone 11-for-22 with four doubles, one homer and six runs batted in. He's the best shortstop in fantasy and we don't see that changing any time soon.
Description: Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard delivered a monster effort Sunday in a win over Colorado.
Insight: His four hits were a season-high. Howard certainly isn't the player he once was but at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, he can still strike fear in opposing pitchers. Howard's average for the season is now up to .262, which is very close to what he hit last season (.266 in 80 games).
Description: It didn't take long for Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu to break out of his 1-for-25 slump. He's gone 5-for-9 with three RBI over his last two games.
Insight: Three of those hits came in Sunday's blowout win over Texas. Up to this point, Abreu has performed about the way you would expect him to. He's provided strong power numbers for the White Sox (five HR, 17 RBI) but has not been able to hit for a high average (.243 in 19 games this season).
Description: A's third baseman Josh Donaldson logged three hits in Sunday's win over Houston.
Insight: Donaldson just keeps plugging away. He's tied for third among major league third basemen with 13 RBI and is fifth among AL third basemen in batting average (.272). He should be starting in all fantasy leagues.
Description: According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks will begin a rehab assignment on Monday.
Insight: Lauber didn't mention where the rehab assignment will take place but we're betting he'll end up in Triple-A Pawtucket. The plan is for Middlebrooks, who has been out with a strained calf, to return to the majors by next weekend. With Shane Victorino (strained hamstring) also close to returning, Boston has some important roster decisions to make.
Description: According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Texas GM Jon Daniels said third baseman Adrian Beltre (quad) will be ready to play next weekend against the Mariners.
Insight: Beltre is on the DL with a minor quad strain. Kevin Kouzmanoff has hit .395 with five doubles, two homers and nine RBI as Beltre's replacement, but he'll either go back to the bench or the minors when Beltre returns.
Description: The Cubs lifted Anthony Rizzo from Saturday's game because of back spasms, but he's in the lineup Sunday, according to Jesse Rogers of espnchicago.com.
Insight: Rizzo started every game this season for Chicago and is hitting .333 with two homers, eight RBI and just nine strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He struck out 127 times and hit .233 in 606 at-bats last season.
Description: Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez was hit in the arm by a pitch in the ninth inning Saturday night, but he's fine. His day off on Sunday was already planned and unrelated to the HBP, according to Adam McCalvy of mlb.com.
Insight: Ramirez has driven in 15 runs in 18 games this season and is batting .352 with an .860 OPS. Jeff Bianchi is starting at third.
Description: Mariners shortstop Brad Miller is not starting Sunday at Miami.
Insight: A tremendous spring and a hot start to the regular season has turned into a .194 average and a .598 OPS pretty fast for the 24-year-old Miller. He has gone 9-for-57 (.158) with 16 Ks in his last 14 games. Nick Franklin will start in his place Sunday.
Description: Brewers starter Marco Estrada has held Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez to three hits in 18 at-bats.
Insight: Alvarez struck out eight times against Estrada, Sunday's scheduled starter against Pittsburgh. The third baseman is stuck in one of his typical extended slumps, going 3-for-33 (.091) with 13 Ks in his last nine games. He's tied for the NL lead with six homers but is batting .162.
Description: Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau hit his third homer in the last seven games Saturday against the Phillies.
Insight: It was Morneau's first home run at home this year. The 32-year-old hasn't hit 20 home runs since 2009, but he should get there this year; Coors Field is a much better hitter's park than either Target Field or PNC Park.
Description: Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds hit his fourth homer of the sesaon Saturday at Pittsburgh.
Insight: Reynolds starts against lefties as part of a first-base platoon with Lyle Overbay. Reynold's numbers are nothing out of the ordinary for the slugger -- .208 average, four homers, 19 Ks in 48 at-bats.
Description: Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano has collected two hits in his last 21 at-bats.
Insight: One of them was his first home run of the season. He's hitting .254 after going 0-for-3 Saturday, and the M's have lost seven of their last eight games, but we aren't worried about the star second baseman.
Description: The Cubs lifted Anthony Rizzo from Saturday's game because of back spasms, but he's expected to play Sunday against the Reds, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Rizzo started every game this season for Chicago and is hitting .333 with two homers, eight RBI and just nine strikeouts in 60 at-bats. He struck out 127 times and hit .233 in 606 at-bats last season.
Description: Cubs IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio went 3-for-5 with a steal and two runs Saturday against the Reds.
Insight: Bonifacio entered play 2-for-24 over his last six games, but he's still batting .358 due to his extremely hot start (19-for-38 first eight games). The 28-year-old has 11 runs and eight steals in 15 games and should be owned in all leagues.
Description: Angels first baseman Albert Pujols launched his sixth homer of the season Saturday against the Tigers.
Insight: All six have come in the last 10 games. The 34-year-old Pujols is in a much better physical condition than last season and it has shown at the plate. He's hitting .282 with 11 extra-base hits, 14 RBI, 11 runs, a .960 OPS and a 7/7 K/BB in his first 17 games this year.
Description: Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano has a career .545 batting average with two homers against Miami right-hander Henderson Alvarez.
Insight: Cano is batting .266 this season which is below expectations after hitting over .300 for the past five years. This matchup may help, but what would really help is some better protection in the lineup.
Description: Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe is 8-for-24 (.333) with three homers and a 1.235 OPS versus Royals left-hander Bruce Chen.
Insight: Plouffe is off to a solid start, batting .288 with an .801 OPS, but his long ball stroke is missing. He's hit one home run this season. He hit 24 homers over 119 games in 2012 and just 14 last season.
Description: Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop crushed four hits Friday in an 8-4 win over Boston.
Insight: The Baltimore rookie has hit .429 during his seven-game hitting streak. Schoop has seven RBI during that span. We'll see how he does Saturday against Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront (1-2, 6.75 ERA).
Description: New York traded first baseman Ike Davis to Pittsburgh Friday for right-hander Zack Thornton.
Insight: Take a hike, Ike. Davis hit a walkoff grand slam on April 5th but other than that, his season has been a disaster (.208, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 12 games). He might be an upgrade over the Pirates' current first baseman, Gaby Sanchez, but not by much.
Description: Mets third baseman David Wright is a career .458 hitter (11-for-21) with a 1.267 OPS against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Wright is off to a slow start, batting just .258 with a .641 OPS, but this favorable matchup could get him going. Daniel Murphy, Wright, Eric Young Jr. and Ruben Tejada all have good histories against Harang which could mean plenty of scoring opportunities.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .417 hitter (5-for-12) versus Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Insight: Zobrist's five hits have all been of the extra base variety, including two homers and a 1.783 OPS. He's batting .268 this season with a .388 OBP due to walking 11 times already. He's a solid play on Friday.
Description: Baltimore shortstop J.J. Hardy is just 3-for-20 (.150) against Boston right-hander John Lackey.
Insight: Hardy has averaged 25.7 HR per season over the last three years, but he's never had an extra base hit against Lackey. He's also still looking for his first homer this season. It won't likely come on Friday. Avoid this matchup.
Description: Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has a pair of homers and a career .375 batting average versus Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija.
Insight: Frazier isn't batting for much of an average, but he has scored six runs in the past four games. His fantasy owners are hoping he'll rebound from a disappointing 2013 campaign (.234 AVG in 531 at bats).
Description: Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler bopped his second home run of the season Thursday in a win over Cleveland.
Insight: Kinsler, who finished with four RBI, has gone 7-for-17 over his last four games. The former Ranger recorded his third stolen base of the season on Thursday, though he was also caught stealing.
Description: Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes was expected to be ready to return from the disabled list Friday against Cleveland, but bad weather is going to push his return to Saturday, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
Insight: Reyes injured a hamstring in the season opener. He'll be a solid source of runs and steals as long as he can stay healthy.
Description: Brewers shortstop Jean Segura is hitless in nine at-bats versus Pirates starter Edinson Volquez.
Insight: Segura isn't off to a great start, batting .211 after a big April last season (.367). We're begining to think what we saw in the second half of 2013 (.241, 1 HR, 13 RBI in 54 games after the break) is what we're going to get in 2014. He's also been caught stealing a league-high three times already.
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-22 (.045) with 10 strikeouts against Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: The 27-year-old, who tied for the NL lead with 36 bombs last season, already has five homers, 10 RBI and 10 runs despite a .161 batting average. But this is an extremely unfavorable matchup to be avoided.
Description: San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford didn't start in Wednesday's game against the Dodgers and probably shouldn't be in Thursday's lineup based on an unfavorable matchup.
Insight: He's been dealing with a tight hamstring. He's also hitless in 10 at-bats versus Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. Joaquin Arias will likely fill in at shortstop, but has shown little value with a bat in his hand.
Description: Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar is sitting out for the first time this season Wednesday against Kansas City.
Insight: Villar is just one for his last 19 and has now struck out in 32.6 percent of his at bats this year. Marwin Gonzalez is playing shortstop on Wednesday and could see more time there in the future if Villar's struggles continue.
Description: The Mariners have called up SS Nick Franklin from Triple-A Tacoma. Franklin went 17-for-43 (.395) with four homers in his first 11 games at Triple-A to earn a callup.
Insight: Brad Miller, who won the shortstop job with a hot spring, hit two homers in the second game of the year but has batted .214 with a 19/1 K/BB in 56 at-bats this season. Franklin is a former first-round pick and top prospect who started off with a .277 average and 10 HRs in his first 52 games last year but hit .167 with two homers in his final 50. He could see some outfield duty with Logan Morrison (hamstring) out, according to Jon Heyman of cbssports.com.
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has hit four home runs over his last five games but he'll run into Johnny Cueto Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: Walker has five homers in 14 games after blasting six in his final nine last year. He didn't hit his fifth homer in 2013 until his 51st game. Cueto has limited the second baseman to six hits in 28 at-bats (.214), however.
Description: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is the owner of a .375 average against Dodgers starter Paul Maholm.
Insight: Sandoval is 6-for-16 with two homers and a double against Maholm. The third baseman has batted .164 with two homers in 55 at-bats this season, but he's also shown more plate discipline (12.7 BB%). The low average is mainly the result of a .171 BABIP, which he's posted despite having a 25.6 percent line-drive rate.
Description: Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup due to a sore knee and he has a poor matchup Wednesday.
Insight: If Cabrera plays, he'll face Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies. He's gone 3-for-18 with seven strikeouts against the left-hander. The 27-year-old is batting .340 with six doubles this season, but he has struck out 17 times in 53 at-bats.
Description: Padres third baseman Chase Headley is 8-for-36 (.222) with zero extra-base hits and 11 strikeouts against Jorge De La Rosa of Colorado.
Insight: Another cold start (.160, 1 HR, 11 Ks) has us skeptical we'll ever see the 2012 version of Headley (.286, 31 HR, 115 RBI) again. Remove that season and Headley has just 50 career homers in 683 games.
Description: Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is 7-for-14 with six doubles against Oakland's Tommy Milone.
Insight: Don't be fooled by Pujols' .237 average. The 34-year-old has hit four home runs in his last seven games and flew out to the deepest part of Angels Ballpark in dead center Tuesday night. He also has struck out just four times and physically looks much better than he did last year.
Description: Mariner third baseman Kyle Seager has had some success against Texas starter Yu Darvish.
Insight: Seager has been a disaster so far, hitting .146 with zero homers and two RBI. He does have a .316 average, four doubles and seven RBI in 19 career at-bats against Darvish, however, so maybe he'll get it going Wednesday despite facing the tough right-hander.
Description: Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff has gone 9-for-20 (.450) with three doubles, one homer and five RBI in six games while filling in for Adrian Beltre (quad), but he's been terrible against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
Insight: Kouzmanoff is back in the majors for the first time since 2011. He's 3-for-24 (.125) with nine Ks against Hernandez.
Description: Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie blasted a ninth-inning grand slam Tuesday at Minnesota.
Insight: Lawrie has more infield fly-balls (three) than line drives (two) this season and is hitting just .100 on balls in play and .132 overall. However, he has hit three homers and driven in nine runs.
Description: If Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (wrist) can return to the lineup Wednesday against the White Sox, he'll face a pitcher he's gone 2-for-17 against in John Danks.
Insight: Pedroia had a cortisone shot in his sore left wrist on Tuesday and didn't start for the second straight game. He pinch ran in the ninth inning. The 30-year-old has zero homers, one RBI and a .236 average this season.
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker continued his home run binge with another long ball Tuesday in the second game of a double-header.
Insight: That gives Walker five blasts in 58 at bats this season. Last season, Walker didn't hit his fifth home run until June 12th. Walker's .310 batting average is a noticeable improvement from the .265 clip he hit for in 2013.
Description: Rangers 1B Prince Fielder hit his first homer of the season Tuesday.
Insight: Fielder is batting .185 with nine Ks and seven BBs. His bat slowed down last season and he displayed reduced plate discipline. Moving to a better hitters park in Texas won't do anything to reverse that decline, but he should be able to put up solid numbers once he gets out of his slump.
Description: Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia was given a cortisone shot in his injured wrist. He expects to return Wednesday against Chicago. SOURCE: Gordon Edes, ESPN Boston
Insight: Pedroia played all of last season with a torn muscle in his thumb and only wound up missing two games. You have to admire Pedroia's toughness, though it's a little concerning he only has nine home runs in his last 758 at bats.
Description: Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis has been activated from the disabled list (knee).
Insight: Kolten Wong should continue to be the Cardinals starter with Ellis filling a backup role. Ellis used to have low-end value when he played with Oakland, but hasn't produced an OPS above .700 since 2011.
Description: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is just a .133 hitter (2-for-15) against Mariners starter Blake Beavan.
Insight: Andrus had an 11-game hitting streak end on Sunday, but got bat on the hit wagon Monday. Still, this is an unfavorable matchup to be avoided as even if he gets on base the struggling Rangers offense (two runs or less in five of last seven) will have problems knocking him in.
Description: Brewers shortstop Jean Segura is hitless in 12 at-bats versus Cardinals' young right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Segura isn't off to a great start, batting .261 after a big April last season (.367). We're begining to think what we saw in the second half of 2013 (.241, 1 HR, 13 RBI in 54 games after the break) is what we're going to get in 2014. He's also been caught stealing a league-high three times already.
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss is a career .462 hitter with four extra base hits and a 1.423 OPS versus Angels starter Garrett Richards.
Insight: Moss hasn't started hitting the long ball yet (1 HR) but is batting .295 with 11 RBI this season. He didn't start on Monday as the A's gave Daric Barton a start, but should be ready to go Tuesday.
Description: Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon is just 1-for-13 (.077) against Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum.
Insight: Gordon beat out Alex Guerrero for the second base job this spring and has continues to play well, batting .400 through the first 11 games with a league-leading nine steals. Proceed with caution on Tuesday based on the unfavorable matchup with Lincecum.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .105 hitter (2-for-19) versus Baltimore right-hander Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: Zobrist is a career .277 hitter left-handed (.256 right-handed), but hasn't had any success versus Gonzalez. Add in a strong wind blowing in from left field on Tuesday and you have all the ingredients for a low output evening.
Description: Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis will miss 4-to-6 months with a complete tear of the LCL in his left knee, according to Shi Davidi of sportsnet.ca.
Insight: Izturis tripped down the dugout steps during Sunday's game and tore the ligament. The 33-year-old has been getting most of the starts at second base but the job will now go to Ryan Goins (3-for-28 this season).
Description: Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss is getting a breather Monday against the Angels.
Insight: Daric Barton is starting at first with LHP Hector Santiago on the mound for Los Angeles. Moss has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .311 with one homer and 11 RBI in 45 at-bats this season.
Description: Miami second baseman Rafael Furcal (hamstring) will start his minor league rehab assignment on Monday, according to Joe Frisaro of mlb.com. The Marlins anticipate using all 21 days for Furcal's assignment.
Insight: Furcal is one of the rare position players who underwent Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2013 following the procedure and hasn't been a worthwhile fantasy option since he got off to a hot start in the first two months of 2012. His hamstring injury and advanced age mean he won't be looking to run much when he does make his 2014 debut.
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has no fracture or structural damage in his left wrist, according to Rob Bradford of weei.com.
Insight: Pedroia should avoid the disabled list and may even rejoin the lineup Tuesday at Chicago. The 30-year-old missed Sunday's series finale against the rival Yankees and went 7-for-45 (.156) over his last 10 games.
Description: Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson will sit out a second consecutive game.
Insight: He's off to a slow start with just 11 hits in his first 45 at bats. Manager Fredi Gonzalez says he'll be back in the lineup on Tuesday, Ramiro Pena (.231, 1 HR, 3 RBI) will get the start at third base, according to David O'Brien of AJC.
Description: Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto is a career .352 hitter (19-for-54) with seven extra base hits and a .952 OPS against Pittsburgh left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.
Insight: Both of Votto's home runs this season came off left-handers (David Price, Cesar Ramos). Beware, however, that there is rain forecasted for Cincinnati for most of the day and night and they may have trouble getting the game in.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist is a career .435 hiiter (10-for-23) versus Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.
Insight: Zobrist is coming off a two-homer afternoon and has hit safely in six of his last seven games to raise his average to .277 with an .871 OPS. Add in a strong wind blowing out to left field on Monday and you have all the ingredients for another solid day with the bat.
Description: White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez hit another homer Sunday against Cleveland.
Insight: Ramirez went 2-for-4 and is now hitting .420 with three home runs, 12 RBI, 11 runs and three steals despite batting mostly out of the seven- and eight-hole. His home run total declined in each of the last three years down to six in 2013 but his steal total increased in the last two up to 30 in 2013. Maybe he can finally put the 20-homer power he flashed as a rookie in 2008 together with baserunning ability he displayed last year.
Description: San Diego second baseman Jedd Gyorko belted his first home run of the 2014 season Sunday against the Tigers.
Insight: He took 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer deep in the second inning. The 25-year-old had 23 homers in 486 at-bats last season but is batting .163 with 16 strikeouts in his first 43 at-bats this year.
Description: Angels first baseman Albert Pujols homered for the third time in his last five games Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: Pujols is hitting just .240 so far, but he extended his hitting streak to nine games Sunday and hasn't struck out in his last seven. Overall he looks much better and healthier than he did in 2013.
Description: One day after Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-5 with a walk-off homer, he was 0-for-5 Sunday against the Marlins.
Insight: Rollins got his average up to .316 after Saturday's performance but he's back down to .279. He has good numbers -- two homers, 10 RBI, seven runs, two steals -- and is worth owning in 12-team leagues because shortstop is so shallow, but we aren't confident he'll keep this up after a horrible 2013 season.
Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist went yard from both sides of the plate and drove in four runs Sunday at Cincinnati.
Insight: Zobrist is batting .277 with three homers, six RBI and an .871 OPS so far. As usual, he's walking a ton (8 BBs, 7 Ks). The utilityman is a career .238 hitter in April, but he's off to a nice start for a change.
Description: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips had three singles in five at-bats Sunday against the Rays and is hitting .327 with a homer and three RBI this season.
Insight: Phillips has 11 Ks in 52 plate appearances and has benefited from a .405 BABIP. He's not a .300 hitter and fantasy owners shouldn't expect this to continue. He also doesn't run much anymore (five steals last year, zero this year).
Description: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is not in Sunday's lineup and is going back to Boston for tests on his sore left wrist. SOURCE: Gordon Edes, espnboston.com.
Insight: If Pedroia has to go on the disabled list, the Red Sox would probably fill the spot with Ryan Roberts, though they may go the bold route and call up Mookie Betts from Double-A Portland. Betts is hitting .457 with six extra-base hits and four steals in 35 at-bats this season and is ranked as Boston's No. 6 prospect by MLB.com. We'll see how Pedroia's tests go.
Description: New York shortstop Derek Jeter is not in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against Boston. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: Well this is strange. Jeter will watch from the sidelines for the second game in a row, though the Yankees haven't provided any injury news regarding the 39-year-old. Dean Anna (.214, 1 HR, 1 RBI) will start in his place.
Description: It looks like Danny Espinosa is going to be Washington's everyday second baseman for the next 4-6 weeks while Ryan Zimmerman (thumb) is on the DL.
Insight: Zimmerman broke his thumb Saturday. Espinosa averaged 19 homers and 18 steals per season in 2011-12 but played through an injury and hit just .158 in 44 games last year. He came into Sunady with a .316 average in 19 at-bats this season and could help out NL-only owners looking for middle-infield help.
Description: Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla isn't in the starting lineup for Sunday's game versus the Nationals. SOURCE: Mark Bowman, MLB.com
Insight: Uggla's low batting average becomes a lot more tolerable when he's producing good power numbers. However, that hasn't been the case this season as he's now homerless in 41 at bats. Tyler Pastornicky will draw the start at second base.
Description: Washington 3B Ryan Zimmerman left last night's game with a broken thumb and will now miss 4-to-6 weeks. SOURCE: Mark Zuckerman, Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic
Insight: It's a really tough break for the Nats as Zimmerman had been off to a great start (.364, 2 HR, 6 RBI in ten games). Anthony Rendon (.372, 2 HR, 9 RBI) should see time at third base while he's out.
Description: Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Peralta's home run totals have been all over the place in his career. He hit 21-24 in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011 but 11-15 in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. So far this season he's hit two homers, but they are his only hits this season (batting .063). Daniel Descalso will get the start.
Description: Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto blasted his first homer of the season Friday against the Rays.
Insight: Votto (.257) took David Price to left field to break a shutout in the bottom of the ninth inning. Votto has just two RBI this season because opponents pitch around him with men on base and he refuses to expand the zone.
Description: Padres minor league prospect Jace Peterson is off to a hot start, batting .345 with a .958 OPS and a couple of steals in his first seven games at Double-A San Antonio.
Insight: Peterson batted over .300 last season and has averaged 44 steals over the past three minor league seasons. He's very similar in game to Evereth Cabrera which may be a problem since that's who he would be replacing.
Description: Red Sox minor league 3B Garin Cecchini is off to a fast start, batting .320 through his first nine games.
Insight: Cecchini has batted over .300 for the past two seasons and on many clubs would be in the majors, but his way is blocked by Will Middlebrooks. It may take an injury or trade to get him to the majors.
Description: Cardinals minor league prospect Aledmys Diaz is off to a blazing start at Double-A Springfield. The young shortstop is batting .458 with six extra base hits and a 1.273 OPS.
Insight: The Cuban signed a four-year deal with St. Louis and figures to join or replace Jhonny Peralta before his contract is up. Particularly if he keeps pounding the ball as he's done in his first minor league action.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson is a career .111 hitter (2-for-18) with eight strikeouts against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.
Insight: Donaldson has not started out the season like last year, batting just .220 through the first nine games. Last season he was a huge fantasy surprise batting .314 in April, .330 in May and .303 in June before cooling off a bit. This unfavorable matchup isn't going to help.
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo doesn't have much success against St. Louis right-hander Joe Kelly.
Insight: Rizzo is 1-for-13 in their matchups. Normally Rizzo hits right-handers 55 points better than left-handers (.259 vs. .204), but this matchup is the exception. Although Rizzo is off to a flying start (.371 through nine games) avoid this matchup.
Description: Minnesota second baseman Brian Dozier is a .556 hitter against Royals starter Bruce Chen (5-for-9) with three extra base hits and a 1.822 OPS.
Insight: After starting 0-for-13 to start the year, Dozier is starting to hit the ball with authority. He's homered in his last two games and leads the league in runs scored (9). Add in the favorable matchup and he's a solid play on Friday.
Description: Houston third baseman Matt Dominguez is not normally on many fantasy radar screens, but he's faced Texas ace Yu Darvish 11 times and has taken him deep three times.
Insight: Dominguez is an all or nothing option. He doesn't hit for much of an average, but can hit the long ball. He's batting just .129 in 10 games this season, but does have a pair of homers after blasting 21 last season.
Description: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is hitless in 11 career at-bats versus Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran.
Insight: Zimmerman should be avoided on Friday and knowing the condition of his arthritic shoulder should probably be avoided completely as it's just a matter of time before it gets in the way of his playing the game.
Description: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has yet to produce a hit against Miami right-hander Jose Fernandez.
Insight: Howard is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Fernandez. He's not alone. Marlon Byrd, Domonic Brown and Chase Utley are also hitless. It would probably be best to avoid all Phillies hitters on Friday.
Description: White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez has started the season on fire.
Insight: Ramirez is 16-for-38 (.421) with four doubles, two homers, nine RBI, two steals, eight runs and a 2/3 K/BB. He has driven in seven runs over the last five games. The 32-year-old's homer total decreased in each of the last three seasons down to six last year but his steals increased from seven in 2011 to 30 last season.
Description: Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu had his second two-homer game in three days Thursday against the Indians.
Insight: Abreu is the latest Cuban position player to get off to a fast start in the majors, following Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. He's hitting .300 with three doubles, a triple, four homers, an MLB-leading 14 RBI and seven runs in 40 at-bats.
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has gone 11-for-21 with two homers and six RBI over his last five games.
Insight: Castro batted .297 over his first three MLB seasons but Cubs brass tried to get him to be more patient last year. His first-pitch swinging percentage was .296 over his first three years but just .211 last season and his new approach resulted in a .245 average. He's back to unloading on the first pitch more often this season.
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-5, but his one hit was a big three-run homer Thursday against the Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez' shot came in the top of the seventh inning and put the Pirates ahead 5-4. The 27-year-old, who tied for the NL lead with 36 bombs last season, already has five homers, 10 RBI and eight runs. Alvarez also has a 6/6 K/BB (14.6% K rate) in 41 plate appearances; his K rate ranged from 30.3% to 30.7% in each of the last three years.
Description: Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson went 2-for-22 over his first five games this season but he's 7-for-19 with three doubles, a homer, five RBI and five runs over his last four.
Insight: Donaldson hit his first homer of the season Thursday at Minnesota. However, he also struck out two times and has a 13/1 K/BB in 41 at-bats. Donaldson's K/BB in 2013 was 110/76 and he batted .301 with 24 HRs and 93 RBI.
Description: Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has a Grade 1 quad strain, which is the least severe one. SOURCE: Dallas Morning News
Insight: The Rangers pushed back Colby Lewis' promotion from Saturday to Monday or Tuesday so they can keep Beltre, two backup infielders and seven relievers on the active roster to give Beltre a few more days to get healthy before they place him on the DL.
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez had another two-homer game Wednesday against the Cubs, but has an unfavorable matchup on Thursday.
Insight: Alvarez is just 1-for-15 (.067) with six strikeouts against Cubs starter Travis Wood. The Pirates slugger has continued where he left off last season (36 HR), but this matchup should be avoided.
Description: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) had two hits in his return to the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: Zimmerman has been dealing with shoulder inflammation for at least two and a half years, and Washington manager Matt Williams said Monday night that the third baseman has an "arthritic shoulder." He's working on throwing the ball sidearm to first base to avoid another injury.
Description: Phillies third baseman Cody Asche (hamstring) doubled during a pinch-hitting appearance Wednesday night against Milwaukee.
Insight: Asche was out of the starting lineup due to a tweaked hamstring, but it must not be too serious. The third baseman went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double, two RBI and four runs on Opening Day but he has managed just four hits in 18 at-bats since then while striking out seven times.
Description: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki won't start Wednesday's game against Chicago. SOURCE: ESPN Denver
Insight: Tulowitzki (.407, 1 HR, 5 RBI) strained his quad Monday but was able to play yesterday without issue. We'll consider this a maintenance day for the three-time All-Star until we hear otherwise.
Description: Angels first baseman Albert Pujols drove in two runs Tuesday against the Mariners, giving him 1,501 RBI for his career.
Insight: Only 52 players in MLB history have reached that milestone. Among active players, he's second behind New York's Alex Rodriguez. Pujols (.219, 1 HR, 3 RBI) could realistically move into the top-40 before the end of this season.
Description: White Sox second baseman Marcus Semien ripped four hits Tuesday in a victory over Colorado.
Insight: It's the seventh multi-hit game of Semien's career and his first of the four-hit variety. The jury's still out on Semien's fantasy potential but at least he's hanging in there with a .273 average in the month of April (9-for-33).
Description: Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu showed off his power by swatting two long balls Tuesday in a blowout win against the Rockies.
Insight: Coors Field, aka Hitter's Paradise, was up to its usual tricks on Tuesday night. In total, seven balls left the yard with six of those round-trippers belonging to the White Sox. Abreu is tied with Minnesota's Chris Colabello for the league-lead in RBI with 11 through eight games.
Description: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro launched two homers Tuesday in a loss to Pittsburgh.
Insight: This is the Castro we all know and love. We're not sure what happened to him in 2013 (.245, 10 HR, 9 SB in 161 games) but Castro has looked like an All-Star through his first seven games (.310, 6 RBI, .552 SLUG).