Description: Orioles right fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Markakis is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Insight: Markakis has been dealing with a shoulder issue that also kept him out of Wednesday's game. The outfielder has been solid, if unspectacular, for Baltimore batting .272 with 12 HR, 44 RBI, 76 runs scored and four steals.
Description: Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is a career .091 hitter (1-for-11) against Oakland starter Jon Lester.
Insight: He is hitting .263 with 25 home runs and 79 RBI, but has just three home runs since Aug. 9. He is one of the few Phillies playing up to expectations this year, but this in an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Orioles 1B/OF Steve Pearce hit a pair of home runs for four RBI to help Baltimore defeat Toronto on Wednesday.
Insight: The Orioles just keep on chugging along in large part due to Pearce's bat. The pair of home runs brings his total to 20 on the season. He also has 25 doubles, 48 RBI and 50 runs in just 323 at-bats. Pearce also has hits in his last nine games.
Description: Reds right fielder Jay Bruce getting the night off on Wednesday.
Insight: Bruce is one of many Reds not in the lineup after a weak effort against Jake Arrieta Tuesday night in which they were one-hit. He's had an off season and is unlikely to crack the 20-home run mark this season after three consecutive 30-homer seasons.
Description: Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista has another rough matchup tonight against Baltimore.
Insight: After going up against Ubaldo Jimenez, whom he struggles against, Bautista does not catch a break as Toronto will be facing Orioles' starter Bud Norris. He is 1-for-11 over his career against Norris, with four strikeouts. Owners, be prepared for another subpar night.
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 with a home run against the Reds on Tuesday.
Insight: Soler grounded into a fielder's choice in the third to score Jake Arrieta and then hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Cubs' seventh and final run. Soler has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .373 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 51 at-bats.
Description: The Rangers are unsure when outfielder Alex Rios (thumb) will be ready to return to the lineup according to MLB.com
Insight: Rios hasn't played since Sept. 4 due to a nagging right thumb injury. He did travel with the team to Oakland this week, but it is possible he doesn't play again this year. He is hitting .280 with 42 extra-base hits and 54 RBI in 492 at-bats this year.
Description: Orioles 1B/OF Steve Pearce hit his 18th home run of the year on Tuesday to help Baltimore clinch its first division title since 1997.
Insight: Pearce has been one of the key role players for Baltimore this season, so it is fitting his play helped them win the final game necessary to capture the team's first AL East title in 17 years. He is hitting .294 with 44 RBI in 320 at-bats along with his 18 homers.
Description: Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday that the chances of Giancarlo Stanton returning this season are "not looking good" according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Insight: With less than two weeks left in the season, doctors have advised against a return this year for Stanton. The outfielder suffered multiple facial fractures and lacerations requiring more than 20 stitches, as well as losing multiple teeth after taking a pitch in the face against Brewers starter Mike Fiers last Thursday. Miami is supposed to give an official update on Wednesday, but plan for Stanton to not be in your lineup from here on out.
Description: Astros right fielder George Springer (quad) is out for the rest of the season according to MLB.com
Insight: Houston does not want to push their 24-year-old outfielder to return for a lost season. In just 78 games in 2014, Springer hit 20 home runs, 51 RBI, stole five bases and posted a .804 OPS. Definitely keep an eye on him for 2015.
Description: Milwaukee outfielder Gerardo Parra should be in the lineup tonight, as he as great numbers against Cardinals' starter Lance Lynn.
Insight: Parra is 7-for-14 over his career against Lynn. To go along with a solid average, he also has five extra-base hits against St. Louis' righty. Parra should definitely be on the radar for a daily fantasy play.
Description: Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth faces a tough test tonight against the Braves.
Insight: With Atlanta throwing out righty Aaron Harang, Werth could be line for a lousy game. He is a career .120 hitter (3-for-25) against Harang, with 11 strikeouts. However, overall, Werth has excelled this season. He is slashing .284/.383/.447 with 16 homers and 80 RBI.
Description: Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista has a tough matchup tonight against Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez.
Insight: Joey Bats has put up MVP type numbers this season (.285 BA, 32 HR, 97 RBI), but faces a personal nemesis tonight, as he is a career .083 hitter (2-for-24) against Jimenez. Owners need to keep Bautista in their lineups, and just hope he is finally able to figure out Baltimore's right-hander this evening.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia had to be taken out of Monday's game with upper back tightness.
Insight: Arcia was 1-for-3, including his 18th homerun of the season, before bing removed. He has struggled from an average standpoint in 2014 (.231/.304/.456), but has shown nice power. Consider Arcia day-to-day going forward.
Description: Reds right fielder Jay Bruce getting the night off on Monday.
Insight: It's just a routine night off against Cubs' lefty Travis Wood. Bruce has been extremely disappointing this season (.215 BA, 16 HR, 61 RBI, .284 OBP), but always has the potential to leave the yard. He should be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Description: Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler (paternity) is back in the lineup Monday night against the Reds.
Insight: He missed Chicago's weekend series against the Pirates for the birth of his child. The Cubs' prized possesion is slashing .356 with 4 HR and 13 RBI in only 12 games. Insert him into your lineup as you normally would.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is a career .419 hitter (13-for-31) against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg with a home run and a 1.099 OPS.
Insight: Heyward is batting .316 for the week and could be ready to take advantage of this favorable matchup. On the season, he's hitting .274 with 11 homers, 58 RBI, 70 runs, 19 steals and a .745 OPS.
Description: White Sox right fielder Dayan Viciedo hit a walkoff two-run home run as the White Sox defeated the Twins, 7-6.
Insight: The victory was Chicago's second of the day with the White Sox and Twins playing a doubleheader. Viciedo went 2-for-4 in the second game, including the walkoff homer. He is batting .233 with 21 homers and 57 RBI this season.
Description: White Sox right fielder Dayan Viciedo is 0-for-7 with five strikeouts against Twins hurler Phil Hughes.
Insight: Viciedo star has faded a bit from his 25 home run, 78 RBI 2012 season. He still reached the 20 HR mark, but his OPS is down 58 points from 2012 and he's already struck out 113 times. Avoid him Friday.
Description: Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is a career .538 hitter (7-for-13) against Miami starter Henderson Alvarez.
Insight: He is hitting .265 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI this season and is one of the few Phillies playing up to expectations this year. He's worth a shot even though only one of the seven hits was for extra bases.
Description: Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran (elbow) was not in Wednesday or Thursday's lineup.
Insight: Beltran is likely to be shut him down for the season at some point. He's batting just .236 with 15 HR and 49 RBI and hasn't helped fantasy owners since putting together a solid July (.300, 4 HR, 13 RBI).
Description: Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is not in Wednesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Merely a regular off day for the Phillies right fielder. He is hitting .265 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI this season. Grady Sizemore will make the start in right, but with his .248 batting average and .691 OPS doesn't have much fantasy value.
Description: Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is 0-for-9 with four strikeouts against Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta.
Insight: Stanton leads the NL in homers (37), RBI (105) slugging (.556) and OPS (.951). It's tough to sit the NL MVP candidate, but owners should be aware that this is not an ideal matchup for Stanton.
Description: Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning as the Twins beat the Indians, 4-3, on Tuesday.
Insight: Arcia's home run capped off a four-run fourth inning for the Twins, who then held on to win. Arcia does not hit for much of an average .220/.293/.439, but he does occasionally hit a long ball. He has 16 homers and 48 RBI on the year.
Description: Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI against the Rockies on Tuesday.
Insight: Granderson is having his troubles in his first season as a Met, but he is on a five-game hitting streak, in which he is batting .421 with two doubles, two home runs and a triple. He also has eight RBI over that stretch. On the season, Granderson is hitting .218 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI.
Description: Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista is hitless in 10 career at-bats against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.
Insight: Bautista is on fire this month, batting .367 with three homers and a 1.106 OPS so it will be interesting to see which factor wins out. For the season Bautista has blasted 32 homer and knocked in 92 runs.
Description: Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd went 2-for-4 on Sunday in a loss against the Nationals.
Insight: Byrd came into the game hitting .167 in his career against Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, but got the better of the matchup on Sunday. He also came into the game hitless in his last 15 at-bats, but Byrd snapped that streak. He is hitting .265 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI this season.
Description: Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson went 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI, two runs and a walk on Sunday against the Reds.
Insight: We can't say we really expected much from Granderson this season, who is in his first year in the much bigger New York ballpark, but even at. 215, 18 home runs and 55 RBI, he has been disappointing. He does have a three-game hitting streak with two home runs over that span.
Description: Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is 2-for-18 in his lifetime against Braves starter Julio Teheran.
Insight: Both of Staton's hits though are extra-base hits, a double and home run. He also has three RBI and four walks. It's tough to sit the NL MVP candidate, but owners should be aware that this is not an ideal matchup for Stanton.
Description: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was a late addition to the Brewers' starting linup on Saturday.
Insight: Braun's thumb was bothering him prior to Saturday's game, but he made it through the pregame workout with no major issues. The Brewers need him in the next two games against the Cardinals. He is hitting .275 with 18 home runs and 77 RBI on the season.
Description: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: The outfielder returned to the lineup Friday after missing a couple of days for the birth of his daughter, but it was surprising not to see him out their in this important series against the division-leading Cardinals. Update: It's a right thumb that is bothering Braun.
Description: Milwaukee outfielder Gerardo Parra is one of three Brewers hitters with a career batting average over .450 and at least 10 at-bats against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: Despite just a .265 season batting average and not much power, Parra is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak in which he is batting .476 so its time to jump on Parra for a "Saturday night special."
Description: Don't be surprised if Orioles right fielder and leadoff hitter Nick Markakis gets Saturday afternoon off.
Insight: Markakis is hitless in 10 at-bats against Tampa Bay left-hander Drew Smyly. The outfielder has been solid, if unspectacular, for Baltimore batting .279 with 12 HR, 44 RBI, 70 runs scored and four steals. This just isn't a good matchup.
Description: Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5 with a double, run and two RBI against the Braves on Friday.
Insight: Stanton snapped his three-game home run streak, but he has two hits in each of his last three games. He also has seven hits, including the three home runs, two doubles and six RBI in his last 17 at-bats. Stanton continues to have big leads in the National League in both home runs (36) and RBI (104) along with hitting .296.
Description: The Indians activated outfielder David Murphy from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Murphy missed the last four weeks with an oblique strain, but he has been cleared to play after a couple rehab games at Triple-A. He will platoon in right field and play against right-handed pitching. Murphy is hitting .262 with seven home runs and 55 RBI this year.
Description: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is expected to return for Friday's contest, according to the team's site
Insight: Braun left the team Wednesday to join his family for the birth of his daughter. The outfielder will return to the lineup on Friday. He returns just in time for a huge four-game series against the division-leading Cardinals.
Description: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has returned in time for Friday's contest.
Insight: Braun left the team Wednesday to join his family for the birth of his daughter. He returns just in time for a huge four-game series against the division-leading Cardinals. Braun's numbers are the worst since he came to the major leagues in 2006, except for 2013 when he played only 61 games due to a suspension.