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This Week In Streaming Strategy

A few tips on how to maximize your fantasy potential for your coming head-to-head matchup this week, or, if you're in a standard 5x5 roto league, here's how to start off May by snagging some extra points ...

* Garrett Jones, Alex Presley. It's time to sound the bell once more for the righty-mashing Jones. After the Pirates face Mike Minor and the Braves on Monday, it's nothing but right-handed starters for Pittsburgh's remaining six games of the week. Jones is finding new life in his platoon role, as he entered Saturday's action with a .915 OPS against righties and just two PAs against left-handed pitching this season.  It's getting to the point where Jones is an auto-start in your first base, outfield or utility spot if he's scheduled to face a right-hander. As for Presley, he's at best a borderline starter (even in deeper leagues) and doesn't provide much outside of batting average.  That said, he's another left-handed hitter who should benefit from the Pirates' righty-heavy schedule, so it could behoove you to give Presley at least a few starts off your bench this week.

* Jon Jay. With Allen Craig due to return from the DL sometime this week, the platooning cavalcade known as the St. Louis Cardinals will get yet another quality name thrown into the mix for playing time.  Now that Matt Carpenter has come back down to earth, Craig will probably be slotted at first base until Lance Berkman is healthy, thus keeping the Cards' outfield as Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran playing every day and a Shane Robinson/Jay platoon in center. After missing six games with a shoulder injury, Jay returned with a bang, delivering back-to-back three-hit games on Friday and Saturday.  While he has a solid career line against southpaws, the left-handed-hitting Jay has been used almost exclusively against righties this season, and with St. Louis set to face four righties this week, keep Jay in your lineup as long as he's hot.

* Chris Davis. As a longtime member of the Chris Davis fanclub, I'm delighted that he's getting a chance in Baltimore and hitting well (an .852 OPS entering Saturday) as the left-handed half of the Orioles' first-base platoon. This week, the O's face right-handed starters in five of six games, and while this quintet features some major AL East names (Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz), these five have ranged from average to horrible thus far in 2012. There's plenty of opportunity for Davis to keep swinging a hot bat this week, and he's only owned in 14% of Yahoo leagues.  Get him in your lineup!

* Tommy Milone. One of the big pieces that came to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez trade, Milone has done an excellent job of filling Gonzalez's shoes in the Athletics' rotation. Milone has an even 2.00 ERA through four starts and is coming off eight innings of shutout, three-hit ball against the White Sox in his last outing. Slated for two starts this week and at just 21% ownership in Yahoo leagues, Milone should be a great pickup, right? Not so fast.  Milone is set for road starts in Boston and Tampa Bay this week, which represent a significant uptick in competition. Milone faced the White Sox (18th in MLB in team OPS), the Angels (23rd), the Mariners (22nd) and the Royals (7th, but weren't hitting well over the first week of the year when Milone faced them) in his first four starts. The Red Sox and Rays, by contrast, rank second and fifth in team OPS. Milone is a ground-ball pitcher with good control --- 13 strikeouts and six walks in 27 IP, with a 44.3% ground ball rate --- but it will be a tall order for him to weave his way through those tough AL East lineups.  You could argue I'm selling Milone short here, so I'll make this promise: if he makes it through these next two starts relatively unscathed, I will sing his praises in next week's column.

* Kyle Drabek. The Blue Jays righty has gotten off to a nice start in 2012 but it's easy to forget that he also looked good in the early going in 2011. Drabek had a 3.30 ERA through his first five starts last season before the wheels began to fall off, culminating in Drabek's eventual demotion to the minors.  (And to think, some clown picked Drabek to be Rookie Of The Year in 2011.) Drabek's unimpressive K:BB ratio of 18:13 this season and his advanced metrics -- .226 BABIP, a 4.14 xFIP and a 5.22 FIP --- indicate that he's been more than a little fortunate to post his 2.25 actual ERA. Drabek is scheduled to make two starts this week, one on Monday against Yu Darvish and the powerful Rangers lineup, and then in Anaheim on Saturday against the Angels, who have been punchless thus far but certainly have the bats to turn things around.  If you're looking to add a two-start hurler this week, stay away from Drabek since he could be in for some regression.

* Kendrys Morales. Speaking of that Jays/Angels series, with Ricky Romero throwing against Texas on Wednesday, it means the Halos will avoid Toronto's ace southpaw and get all righties (Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez, Drabek and Drew Hutchison) during their four-game set.  The Angels are also scheduled to face two right-handers and struggling left-hander Francisco Liriano in their series with the Twins earlier in the week, so it all adds up to a prime opportunity for Morales to take off.  The switch-hitter has much stronger numbers against righties over his career and even though it seems Morales hasn't quite returned to his pre-injury form yet, he was still hitting .311/.354/.444 against righties in 2012 heading into Saturday's game with Cleveland.  The Halos badly need something to spark their lineup and a big week from Morales against all this right-handed opposition could do the trick.


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