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This Week In Streaming Strategy

Another week of interleague play is on the docket, and thus we have another week that will require a few more daily lineup adjustments than usual. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants and Braves get to use designated hitters for the full week in AL ballparks, while the Blue Jays, Twins, Rays and Mariners will send their pitchers to the plate over six games in NL stadiums. Here are a few streaming dos-and-don't from those clubs...

* Bobby Abreu. It looked it might be the end of the road for Abreu after he was unceremoniously released by the Angels, but Abreu has recaptured his old form since joining the Dodgers, hitting .293/.393/.415 in 118 plate appearances. Abreu is the logical choice to serve as the Dodgers' DH this week when Dem Bums travel to Oakland and (revenge time for Bobby!) Anaheim. The matchups also work in Abreu's favor, as the Dodgers are slated to face right-handed starters in five of six games. Abreu is owned in just 4% of Yahoo fantasy leagues, so he's a canny pickup for those looking for a short-term bat.

* The Twins. Joe Mauer (hamstring) and Josh Willingham (knee) are both dealing with minor injuries that could impact their availability for Minnesota's upcoming NL road swing. Mauer was limited to a pinch-hit appearance on Saturday, while Willingham DH'ed instead of playing in left field. If these injuries worsen or even just linger, the Twins might not get much out of their two biggest hitters this week given that they'll lack the cushion of the DH spot. Keep an eye on Mauer and Willingham's daily status reports to monitor their condition. If they're out, Ryan Doumit becomes the Twins' catcher, while Willingham's spot would be filled either by light-hitting backup outfielder Darin Mastroianni or by the Babe Ruth impersonator known as Trevor Plouffe (with Jamey Carroll taking Plouffe's spot at third).   

* Matt Adams. The Cardinals face right-handed starters in four of six games next week, so the left-handed-hitting Adams is the favorite to start at DH in those games (or at first base, with Allen Craig or Carlos Beltran serving as DH instead). I sung Adams' praises last month and while he's only been OK (a .752 OPS), I'm sticking with my recommendation of Adams as a solid streaming pick. Hey, if I can watch an entire season of Up All Night waiting for it to break out, I can surely give Adams more than a month.

* Nate SchierholtzAubrey Huff got a little carried away celebrating Matt Cain's perfect game last week, thus making Schierholtz the primary left-handed DH option on the Giants roster. Schierholtz was briefly a hot fantasy commodity in April thanks a couple of strong weeks at the plate, but now he isn't even a starter, as Gregor Blanco has usurped the right-field job in San Francisco. This week of interleague action is a good opportunity for Schierholtz to get hitting again, as five of the Giants' six opposing starters this week are right-handed.  It's quite possible that Pablo Sandoval or Buster Posey could get DH starts, but Schierholtz should be a decent fantasy play for the days ahead.

* Jesus Montero. The Mariners have been more or less splitting Montero's time between DH and catcher, but this week, Montero will get a full dose of action behind the plate in NL stadiums. Montero has been very inconsistent in his first full Major League season, but disappointed Montero fantasy owners could be in for a boost this week -- he entered Saturday with a .973 OPS when playing catcher, as opposed to a .555 OPS as a DH. This is where I'd normally make a crack like, "Seattle's lineup is so bad that replacing their DH with a pitcher is an upgrade," except I don't think I'd even be joking.  The Mariners are tied with the Athletics for the lowest team OPS (an ominous .666) in the American League and Michael Saunders' modest .791 OPS is the highest of any M's regular. 

* Aaron Harang. Finally, let's look at a two-start pitcher to avoid this coming week.  Harang has been solid for the Dodgers this year, posting a 3.59 ERA --- and a legit one, as Harang has a 3.61 FIP, 4.19 xFIP, with a BABIP of exactly .300 --- with a 2.21 K/BB ratio and a career-best 0.7 HR/9.  He's facing the Athletics and the Angels this week, so why am I recommending that you don't start Harang given his light-hitting opposition and his quality numbers?  It's simple; Harang may be a creation of Dodger Stadium.  Harang has a 2.51 ERA and an opponents' batting line of .200/.299/.364 in five home starts this season, as opposed to a 4.37 ERA and a .283/.342/.411 line in eight road starts.  That road opponents' OPS is admittedly not all that imposing (though the Mariners would take it for a cleanup hitter) but still, Harang's away numbers are enough to give you pause before taking him for two road starts against AL lineups, even weak AL lineups.  


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