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This Week In Streaming Strategy, June 25-July 1

Who should sit, who should start, who should get picked up and who should be ignored?  No, it's not a column about speed dating etiquette, it's this week's fantasy streaming tips.

* Omar Infante.  Those who took Infante as an "geez, I waited too long to get a second baseman, I'm stuck with this guy" pick in the late rounds of your fantasy draft were going cartwheels when Infante hit .340/.369/.567 over his first 38 games of the season.  If you managed to sell high on Infante then, congratulations, as Infante has regressed back to his journeyman status, with just a .547 OPS in 23 games since.  The right-handed hitting Infante has pretty even splits in his career (.711 OPS against lefties, .718 OPS against righties) but the moral of that story is simply that Infante is not a great play no matter who's on the mound, so the fact that the Marlins will see right-handed starters in at least four of six games this week is only a minor point.  Now would be the time to start exploring the waiver wire or the trade market for different second base options, or to just sit Infante if you have a better second baseman on your bench.

* Tom Milone.  I picked Milone up in one of my leagues last week and wasn't disappointed, as the A's southpaw delivered a complete game three-hitter with just one earned run allowed on Wednesday against the Dodgers.  My reason for streaming Milone?  He was pitching at home.  Milone has a stunning 0.99 ERA in six starts at the O.co Coliseum this season, while on the road, he's unplayable --- a 7.42 ERA in eight away starts.  Milone is set for two road outings this week (one in Seattle, which is tempting, but the other is in Texas) so given his track record outside of Oakland, stay away from Mayday when looking at two-start pitchers this week.  By the way, surely we've given Milone the "Mayday" nickname by now, right?  Can we get Ted Danson to an A's game so he can officially transfer the nickname in a pregame ceremony?

* Felix Doubront.  You'd think a Red Sox pitcher having a better-than-expected season would have a pretty full fantasy bandwagon by now, but Doubront is still relatively unheralded; he's owned in just 50% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.  Doubront is racking up strikeouts (85 K's in 79 1/3 innings, good for a 9.6 K/9 rate and a 3.04 K/BB ratio) and his 4.35 ERA is a bit misleading, as his peripherals (3.32 SIERA, 3.89 FIP, 3.48 xFIP) show that he's been a bit unlucky.  Doubront is a bit of a flyball pitcher, which may explain why he has a 5.59 ERA in seven starts at Fenway Park this season, but his home start on Monday is against the Blue Jays, who he has already pitched well against in two starts this season.  While Doubront's first start of the week has a bit of caution surrounding it, his second start of the week is at Safeco Field against the Mariners, so all systems should be go for that one.  Unfortunately, the schedule won't align for a Battle Of The Felixes between Doubront and Hernandez --- too bad, as Junior Felix was waiting by the phone for the call to toss the first pitch.

* Gregor Blanco.  With just three hits and two walks over his last 30 PAs, the left-handed hitting Blanco could break out of his slump this week when the Giants are scheduled to face right-handed starters in five of six games.  Blanco took over the everyday right field job from Nate Schierholtz earlier this season and even after his slump still has a decent .254/.348/.396 line with 12 steals in 15 opportunities.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend Blanco as a long-term fantasy investment given that a long enough slump could get Schierholtz back in the mix, but for this coming week, Blanco could be a good source for steals, hits and runs.

* Quintin Berry.  After seven minor league seasons, the 27-year-old rookie finally debuted in the Majors and has exceeded expectations, hitting .305/.383/.389 in 108 plate appearances for the Tigers and going a perfect 10-for-1o in steals.  There's a chance that Berry could stick around in left field given that Andy Dirks doesn't appear to be making great progress in his DL stint, Don Kelly is struggling and Delmon Young seems best-suited as a designated hitter.  That opens the door for Berry, who at the very least looks to be Detroit's first option against right-handed pitching for the time being.  The Tigers are slated to face righties in at least five of their seven games this week, so all aboard the Berry Ferry before it inevitably (Berry's BABIP is .446) runs aground.

* Pedro Alvarez.  Don't look now, but we may be in the midst of another Alvarez power surge.  Alvarez got everyone's hopes up when he hit five homers and posted a 1.236 OPS in a 12-game stretch between April 21 and May 4, but then went stone-cold again over his next 20 games, OPS'ing just .428.  Last weekend, however, Alvarez hit four home runs in two games against the Indians and entered Saturday's play with a whopping 2.046 OPS over his last 24 plate appearances.  I'm not going to get my hopes up that Alvarez has permanently turned a corner here, especially since I threw almost every Pirates batter under the bus less than a month ago.  Still, with the Bucs facing right-handed starters in at least five of their seven games this week, the stage is set for Alvarez to keep hitting.  Pick him up now, drop him as soon as he cools off and check in again when Alvarez has his next hot stretch in, oh, let's say August.  


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