Hitters with favorable matchups
1. Mark Reynolds, Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles face four lefties this week. That’s bad news for Baltimore’s left-handed hitters, but it should be just what Reynolds needs to get back on track. I expect him to at least double his home run total, which currently stands at two.
2. Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals – There’s no reason to think Berkman’s hot start will end this week. The Cardinals have seven home games, four against the Florida Marlins followed by three against the Milwaukee Brewers. Berkman’s numbers at home have been outstanding this year and they should continue this week.
3. Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates play against the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. If Alvarez is going to break out of his sophomore slump, this week would be a good time to do it.
Pitchers with favorable matchups
1. Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox – If the White Sox are going to turn things around this season, it’ll start this week. Buehrle has two starts, one against the Baltimore Orioles and one against the light-hitting Seattle Mariners. Look for Buehrle to significantly lower his 5.12 ERA.
2. Anibal Sanchez, Florida Marlins – Sanchez takes on the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals this week. The Cardinals have been playing well lately, but have struggled at home for some reason. They also have not hit Sanchez very well in previous meetings. The Nationals will still be without Ryan Zimmerman, their best hitter.
3. Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds – Leake gets to take on a couple of struggling division opponents this week. First, he pitches against the Houston Astros. Then, it’s off to Wrigley to pitch against the Cubs. As long as he can pitch around Alfonso Soriano, he’ll be fine.