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September 28, 2006

ESPN Fantasy Column

The Last Series
Texas will start Vicente Padilla, Kevin Millwood, and Robinson Tejeda in the final series of the season at Seattle. Both Padilla and Millwood pitched poorly in their previous starts, but either is a good play against the vanilla Mariners offense in a pitcher’s park. Tejeda is also a surprisingly strong play; he’s allowed only nine runs (just six earned) in his last five starts. If you need a last-day boost, pick him up. Odds are that Seattle (and Texas) will have plenty of backups in the lineup, and they’ll be swinging at everything so they can get home and forget their disappointing season.

Akinori Otsuka won’t pitch again this season because of persistent migraines. Wes Littleton stands the best chance of earning the save opportunities. If another save could affect your rank in the standings, grab him. Those outside keeper leagues can safely drop Aki. For those of you in giant AL-only leagues, Rick Bauer also won’t pitch again.

Hank Blalock is hitting .174/.224/.261 in September. This weekend won’t help. Mark DeRosa has also cooled off (.204/.295/.280) but is still more likely to help a fantasy team than Blalock. Three weeks ago I gave Nelson Cruz a qualified recommendation in AL-only leagues. He started off slowly but had batted .262 with 9 runs, 2 homers, 7 RBI and 1 SB in his last 11 games. He ought to start at least twice, so AL-only and large mixed-league owners ought to consider him.

Thanks For Reading
So concludes my fifth(!) year of writing about the Rangers for ESPN. I hope you’ve gotten some use out of it. Thanks to Eric Karabell for picking me back in 2002, and thanks to Courtney for being the best baseball wife ever.

Posted by Lucas at September 28, 2006 07:01 PM