Here's a look at fantasy nuggets for the Orioles' three-game series against the Devil Rays:
Orioles // Standing out: Corey Patterson continues to swing a hot bat since the All-Star break. After a disappointing first half, he's batting .439 with a pair of homers, five RBIs and five stolen bases in his last 10 games. For Patterson, a big second half could mean a bigger contract at the end of the season when he joins a crowded free agent class of center fielders.
Player to watch: Nick Markakis is also having a big second half for the second straight season. The O's right fielder is batting .395 with eight RBIs and three steals since the All-Star break. Markakis' speed has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners. He stole just two bases last season but has 12 in '07.
On the mound: Orioles closer Chris Ray didn't get a save chance Sunday against the Athletics because of arm stiffness. He says it's no big deal, but owners should keep an eye on him during the O's homestand. Jamie Walker got the save in Ray's place, but he doesn't hold much fantasy value even if Ray's injury is more serious than initially thought.
Devil Rays // Standing out: Second baseman B.J. Upton went 8-for-19 (.421) with three homers and six RBIs in Tampa Bay's four-game series with the Yankees. Upton has been on a tear since returning from the disabled list. He's batting .444 with 10 RBIs since the All-Star break. On the season, Upton is hitting .339 with 12 homers, 41 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.
Player to watch: Tampa Bay's big-time prospect Delmon Young is batting .422 since the All-Star break but hasn't homered since June 22, a span of 25 games. Overall, he's had a solid rookie campaign, hitting .295 with nine homers, 52 RBIs and 24 doubles.
On the mound: Tonight's starter Scott Kazmir has had back-to-back solid outings since the All-Star break. In his last two starts, Kazmir is 2-0, having allowed one earned run on seven hits in 13 innings. Overall, Tampa Bay's young lefty is 7-6 with a 4.02 ERA and 128 strikeouts (he's walked 63).