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O's vs. Astros preview: June 17-19

Welcome back, Miggy.

How many fans are heading to Camden Yards while the Houston Astros and former Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada are in town this week? Are you going to cheer him, boo him or show no emotion at all?

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According to this article on MLB.com, Tejada said he's eagerly anticipating seeing his former teammates and friends. In the article, he has nice things to say about Baltimore fans and the Orioles organization. Tejada also said he's "not really concerned" with what kind of reception he receives from Orioles fans during the three-game series.

Overall, Tejada was a solid fantasy contributor in four seasons with the Orioles. He hit .311 with 34 home runs and 150 RBIs in his first season with the club in 2004, which was clearly his best year in Baltimore. Although his numbers never reached that level again with the Orioles, Tejada still averaged .311 with 22 home runs and 93 RBIs per season from 2005 to 2007.

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The Astros have lost 14 of their past 17 games and just completed a 2-7 homestand. Five consecutive losses, including a three-game sweep courtesy of the New York Yankees, have dropped them into fifth place in the National League Central.

Pitching matchups

Tuesday 6/17: Garrett Olson (5-2, 4.53) vs. Brandon Backe (4-8, 5.00)

Wednesday 6/18: Jeremy Guthrie (3-7, 3.71) vs. Brian Moehler (3-3, 4.76)

Thursday 6/19: Brian Burres (5-5, 5.28) vs. Shawn Chacon (2-2, 4.69)

Who you should play from the Astros

Miguel Tejada, SS – Tejada is hitting .192 (14-for-73) since May 25. During that stretch, he only has two multi-hit games. Despite his recent struggles, Tejada should be in your starting lineup for this series. The shortstop is hitting .322 with 67 home runs and 269 RBIs in 337 career games at Camden Yards. If there's a place for Tejada to reverse his recent misfortunes, it's the place he called home for the past four seasons.

Who you should bench from the Astros

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Hunter Pence, RF – Recently, it's been difficult for the Astros outfielder to be successful. In 13 games this month, the second-year player is hitting .196 (10-for-51) with one home run, four RBIs and four runs scored. Pence had a .346 batting average with six home runs, 21 RBIs and 17 runs scored in May, so he's shown the ability to hit in the major leagues. As a young player, Pence will be an inconsistent hitter – similar to Adam Jones with the Orioles. If he's on your fantasy team, sit Pence until he starts hitting again and quickly insert him back into your everyday lineup.

Who you should play from the Orioles

Luke Scott, LF – Let's stick with the theme of starting players against their former teams. Scott was acquired in the trade that sent Tejada to Houston and he's been an integral part of the Orioles' surprise start in 2008. Relief pitchers Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate were also sent to the Orioles in exchange for Tejada and they have both pitched well. But Scott has been the biggest piece of the trade so far. He is hitting .381 (16-for-42) with five home runs, seven RBIs and 14 runs scored in June. Look for him to continue hitting against the Astros this week. There's a chance that Scott is available in your league, so pick him up if you have the opportunity.

Who you should bench from the Orioles

George Sherrill, LHP – Closers are going to blow a couple chances throughout the season, so it's not a big deal that Sherrill had a blown save and a loss while surrendering three runs in two outings against the Pirates over the weekend. However, Sherrill's admission after Sunday's game that his arm was dead isn't a good thing for fantasy owners. At least in the short term, expect Sherrill to be given more rest. While it's not necessarily a good idea to sit your closer – particularly if you don't have other options for saves – it's worth monitoring his performance in the series. If he continues to struggle, it might be a good idea to see what other fantasy owners will trade for him.


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