Fantasy MLB: Interleague Studs

CineSport—With interleague play on the way, who will shine? Can R.A. Dickey's knuckleball fool American League hitters? CineSport's Tara Petrolino and Sporting News' Bill Bender discuss.

While R.A. Dickey has put up some impressive interleague numbers over the last few years (1.29 ERA last season), another Mets’ starter is looking to continue his impressive interleague run as well.

From 2000-2010, Johan Santana has posted a 20-11 record with a 3.02 ERA and 240 strikeouts (good for eighth, third and fourth-best respectively in MLB interleague history). Santana starts his 2012 interleague campaign Friday night against the Yankees, his first start since his controversial, yet historic no-hitter.

New York Yankees’ teammates Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are two of the greatest hitters of all time in interleague play, a testament to both their longevity and offensive prowess. Jeter has the most interleague hits of all-time (326) and is tied with former Angels’ outfielder Darin Erstad with a .333 batting average, good for sixth in history.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, has made his mark on interleague play with stellar power numbers. Rodriguez leads the MLB with 186 interleague RBI, 31 more than the White Sox’ Paul Konerko, who is second in that category. Rodriguez is also tied with slugger Manny Ramirez with 48 home runs, sixth-most in interleague history.

Some players who you might want to steer clear of during interleague play include Chicago’s Adam Dunn (.063 BA with 27 Ks in 14 games last season), Cincinnati’s Drew Stubbs (.167 BA with 26 Ks in 18 games last season), Baltimore’s Brian Matusz (0-3 with a 12.15 ERA last season) and Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez (1-2 with an 8.35 ERA last season).

And in case you’re wondering, the Phillies’ Jim Thome is the all-time leader with 59 home runs in interleague play. He has just rejoined the team after being put on the DL in late April with lower back tightness.

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