Edwin Encarnacion - This has been a breakout season for the Blue Jays corner infielder, and he figures to add to his impressive totals against Phil Hughes tonight. He has elite power (40 homers), making his .364 career batting average against Hughes that much more intriguing. His .682 slugging percentage leads all of Toronto’s regulars, and the friendly ballpark in New York can only help. He is my top ranked 3b for daily fantasy baseball games today, and his asking price will not reflect such value.
Tampa Bay Rays - As they continue their late season push for a playoff spot, the Rays figure to produce plenty of runs against the dysfunctional Red Sox. Dice-K Matsuzaka like Brett Favre in the sense that he will give you every opportunity to win the game, and that style has proven dangerous against the current Rays. They have battled and worked more walks than strikeouts, allowing the middle of their lineup to bat with runners on base. Seven different Rays have homered against the erratic (7.14 ERA) righty, making every starter worth a flier in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
Scott Hariston – Hairston is an average hitter at best, but the numbers don’t lie: he has figured out Cole Hamels. Hairston owns a .393 batting average against the elite lefty, having clubbed 5 home runs on his way to a mind boggling 1.071 slugging percentage. Those numbers are difficult to process, as Hairston is a .247 career hitter. But there is no way to ignore the statistics, and with the Mets batting .292 as a team, Hairston is a sneaky play in daily fantasy baseball formats.
Players to avoid:
Colorado Rockies -A lineup that simply hasn’t been the same without Troy Tulowizki stands no chance against Matt Cain tonight. If you subtract Tulo from the equation, the current Rockies are batting a mere .163 versus the Giants ace. Todd Helton is the only other regular with a HR, but he isn’t going to help from the 60 day DL. The only player in this lineup that puts fear in the eyes of opposing pitchers is Carlos Gonzalez, and he holds a .133 batting average against Cain with twice as many K’s as hits. There is absolutely no reason to take a flier on any Rockies starter, especially spending the big money it takes to roster CarGo.
Rangers Catchers – It is often tempting to plug in a catcher for an elite offense and just hope that they are in the middle of a productive night. That strategy isn’t such a bad idea, but tonight is not the night for the Rangers backstops. Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto have combined for a .192 batting average against CJ Wilson, having struck out more times than they have reached base. Stat to consider: the Angels offense has scored 47 runs over Wilson’s last 5 starts.