Miami Marlins - My pick to click for fantasy baseball leagues in the second half, the Fish open up with a very favorable matchup against Jordan Zimmerman. The team as a whole is hitting .325 against the righty, a number that raises to .337 when you subtract the injured Giancarlo Stanton. Emilo Bonifacio should be back to wreaking havoc on the bases while Carlos Lee and Hanley Ramirez anchor a strong middle of the order. The Nationals may have the best pitching staff in the MLB thus far, but the Marlins should be a good bet for a strong offensive performance to open the seasons second half.
Johnny Damon – The 38 year old has absolutely dominated the inconsistent Ricky Romero throughout his career, a trend that should continue given Romero’s recent struggles. His last quality start was nearly 2 months ago, and he has gotten shelled by weak offenses. Damon is batting .522 with a 1.174 slugging percentage against Romero, including 4 homers. He obviously sees the ball very well, drawing 7 walks for every strikeout. Damon isn’t a player I’d suggest rostering on a consistent basis, but this matchup is to good to pass up.
Players to avoid:
David Wright – He has been the leader behind the Mets surprising success, but he can only carry the load for so long. He faces Tim Hudson, a pitcher who has held him in check (.206 batting average) over his career. In fact, the Mets are hitting only .235 as a team against their division rival and with extended rest, I expect to see a fresh and dominate Hudson tonight. Wright is the most valuable Met to avoid in daily fantasy baseball leagues, but I would steer clear of any New Yorker.
Joey Votto – Arguably the best hitter in the game today (he hit cleanup in the All Star Game), Votto catches a tough break opening the second half with a showdown versus Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals righty has held Votto (who is the best player in the game without a decent nickname) to 1 hit in 14 at bats with 5 strikeouts. Votto doesn’t figure to get much protection from Brandon Phillips (.214 batting average against Wainwright) or any other Reds, making run producing very difficult. I’m avoiding the Reds stud for today only in daily fantasy baseball games.
Adrian Beltre – A matchup with Mariners isn’t typically one to avoid, but Kevin Millwood has navigated his way around the powerful Rangers lineup in the past. Beltre specifically has had issues hitting the righty, as he holds a .247 batting average with three times as many strikeouts as walks. The Rangers 3b is batting 46 points lower on the road than at home and has knocked in 63% of his runs at home. I love the talent Beltre possess and on most days his elite supporting cast warrants paying top dollar for his services, but start the second half of the season looking for another player to fill your hot corner spot.