Andre Ethier – Matt Cain has not only been the best pitcher on the Giants, but one of the better pitchers in all of baseball this season. Consider Ethier unimpressed, as he has pounded the righty over and over again, providing value for daily fantasy baseball owners who track trends as opposed to simply avoiding hitters against elite pitchers. The Dodgers outfielder, who now finds himself batting between Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, owns a .468 career average (22 hits in 47 at bats) against Cain. Take into account that Ethier is batting 81 points higher against righties, and you’ve got yourself a player with the upside to be a top 5 outfielder tonight.
David Ortiz – “Who’se your daddy?” Phil Hughes of the Yankees has a very simple response: Big Papi. The Red Sox slugger has crushed Hughes in the past, batting an astounding .450 against Hughes with nearly as many RBI as hits. Boston as a team is batting .307 against the righty, an encouraging sign when discussing Ortiz’s run producing potential. He is a solid play in all daily fantasy baseball formats, as he figures to hit for power and average.
Players to avoid:
Ben Zobrist - Dan Haren may be struggling this season, but he has always found a way to retire Zobrist. The Rays switch hitting right fielder has recorded a mere 2 hits in 21 at bats (.095 batting average) against Haren with 6 strikeouts and 0 walks. He clearly doesn’t see that ball well against the Halos righty, and there is no reason to think that’ll change tonight. It doesn’t help that the current Rays roster has struck out more times than they have recorded a hit, making rallies difficult to come by. If you’re a believe in Haren’s second half struggles, then Carlos Pena or B.J. Upton are good power options (7 of their 13 hits against Haren have cleared the bases.
Carl Crawford – He had a hat trick of stolen bases as soon as he returned from the DL and is only getting healthier with each passing day. So why do I have no love for the Red Sox burner? It has less to do with him and more to do with Phil Hughes. The Yankees erratic starter has owned Crawford over his career, holding him to a .167 batting average and a .222 on base percentage. As mentioned above, the Red Sox as a team have had success against Hughes, but I expect Crawford to be the exception to that rule, and go hitless against the Yanks tonight. History has a tendency to repeat itself, make sure you avoid Crawford in daily fantasy baseball games.
Dan Uggla – When given the right matchup, Uggla is an elite talent at a difficult position … this is NOT one of those matchups. The newly signed Cole Hamels has dominated the all or nothing second basemen, holding him to a .151 batting average and striking him out 2.12 times per hit. Hamels will want to send a message about the second highest contract in the history of MLB pitchers (only Sabathia has a bigger deal) and should perform well. Even if he does struggle, the odds are stacked against Uggla (0 home runs since July 8th) making a considerable impact in the fantasy baseball world.