Juan Pierre – Before you dismiss the Phillies speedster, take a look at his past numbers against Randy Wolf. Pierre has registered 14 hits in 34 at bats (.412 batting average) with more extra base hits than strikeouts. Stolen bases are valuable, and if Pierre is getting on base in front of the now healthy Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, I like his chances at providing value in daily fantasy baseball games. He won’t homer or make the big highlight play, but all production is equal in fantasy baseball.
Alexei Ramirez -I encourage starting White Sox players at home, as the ball travels well in Chicago. The fact that Ramirez hits Francisco Liriano well is a bonus that I am simply not willing to pass up. The White Sox shortstop holds a lifetime .444 batting average against the lefty and sees his batting average rise 61 points when at the comforts of home. He is another player that should offer good value despite having very little power.
Houston Astros – This pick is not for the faint of heart, but the numbers support the claim that if there is ever going to be a day to roster an Astro, today is the day. The current Stros are batting .308 with 60% of their hits going for extra bases (25% have left the ball park). Jed Lowrie (2.200 slugging percentage) and Chris Johnson (.364 batting average) are the two best options, but Jose Altuve (.600 batting average) is also an interesting play at a shallow position.
Players to avoid:
Jay Bruce – When teams play the Astros, it is typical license to roster any player on their team. Don’t act so fast, as Jay Bruce has had next to no success against Wandy Rodriguez. The slugger owns a career .069 batting average against Rodriguez with 7.5 times as many strikeouts as hits. Bruce has shown signs of becoming a young Adam Dunn, and I expect an Adam Dunn like stat line here, with the potential of a golden sombrero.
Adam Jones – The leader of the O’s offense is going to need help tonight, as Justin Masterson has held Jones in check over his career. With only a .118 batting average against Masterson and limited protection, Jones is not worth the risk in daily fantasy baseball leagues. The O’s stud has more strikeouts than hits, and while he is experiencing a breakout season, Masterson figures to serve as kryptonite.