Albert Pujols – I don’t care if he costs half your salary cap fantasy baseball budget, past history would indicate that he is worth it tonight. The Angels first basemen has reached base in 67% of his plate appearances against Matt Cain and has a .571 batting average to show for it. Cain has never struck out Pujols, and has surrendered a homer once every 7 at bats. Johan Santana struggled against the Yankees the start following his no hitter, and Cain’s tough matchup makes him a bet to do the same after his perfecto.
Paul Konerko – The lifeblood of the White Sox offense, Konerko has been nothing short of spectacular this season. He gets a chance to continue his fantastic fantasy baseball campaign against Matt Garza, a pitcher he has hit hard in his career. Konerko owns a .500 lifetime average against the Cubs righty and has had two thirds of his hits go for extra bases. Garza relies on striking out batters to get out of jams, but he has never sent the White Sox slugger back to the dugout via K.
Adrian Beltre – At times the Rangers offense can be an unstoppable machine, and I expect Beltre to lead the charge tonight in San Diego. He owns a career .438 average against Jason Marquis with nearly every other hit going for extra bases. With Josh Hamilton ailing, Beltre should pick up the slack in daily fantasy baseball games and provide some pop in the middle of the Texas lineup.
Players to avoid:
Carlos Quentin – CQ has led the Padres offense ever since he returned to the lineup, but he has a hard time handling the Rangers Matt Harrison. He has only 2 hits in 12 at bats (.167 average), and with a weak hitting team around him, he likely won’t be batting with men on base. If this game was being played in Arlington, it may be a different story, but in San Diego, I am looking elsewhere for my daily fantasy baseball outfielder.
Edwin Encarnacion - Arguably the most valuable Blue Jay this season, Encarnacion has struggled to regain his form after a minor injury. He is batting .217 over the last week, and a visit from randy Wolf isn’t going to help things. Toronto’s third basemen is hitting only .091 against Wolf, striking out every other time he is retired. The Blue Jays as a team hit Wolf well (.299 team batting average), but Encarnacion figures to miss out on the fun tonight.