Playoffs? We’re talkin’ about playoffs? Well, the public may be discussing the final slots to the postseason, but the fantasy community should be more focused on these three value plays that are currently on the outside looking in.
Detroit Tigers – Jose Quintana has never faced any member of the Tigers, especially not in the beginning of a monumental series in mid September. The 23 year old lefty has held his spot in the rotation with the occasional solid start, but the wheels have begun to fall off of late. In his last two starts (at Baltimore and home against the Twins) Quintana has surrendered 12 hits and 12 earned runs in only 5 innings of action. No disrespect to Adam Jones, but neither of those lineups compare to the talent that Detroit possess. The White Sox have held off the Tigers to this point, but I expect the big moment to get the better of Quintana, and the Tigers offense to flourish.
Aramis Ramirez – The Brewers rarely face Mike Minor, but ARam has made the most of those rare occasions. He is batting .500 against the Braves lefty with a sparkling .833 slugging percentage. Ryan Braun is an elite hitter and seems destined to figure out Minor (0/5 in his career) sooner rather than later, providing a dynamic one two punch in the middle of a solid lineup. Minor’s road ERA is 2.12 runs higher than his number at home, and opponents are batting 53 points higher against him away from Atlanta. If the Brewers are going to make a last second push for the wild card, now is the time, as the offense (led by Ramirez) figures to give them a good chance to win tonight.
Jose Reyes – In a year that started with excitement in Miami, Reyes and the rest of the Marlins have disappointed in a big way. For one day, the months of underachieving can be forgotten, as Reyes leads the Fish against Kyle Kendrick. The switch hitting shortstop has a lifetime .419 batting average against Kendrick with an un-Reyes like .742 slugging percentage. If he can get on base, he is always a threat to swipe a bag, and with the hitters behind him (Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton, and Logan Morrison) hitting for plenty of power against the Phillies fill in, Reyes’ fantasy value is higher today than it has been in the recent past. In a day without many games, Reyes is worth rostering given his past success versus Kendrick.
Players to avoid:
Jay Bruce – Statistically speaking, Bruce has taken his game up a notch from last year, boasting a higher batting average and more power. The seasons numbers are nice, but they aren’t going to improve when he faces off against Wandy Rodriguez. The Pirates left has owned Bruce, holding him to 2 hits in 29 career at bats (.069 batting average) and striking him out 15 times. The rest of the Reds lineup is batting .284 against Rodriguez, making it possible that they score some runs tonight, but the lefty is armed with the one thing a pitcher needs more than anything against Bruce: confidence. Look for him to challenge the Reds slugger, something that has nullified all of Bruce’s value in daily fantasy baseball games.
Colorado Rockies – One of the more disappointing teams in fantasy baseball this season, owners of Colorado players are in for more heart ache tonight against Ryan Vogelsong. They hold a .175 team batting average with more strikeouts than hits, and the middle of the order has been even worse. They welcome back Tulowitzki from an extended stay on the DL, but he and Carlos Gonzalez have combined for a .056 batting average against the Giants righty. This offense isn’t littered with stars, so when the two big bats in the middle of the order struggle, the entire offense tends to go missing. If the Rockies score twice off of Vogelsong that’ll be a lot, making all Colorado players toxic when it comes to daily fantasy baseball.