Milwaukee Brewers – The BrewCrew has 6 players that have faced Ricky Nolasco double digit times, and they have combined for a .375 batting average against the righty. In addition to their strong average (30 hits in 80 at bats), two thirds of those players have homered against Nolasco (Alex Gonzalez, Corey Hart, Aramis Ramirez, and Rickie Weeks) and have a slugging percentage north of .580. Milwaukee has underachieved thus far, but in daily fantasy baseball games, that should not be held against them, as they are a great option on a day where some elite offenses (Yankees, Reds, and the smoking hot Athletics) face off against some of the games best pitchers.
Evan Longoria – If there was a time for a star player to break out of a funk and provide heroics for his team, this is it for Evan Almighty. The Rays third basemen has dominated CC Sabathia to the tune of a .394 batting average. He has racked up the hits against the big lefty, and has done considerable damage when he puts the ball in play (.939 slugging percentage). He leads the Rays in slugging percentage, batting average, RBI, and home runs against the Yanks ace, making him my top ranked player in all fantasy baseball formats today.
Players to avoid:
Oakland Athletics – Is this offense good? They’ve done nothing but produce, but I am simply not sold on this as a playoff caliber lineup. They have a chance to earn my trust against Angels ace CJ Wilson tonight, but I wouldn’t count on it. The Angels stud has held the current Athletics to a .191 batting average, striking them out 3 times as often as they beat him for an RBI. These are the type of games Wilson was brought into win, and he should deliver against the A’s. Warning: if Oakland beats Wilson, I’ll officially buy into their scrappy offense as a lineup to watch in daily fantasy baseball.
Brandon Phillips – DatDudeBP has enough confidence in himself, but my confidence in him isn’t there when he steps into the batters box against Cole Hamels. The Reds all star second basemen has managed only 4 hits in 28 career at bats (.143 batting average) against the lefty, having struck out 8 times. Cincinnati as a team is batting only .226 against Hamels, making run producing opportunities a rarity for Phillips. I expect Hamels to attack the zone based on his past success, thus putting Phillips in a position to protect the plate, as opposed to being aggressive and working the count. Opponents are batting only .235 against Hamels this year, and the Reds will be lucky to equal that number tonight.
Curtis Granderson – Big Game James Shields has a chance to build on the nickname as he tries to move his Rays one step closer to overtaking the Yankees in the AL East. The New York lineup is a potent one, but even if they hit Shields hard, the Grandy Man is likely to disappoint his fantasy baseball owners. His .107 batting average says it all, as he approaches the plate guessing against Tampa Bays righty. He has struck out 2.5 times as often as he has recorded a hit, and has only drawn 1 career walk. Granderson has been the Bombers most consistent power threat this season, and that’s no fluke, but the odds of him leading this offense against James Shields are slim to none.