Jayson Nix – Not the first Yankee you think of? I don’t blame you, as he isn’t even assured of playing time, but if he DH’s tonight, I’m taking a flier on the 29 year old. Batting in a loaded lineup never hurts, and he has hit for extreme power (3 home runs in 16 at bats) against the Red Sox Jon Lester. His .375 batting average against the lefty is tops on the team, and with the Yankees potent lineup, he is likely to see his fair share of pitches. Make sure he is in the starting lineup first, and if he is, shock the competition by rostering Nix in daily fantasy baseball games.
Baltimore Orioles – The O’s offense figures to be as excited as the spunky bird on their caps, as they get to tee off against Rick Porcello tonight. Baltimore is batting .360 as a team against the righty, getting on base nearly 42% of the time. They’ve got 5 starters batting at least .429 against the Tigers pitcher, with 4 different players taking him yard. Nick Markakis is the leader of the pack (.455 batting average and an .857 slugging percentage), but players like JJ Hardy (.667 batting average) and Wilson Betemit (.500) also have some hidden value. I also will give you permission to roster the ever frustrating Mark Reynolds, as this may be the only time this season when he goes into a game having recorded more hits against a pitcher than strikeouts. Opponents are batting .314 this season in Detroit against Porcello, one final reason to feel comfortable with the O’s in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
Billy Butler – When looking at the Royals box score tomorrow, you will be left with the corny (but accurate) urge to exclaim “The Butler did it!” when asked who did the offensive heavy lifting for KC. He has crushed Jake Peavy over his short career to the tune of a .400 batting average and a .800 slugging percentage. An amazing 12% of his at bats have ended in a round tripper, making him my best power option tonight. He is quietly putting together a very solid 2012 campaign, and that should continue against the White Sox.
Players to avoid:
Milwaukee Brewers – They say great pitching beats great hitting, and this figures to be a prime example. Cole Hamels takes his elite repertoire to the land of Cheese to face a team that holds a .198 batting average against him. No hitter is batting better than .250 against Hamels, and their big bats have been even worse. Ryan Braun (.190 average with as many K’s as hits) and Rickie Weeks (.118 average with one strikeout per 2.5 at bats) do not strike fear in this ace, making the Brewers lineup a manageable one. Any lineup these days is “manageable” for the Phillies ace, something that is evident by his 0.72 ERA in August. There is no chance I am spending a dime on any Milwaukee players this evening, as fantasy baseball is about exploiting mismatches and avoiding matchups with virtually no upside.
Evan Longoria – Let me preface this statement by saying I believe that Longoria is a top 5 hitter in all of baseball. Yea, he’s that good, But today is the rare occasion you’ve got to look elsewhere for stud level production. The Rays 3B has only 2 hits in 16 at bats (.125 batting average) against CJ Wilson, and with him still being relegated to DH duties, I doubt that he can find any sort of rhythm tonight.His big bat has sparked the Rays offense, but any time an every day player is forced into the DH role, you’ve got to worry about his focus, as he is involved far less than usual. Even his full attention hasn’t been enough against Wilson (he has struck out every other at bat), and the fact that he is batting in the middle of a lineup that has a career .162 average against the Angels lefty makes me even more nervous. He is an elite hitter, but for daily fantasy baseball players, he is a big name with a low ceiling tonight.