Desperation is an intangible emotion, but needs to be considered when rostering your fantasy baseball team. Those who need to win have a better chance to preform than those with little to gain, thus making playoff contending players worth keeping an eye on tonight.
Ian Kinsler – The Rangers 2b isn’t having nearly the season he had last year (a 30/30 campaign with 121 runs scored), but he still hits in a loaded lineup and deserves your attention in daily fantasy baseball games when opposing Jason Vargas. Kinsler is batting .385 for his career against the lefty with half of his hits going for extra bases (.654 slugging percentage). While the Rangers team batting average isn’t great against Vargas (.250), there power has been better against him than most pitchers. When considering the teams .250 batting average, their .442 slugging percentage is a very high number, as 38.5% of their hits have gone for extra bases. Kinsler may record an RBI or two, and batting ahead of Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz (67% of their hits against Vargas have left the yard) puts him in a great position to score multiple runs tonight.
Players to avoid:
Jose Reyes – Johnny Cueto has very quietly put together a Cy Young resume, and that should only improve tonight against the Marlins. Miami tends to struggle when the top of the order isn’t producing, and with Reyes batting 13 points lower than his career average, that has been the case more often than not. Their SS has only 2 hits in 15 career at bats (.133 batting average) against the Reds righty, having struck out 3 times and never drawing a walk. Reyes isn’t a run producer, and his fantasy baseball value comes from getting on base, swiping bags, and scoring runs. I’m not concerned about Cueto’s recent struggles, as he needs to round into form for the post season. The Marlins are looking for this season to end as quickly as possible, making them a team that I want no part of in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
Kansas City Royals – So much for respecting where you came from. Zack Greinke won a Cy Young award in KC, but upon his departure, he has dominated the Royals every chance he has gotten. No current Royal has multiple hits against the Angels righty, leading to a team batting average of .174. They have 63% more strikeouts than hits, a ratio that cannot be overlooked. There is nothing like desperation, and the Angels need every game from here on out. Greinke is comfortable pitching in Kansas City and should produce a quality start tonight, with the potential to throw an absolute gem.
Alfonso Soriano – Even the Chicago faithful has to avoid their best hitter tonight, as Soriano’s best chance to produce would be to appear as a pinch hitter against a bullpen pitcher. Wandy Rodriguez has retired Soriano on 34 of 38 occasions (.105 batting average), striking him out 4 times for every 1 walk drawn. The Cubs hapless offense won’t get men on base for Soriano, making his potential value not worth the price tag.
Curtis Granderson – The Grandy Man has done plenty of good this season, but the Yanks (and fantasy owners) need to look elsewhere tonight against Big Game James Shields. Grandson has struck out twice as often as he has reached base on his way to an abysmal .107 batting average against the Rays righty. He averages 1 RBI every 14 at bats against Shields, so you’re truly taking a risk if you’re counting on power from the Yankees center fielder. He is virtually no upside tonight, and while he has earned his high pricetag this season, he is not worth it tonight.