With Jose Bautista sidelined and Joey Votto just returning to action, a new elite slugger has emerged. Adam LaRoche has a favorable matchup to go along with his hot streak, something that fantasy baseball owners simply cannot ignore.
Adam LaRoche – There is not a hotter power hitter in the game today, and it’s not to late to jump on the bandwagon. He’s batting over .500 in September with half of his hits leaving the ballpark. His value only increases in daily fantasy baseball games when you consider that he is batting .462 against Mark Buehrle with two thirds of his hits going for extra bases. The Nats as a team are batting .310 against the Marlins lefty, making pitching around LaRoche an impossibility. The Washington first basemen has put his teammates on his back as they head into the postseason, and there is no reason he can’t do the same for you daily fantasy baseball team.
Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez – Is Matt Cain a Cy Young candidate who has dominated this season? Yes. But he has never had much success against these two players, and has never faced them batting next to each other in the Dodgers lineup. The duo owns a .394 career batting average against the Giants ace with a .605 slugging percentage. With Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp protecting Ethier and Gonzalez, Cain will have to attack the hitters that have hurt him in the past. Gonzalez has 13 RBI on 18 hits, a result of 9 of his hits going for extra bases. These are huge games for playoff clarity in the NL, and I like the Dodgers underrated Ethier and newly acquired Gonzalez to come up clutch for not only Los Angeles, but also your fantasy baseball team.
Milwaukee Brewers – Jake Westbrook has experienced quite the up and down season for the Cardinals, and a matchup against the hard hitting Brewers figures to add to the “down” portion of his season. The BrewCrew is batting .345 against the righty, with their big bats doing most of the damage. Aramis Ramirez (.545 batting average) leads the way, but Ryan Braun (.500) and Alex Gonzalez (.389) have also produced well above their career numbers against Westbrook. Corey Hart (.313) has a team high 2 home runs (in only 16 at bats) against the Cardinals starter, giving me confidence that it will be difficult to find an unproductive Brewer tonight.
Billy Butler – The Royals are one team that has had decent success against Chris Sale this season, with Butler in the center of the action. The DH has clubbed 3 homers in a mere 17 at bats against the lefty, giving him a team high .882 slugging percentage. His power stats are nice, but so is the protection he has received against Sale. Chris Getz owns a surprising .429 batting average against Sale while Lorenzo Cain is batting .364 against the White Sox ace. Watch out for the Royals today, as they would love to help spoil Chicago’s playoff run.
Players to avoid:
Baltimore Orioles – This one is a gut call, as the past numbers are about as neutral as they get. CC Sabathia is a big game pitcher who relishes these moments, while the upstart O’s are a nice story, but simply not big game tested. They have had some success against the Yanks ace (batting .251 as a team with 12 homers), but Sabathia has beaten Baltimore hitters by way of K (85) more times than they have beaten him with a hit (78). The big lefty has hurled 4 consecutive quality starts, and there is no reason to think he does anything less than that tonight in a huge games for his Yankees. Roster Baltimore players at your own risk, as Sabathia lives for this exact situation.