John Jaso – The fact that Ervin Santana is still in the Angels rotation is one question I cannot answer, but that shouldn’t stop you from betting against him in daily fantasy baseball games. The Mariners DH has 7 hits in 11 career at bats (.636 batting average) against The Angels righty, and has averaged more than an RBI per two at bats. Seattle’s offense isn’t exactly explosive, but they have been shut out only once in the last 6 weeks, meaning that they are a good bet to at least get on the board tonight. Jaso has proven capable of knocking in runs against Santana and his 3:1 walk to strikeout ratio (leading to a .714 OBP) gives him a good chance to score a run or two as well.
Ryan Howard – The Phillies slugger hasn’t been himself all season long, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take advantage of Tim Hudson. Pitchers that Howard owns a lifetime .344 batting average against are few and far between, so you need to take advantage in all daily fantasy baseball formats when Howard faces Hudson. On top of a strong batting average, one third of his hits have cleared the outfield fence, leading to a .738 slugging percentage. The knock on Howard is a low batting average and his tendency to strikeout, but neither is the case against Hudson, as Howard has as many K’s as walks.
Aaron Hill – The Diamondbacks second basemen will welcome a matchup with Josh Beckett. A change in uniform doesn’t change the pitches Beckett throws, and therefore Hill’s .412 career batting average against the righty figures to maintain tonight. Not only do the hits come in bunches, they are often run producing extra base hits that break open the game. An amazing 57% of Hill’s hits have gone for at least 2 bases and he averages nearly 1 RBI every 4 at bats. By that logic, a 1/3 day with an extra base hit and an RBI seems to be the floor for Hill tonight, with his ceiling being a high one. He is not an elite middle infielder, so his asking price will be reasonable, especially for the type of production he has had against Beckett in the past.
Players to avoid:
Michael Bourn – You’re better off skipping this game and going to see the new Bourne movie if your going to roster the Atlanta speedster against Cliff Lee. He has yet to record a hit against the lefty (0/15) and has struck out 5 times. He isn’t your prototypical leadoff hitter as it is (.349 season OBP), and he isn’t likely to start many rallies tonight against the Phillies. On a good day, Bourn is a solid two category producer, but tonight, he has almost no value in the fantasy community.
Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley – As good as Ryan Howard has been against Hudson this duo has been bad. The have 27 hits in 131 career at bats (.206 batting average). Both players have enough at bats to conclude that they just don’t see the ball well against Hudson, and with the Phillies struggling and the Braves looking for a postseason berth, there is little reason to think that this trend is coming to an end tonight. Warning: 44% of their hits have gone for extra bases, so if you think they can break the trend (.206 batting average), then they may be worth your time. I don’t see that, which is why neither of these players will be on any of my daily fantasy baseball teams.