Atlanta Braves – It is a tiny sample size, but can you really ignore a team with a .516 batting average against a pitcher? The Braves have 16 hits in 31 at bats against Bud Norris with a remarkable .935 slugging percentage. Dan Uggla, Brian McCann, and Jason Heyward have all homered against the Stros righty, making them all good plays in daily fantasy baseball leagues. If more impressive, the sometimes strikeout prone trio has only K’d once against Norris, a pitcher who averages more than a strikeout per inning. Lastly, the Astros pitcher has a ERA that is 5.02 points higher on the road. This matchup should not be missed by savvy fantasy baseball owners, as it is sure to provide plenty of punch in daily leagues.
Yadier Molina – The Cardinals catcher is having a career season when it comes to batting average, and he has only been better sense the all star break. He’s batting over .350 since the ASB and owns a .714 batting average against Marco Estrada in limited at bats. St. Louis is hitting .327 as a team against the Brewers starter, and should produce runs tonight, with Molina smack dab in the middle of the action.
Players to avoid:
Scott Rolen – He and the Reds have been Rolen along over the last 2+ weeks, with his batting average jumping more than 50 points since the all star break. While Rolen can still clearly swing a good bat, he has never had success against AJ Burnett, who is on fire as well. The Reds third basemen holds a .120 career average against Burnett and has struck out more times than he has recorded a hit. Combine that with the fact that Burnett has given up only 13 hits and 3 runs over his last 24 inning pitched, and you’ve got no reason to trust the 37 year old Rolen in daily fantasy baseball games.
Albert Pujols – Statistically speaking, it is going to be a rough day for ex-Cardinals. Francisco Liriano has held “The Machine” hitless in 11 career at bats, and while Pujols is heating up, Liriano has his number. A change of scenery for Liriano figures to do amazing things for Liriano, so I am buying his past success against Pujols. The Angels hold a .333 batting average against the White Sox lefty, but Pujols doesn’t figure to be a part of any run scoring on this day. The high priced Pujols is typically worth every penny, but there is no reason to risk that amount of your budget on a player who has no success against tonight’s probable starter.
Corey Hart – Kyle Lohse is having a career season and that is trouble for those who love Hart. The Brewers outfielder has never had success against the Cardinals starter when he was an average starter (.150 batting average) and figures to struggle even more now that Lohse has figured things out. Opponents are batting only .242 against Lohse at Busch Stadium this season, and Lohse’s ERA has dropped by more than half of a run at home.