Jon Jay – The man with two first names is as solid a bet as they come against Johnny Cueto. He owns a .476 career average against the Reds righty with 30% of his hits leaving the ballpark. He consistently puts the ball in play (one strikeout every 10.5 at bats against Cueto), making him a likely source of run production as the current Cardinals are batting .313 against Cueto. Jay’s OBP has been on the rise this month (his .441 mark in July is a 151 points ahead of his June production) and is primed for a solid game for his fantasy baseball owners.
Matt Diaz – I know there are some dare devils looking to turn a deep sleeper into cash, and Diaz might well be that player in daily fantasy baseball games. We live in a numbers world and that is why Diaz is a solid play, if he can crack the starting lineup. For reasons unknown to me, he has dominated Johan Santana to the tune of a .514 batting average and a .714 slugging percentage. The past success should be enough to land Diaz in the Braves starting lineup, and if it does, his ceiling is as high as any player in daily fantasy baseball.
Raul Ibanez – The Yankees lineup is loaded with all stars, but the veteran Ibanez has had the most success against Jered Weaver. He leads the team with a remarkable .519 batting average with 29% of his hits going for home runs. Batting in the bottom third of the lineup, his 1.037 slugging percentage should make fantasy owners giddy, as most of his at bats will come with runners on base. He may be 40 years old, but there is no reason to shy away from Ibanez today.
Players to avoid:
Carlos Pena – A few things in this life are certain: death, taxes, and Carlos Pena having no success against Josh Beckett. The Rays slugger has 4 hits in 35 career at bats (.114 batting average) with 18 strikeouts, numbers that indicate a player who simply cannot solve Beckett. His OBP of .184 reflects his inability to take pitches, as his free swinging nature has combined with Beckett’s pitching style to create the perfect (or imperfect) storm. Under no circumstances should Pena be on your daily fantasy baseball roster today.
Dan Uggla – As good as his teammate (Matt Diaz) is against Johan Santana , Uggla is bad. He has managed only 1 hit in 21 career at bats (.048 batting average) with 12 strikeouts. The Braves second basemen always has strong numbers by seasons end, but today doesn’t look liek a day in which he will add to those numbers.