Hunter Pence – There is domination, and then there is what Pence does to Jake Westbrook of the Cardinals. He is batting a remarkable .583 against the righty with a .643 OBP. Pence is a solid bet to be a top 5 fantasy player tomorrow, while his teammates Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins figure to also reward daily fantasy baseball owners in a big way. Polanco and Rollins both boast OBP’s far greater than their career average vs Westbrook, and will set the table nicely for Pence. Look for this trio to be in the middle of some serious run production tonight.
Michael Brantley – From the “no way, that doesn’t make any since” department, I present you the Indian’s outfielder. He might be the lone batter in the league who has hit Justin Verlander well over his career, batting .438 vs the reigning MVP. He has drawn as many walks as strikeouts, something very few players can say against the Tiger ace. With only 14 teams in action, Brantley could be a difference maker in fantasy baseball today.
All Minnesota Twins – You may blame it on a small sample size, but trends have to start somewhere. The current Twins are batting .429 off of the White Sox Phillip Humber with only 4 strikeouts in 35 at bats. Players like Ben Revere won’t cost you much in salary cap fantasy baseball games, but he could be in line for a big night.
Players to avoid
Ichiro Suzuki – The Mariners outfielder is declining, but still offers enough hits and stolen bases to make him worth a look in most daily fantasy baseball games. However, Dan Haren’s vast array of pitches neutralizes the .325 career hitter. Ichiro is batting .227 in 66 career at bats against Haren with only 3 extra base hits. At this point in his career, Ichiro is no longer a must start, and against Haren, he is a must bench.
Angels not named Albert Pujols – The Angels as a team are batting only .220 against today’s starter Jason Vargas, a number that drops to .210 when you subtract Pujols. Howard Kendrick is the only current Angel with more than 10 at bats against Vargas that is batting better than .231. Vargas isn’t a name that scares you away from players often, but avoiding the Angels tonight is a move for the savvy fantasy owner.