Milwaukee Brewers – I still believe Cliff Lee is an elite pitcher, but he hasn’t proven it this season and is unlikely to do so against the BrewCrew. Current Milwaukee players are batting .300 against the lefty with 21.1% of their hits going for home runs. Ryan Braun, Alex Gonzalez, and Aramis Ramirez are all hitting over .300 with at least one homer against Lee, while Carlos Gomez has a slightly lower average (.273) but has had one third of his hits leave the ballpark. Milwaukee’s team slugging percentage of .536 is simply to good to pass up, even if they are opposing a pitcher with elite skills.
David Wright – The miserable Mets face off against “I give up the occasional” Homer Bailey in a matchup of two teams headed in completely opposite directions. However, tonight figures to be a night in which Mets fans can rejoice and roster their favorite players in daily fantasy baseball leagues. New York holds a .352 career batting average against the Reds righty, with Wright leading the way at .556. Scott Hairston is the only Met with a HR off of Bailey, but that could very easily change as the game is being played in hitter friendly Cincinnati, where Bailey has given up 79% of his seasons home runs. For one day you’re allowed to overlook the Mets second half struggles and roster Wright.
Mark Teixera and Derek Jeter – When the Yankees lineup card comes out, the hope is for the top of the order to get on base with regularity and the loaded middle of the lineup to drive them in. That game plan has worked to perfection against Derek Holland in the past, with Jeter (.588 OBP against the lefty) leading the top third of the lineup and Mark Teixera (.889 slugging percentage) passing the middle third. The Yankees shortstop has more extra base hits than strikeouts, and when contact is made in NY good things tend to happen. Their first basemen has more RBI than hits, making him an elite run producing option tonight. Some nights the expensive Yankees aren’t worth the price tag, but tonight they figure to be worth every penny.
Players to avoid:
Ben Zobrist – Dan Haren has struggled all season long, but I’ve got confidence in him to continue his dominance of the Rays utility man. The Angels underachiever has limited Zobrist to a .125 career average, with one third of his outs coming by way of K. Zobrist has never been issued a free pass from Haren, indicating the pitcher is confident that Zobrist will not be patient and work the count. Haren has pitched slightly better at home this season, as his home run rate and batting average against are both a bit lower in LA. Both Zobrist (.259 batting average this season) and Haren (8-9 4.68 ERA) have been disappointments in the fantasy baseball community this season, and I expect Zobrist’s struggles to continue against the Halos righty.
Colorado Rockies – Injuries have doomed a rather potetnt lineup this season, and that figures to continue tonight against Ricky Nolasco. With a completely healthy roster, Colorado owns a .313 team batting average against Miami’s righty, but if you subtract the injured players (Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, and Michale Cuddyer) you’re left with a team batting average of .200. The healthy Rockies have had next to no success against Nolasco, and even with this game being played at Coors field, I’m not spending big bucks in daily fantasy baseball games on Carlos Gonzalez or any other Rockie tonight.