Toronto Blue Jays – The calling card North of the boarder is extreme power, so when an elite power team hits for a high average, fantasy baseball owners should take notice. The current Blue Jays are batting .317 against Bartolo Colon with an impressive .505 slugging percentage. Omar Vizquel and Yunel Escobar lead the way (each holding a .400 average against Colon) for Toronto who has plenty of pop in the middle of their lineup. It is no longer July, which is bad news for the A’s, and I expect August to be a month in which they bounce back to reality.
Albert Pujols – “The machine” welcomes Ryan Dempster to the AL West, and figures to have similar success as to when the two matched up in their NL Central days. Pujols owns a .327 average against the righty, with 38.9% of his hits going for home runs. His walk to strikeout ratio (11:2) indicates that he sees the ball well and is likely to put the ball in play. Texas is a great place for runs to be scored, and Pujols is in a great spot to be tonight’s top player in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
Chase Headley – Johnny Cueto has been a big part of the Reds recent success, and while he figures to pitch well against the Padres, Headley has always had success against the righty. The Padres third basemen has a .455 batting average in limited at bats against Cueto, and I like the fact that they are playing in Cincinnati. The switch hitting Headley figures to bat lefty against Cueto, as lefties hold a .302 batting average (100 points higher than righties) against the Reds ace.
Players to avoid:
Washington Nationals – It seems that every time a team waves the white flag at the trade deadline and labels themselves as a seller, they go on a mini run after dealing some of their key players. I expect that initial run to take place for the Phillies, as Cliff Lee threw a gem on Tuesday and Cole Hamels figures to follow suit tonight. He has dominated the current Nats to the tune of a .219 career batting average against, recording 13 more strikeouts than hits. The only Washington regular that has had any success against the Phillies ace is Bryce Harper, but with the ability to hone in on a single batter, I’ll take my chances with an elite pitcher who clearly is not found of the pride Harper plays with. The Nats are the real deal, but I’m not touching any of them with a 10 foot poll tonight in daily fantasy baseball games.
Jay Bruce – The Reds have dominated Ross Ohlendorf, but Jay Bruce has missed out on the fun. He is batting .214 against the Padres righty with 0 homers and more strikeouts than hits. With Joey Votto still on the shelf, Bruce lacks protection in the lineup, and figures to force things at the plate. I love Bruce’s raw power, but today is not the day to take a flier on the power hitting outfielder with two first names.