Boston Red Sox – It may be difficult to name a handful of players on the current Red Sox roster, but they have found a way to produce against David Price. Boston holds a .287 batting average against the Rays ace with an ultra impressive .845 OPS. Dustin Pedroia leads the team in hits, but the pesky Danny Valencia has shined the brightest. The 28 year old third basemen has recorded a hit in 6 of his 7 at bats against Price and has reached base in 8 of 9 plate appearances. He and Will Middlebrooks (3/6, HR, 3RBI vs Price) figure to split 3b/DH duty tonight, and provide a better punch than you would expect. With Jacoby Ellsbury batting .316 against Price and never striking out, their should be runners on base for the middle third of this lineup. The Red Sox no longer are loaded with big names, but their current roster has gotten it done against Price in the past, making them under priced commodities in daily fantasy baseball leagues tonight.
Ryan Zimmerman – I maintain my stance that he is the Nationals best hitter (for now at least), an opinion that should be supported with a strong performance against the Dodgers Chris Capuano tonight. He owns a .600 career batting average against the lefty, with his season split stats indicating an ideal situation for elite production. Zimmerman is batting 25 points higher against southpaws than righties and has a 42 point jump in batting average at home. Despite early season struggles, Zimmerman’s ratios are right inline with his career numbers, making him one of the top hitting third basemen in the game.
Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso – These 2 may not be the hitters you think of when you see the Cardinals in the top 5 in most team hitting categories, but they have produced at a higher level against Bud Norris than any other Redbird. The dynamic duo has combined to bat .440 against the righty with 8 RBI on only 11 hits. This is another situation where one team has a playoff berth to play for while the other just wants to see the season end, providing extra incentive to roster this pair of Cardinals. The fact that Norris was shelled the last time he toed the rubber (5.1 innings pitched, 5 earned runs, 2 home runs) and missed his last start due to blisters is simply icing on what should be a nice cake for owners willing to take a flier on these underrated Cardinals.
Players to avoid:
Texas Rangers – Divisional matchups typically consist of two teams that are very familiar with one another, and for Zack Greinke, that comfort level has allowed him to mow down the powerful Rangers with regularity. Greinke has held arguably the leagues top offense to a pedestrian .223 batting average, having recorded 6 strikeouts for every 1 walk issued. The Angels pitcher has gotten even better when approaching the explosive middle of the Texas lineup, holding Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton to 1 hit in 25 career at bats. The past numbers are sparkling, and with this game being played in LA, the Rangers have almost no chance. Teams are batting 56 points lower in LA against Greinke than when he pitches elsewhere, resulting in his ERA dropping 0.62 points at home. This game means more to the Angels, giving me confidence that their stud pitcher will continue to hold the Rangers in check, making all Texas players over priced in daily fantasy baseball games.
Ben Zobrist – The utility man has posted ratios above his career averages this season, but that isn’t going to help him against Clay Buchholz tonight. Zobrist owns a career average of .115 against righty and has struck out twice as often as he has recorded a hit. All of his hits have been singles, and with a team batting average of .231 against Buchholz, those singles aren’t likely to do a whole lot of damage. His multi position eligibility is nice, but on a night where he figures to produce very little, there is no place for him on a daily fantasy baseball roster.