Arizona Diamondbacks - This isn’t an elite offense, but Barry Zito is capable of struggling, and Arizona has taken advantage on multiple occasions. They hold only a .261 team average against the lefty, but have managed a .440 slugging percentage, a number that should have fantasy baseball owners drooling. An abnormally high 45.6% of their hits have gone for extra bases, indicating that 2 consecutive hits should be enough to produce runs. The Diamondbacks roster 6 players with an OBP over .400 and figure to occupy the base paths in volume. Snag a couple of Diamondbacks for your daily fantasy baseball team and watch the runs pile up.
Ryan Howard – This one takes a bit of going out on a limb, but follow my logic. The Phillies face a Nationals team that has all but locked up the division title, making a long outing from staff ace Gio Gonzalez unlikely. But when Gonzalez is in the game, the top of the Phillies order has had plenty of succes when it comes to getting on base. Jimmy Rollins (.500 batting average), Placido Polanco (.308 batting average), and Juan Pierre (.300 batting average) have all found their way on base well above their career average against the Nats ace, giving Howard plenty of run producing opportunities tonight. He is hitless in 3 career at bats against Gonzalez, but has put the ball in play on all 3 occasions. Howard still has elite power, and if he has a history of making contact and there are going to be runners on base, I’m taking my chances with the slugger.
Players to avoid:
Corey Hart - He has an outside chance to set a career high in home runs this season, but nagging injuries combined with a tough matchup makes Hart a risky play at best tonight in daily fantasy baseball games. New Yankee Stadium is recognized as a hitters park, but Milwaukee is often forgot about as a favorable place for hitters. Hart’s batting average at home is 64 points higher than it is on the road, a concerning stat regardless of the opposing pitcher. Mat Latos has locked up the 8 year pro to the tune of a .083 batting average and .167 slugging percentage. Typically having Ryan Braun bat near him is a good thing, but it doesn’t help him against Latos, as the MVP candidate is hitless in 11 career at bats against the righty.
Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson – It could be tempting to roster the powerful Granderson or the clutch Jeter in a game that the Yankees need, but they have been victims of the “good” Brandon Morrow. The Blue Jays pitcher struggles with consistency, but has been successful on 32 of 38 occasions. Nearly two thirds of those outs have been recorded via K, giving them next to no fantasy value. None of the Yankees have hit Morrow exceptionally well (.223 team batting average) resulting in a lower ceiling for the top of the order Yanks.
Kevin Youkilis – The White Sox traded for the Youker to help them out in games like this, but this is a tough spot for the former Red Sox. James Shields has held Youkilis to a abysmal .103 batting average with 0 RBI and 2.5 times as many strikeouts as hits. The White Sox are fading fast in the race for the AL Central and their mid season acquisition isn’t likely to help them out.