Detroit Tigers – The Tigers need every win they can get as they chase a playoff spot, and the offense figures to pack quite the punch tonight against Ricky Romero and the Blue Jays. In 107 at bats, the Tigers are batting .386 with a remarkable .551 slugging percentage. Only Austin Jackson (.222 batting average) is batting below .250, and half of the healthy Tigers have taken Romero deep. A lineup with a strong average and elite power, the Tigers should produce a minimum of 3 useful fantasy baseball players.
Yunel Escobar – Looking for a middle infielder with power potential? Escobar is slugging .739 against Max Scherzer in his career to go along with a video game like .478 batting average. Scherzer has been anything but consistent this year and was shelled in his last home start (10 hits and 4 earned runs in 5 innings). Toronto may still be without Joey Bats, but this lineup (batting .344 against Scherzer) can still swing for the fences with the best of them. Roster as many players as you can for this game, with Escobar being my pick to click and provide wonderful value for his low price.
Players to avoid:
Mark Teixeira – The Yankees first basemen is battling a wrist injury, making his status day to day. But if the minor injury isn’t enough for you, take into account his woeful past against Francisco Liriano. The lefty has held Teix to 3 hits in 20 at bats (.150 batting average) and has struck him out 10 times. The Yankees are always a good bet to put runners in scoring position, but with Teixeira striking out every other at bat, his RBI potential doesn’t match his lofty price tag in daily fantasy baseball games.
Chase Utley – He still hasn’t returned to his all star form, and with Homer Bailey pitching lights out these days, Utley doesn’t stand a chance. The Reds pitcher has a 2.92 ERA on the road and opponents are hitting .239 against him away from Cincinnati. Utley has a .143 batting average against Bailey, and has struggled to put together consistently good at bats this season (.247 batting average). Utley figures to do little with his at bats, and the fact that the bases are likely to be empty (Reds are batting .224 against Bailey as a team) doesn’t help his daily fantasy baseball value.
Matt Kemp – It is hard to avoid such a great player, especially against a struggling pitcher, but I encourage you to do just that tonight. Tim Linceum has not been the pitcher we are used to seeing this season, but 3 of his past 4 starts have been considered “quality” and he has looked more like himself. That is bad news for the Dodgers MVP candidate, as he holds a .243 career batting average against The Freak. The more alarming statistic is his high strikeout ratio: 61% of the time that Kemp has been retired by Lincecum has been by way of K. If I am paying top dollar for Kemp, I am expecting hard hit balls all evening, and that simply hasn’t been the case in the past against Lincecum.