New York Mets – If you’ve followed this piece throughout the season, you know I don’t think the Mets are any good what so ever. But even I can’t deny the success they have had against Vance Worley (.340 team batting average and a .476 slugging percentage). David Wright is the lone elite hitter in this lineup, but it has been the lesser known options that are producing against the Phillies. Justin Turner, Josh Thole, Daniel Murphy, and Lucas Duda are all batting at least .400 against Philadelphia’s righty, giving New York run producing options up and down the lineup. Combine all that success with the fact that Worley’s ERA at home (5.00) is far worse than his ERA on the road (2.98), and you’ve got yourself a potent option in daily fantasy baseball games.
Elvis Andrus – The leadoff hitter on a loaded lineup is often a good play in daily fantasy baseball leagues, especially when said hitter holds a .625 batting average against the probable starter. James Shields has never struck out Andrus, and with a streaking core of power hitters behind him in the batting order, the fact that he has reached base nearly 65% of the time against Shields provides tremendous upside tonight. A multi hit game is likely, as is at least one stolen base and a run scored.
Billy Butler – I am not going out of my way to roster players against Justin Verlander, but Butler has built a solid case to change that train of thought. He is a lifetime .348 hitter against the fireballer and has managed a strong .565 slugging percentage. If the Royals are going to score tonight, Butler is almost certain to be a part of it, as the rest of his teammates are batting .186 against the reigning MVP.
Players to avoid:
Jacoby Ellsbury – The fire sale in Boston may pay off down the road, but for the rest of this season, they are not going to be much assistance in fantasy baseball leagues, especially not against the games elite pitchers. Jered Weaver welcomes the suddenly depleted BoSox lineup to LA tonight, a team that he has dominated (with the exception of the injured David Ortiz). Ellsbury has only 4 hits in 18 at bats (.222 batting average) against the righty and is on pace for his worst season as a professional. We roster Ellsbury for his ability to cause havoc on the bases, but with a OBP that is under .300 this month, he has disappointed his owners for a while now. I’m treding carefully when it comes to any Boston players for the rest of this season, as it appears as if they have thrown in the towel.
Philadelphia Phillies – Believe it or not, Chris Young has had loads of success against the Phillies, holding them to a .187 team batting average. Only one player has hit Young hard in his career (Chase Utley), and that doesn’t concern me because Young can simply pitch around the Phillies second basemen. If the Mets stay away from Utley, the rest of the lineup owns a woeful .168 team batting average. The faces of the Phillies offense (Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, and Jimmy Rollins) have only 5 hits in 37 at bats (.135 batting average) with 8 strikeouts. Young has only given up 30% of his home runs on the road this season, meaning the home team will need to string a few hits together to scratch across runs. Look for a quality start from Young tonight, meaning a tough night for any and all Phillies.