Daily Fantasy Baseball Must Starts: Tuesday October 2nd

Avoid star middle infielders today. It is that simple if you want to have a chance tonight in the final week of the regular season.

Value plays:

San Francisco Giants – This roster may not be loaded with talent, but it is packed with players who hit Chris Capuano well. As a team, the Ginats are batting .281 against the Dodgers lefty, but more impressive is their .445 slugging percentage. An amazing 39% of their hits have gone for extra base hits, with four players having multiple such hits. The Giants as a team may not have anything to play for, but Buster Posey has an NL MVP in his sights, and could be in for a big performance tonight. Less heralded options like Freddy Sanchez (.360batting average / .440slugging percentage) and Marco Scutaro (.500/.700) are also good bets to far outproduce their asking price.

David DeJesus – As long as you don’t have to watch this game, there is a chance you could enjoy it. The Astros and Cubs are the clear cut bottom feeders in not only the NL Central, but also the entire league, and have been dead zones for fantasy glory this season. That being said, DeJesus has crushed Bud Norris over his career, and if you’re looking to the Cubs for fantasy players, that is about all you can ask for. He has 5 hits in 9 at bats (.556 batting average) against the Stros righty, smashing 2 homers in the process. Norris has given up 6 homers in 16.1 innings pitched against the Cubs this year, giving DeJesus even more upside.

Players to avoid:

Robinson Cano – These final games are difficult to figure, as many teams have mailed it in as they either prepare for the postseason or prepare for 2013. That, however, is never a concern when the Red Sox visit the Yankees, and the visitors would take plenty of pride in stunting the Yanks season ending momentum. Cano has never been able to hit Jon Lester well (.218 career batting average) and he isn’t likely find a rhythm tonight. Lester has beaten the Yankees in both of his last two starts against the Bronx Bombers, giving up only 10 hits in 12.1 innings pitched. Cano hasn’t been a part of the run scoring against Lester, and his strikeout rate (21.8% of at bats result in a K) indicates that he has very little upside in daily fantasy baseball games today.

Hanley Ramirez – Another stud fantasy baseball infielder and another very tough matchup. Ramirez hasn’t lived up to his lofty standards (batting 42 points lower than his career average) and the disappointing regular season will end with another cold stretch. He has recorded just 2 hits against Barry Zito in 27 career at bats (.083 batting average), and with Zito looking to make the Giants postseason rotation, I’m not betting on Ramirez’s struggles to end.

Brandon Phillips – Do you see a theme? High priced middle infielders are simply not worth your while in daily fantasy baseball games today. Chris Carpenter may be early in his return from a 4 month stay on the DL, but he has showed guts in his first two outings. The Cardinals need this game, and Carpenter has been there every time they have needed a big game. Phillips, a favorite in St. Louis, has made the crowd happy with repeated failures (.157 batting average) against the Cardinals emotional leader. The Reds have locked everything up for the postseason and could elect to rest their all star second basemen, a risk that needs to be considered by fantasy owners. Cincinnati is only batting .238 as a team against Carpenter, leading me to believe that runs will be at a premium for the NL Central champions.

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