Carlos Beltran – Edinson Volquez used to see the Cardinals more often as a member of the Reds, a reason why his ERA this season is lower than his career number. St. Louis is batting .329 as a team against the righty with an eye popping .570 slugging percentage. Beltran has led the charge, recording 5 hits in 9 at bats (.556 batting average) and raking up 5 RBI in the limited experience. Beltran will benefit from his spot in a lineup that has killed Volquez, as he hits behind Matt Holliday (.400 batting average/.867 slugging percentage against the Padres righty) and ahead of Lance Berkman (.364/.727). A change in uniform isn’t going to change the pitching tendencies of Volquez, giving you every reason to trust him tonight.
Matt Wieters – The O’s seem to get production from a different source every night, and the numbers indicate that it is Wieters turn. He has 4 hits (2 homers) in 7 at bats against Matt Moore to pace a Baltimore squad that is batting .305 against the lefty. Crushing lefties is nothing new for Baltimore’s catcher, as his batting average is 100 points higher against southpaws. Combine that with the fact that Wieter’s batting average at home is 25 points higher than when he plays on the road, and you’ve got yourself and undervalued option at catcher.
Players to avoid:
Mark Teixeira – The Yankees are battling for a playoff spot that appeared locked up months ago, and no team would like to interupt those plans for than the Boston Red Sox. Jon Lester takes the bump, and while he has had mixed results against the Bronx Bombers, it is a near certainty that it will not be the Yankees first basemen who will hurt him. Lester has held him to a .250 batting average, but it is the .350 slugging percentage that drives me away from Teixeira in daily fantasy baseball games. Teix may get a knock against the BoSox lefty, but the odds of it doing any damage are slim. In addition to his harmless singles, Lester has struck out Teixeira 16 times in only 40 at bats. In other words, Lester retires Teixeira 75% of the time, and on 53% of those at bats, Teixeira doesn’t even put the ball in play.
Rickie Weeks – Stuck in what has felt like a season long slump (.227 batting average), Weeks has disappointed his fantasy baseball owners all season long. He has quietly posted a batting average over .274 this month (something he has yet to do in an entire month), but that number figures to drop in a hurry against Tim Hudson. The Brewers second basemen is batting .095 against Hudson over his career, with more walks than hits. Everything needs to go right to justify inserting Weeks into you daily fantasy baseball roster, and tonight just isn’t the ideal situation.
Nelson Cruz – When you look at batters and their matchups, this one probably caught your eye: as a mismatch to exploit by rostering Cruz. The opposite is true, as Ubaldo Jimenez has owned Cruz, retiring him 9 straight times. Seven of those outs were by way of K, stripping Cruz of any potential production. The Rangers outfielder can hit, but Jimenez has had his number, a trend that has shown no signs of slowing down this season.