Adrian Beltre – Dan Haren opposes the Rangers tonight, making Beltre my top ranked third basemen in daily fantasy baseball games. Haren has struggled all season long (8-8 4.59 ERA) and Beltre has crushed him regardless of how he is pitching. The Ranger owns a career .421 batting average with a .737 slugging percentage against the Angels righty, with nearly half of his hits going for extra bases. He has had more success against Haren in terms of hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, and walks than any of his teammates, so if you’re expecting the Rangers to produce, you need to roster Beltre tonight.
David Wright – While Wright faces an elite pitcher in Matt Cain, he comes in as my second best player at the hot corner tonight. He owns a .429 career average against Cain, with 55.6% of his hits going for doubles. He gets on base 50% of the time, putting him in a position to both knock in and score runs tonight. It is a solid strategy to avoid batters opposing Cain, but these numbers are hard to ignore, making the Mets third basemen a reasonable player to roster in daily fantasy baseball leagues.
San Francisco Giants – While one Met has a strong matchup, the entire Giants roster figures to feast on the Mets Jonathon Niese tonight. Current Giants are batting .362 against the New York lefty, with a team OBP of .423. The small sample size is worth noting, but this type of success suggests that the Giants may see something in Niese’s delivery that is tipping them off. How a struggling offense can bat .360+ against a pitcher is tough to explain, but you don’t need to explain it, you simply need to take advantage in fantasy baseball.
Plays to avoid:
Jose Reyes – The Marlins offense simply isn’t as intimidating without Hanley Ramirez, and against a hot pitcher like Ben Sheets, they are in big trouble. Reyes has only 2 hits in 11 at bats (.182 batting average) and has very little protection in his lineup. Since returning to the MLB, Sheets has rattled off 3 consecutive quality starts, and boasts an impressive 0.50 ERA. His pitch count has increased with each passing start, meaning the Braves trust his health. He will go at least 6 innings and limit the Marlins, with Reyes being a long shot to get on base and score runs.
Starlin Castro – The Cubs SS is full of potential, but I worry about his mindset after the trade deadline. The Cubs are waving the white flag, and I fear that that could get in the head of this youngster. He is batting .125 against Jeff Karstens, making a multi hit game a long shot. Tread carefully when considering Castro not only for today, but for the rest of the season.