Josh Hamilton – This guy can do it all, and when history suggests a strong matchup, I am not missing out. Hamilton owns a .471 batting average against Josh Beckett with a .824 slugging percentage. He has homered twice against Beckett and averages nearly an RBI per hit. Beckett relies on strikeouts to get himself out of jams, but that isn’t likely to happen against Hamilton, as he appears to see the ball very well.
Carlos Beltran – If you’re going to spend big bucks on a position, outfield is the place to do it. From a value perspective, Beltran is the best OF play today, as he has dominate Aaron Harang in the past. He has posted a .345 batting average with half of his hits going for extra bases. The Cardinals as a team are hitting .288 against the former NL Central pitcher, making Beltran’s knack for putting the ball in play a valuable asset on this day. A multi hit game is a good bet, as is Beltran being in the center of some scoring plays.
Players to avoid:
Billy Butler – His power is here to stay, but in daily fantasy baseball games, he is not even worth consideration tonight. Jered Weaver has held the Royals slugger to a .192 batting average with as many strikeouts as hits. Butler has never taken Weaver deep and his Royal teammates aren’t likely to provide much help in the way of baserunners (.273 team OBP against Weaver). Since April 21st, Weaver has surrendered more than 2 earned runs only twice, both against elite offenses (Yankees and Rangers) that offer more depth than the Royals.
Adam Jones – Betting against the Rays David Price is not something I recommend on a regular basis, and tonight is no different. Jones has 4 hits in 23 at bats and has struck out 1.5 times per hit. Price has K’d at least 7 batters in each of his last 5 starts, putting Jones in a difficult position. A good day for the O’s outfielder would be putting the ball in play, but that doesn’t help his daily fantasy baseball owners.
Adrian Beltre – The Rangers offense is elite, and facing off against a struggling Josh Beckett would seem to indicate fantasy baseball glory for all Texas players. While Josh Hamilton made my list as a “value play”, Beltre has not been able to figure Beckett out. The Red Sox ace has struck him out twice as often as he has given up a hit (.192 batting average) and has only walked the third basemen once. Beckett has yet to find his rhythm this season, and while tonight may not be the night, he figures to own Beltre as he has in the past.