What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than to put together a daily fantasy baseball salary cap team of unbridled awesomeness? While your competition is busy sipping on Coronas and making poor decisions, you can check out the data provided and make some quality, informed decisions and reap the benefits later. You’ll be able to buy all the Coronas and tamales you want after you take home the top prize! Here are some of the statistics from games you’ll want to check out…
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs (1:05pm ET)
The well-traveled Chris Capuano takes a 3-0 record and a 2.73 ERA into Wrigley Field with the hopes of shutting down the Cubs this afternoon. While he’s holding Alfonso Soriano to a .250 average (with one home run) and Reed Johnson to a paltry .143 mark, Starlin Castro, who has only faced him in one game, is 2-for-4 against him. The Cubbies will be sending Chris Volstad to the mound instead of Matt Garza who is apparently suffering from flu-like symptoms and the two will switch spots for the weekend. Volstad has had some success against the Dodgers, but Matt Kemp is still hitting .294 against him with one home run. Meanwhile, Andre Ethier is batting just .250 and Tony Gwynn has only managed one hit in nine at-bats.
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Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals (1:05pm ET)
The match-up here seems to be favoring both pitchers who are each off to great starts this season. Neither team has faced the opposing starter much and those that have, experienced some difficulties. For the Phillies, Vance Worley takes the hill and is holding Danny Espinosa to a .167 average and Ian Desmond to a .143 mark. Jayson Werth and Rick Ankiel are a combined 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. For the Nationals, Gio Gonzalez is on the mound and while Placido Polanco is 3-for-8 (.375) with a home run, Ty Wigginton finds himself 0-for-3 with one strikeout.
Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox (1:10pm ET)
Right-hander Jason Hammel brings his newfound success and 1.97 ERA into Fenway Park on Saturday to face a Boston team he hasn’t seen regularly since his days in the Tampa rotation. A splash of interleague starts too, but that’s about it. Still, there’s enough data to look at and make determinations, such as the fact that Adrian Gonzalez has one home run against him, but is batting just .174 in 23 at-bats. Meanwhile David Ortiz is hitting .600 with one home run in 10 at-bats and Dustin Pedroia is 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two walks in six trips to the plate. For Boston, journeyman long reliever, Aaron Cook is making a spot start and will see a group of Orioles he hasn’t faced yet.
Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets (4:05pm ET)
Patrick Corbin will make just his second big league start here, taking on a Mets team that is currently hitting .252 with eight home runs and 32 runs scored in 329 at-bats against left-handed pitching. In return, the Diamondbacks will be facing Johan Santana who has had strong success in his career against these Arizona players. Justin Upton is batting just .250 while Willie Bloomquist owns a .214 average himself. Aaron Hill is just 1-for-9 in his career against Santana but has struck out just once.
Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants (4:05pm ET)
More southpaw action here in the Bay Area as Randy Wolf and Madison Bumgarner take the hill for their respective teams. Wolf has done a good job containing these Giants as Buster Posey is only batting .167 against him and Ryan Theriot, just .229. However, Angel Pagan has faced Wolf 15 times in his career and is batting .400 with one double to his credit. Some of the Brewers have had success against MadBum as well as Ryan Braun is batting .400 against him with one home run and Rickie Weeks owns a .364 average. However, Aramis Ramirez is batting just .125 and neither catcher, George Kottaras or Jonathan Lucroy has managed a hit in a combined nine at-bats.
New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals (7:10pm ET)
Hiroki Kuroda, who transitioned to the American League this year has very limited experience against these Royals. Jeff Francoeur has seen him the most with a double and a .500 average in six at-bats while Alcides Escobar has one hit and one strikeout in three plate appearances. Felipe Paulino makes his first start since being activated from the disabled list with a forearm strain and he’ll get an immediate tough test here with the Yankees lineup. Though there’s been little experience between the two, Derek Jeter is 2-for-3 with three RBI while Robinson Cano and Russell Martin each have one hit in three trips to the plate.
Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies (8:10pm ET)
Mike Minor takes the mound for the Braves and will be facing the Rockies for the first time in his career. Coors Field is a hitter-friendly park, of course, but Minor’s splits between fly balls and ground balls is fairly even and he has just a 0.83 HR/9. So while the Rockies may have hit 10 home runs against left-handed pitching this year, the number to think about more might be their .235 batting average against southpaws this year. For the Rockies, veteran Jamie Moyer, proud owner of the 78 mph fastball, is on the hill and while he may hold Dan Uggla to a .217 average, Martin Prado, Brian McCann and Chipper Jones are all hitting better than .330 with a combined nine doubles and five home runs.
Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels (9:05pm ET)
The Blue Jays will send Kyle Drabek, who is having a real strong start this season, to the mound to face a potentially tough Angels lineup. In very limited action, several of the Angels have found some success against Drabek, including Howard Kendrick (3-for-4, BB), Mark Trumbo (2-for-4, 2B, HR) and even Alberto Callaspo (1-for-3, 2B, BB). Vernon Wells, on the other hand is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. On the hill for the Angels is lefty ace C.J. Wilson, but he might find it to be a tough task here as Edwin Encarnacion is batting .400 against him with one home runs, Jose Bautista is 2-for-4 in his career and the struggling Adam Lind is actually 4-for-7 with a double and a triple.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites, including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy or you can email him at email@example.com.