It’s the middle of the week here and that means a lot of rubber matches as teams look to walk away with a series win. There’s a strong mix of seasoned veterans and youngsters on the mound in these games, so be sure, you’ve looked at all the match-up data you can find before setting your daily fantasy baseball salary cap team. Here are some of the games that I will be picking off of as I get ready to set my lineups.
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers (1:10pm ET)
Johnny Cueto is coming off a solid, complete-game shutout in his last start and faces a very familiar Brewers lineup here whom he’s had mixed results against. While Corey Hart is batting .292 with three home runs and Aramis Ramirez is at .296 with two dingers, Ryan Braun is batting just .227 and Rickie Weeks is at .222. Neither of them have a home run. On the mound for the Brew Crew is right-handed ace Zack Greinke. Joey Votto (.364, 3 HR) and Drew Stubbs (.455, 2B) have found success against him, but Jay Bruce is hitting just .154 in 13 at-bats.
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Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs (2:20pm ET)
With Tim Hudson on the mound for the Braves, the Cubs could find scoring runs to be a tough task despite Hudson’s struggles as he makes his way back from injury. Alfonso Soriano may have three home runs in his career against the veteran righty, but he’s only batting .171 over 35 at-bats. In addition, Reed Johnson and Ian Stewart are a combined 1-for-18. The Cubbies will send veteran lefty Paul Maholm to the mound which will suit Dan Uggla (.318, 2B, 2 HR) and Martin Prado (.455, 2B) just fine. Look for David Ross to get the start behind the plate as he is 7-for-23 (.304) with two home runs and six RBI.
Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (7:05pm ET)
Jeff Niemann is 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA in his last five starts against the Yankees, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he dominates them all. While he holds Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher to a .154 and .133 batting average respectively, Derek Jeter is hitting .462 with three doubles and a walk in 14 plate appearances and Robinson Cano is batting .308 with a home run and a double. The Rays will be getting their first real look at David Phelps as a starter on Wednesday. Both Elliot Johnson and Reid Brignac faced him once, but neither collected a hit. However, the Rays have 27 home runs and 92 runs scored against right-handers this year while batting .245 as a team.
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Cliff Lee makes his return from the disabled list here and heads right into the fire of the New York/Philly rivalry. He’s dominated both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda in the past, holding them to a combined 1-for-12 with no extra-base hits, but David Wright is batting .286 and David Murphy is at .333 with two doubles. The Mets will counter with Dillon Gee who has found success against this Phillies lineup. Shane Victorino may be batting .286, but both Hunter Pence and Placido Polanco are each batting .167 against him.
Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05pm ET)
Erik Bedard has been dominant lately and that could spell trouble for a Nationals team that has been decimated with injuries. Not only have they lost Jayson Werth to a broken wrist and Adam LaRoche is questionable with an oblique injury, newly returned third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is batting just .200 against Bedard and Ian Desmond is hitless in three trips to the plate. But the Nats will counter with Ross Detwiler, a crafty, young lefty who has had some success against the few Pirates he has faced. Nate McLouth is just 1-for10 in his career while Clint Barmes has come up empty in three trips to the plate.
Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles (7:05pm ET)
The Rangers will get their first look at Wei-Yin Chen who looked great early on, but struggled somewhat in his last outing. That trend may continue here as the Rangers are crushing left-handed pitching to the tune of a .309 average with 13 home runs and 55 runs scored. But the O’s aren’t a bunch of slouches and several of them have had success against starter Colby Lewis. Both J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters are 3-for-9 against Lewis, each with a double and a home run for Hardy. Look for Wilson Betemit to get a start as he is 3-for-5 in his career against the righty from Down Under.
St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks (9:40pm ET)
Veteran Kyle Lohse takes the hill for the Cardinals and is looking to maintain his dominance over Justin Upton who is batting just .143 against him while attempting to stifle the rest of the D-Backs like Miguel Montero who is hitting .333 with a home run and Willie Bloomquist who is 3-for-9 (.333) in his career against the right-hander. On the bump for Arizona is rookie Wade Miley who has never faced them before, but has looked sharp in his limited action this year. Unfortunately for him thought, the Cardinals are batting .292 with nine home runs against southpaws this season.
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10pm ET)
All eyes will be on this game to see if the real Tim Lincecum is ready to show up this season. He’s really only looked good in one, maybe two outings this season and has been walking a ton of guys lately. Matt Kemp may only be batting .265 against the diminutive right-hander, but Andre Ethier is sporting a .286 average with two doubles and two home runs and Juan Rivera is 6-for-14 (.429) with a double. On the hill for the Dodgers is Chad Billingsley who has had his struggles with this rivalry. Buster Posey is batting .450, Nate Schierholtz is at .421 and Brandon Belt is actually hitting .400 with a home run.
Howard Bender has been covering daily 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.