If only every Monday this season had this many games from which to choose. But they won’t so you might as well take advantage of it now. Before you know it, the Monday slate will dwindle to just a handful of games and you’ll have a much smaller player pool at your disposal for 1 day fantasy baseball salary cap games. Enjoy it while you can. Here’s a look at some of the numbers to help you with your selections for today’s games.
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Left-hander Jonathon Niese takes the hill in this series that always brings a lot of excitement to the table. He’s had some mixed results against these Phillies with Hunter Pence batting just .143, Shane Victorino at .278, and Placido Polanco is hitting a robust .417 in 24 at-bats. The real question for the Phillies is the condition of starter Roy Halladay who is apparently dealing with some velocity issues lately. There’s no injury, but he got beaten up in his last start pretty badly. Still, he holds Ike Davis to a .211 average and David Wright to an even worse .143 with 11 strikeouts in 21 at-bats.
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Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles (7:05pm ET)
You’ve got two strong offenses squaring up in a hitter-friendly park here so we could be looking at runs galore unless the starters for today have something to say about it. Texas starter Matt Harrison has a 3.21 ERA over his last two starts at Camden yards, but Adam Jones is batting .444 with one home run against him while Matt Wieters is 2-for-3 with a home run in his only game against the young lefty. Brian Matusz is looking to keep the momentum going from his last start where he dominated the Yankees, but will have to contain Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, both of whom have gone 4-for-7 (.571) against him. Josh Hamilton, on the other hand, is 0-for-7 in his career against Matusz with three strikeouts.
Miami Marlins at Houston Astros (8:05pm ET)
Not usually the most marquee match-up normally, but both clubs have been surging lately with the Fish having won their last six straight and the Astros are surprisingly averaging 5.6 runs per game over their last five. Carlos Zambrano takes the mound for Miami and will have to face longtime nemesis Carlos Lee who is batting .371 with five home runs and 15 RBI over 70 at-bats. He’ll also be facing a red-hot Chris Johnson who is 4-for-12 (.333) against the Big Z. On the hill for Houston will be veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez who owns a 2.73 ERA over his last four starts against the Marlins. Though no one has taken him deep yet, Hanley Ramirez is batting .389 with two triples in 18 at-bats and Gaby Sanchez is 4-for-12 (.333) with a double.
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs (8:05pm ET)
The Cubs are hitting just .243 with 14 home runs against right-handed pitching this season and now have to contend with Tommy Hanson on the hill for the Braves. They don’t have much experience seeing Hanson, but Ian Stewart is actually 2-for-4 against him with a walk and a home run. Starlin Castro has just three plate appearances against Hanson and is 0-for-2 with a walk. The Cubs will send Jeff Samardzija to the mound and again, not much of a history between him and the Braves. Dan Uggla is 1-for-8 (.125) with a home run, Michael Bourn is 3-for-5 (.600) with a double, and Chipper Jones is 1-for-2 with a walk.
Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins (8:10pm ET)
Jered Weaver takes on the same twins that he just no-hit last week, so either it’s pure dominance again or the Twins are going to get some payback. Joe Mauer hits Weaver at a .280 clip with two doubles to his credit while Josh Willingham is batting just .214 through 16 trips to the plate. On the hill for the Twinkies will be Francisco Liriano who has had some trouble against these Angels in his career. Howard Kendrick is 6-for-11 (.545) with a double, a triple and a home run, Torii Hunter is hitting .571 with a home run and Mark Trumbo is batting .375 with two home runs of his own.
Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals (8:10pm ET)
Rookie left-hander Felix Doubront continues to his way around the American League for the first time and now heads to Kansas City where he meets a Royals team that is hitting just .215 against southpaws and have only plated 15 runs against them. Doubront may be sporting a 5.19 ERA, but his 3.65 FIP is more indicative of his abilities, and a 10.38 K/9 for a rookie starter is pretty impressive. For the Royals, Jonathan Sanchez is on the hill. He’ll face some old National League opponents in Adrian Gonzalez (.231) and Cody Ross (0-for-6, 3 K), but has very limited experience against many of the seasoned Boston hitters.
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers (8:10pm ET)
While most teams would be happy to see Bronson Arroyo on the mound, the Brewers haven’t really fared very well against him. Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks may have combined for five home runs against him, but Braun is batting just .263 while Weeks is only hitting .171 in 35 at-bats. Brewers strikeout specialist Yovani Gallardo is on the mound and looking to rebound from the 11 runs he’s given up over his last two starts (eight innings pitched). Unfortunately for him, the Reds seem to turn up the offense when he’s on the hill. Ryan Ludwick is hitting .364 with two home runs, Joey Votto is batting .333 with a home run and three doubles, and Jay Bruce is up to .471 with a home run in 18 trips to the plate.
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10pm ET)
One of the bigger rivalries in the game kicks off down in Los Angeles on Monday and the Giants are sending veteran lefty Barry Zito to the mound, who is 1-4 with a 3.65 ERA in his last 11 appearances against the Dodgers. While Matt Kemp hits an impressive .426 with two home runs, Andre Ethier is batting just .161 against the lefty and James Loney’s average sits at a woeful .071 through 28 at-bats. The Dodgers will counter with Ted Lilly on the mound and that suits a number of the Giants just fine. Buster Posey is 3-for-8 (.375) with a double and two home runs, Angel Pagan is 5-for-10 (.500) with two doubles, and even Brandon Belt has a pair of hits in five at-bats.
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 email@example.com.