The usual fare on tap for you today with a full slate of games chock full of interesting match-ups. The table is set for some serious pitching duels and then there are a few unknown commodities on the hill. But the hitting should be fairly strong across the board which should make your daily fantasy baseball salary cap teams a pleasure to set up. Here’s a look at some of the data from match-ups you’ll want to explore.
Oakland A’s at Kansas City Royals (2:10pm ET)
Oakland right-hander Brandon McCarthy comes fresh off the disabled list in time to make his second start of the season against the Royals. In their first meeting, McCarthy held Kansas City to two runs off six hits and two walks but did not factor in the decision. He’s hoping for an improved outcome but will have to fend off Billy Butler who took him deep last game and owns a .333 average against him, as well as Jeff Francoeur who is batting .286 with a double. On the hill for the Royals will be Luke Hochevar who, while 0-5 in six starts against the A’s, does a pretty good job containing those that are currently on the roster. Josh Reddick, a new member of the team, is batting just .167 against Hochevar who is also holding Daric Barton to a .214 average and Kurt Suzuki to a .154 mark.
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Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies (4:05pm ET)
Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco has had his ups and downs this season with some recent struggles in May, but handles himself very well against these Phillies. Though he’s given up the long ball more than just a few times, he holds Hunter Pence to a .190 average, Shane Victorino to the tune of .138, and Jimmy Rollins to a .219 mark. He also holds Carlos Ruiz to a .214 average, so look for Brian Schneider (.321) to get the start behind the plate. Cole Hamels, the NL’s first eight-game winner this season will do his best to contain these Marlins who do a pretty solid job against him. Giancarlo Stanton might only be hitting.263, but he has himself a home run , a double and a triple to his credit. meanwhile, Jose Reyes hits Hamels at a .357 clip with three doubles and Hanley Ramirez, though only batting .264, has 10 doubles in 54 at-bats.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (4:10pm ET)
The key to understanding Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio is to know that a 7.04 home ERA vs a 2.81 road mark is where his troubles lie. Pitching in Colorado has been very difficult for him and while it’s a little easier with Matt Kemp on the DL, there are still concerns with lefty Andre Ethier who is batting .600 with a home run and a double in 12 plate appearances. Also keep an eye on Jerry Hairston who is coming into this series white-hot, batting .538 over his last 21 trips to the plate. On the hill for the Dodgers is veteran Aaron Harang who benefits from a lack of Troy Tulowitzki who just landed on the DL as well. However, Carlos Gonzalez continues to rake, especially at home, and is batting .417 with one home run and three doubles off Harang. Dexter Fowler may have just one hit in 10 at-bats against Harang, but he’s been on fire lately, hitting .579 with three home runs over his last 19 at-bats.
Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox (4:10pm ET)
The last time Hector Noesi started against the White Sox, he was punished for six runs in just 1.1 innings before giving way to the bullpen. As always, he did a great job stifling most of the right-handed bats, but lefty Adam Dunn destroyed him with an RBI-double and a three run bomb. Fellow lefty Alejandro De Aza also hit him hard with two base hits that set the table for Dunn each time. For the White Sox, Gavin Floyd takes the hill and his history with the Mariners goes way beyond just one start this season. The right-hander does a great job shutting down the likes of Miguel Olivo (.154) and Justin Smoak (.125), but still has his difficulties with Ichiro Suzuki who owns a .361 average against Floyd through 36 at-bats.
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays (4:10pm ET)
Lefty Brian Matusz has seemingly turned a corner this season as he is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA over his last four starts which includes a win over the Rays in which he allowed two runs over 5.2 innings. He does well against lefty batters, but gives up plenty of hits to right-handed bats. B.J. Upton is batting .357 against him over 14 at-bats, while switch-hitting Ben Zobrist hits him at a .286 clip from the right side with one home run and one double. Jeremy Hellickson is on the hill for the Rays and looks to extend his streak of dominance against the O’s. While superstar Adam Jones is batting .375 with two home runs and a double over 16 at-bats against him, Hellickson has held both Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds to a .200 average with almost no power.
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers (7:15pm ET)
Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda is looking to improve on that 4.55 road ERA of his with a trip to pitcher-friendly Comerica Park, but some of the Tigers might have something to say about it. Prince Fielder, who is all too familiar with Kuroda from their National League days, is batting .333 against him while Miguel Cabrera is hitting him just the same (.333) but also has some power with a home run and a double. For the Tigers, ground-ball specialist Rick Porcello, who has had his ups and downs against the Yankees, is on the hill. He’s held Mark Teixeira to a .100 average and Derek Jeter hitless in ten trips to the plate, but struggles against Robinson Cano (.455) and Nick Swisher (.300, 1 HR) who hit from the left side of the plate.
Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros (7:15pm ET)
Reds starter Mat Latos struggled in his first start against the Astros this season, allowing five runs off 10 hits through 6.1 innings. Despite the fact that he holds right-handed hitters to a .202 average this year, Chris Johnson is batting .300 against him and Carlos Lee is at .417, both of whom have taken Latos deep. Veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez handled these Reds very well in their last match-up, allowing just two runs over six innings with six strikeouts. While Joey Votto still hits him at a .333 clip over 42 at-bats, Drew Stubbs is batting just .182 and slugger Jay Bruce has just two hits in 29 at-bats (.069) with a whopping 15 strikeouts.
Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angles (10:05pm ET)
C.J. Wilson has made two starts against his former team this season, one a rain-shortened beating where he didn’t even make it out of the first inning and the second, an improved five-plus inning outing that saw him give up just two runs in total. He normally holds right-handers to a .188 average against, but the Rangers that bat from that side of the plate don’t seem to care. Adrian Beltre is hitting .391 with a home run and three doubles in 23 at-bats, while Mike Napoli is hitting significantly lower (.211) but also has a home run of his own. Yu Darvish takes the mound against the Angels for the first time since he was interrupted by a two-hour rain delay and ended up coughing up three runs in 5.2 innings. Though he gave up home runs to Mike Trout and Torii Hunter, he only gave up three hits in total. The Angels lineup is very righty-heavy and Darvish normally holds righties to a .220 average.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.