Some fantastic match-ups here as interleague continues with plenty of aces on the hill and plenty of hot hitters standing in the box. With minimal data available due to such little amount of league cross-over action, your best bet for your daily fantasy baseball salary cap team is to check those lefty/righty splits and see who matches up best for you. Here’s a look at a number of games that just might pique your interest when selecting players.
Washington Nationals at Boston Red Sox (3:05pm ET)
Gio Gonzalez returns to the American League and despite the stellar 2.31 ERA and ridiculous 11.40 K/9, he might get a quick reminder as to why he bolted for the NL. Kevin Youkilis is batting .545 with a home run in 11 at-bats and David Ortiz is hitting .300 with a home run and a double over 12 plate appearances. For the Red Sox, it’s the long-anticipated return of Daisuke Matsuzaka. He hasn’t thrown a pitch all year, but in looking back, his biggest asset is the work he does against right-handed hitters, holding them to a .228 average over the last three seasons. Of course, that doesn’t help him against lefty Bryce Harper who was batting .286 with a home run prior to last night’s game.
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Texas Rangers at San Francisco Giants (3:05pm ET)
The Rangers will send right-hander Scott Feldman to the mound and hope that he can do a better job of containing righties (.360 avg. against) with so many right-handed and switch hitters on the Giants squad. Angel Pagan is batting .357 with one home run over his last 28 at-bats while true right-hander Ryan Theriot is batting .500 with three doubles in his last 28 at-bats. For the Giants, Ryan Vogelsong is on the hill and is holding batters to a .228 average with an even split between lefties and righties. Obviously the entire Texas lineup is dangerous, but Mike Napoli, in particular, is batting .421 with a home run over his last 19 at-bats. Josh Hamilton has just one home run over his last nine games. Is he due for more?
Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins (7:15pm ET)
Rays rookie left-hander Matt Moore struggled to start the season but has now thrown three quality starts in his last four outings. He is holding righties to a .233 average, but lefties are clubbing a solid .327 against him. The Marlins are loaded with right-handed hitting, but switch-hitter Jose Reyes is batting .294 with 10 doubles from the left side of the plate this season. The Marlins have the rejuvenated Carlos Zambrano on the hill and he’ll have to contend with Hideki Matsui who is batting .286 against him and Luke Scott who is crushing him with a .417 average with two doubles and a triple against him.
Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals (7:15pm ET)
Not only does Indians right-hander Justin Masterson struggle on the road (9.00 ERA), but lefties are mashing him at a .304 clip this season. Though the Cardinals are predominately right-handed hitters, switch-hitting Carlos Beltran is batting .277 with 12 home runs from the left side of the plate. The Cards will throw right-hander Kyle Lohse at the Tribe tonight and while he may dominate a guy like Casey Kotchman (.182), he should be concerned with Johnny Damon who is batting .375 with four doubles over 16 at-bats against him.
Kansas City Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15pm ET)
Right-hander Vin Mazzaro makes just his third start of the season and while he’s fared well overall, he still has a career ERA of 5.00 and the opposition has posted a .296 batting average against him. That works well for Andrew McCutchen who is batting .333 with two home runs, a double and a triple over his last 24 at-bats. Garrett Jones is also anxious as he too is batting .333 with two home runs but over just 19 at-bats. For the Pirates, James McDonald is on the hill with his 2.14 ERA and holding the opposition to a .197 average, with righties batting .177 and lefties at .210. Eric Hosmer, a lefty, is batting .368 with a home run and two doubles through his last 19 at-bats and Mike Moustakas, also a lefty is batting .333 with a home run and two doubles through his last 18 trips to the plate.
New York Mets at New York Yankees (7:15pm ET)
Mets right-hander Dillon Gee is carrying a 2.63 ERA over his last four starts, but is allowing left-handed hitters to hit him at a .295 clip and that could be tough with hitters like Robinson Cano who was hitting .273 with a home run over the past seven days and smacked another two dingers last night. Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes is coming off a one-run complete game and has been holding lefties to a .183 average this season, so it should be an interesting match-up with lefty Lucas Duda who is batting .292 with three home runs over his last 24 at-bats. Unfortunately for him, not only is David Wright a righty, but he’s also batting .346 with two home runs and two doubles over his last 26 at-bats.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners (7:15pm ET)
Cy Young award-winning lefty Clayton Kershaw takes on the Mariners here and lefty/righty match-ups almost don’t matter because he kills everyone. Still, lefties fare a touch better so there’s hope for Michael Saunders who is batting a robust .480 with two home runs and three doubles over his last 25 at-bats. For the Mariners, lefty Jason Vargas is coming off a rough start but is still holding all batters to a .227 average. Juan Rivera is healthy and off the DL now and has a .273 average against Vargas with two home runs over 22 at-bats while Bobby Abreu is batting .261 against him through 23 at-bats.
Oakland A’s at Arizona Diamondbacks (10:10pm ET)
D-Backs right-hander Trevor Cahill gets a look at his former team for the first time and while he struggles at home with a 5.16, he’s still holding the opposition to a .245 batting average, with slightly more dominance over the righties (.236). The A’s aren’t a strong hitting club, and while they just got back Yoenis Cespedes who is batting .400 over his last 25 at-bats, he tweaked his hamstring the other night and could be limited. Keep an eye on Jemile Weeks who is batting .292 with a double, a triple, and four walks over his last 28 plate appearances. On the hill for the A’s is rookie Jarrod Parker who has a0.43 ERA over his last three starts and hasn’t allowed a run in 15 innings. He’s holding the opposition to a .205 batting average, but he’ll have to contend with Paul Goldschmidt who is batting .450 with three home runs and five doubles over his last 20 at-bats.
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.