Teams are well-rested, plenty of aces on the mound and a full slate of games. That sounds like the perfect recipe for daily fantasy baseball salary cap games. The match-ups are looking good all around so while you’ll need to pay close attention to the numbers, it’s going to be a tough day to make a bad choice. Of course, you could, but we’re going to remain confident here. Most of the key data is right here for both marquee players and great sleepers, so take a look and see who you like…
Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Veteran lefty Mark Buehrle makes his second start of the season against the Phillies, having given up three runs in 6.1 innings the first time around. But while he’s faced the team as a whole just the once, there are a number of players now that he’s faced numerous times such as Placido Polanco who is batting .395 against him in 38 at-bats. Ty Wigginton is another one to watch as he’s faced Buehrle 25 times and is batting .273 with two home runs and two doubles. For the Phillies, it will be Kyle Kendrick, who is 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA over his last three starts including a complete-game shutout of the Cardinals his last time out. But will this new-found success last? Jose Reyes is batting .375 against him with two home runs, a double and a triple while Hanley Ramirez, who may only be hitting .259 against him through 27 at-bats, has a home run and two doubles to his credit.
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New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers (7:05pm ET)
While using CC Sabathia can almost guarantee you several innings and quality strikeout numbers, it’s not all rosy against some of these Tigers. Sure, the hefty lefty holds fellow chub-ball Prince Fielder to a .167 average, but Miguel Cabrera seems to have his number, batting .500 with two home runs over the course of 20 at-bats. Look for the Tigers to give the start to Gerald Laird since he is batting .421 with one home run and two doubles through 22 trips to the plate. On the Tigers side, they’re going with rookie southpaw Casey Crosby who was 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA down at Triple-A Toledo with 57 strikeouts in just over 50 innings. Though the Yankees traditionally have trouble with pitchers they’ve never seen before, it’s worth noting that, as a team, they are hitting .274 with 20 HR against lefties and switch-hitter Mark Teixeira is 11-for-24 (.458) with four home runs and nine RBI over his last six games.
Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians (7:05pm ET)
Veteran righty Carl Pavano takes the mound against an all-too familiar opponent in Cleveland. In his one start against them this season, he gave up four runs through six innings (6.00 ERA) but in the nine starts before that over the last three seasons, he’s compiled a 3.08 ERA and held them to a .267 batting average against. Some he’s strong against – Carlos Santana (.167) and Jason Kipnis (.154) – but others like Shin-Soo Choo (.333, 1 HR) and Johnny Damon (.346, 2 doubles), tend to give him fits. Opposite him will be veteran Derek Lowe whose ERA is outstanding (3.25) but has just 18 strikeouts through 61 innings. Lowe will have his hands full with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau who are batting .364 and .462 respectively and possibly even Josh Willingham. The Hammer may only be hitting .167 but he does have three home runs off Lowe.
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays (7:10pm ET)
The Rays will get their first look at Wei-Yin Chen, who has been rock solid this season with a 3.31 ERA and 42 strikeouts and actually handles lefties and righties just the same. Still, he’ll have to be sharp with Matt Joyce who may only be hitting .250 against lefties, but has been batting .389 with one home run over the last seven days. For the Rays, lefty ace David Price takes the hill with his 2.71 ERA and ability to keep superstar Adam Jones at a cool .150 average with just two extra-base hits over 20 at-bats. However, Matt Wieters is batting .333 over 18 at-bats against him and while Mark Reynolds is hitting just .143 over 15 plate appearances, he does have two home runs.
St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets (7:10pm ET)
Adam Wainwright was having some troubles in his return from Tommy John surgery, but really seems to have found a groove over his last three starts in which he is 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 12 strikeouts. He’s holding left-handed batters to just a .255 average and has also held David Wright hitless in his last six at-bats with three strikeouts. On the mound for the Mets will be veteran lefty Johan Santana whose comeback from shoulder surgery has been much better than his opponent’s. But Santana does have a few bumps in the road to success with Yadier Molina batting .412 over 17 at-bats and Matt Holliday who is hitting .273 with a home run and a double.
Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox (8:10pm ET)
For the most part, Felix Hernandez does a spectacular job against the White Sox, keeping the likes of Alex Rios and Orlando Hudson each to a .200 average. But he will have to be on the top of his game with Paul Konerko who is batting .292 against him with a pair of home runs and Alexei Ramirez who is hitting .316 over 19 at-bats. Having himself an excellent season is veteran right-hander Jake Peavy who takes the hill looking to stifle the mariners who just exploded for 21 runs against Texas on Wednesday night. While he does a fine job containing Mike Carp and Justin Smoak, he’ll have to be careful with Ichiro Suzuki who is batting .364 over 22 at-bats.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers (8:10pm ET)
The Pirates are going with Kevin Correia on the mound and that might not be the best recipe for success. Ryan Braun is batting .304 with two home runs, a double and a triple through 23 at-bats while Aramis Ramirez owns a .333 average with one home run in 20 trips to the plate. The Brewers will go with veteran southpaw Randy Wolf who has definitely had his ups and downs this year just as he’s had the same peaks and valleys against these Pirates hitters. Andrew McCutchen and Clint Barmes are batting .174 and .100 respectively while Garrett Jones is hitting .286 and Neil Walker is batting .308 with four doubles over just 13 at-bats.
Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants (10:15pm ET)
Journeyman lefty Paul Maholm makes an appearance at pitcher-friendly AT&T Park and will need all the help he can get. While he’s contained the red-hot Melky Cabrera to a .222 average, Ryan Theriot is batting .343 with five doubles over 35 at-bats. And look out for Angel Pagan who is batting .333 with one home run and two doubles over 20 trips to the plate. Trusted left-hander Madison Bumgarner is on the hill for the Giants and is looking to right the ship as he has given up four runs in three of his last four outings. Though the Cubs have struggled this season, it won’t be a cakewalk for MadBum as Alfonso Soriano is hitting .444 against him with three doubles and all-star shortstop Starlin Castro is batting .417 over a dozen 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 email@example.com.