Tremendous match-ups today. Absolutely tremendous. You’ve got some serious aces on the mound and some marquee sluggers with some favorable situations. The decisions may be tough but at least their plentiful. Your fantasy baseball salary cap team is sure to be loaded, so take a look at some of the data here and good luck with your teams today.
Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs (2:20pm ET)
Veteran lefty Paul Maholm may be plodding through the season with a 5.38 ERA but he still finds a way to hold down these Astros, as evidenced by his 2.14 ERA in his last 11 starts against them. Carlos Lee is batting just .259 with just four extra-base hits in 54 at-bats against Maholm, while Chris Johnson is hitting just .083 in 12 at-bats. The Astros will go with young strikeout specialist Bud Norris who has already held the Cubs scoreless through seven innings earlier this season. Starlin Castro is batting .273 over 11 at-bats against Norris while Alfonso Soriano is batting .300 with a home run and a double over 10 at-bats against him.
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Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles (7:05pm ET)
Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe has been up and down all year and will need to be on the top of his game against the Orioles as his only start at Camden Yards resulted in seven earned runs in just 2.1 innings. J.J. Hardy is batting .333 over 15 at-bats against Lowe while the usually batting average-challenged Mark Reynolds is hitting .333 with a home run, two doubles and a triple over 24 at-bats. For the Orioles, Jake Arrieta takes the hill after posting a 2.70 ERA over his last three starts. Lefties are batting .276 against him, so look out for Jason Kipnis who is batting .286 over his last 21 at-bats with one double. Switch-hitter Asdrubal Cabrera has been in a slump lately, batting just .174 over his last 23 at-bats, but does happen to be 3-for-5 with a home run off Arrieta.
Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays (7:07pm ET)
Due to an array of injuries, the Blue Jays are forced to go with middle reliever/spot starter Carlos Villanueva who has a 4.92 ERA over 40 career starts. An interesting match-up will be longtime NL foe Albert Pujols who has struggled at times this season but is batting .320 with two home runs and two doubles over 25 at-bats against the Jays right-hander. Villanueva will also have to deal with the white-hot Mike Trout who is batting .391 with two home runs and a double over his last 23 at-bats. On the hill for the Angels will be right-hander Ervin Santana who has been dynamic over his last two starts, posting a 1.06 ERA with an outstanding 15 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. But he’s got some tough match-ups with these Jays as Jose Bautista is batting .300 with two home runs and two doubles over 20 at-bats and Yunel Escobar is hitting .357 over 14 at-bats.
Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays (7:10pm ET)
We’ve got a battle of aces on the hill here with Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander squares off opposite Rays lefty David Price who has a 2.36 ERA over his last four starts against the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera seems to struggle with Price as he is batting just .091 over 11 at-bats and Delmon Young doesn’t fare much better, batting .231 with one extra-base hit over 13 at-bats. For the most part, Verlander dominates the Rays as you would expect, holding Ben Zobrist to a .115 average over 26 at-bats, but B.J. Upton seems to have his number actually, batting .444 with a home run and two doubles over 20 plate appearances.
Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins (7:10pm ET)
Another two very impressive pitchers on the mound here in Josh Johnson and Cliff Lee. After a slow start to the season Johnson has been much more dominant of late as evidenced by his 1.95 ERA over his last four starts. But that doesn’t mean guys aren’t going to get their knocks in as Jimmy Rollins is batting .333 with one double over 33 at-bats and Shane Victorino has a .306 average with two doubles over 38 trips to the plate. Surprisingly, the left-handed Lee is still looking for his first win of the season and has actually gotten knocked around, giving up 10 earned runs in his last two starts but still has a solid 3.72 ERA on the year. Omar Infante is batting .273 with a double and a triple over 33 at-bats against Lee, but the interesting nemesis is found in catcher John Buck who is batting .317 with three home runs and three doubles against Lee.
Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals (8:15pm ET)
Pirates right-hander Kevin Correia has a 1.59 ERA over his last two starts with a 3.00 K/BB and hasn’t allowed a run in 8.2 innings at Busch Stadium. But he’ll have his hands full with Matt Holliday who is not only batting .429 over his last 28 at-bats, but he’s also a career .276 hitter against Correia with a home run, three doubles and a triple. Expect to see Skip Schumaker to get the start as he is batting .438 against Correia with three doubles. On the mound for St. Louis is right-hander Adam Wainwright who is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA over his last four starts. He does a good job limiting the extra-base hits for the Pirates and is holding both Clint Barmes (.231) and Casey McGehee (.067) in check. However, Andrew McCutchen has a .389 mark with two doubles and a triple over 18 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 at @rotobuzzguy or for direct questions or comments you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.