These final two months of the season figure to be filled with plenty of excitement as the division leaders look to solidify their place in the standings while numerous clubs fight for the two wild card entries that we have this year. And plenty of excitement means great match-ups from which to choose your daily fantasy baseball salary cap teams. Full slates of games, lots of rivalries, plenty of runs scored and hopefully a few pitching gems for you to find out there. Here’s a look at some of the match-up data from some of the key games you’ll want to look into when making your final decisions.
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (7:05pm ET)
While Boston right-hander Aaron Cook has a 3.50 ERA with a 1.80 mark on the road, left-handed batters have a .289 average against him this season and he’s facing a tough Yankee lineup that is dominated by lefties in a ballpark that favors left-handed power. Robinson Cano is batting .353 with two home runs and three doubles over his last 51 at-bats and while Curtis Granderson is only batting .255 over his last 47 at-bats, he’s got four home runs and a triple to his credit. Yanks righty Phil Hughes boasts a 2.25 ERA over his last five starts and is holding lefties to a .196 average this season. That should make for a solid match-up against Jacoby Ellsbury who is batting .327 with a home run and three doubles over his last 51 at-bats and Adrian Gonzalez who is hitting .349 with three home runs over his last 43 trips to the plate.
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Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays (7:07pm ET)
Right-handed Detroit starter and ground ball specialist Rick Porcello owns a 4.12 ERA on the road and actually has relatively equal results against both lefties and righties. Unfortunately, they’re hitting a combined .311 against him. He’ll have to be careful as Edwin Encarnacion is batting .303 with three home runs and six doubles over his last 33 at-bats and Adam Lind who is at .316 over his last 38 at-bats with a home run of his own. Of course, in 10 at-bats against Porcello, Lind is batting just .200 but again, also has a home run. Jays right-hander Carlos Villanueva is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA over his last three starts. Lefties are hitting just .177 against him, but righties aren’t faring much better with a .255 average. That means a little extra work for Prince Fielder who is hitting .357 over his last 42 at-bats although he has no home runs in that time. Right-handed Jhonny Peralta is batting .302 with a home run and three doubles over his last 48 plate appearances.
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (7:35pm ET)
Phillies lefty Cole Hamels is making his first start since signing a six year, $144M extension and is hoping to improve his 3.38 road ERA. Plenty of experience against the Braves, so he knows to be careful with guys like Brian McCann who is batting .275 with two home runs and six doubles over 51 career at-bats against him and Chipper Jones who owns a .294 average with two home runs and four doubles over 34 at-bats against Hamels. For the Braves, it’s right-hander Ben Sheets’ third start on his comeback tour. Ty Wigginton replaces the injured Placido Polanco at third and he’s hitting .333 with two home runs over 36 at-bats. Meanwhile, Juan Pierre is also sporting a .333 average over 30 career at-bats against Sheets.
Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers (8:05pm ET)
White Sox lefty Chris Sale held these Rangers to one run over 7.1 innings when they faced each other in Chicago, but he’s never made an appearance at the Ballpark at Arlington which is always a tough play for pitchers. Elvis Andrus is batting .342 with a home run and three doubles over his last 41 at-bats while Craig Gentry is batting .387 over his last 31. Right-hander Yu Darvish has a 3.50 ERA at home this season, holding hitters to a .226 average overall with righties batting just .184 against him. That spells trouble for Alex Rios who has been hitting .292 with four home runs and four doubles over his last 48 at-bats and Paul Konerko who is batting .383 with two home runs over his last 47 at-bats.
Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies (8:40pm ET)
Over his last three starts at Coors Field, Reds righty Bronson Arroyo has a troubling 10.95 ERA, having given up 15 runs over just 12.1 innings and allowing the Rockies to hit him at a .357 clip. Carlos Gonzalez is batting an insane .388 with 13 home runs at Coors and over 11 career at-bats against Arroyo, is hitting .455 with one double. Marco Scutaro is also hitting well against the veteran righty, batting .313 with a pair of doubles over 16 at-bats. The Rockies will go with young lefty Drew Pomeranz who is actually coming off some recent arm troubles. He’s completely dominating left-handed hitters but righties are batting .281 against him this season. That could be trouble as Brandon Phillips is batting .417 with two home runs and five doubles over his last 48 at-bats. Not to mention Drew Stubbs who has started to turn things around and is hitting .311 with a home run and three doubles over his last 45 at-bats
Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels (10:05pm ET)
It’s been a tough season for Dan Haren who has a 4.38 home ERA this year and is struggling against right-handed batters who are batting .337 against him. Look for B.J. Upton to shine as he is a career .346 hitter against Haren with four home runs and a double over 26 at-bats. Lefty Carlos Pena may only be hitting .235 against Haren over 17 career at-bats, but he does have three home runs against him. The Rays will go with rookie right-hander Alex Cobb who struggles on the road with a 5.54 ERA but is holding righties to a .253 average this year. But while he fares better against righties than lefties, is that going to be enough against Mike Trout who is batting .426 with four home runs, five doubles and two triples over his last 54 at-bats? Or how about Albert Pujols who is batting .340 with four dingers in his last 54 trips to the plate?
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 email@example.com.