The baseball world is buzzing as MLB’s July 31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaches and deals are going down left and right. Ichiro Suzuki is now a Yankee, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante are moving to Motown and all eyes are locked on Chicago and Atlanta as we wait to see where Ryan Dempster ultimately lands.
What does any of this have to do with daily fantasy baseball salary cap games? Well, not much. Sure, if one of the players you selected gets dealt at the last minute, you might have to make a change as your original pick is now traveling rather than paying, but other than that, there’s really not much of a major effect as long as your guys are playing somewhere. Here’s a look at some of the games from which you have to choose for today…
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05pm ET)
Veteran left-hander Paul Maholm tangles with a very righty-heavy Pirates lineup here, but he actually fared well against them earlier this season when he held them to two runs over five innings. Still, the numbers seem to be on the Pirates side and low-cost Clint Barmes could be a steal as he is batting .448 with two home runs, three doubles and a triple through 29 at-bats against Maholm. Casey McGehee has also found success against the Cubs’ southpaw as he is batting .300 with home run and a triple over 20 at-bats. Pirates right-hander James McDonald owns a 1.69 ERA at home this season and is holding righties to a .237 average this season. That doesn’t bode well for the likes of Starlin Castro who is only hitting .250 over his last 24 at-bats but might be a nice match-up for Darwin Barney who is batting .294 over his last 17 trips to the plate.
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Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians (7:05pm ET)
Doug Fister is coming off back-to-back great start with a 1.20 ERA and 18 strikeouts to just two walks. But left-handed hitters are batting .293 against him so watch for Shin-Soo Choo who is hitting .421 against him with two home runs and a double over 19 at-bats and Travis Hafner who is batting .278 against Fister with two home runs as well. Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is holding right-handed batters to a .249 average this season, but Miguel Cabrera is batting .391 against him with two doubles over 23 at-bats. Also keep an eye on Jhonny Peralta who is batting .273 with two doubles over 13 plate appearances opposite him.
Washington Nationals at New York Mets (7:10pm ET)
Has the shine rubbed off of R.A. Dickey here? Over his last four appearances (three starts, one relief outing) Dickey has allowed 15 runs over 20.1 innings (6.64 ERA). While he’s holding right-handed batters to a .197 this year, Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .292 with one home run over 24 at-bats. It’s the same as with Mike Morse who is hitting .286 with two doubles over 21 at-bats. On the hill for the Nationals is lefty ace Gio Gonzalez who is having a career year right now. Hitters are batting just .203 against him, and another lefties nor righties are doing anything in particular. Andres Torres is actually finding a little success batting .308 over 13 at-bats against Gonzalez while David Wright is batting .397 with four home runs over last 29 at-bats overall.
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels (10:05pm ET)
Well, this ought to be an interesting match-up as neither pitcher has faced the opposing team in his career. Left-hander Will Smith takes the mound for the Royals for the fifth time this season and is already sporting a 7.97 ERA. He’s also allowing right-handed hitters to bat .340 against him which is trouble in the making when Mike Trout is batting .429 with three home runs and two triples over his last 28 at-bats. Also watch for Mark Trumbo who may only be hitting .250 over his last 28 at-bats but has three Trumbombs to his credit. On the hill for the Halos is right-hander Garrett Richards who is 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA over seven starts and one relief appearance. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .231 average which should make for an interesting battle with Lorenzo Cain who is batting .333 with two home runs over his last 28 at-bats and Billy Butler who is batting .310 with three home runs over his last 29 at-bats.
New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners (10:10pm ET)
Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia brings his 5.37 ERA and .288 BAA back to where it all started for him in Seattle. Both lefties and righties hit him well, so the splits aren’t as important as the actual history is. But now with Ichiro Suzuki wearing the pinstripes and Justin Smoak headed for Triple-A, there’s not much history to be had anymore. It comes down guys like Dustin Ackley who is batting .226 against right-handed pitching. On the hill for the Mariners is the always dangerous Felix Hernandez who just torches right-handed hitting. But the Yankees have some great lefties and switch -hitters in that lineup like Robinson Cano who is batting .412 with two home runs and a double over 34 at-bats against King Felix while switch-hitter Mark Teixeira is batting .339 with five home runs and four doubles over 56 at-bats against him.
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.