Heading into this weekend there are a lot of fantastic match-ups and if it were closer to the end of the season, we’d all be talking playoff ramifications. For now, though, let’s just enjoy the competitive games we’re getting and start making some picks for out daily fantasy baseball salary cap games. We’ve got several aces on the mound from which to choose and plenty of young, up-and-coming talent available at some good bargain prices. Let’s take a look at some of the data for a few of the more marquee match-ups and see if we can’t find a few hidden gems in there as well.
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals (7:05pm ET)
It’s been a tough July for Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson who is 1-1 with a 6.05 ERA over three starts, but he has a 2.57 ERA in his one start against the Nationals this year, a 3.48 over the nine starts before that and is holding righties to a .220 average this year. That could be trouble for the Nats who are predominately right-handed. Ian Desmond is coming back from an oblique injury but is batting just .227 over 22 at-bats against Hanson while Ryan Zimmerman is batting just .143 against him over 25 at-bats. The Nationals will counter with ace righty Stephen Strasburg with his 135 strikeouts in 105 innings. He’s holding righties to a .185 average this season but funny enough, right-handed Dan Uggla is batting .538 with two home runs and two doubles through 13 at-bats against Strasburg. Fellow righty Martin Prado is just 2-fofr-10 with no extra base hits.
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San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Giants struggling ace Tim Lincecum is coming off of eight shutout innings against the Astros, but obviously faces a much tougher opponent in the Phillies this weekend. He’s already faced them once this season giving up five runs through six innings, and while he’s holding lefties top a .241 average this season, he didn’t face their two biggest, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Not that either has a good history against him as Utley is batting just .148 through 27 at-bats and Howard is hitting just .231 but has three home runs over 25 at-bats. The Phillies are going with rookie right-hander Vance Worley who is allowing lefties to hit him at a .295 clip. That will work for switch-hitter Melky Cabrera who is batting .331 with three home runs against righties and Pablo Sandoval, who is batting .293 with seven home runs against them as well.
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers (7:10pm ET)
With Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander on the hill, it spells trouble for all hitters as he’s holding both lefties and righties to a .195 batting average against. The Sox right-handers seem to have a little more trouble than usual as Paul Konerko is batting just .163 with two home runs over 49 at-bats while fellow righty Alexei Ramirez is hitting just .227 with one home run through 44 at-bats against Verlander. On the hill for the Pale Hose is surprising veteran right-hander Jake Peavy who is holding strong with a 3.12 ERA and stifling righties with a .181 batting average against him. That should make it tough for Miguel Cabrera who is batting just .229 with one home run over 35 at-bats against Peavy while fellow righty Jhonny Peralta is hitting just .174 over 23 at-bats with just two doubles to his credit.
Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds (7:10pm ET)
Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada is holding right-handed hitters to just a .195 average this season and while that holds true against Drew Stubbs who is only batting .083 against him over a dozen at-bats, it doesn’t seem to have much affect on Brandon Phillips who is batting .500 with a home run and a double over 12 at-bats against him. Right-hander Homer Bailey takes the mound for the Reds, but he’s been beaten up not once but twice by these Brewers this year, allowing a total of 10 runs through 7.2 innings. Righties are hitting .285 against him with 13 home runs this season and that includes Rickie Weeks who is batting .524 with two home runs and a double over 21 career at-bats against him and Ryan Braun who is hitting .318 with a home run and four doubles through 22 at-bats.
New York Yankees at Oakland A’s (10:05pm ET)
Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova held the A’s to three runs over seven innings with a .240 average earlier this season but is allowing righties to hit him at a .299 clip this season. That works for Yoenis Cespedes who is batting .305 against righties this season with seven home runs and 11 doubles this year. But watch lefty Josh Reddick as well. He might be hitting just .264 against right-handers, but he’s also got 14 home runs against them this season. On the hill for the A’s is rookie southpaw Tommy Milone who held the Yankees to two runs over six innings in their first meeting, but they did bat .286 against him on the whole. Right-handed hitters are batting .261 against him this year but he’s also allowed 10 of the 16 home runs he’s allowed, to them. Derek Jeter is batting .388 with three home runs and 11 doubles against lefties this season while switch-hitter Mark Teixeira is batting .276 with 10 home runs and 12 doubles against southpaws this season.
Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels (10:05pm ET)
Rangers lefty Derek Holland has struggled for most of the year but has seemingly turned a corner here in July as he is 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA over two starts after putting up a 5.00-plus ERA over the previous three months. While he’s holding righties to a .234 average this year, he’s also given up 10 of his 12 home runs allowed to right -handed hitters. Torii Hunter is batting .286 against him with a pair of home runs and Howie Kendrick is batting .280 with a home run in 25 at-bats. Jered Weaver, arguably one of the best pitchers of this season right now, is 11-1 with a 2.26 ERA this year and is holding lefties to a .187 average this season. Still, Josh Hamilton is hitting .270 against him with one home run through 37 at-bats while it’s right-hander Adrian Beltre who is struggling with a .208 average with one home run over 53 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 email@example.com.