This past weekend brought some outstanding MLB action with a number of upsets. How that plays in your daily fantasy baseball salary cap games obviously depends on whether you go big on marquee players or if you like to maintain a good balance and spread the money out.
Maybe it’s the extra wild card team in the playoffs that’s making this week look just as exciting, but some of these match-ups are looking real good. Again, there’s a fairly large slate of games for a Monday so your options are plentiful again. Here’s a look at the data from some of the ones that might interest you.
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05pm ET)
There’s no place like home, at least for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija who has a 5.40 ERA on the road this year. Take that and couple it with the fact that lefties are batting .273 with nine home runs against him and you’ve got your eye on Pedro Alvarez who is batting .304 with four home runs over his last 23 at-bats. Also keep an eye on Garrett Jones who is looking for a rebound from a recent 1-for-9 cold spell. Veteran southpaw Erik Bedard is on the hill for the first-place Buccos and faces the Cubs for the second time this year. The first time, he shut them out for six innings and held them to a .111 average. Lefties are batting just .250 against him but both David De Jesus and Bryan LaHair are each hitting .294 over their last 17 at-bats, so it should be interesting if the Cubs choose to sit their only hot hitters right now.
* CLICK HERE * PLAY IN OUR FREE $50 PRIZE MLB CONTEST TODAY!
Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Veteran lefty Randy Wolf has plenty of experience with Philadelphia, and not just because he pitched there for the first eight years of his career. He’s faced them a number of times since which allows us to see that Juan Pierre hits him very well at .412 with three doubles over 34 at-bats and that sometimes lefty/righty match-ups don’t mean diddley some times as Placido Polanco also hits Wolf well, going 8-for-16 with a home run. Roy Halladay makes just his second start since coming off the DL and is looking to improve on his five inning, two run performance his first time out. Normally, he does a great job stifling right-handed bats, however Ryan Braun definitely has his number, going 5-for-10 with a home run. A righty he does tend to kill is Aramis Ramirez who is batting just .176 over 17 at-bats.
Washington Nationals at New York Mets (7:10pm ET)
Division rivals square off in a very important series here. Well, important for the Mets who will send Chris Young to the mound. Right-handers usually hit him well which could mean another big day for Ryan Zimmerman who is batting .500 with five home runs and two doubles over his last 30 at-bats and is hitting .294 against Young over 17 at-bats. Careful with lefty Adam LaRoche though as he is hitting just .148 over 27 at-bats against him. The Nationals will be going with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and his 2.35 ERA and dominance over left-handed hitters (batting just .229 against him). But strangely enough, Ike Davis is batting .300 against Zimmermann with a home run and a double over 10 at-bats while fellow lefty Daniel Murphy is batting .353 with a home run over 17 at-bats against him.
Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers (8:05pm ET)
Boston rookie Felix Doubront gets a big-time test here when he brings his 4.24 ERA into hitter-friendly Texas. Right-handers are batting .263 against him and 11 of the 15 home runs he’s allowed have come from them. That makes it tough when you’ve got a slew of righties in the always-dangerous Rangers lineup. Nelson Cruz is batting .278 over his last 18 at-bats and has recently shown some added power with a home run and two doubles. Texas will be sending righty Scott Feldman to the mound whose experience against the Boston is limited to 6.2 innings of relief over the last three and a half years. The numbers say that he dominates lefties on a regular basis, but Ryan Sweeney is actually batting .421 against him with a home run and four doubles over 19 at-bats. With Cody Ross batting .360 with three home runs and three doubles in his last 25 at-bats, look for either him or Sweeney to work as the DH.
Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox (8:10pm ET)
Francisco Liriano continues to look good in his return to the rotation but could have some difficulties making it through the White Sox lineup when Alexei Ramirez is batting .444 against him over the course of 27 at-bats. Also, look for Paul Konerko to continue his run of extra-base hits off Liriano. He may only be hitting .261 over 23 at-bats, but he has two home runs, one triple and two doubles in the process. Chicago counters with right-hander Gavin Floyd who is just coming off the DL with elbow soreness. He couldn’t have come back to an uglier match-up though as Joe Mauer is a career .429 hitter against Floyd with three home runs, four doubles and a triple and Denard Span is 16-for-32 (.500) with four doubles and a walk.
New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners (10:10pm ET)
Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda faced these Mariners earlier in the year and held them to two runs over seven innings and limited them to a .231 average. However, look for Miguel Olivo to be behind the dish for Seattle as he is batting a robust .417 over the course of a dozen at-bats. With Olivo behind the plate Jesus Montero will, obviously take the DH spot. After all, he’s batting .462 with a home run and four doubles over his last 26 at-bats. The Mariners are sending veteran righty Kevin Millwood to the hill and while he might be pitching reasonable well as of late, his history with several of the Yankees is considered rocky at best. Mark Teixeira is batting .346 with a home run and two doubles over 26 at-bats against Millwood and Robinson Cano is hitting .387 with a home run and a double over 31 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.