The division leaders are all doing their best to solidify their positions and with some of these match-ups this week, they just might succeed. That makes for some great choices, both pitchers and hitters, for your fantasy baseball salary cap games. We’re back to a full slate of games, so let’s just get right to it and look at some fo the dats you might need to help make your decisions.
Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees (7:05pm ET)
Veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood held the Yankees to three runs over seven innings just two starts ago and has a 2.03 ERA over his last two outings. But he may not end up so lucky this time as the numbers definitely lean towards the Yankees favor. Ichiro Suzuki is batting .295 with two home runs, three doubles and three triples over 81 at-bats while Robinson Cano is batting .394 with a home run and a double over 33 at-bats. Lefty CC Sabathia takes the mound with his 2.78 home ERA and .254 batting average against to stifle the likes of Mike Carp who is batting .367 with a home run and two doubles over his last 30 at-bats. Michael Saunders, 1-for-11 lifetime against Sabathia, has cooled off lately but is still hitting a respectable .275 with a home runs and three doubles over his last 51 at-bats.
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Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (7:05pm ET)
Indians right-hander Justin Masterson is coming off a terrible start that saw him give up eight runs over 5.2 innings and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any easier as he takes his 6.05 road ERA into Detroit. He’s holding righties to a .223 average, but Miguel Cabrera is still batting .421 with a home run through 19 at-bats and Austin Jackson is batting .333 over 18 at-bats. Anibal Sanchez makes his second start for the Tigers and while the first one didn’t go so well, perhaps this time will help as Sanchez holds lefties to a .231 average and the Tribe is lefty-dominant. Switch-hitter Carlos Santana, though, is batting .300 with four home runs and six doubles over his last 40 at-bats and Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .277 with a home run and two doubles over his last 47 at-bats.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (7:10pm ET)
After posting a 6.00 ERA in June, Wandy Rodriguez posted an almost equally unappealing 4.59 mark in July and has given up four or more runs in four of his last seven starts. Ryan Ludwick is batting .317 with a home run and three doubles over 41 at-bats against Rodriguez while Drew Stubbs is batting .276 with two home runs and a double over 29 at-bats against him. On the hill for the Reds will be right-hander Mat Latos who had a 3.34 ERA for the month of July and is holding righties to a .206 average. So look for lefty Pedro Alvarez to try and step up with his .289 average with two home runs and a double over his last 45 at-bats.
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals — 2nd Game (7:35pm ET)
Josh Johnson hit a stumbling block for a few starts but has started to straighten things out recently. going 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA over his last two starts. The Nationals are tough though and Adam LaRoche is batting .292 with three doubles over 24 at-bats against Johnson while Ryan Zimmerman is batting .286 with a home run over 35 at-bats against him. The Nats will go with Gio Gonzalez who has seen his ERA climb a little bit each month and was at a season’s worst 4.59 for the month of July. He’ll have to be careful with Justin Ruggiano who is batting .326 with two home run and three double doubles over his last 43 at-bats as well as Jose Reyes who is hitting .385 with three home runs, five doubles and a triple over his last 52 at-bats.
Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox (8:10pm ET)
Zack Greinke makes his return to some old stomping grounds in the AL Central and faces some old foes from Chicago. He fares better against righties as evidenced by his holding of Paul Konerko to a .145 average over 62 at-bats while lefty A.J. Pierzynski is batting .408 with two home runs and three doubles over 49 at-bats against him. The White Sox will roll with Philip Humber who has actually thrown two quality starts over his last three outings. But while he’s holding righties to a .214 average, his home ERA is 6.93 and he’ll be up against some of the best like Mike Trout who is batting .319 with five home runs, a double and a triple over his last 47 at-bats. He’ll also be facing the always dangerous Albert Pujols, who is hitting .327 with five home runs and five doubles over his last 52 trips to the plate.
Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals (8:10pm ET)
Lefty Matt Harrison has struggled over his last two starts posting a 6.23 ERA and while he holds lefties to a .194 average, right-handed hitters are getting the better of him at a .281 clip. That means you might want to check out a reasonably priced Alcides Escobar who is batting .296 with two doubles and two triples over 52 at-bats. Also Billy Butler is batting .314 with two home runs and three doubles over his last 56 trips to the plate. Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is on the hill for the Royals looking to improve on the 10.38 ERA he’s got over his last three starts. Righties are hitting a solid .295 against him, but lefties are absolutely destroying him with a .352 average against. Josh Hamilton is looking to pull himself out of his two month long slumber and is batting .294 with two home runs and two doubles in 17 at-bats against Guthrie. Also watch David Murphy who is batting .455 over his last 33 at-bats with seven doubles.
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.