While this part of the MLB season is usually where you rely on your marquee players to really bring it home for you, daily fantasy baseball salary cap gamers can also use this time of year to augment their rosters with some super-cheap prospects that are finally getting the call from their teams. For example, the Cubs just brought up Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson. They might not look like much right now, but each one has the opportunity to catch fire and pay huge dividends for what they’ll cost you right now. Pay close attention to the roster movement and keep checking MLB transaction pages on a daily basis. For now though, here’s a look at some of the data from a few of the games you should be considering.
New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers (7:05pm ET)
Yanks right-hander Phil Hughes has a 2.85 ERA since July 1 and is holding lefties to a .203 average. Unfortunately, righties are still killing him, batting a solid .326 throughout the year. Case in point, Miguel Cabrera is batting .412 with three home runs and a double over 17 at-bats against him. Meanwhile, Jhonny Peralta is batting .467 against him, with two doubles through 15 at-bats. Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello has a 4.69 ERA at home this year and batters are hitting .314 against him at Comerica Park. Ichiro Suzuki is batting .316 against him with one double over 19 at-bats while Derek Jeter is batting .340 with one home run and two doubles over his last 50 at-bats overall.
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (7:05pm ET)
Over his last five starts, Braves lefty Mike Minor has a 1.74 ERA with 27 strikeouts and he’s holding the opposition to a .170 batting average with lefties and righties hitting him about the same. Chase Utley is batting .317 with four home runs and three doubles over his last 41 at-bats while newcomer Nate Schierholtz continues to try and find his niche, batting just .250 but with a home runs and a double over his last 38 at-bats. Cole Hamels has a 3.10 ERA at home with 75 strikeouts in 69.2 innings this year. He does a great job containing the likes of Dan Uggla who is hitting just .145 with two home runs and two doubles over 55 at-bats, but Chipper Jones is killing him, batting .324 with two home runs and six doubles through 37 at-bats.
Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox (7:10pm ET)
While Ryan Dempster may have taken a beating during his first start for the Rangers, he owns a 1.82 road ERA this year and is holding lefties to a .201 average. Righties are only hitting .240 off of him, but that still works in favor of Will Middlebrooks who is batting .326 with two home runs and two doubles over his last 46 at-bats and Carl Crawford who may only be hitting .261, but has three home runs, two doubles and a triple over his last 46 at-bats. Though he looked good in his last start, Jon Lester is sporting a 6.96 ERA at home with a .323 batting average against. Michael Young is batting .321 with one home run and two doubles over 28 at-bats while Adrian Beltre is hitting .375 with one double over 16 at-bats.
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (8:10pm ET)
Royals southpaw Bruce Chen has an 8.73 ERA since July 1 and is allowing hitters a .290 average against him. That’s both lefties and righties, mind you, hitting about the same. A.J. Pierzynski, in the midst of a career year, is batting a robust .433 with two home runs over 30 at-bats while Paul Konerko might be hitting just .212, he’s also got three home runs nd a double of his last 33 at-bats. Veteran right Jake Peavy is on the hill with a 3.13 ERA and holding the opposition to a .198 average at home this season. But watch out for Billy Butler who is batting .409 against him with three home runs through 22 at-bats against him. Alex Gordon, who has been just tearing the cover off the ball lately, is batting just .250 against the righty with no extra-base hits.
San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (8:15pm ET)
Over his last five starts against the Cardinals, left-hander Barry Zito has a 5.46 ERA and is allowing them a .287 batting average against him with right-handers getting the better of him. Rafael Furcal is batting .341 in his career against Zito with one home run and four doubles over 41 at-bats and Yadier Molina is batting .385 with three walks over 16 plate appearances against him. After an incredibly rocky June, Cards right-hander Lance Lynn is sporting a 2.70 ERA since July 1 with almost a strikeout per inning. He’s also holding right-handers to a .224 average this season. That should make for an interesting match-up as Buster Posey is still on fire, batting .432 with four home runs and three doubles over his last 44 at-bats. Also, Marco Scutaro is batting .298 with five doubles over his last 47 at-bats.
Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10pm ET)
Despite holding the Dodgers to a .177 batting average, Rockies right-hander Alex White has a 6.55 ERA in two starts against them. And those starts came against a Dodger team that was without their big guns or new hired ones. Matt Kemp is batting .321 over his last 53 at-bats and has two home runs and four doubles to his credit. Shane Victorino is batting .270 with a home run, three double sand four stolen bases over his last 37 at-bats. Veteran righty Aaron Harang has a 3.79 ERA at home this year and is holding hitters to a .220 average with him besting righties a little bit more. Josh Rutledge is batting .314 with six home runs and two doubles over his last 51 at-bats but be careful with Carlos Gonzalez. He’s only hitting .182 in two games at Dodger Stadium this year and is batting just .264 on the road in general.
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.