While September promises a slew of brand new players to choose from, there are still a few new faces that we haven’t covered recently. Let’s take a quick look at some of them first and then we’ll take a look at some of the players that we recommend…or don’t recommend for that matter for your daily fantasy baseball salary cap games. We’re not saying they’re locks, but in looking at the recent match-up data, they’re pretty close.
David Phelps, SP NYY (8/18 vs BOS) — A right-handed reliever who has made four spot starts in the wake of injuries to the rotation, Phelps is sporting a 2.53 average and is holding the opposition to a .223 average. In particular, he is tough on lefties, holding them to a .203 average this season. He loves pitching in Yankee Stadium and it shows through his 1.86 ERA that he has with 26 strikeouts through 29 innings.
Sam Deduno, SP MIN (8/19 @ SEA) — After a somewhat rocky debut, Deduno seems to have found his groove and has thrown four quality starts in his last five outings and is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA. The 55.7% ground ball rate is always helpful, but so is pitching in pitcher-friendly Seattle. He still walks too many guys, but seems to always find a way out of the really tough inning.
Jeremy Hefner, SP NYM (8/19 @ WAS) — Despite posting a 4.76 ERA over 18 appearances (six starts), Hefner has been handed a spot in the Mets’ new six-man rotation. He doesn’t miss very many bats as hitters have a .293 batting average against him and he has a particularly tough time against right-handers who are batting a solid .314 against him this year.
Five to Consider
Justin Verlander, SP DET (8/17 vs BAL) — Aside from being the best pitcher in baseball, Verlander has already handily dispatched the Orioles once with eight shutout innings earlier in the season. Overall, the Orioles are batting just .111 against him this season and none of them, in their careers have a batting average higher than .270 against him.
Matt Cain, SP SF (8/17 @ SD) — He’s made just one start against the Padres this season, shutting them out for seven innings, but over the last three seasons, has a 2.84 ERA over six starts at Petco Park. The Padres are batting just .223 against him and have been one of the more anemic offenses in baseball this season.
Derek Jeter, SS NYY (8/18 vs BOS) — Over 58 plate appearances against Jon Lester, Jeter is batting a healthy .345 with one home run and six RBI.
Billy Butler, 1B KC (8/18 vs CHW) — He’s in the midst of a career year this season and is on pace to hit 30-plus home runs with 100-plus RBI for the first time. On top of that, he’s batting .400 against Jake Peavy with one double and three home runs over 25 at-bats.
Alex Rios, OF CHW (8/19 @ KC) — While most people enjoy batting against Jeremy Guthrie, Rios is particularly fond of it as he is batting .316 with two double sand two home runs over 40 plate appearances.
Five to Avoid
Alfonso Soriano, OF CHC (8/17 @ CIN) — Facing Bronson Arroyo is not something that Soriano enjoys as he is batting just .208 against him over 48 career at-bats. His OBP is a horrific .235 and he has struck out 14 times against him.
Jake Westbrook, SP STL (8/17 vs PIT) — The Cards’ right-hander has made three starts against the Pirates this season and has just a 4.74 ERA as they are batting a healthy .316 against him. Pedro Alvarez is 6-for-13 (.462) against him and has a home run and five RBI while Andrew McCutchen is batting .375 off of him.
Alexei Ramirez, SS CHW (8/18 @ KC) — You’d think it was easy to get a hit off of Royals’ right-hander Bruce Chen, but Ramirez is batting just .045 against him over 22 career at-bats.
J.J. Hardy, SS B AL (8/19 @ DET) — Hardy has struggled all season long to maintain any sort of a decent batting average and it gets worse when he’s facing ground-ball specialist Doug Fister, whom he’s batting just .150 against over 20 at-bats and has just one extra-base hit.
Carlos Pena, 1B TB (8/19 @ LAA) — The Rays slugger has also had batting average issues throughout his career, but the home runs have always made up for it. But against Zack Greinke, he’s hitting just .179 with 18 strikeouts over 39 at-bats. He does have one home run, but it’s not nearly enough to make up for his overall struggles.
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.