As the MLB season starts to wind down and daily fantasy baseball salary cap games start to get a little more complicated with the heavy influx of new players, it’s time to change up the format here and start focusing on more than just a small handful of players from a few select games. We’re going to start scouting a few days in advance with the hope of introducing you to some of the new faces you’re seeing around the ballpark. Some are going to be worth taking a shot on while others might be best to avoid. We’ll also make a few picks and pans from the regular player pool as well if the upcoming match-up really stands out one way or another.
Chris Seddon, CLE (8/10 vs BOS) — Through 20 Triple-A starts, the lefty had 11 wins, a 3.44 ERA and an impressive 108:27 K:BB over 123 innings. He dominated lefties, holding them to a .194 average but had some trouble with righties, allowing 15 home runs. He was hit hard by the Tigers in his first start last week and faces a strong right-handed lineup in the Red Sox, a team batting .271 against left-handed pitchers this year.
Justin Germano, CHC (8/10 vs CIN) –A decent right-hander who has a 2.40 ERA and 72 strikeouts over 105 innings at Triple-A. He’s made two starts and two relief appearances in the majors this season and has posted a 2.37 ERA while stifling lefties to the tune of a .182 batting average against. Unfortunately righties are batting .297 against him in the majors thus far and the Reds have plenty of those.
Matt Harvey, NYM (8/10 vs ATL) – He had 112 strikeouts over 110 innings at Triple-A and over three starts in the bigs thus far, he’s got 23 strikeouts in just 16.1 innings. He’s definitely worth a look if the match-up is right and it looks pretty good against Atlanta here.
Mark Rogers, MIL (8/10 @ HOU) –He posted just a 4.72 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 95.1 innings for Triple-A Nashville and labored through two starts in the majors so far. Still, he’s traditionally strong against right-handed hitters and this is a great match-up for him against Houston.
Kris Medlen, ATL (8/11 @ NYM) – He’s got a 2.37 ERA through two starts and 40 relief appearances this season, but most importantly, he’s holding left-handed hitters to a .206 average this season. The Mets are batting just .264 against right-handed pitching this year which makes this a pretty favorable match-up.
Corey Kluber, CLE (8/11 vs BOS) – He was fairly strong in Triple-A this season, notching 11 wins, posting a 3.59 ERA with 128 strikeouts over 125.1 innings. He got bombed in his first start, but bounced back in a big way, allowing just one run through six innings to beat the Twins. He’s stronger against right-handers so this match-up with Boston might be an interesting choice.
Manny Machado, SS/3B BAL –Not a lot of power but makes strong contact on a regular basis. Called up on Thursday, handed the starting job at third base and went 2-for-4 with a triple in his major league debut. Think Starlin Castro but with less speed.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS TOR - Called up late last week to replace the injured Brett Lawrie. Was batting .381 over his last 10 games at Triple-A, but has struggled at the plate since coming up, batting just .071 through 15 plate appearances.
Moises Sierra, OF TOR — He’s a 23-year old right-handed bat that was hitting .289 with 17 home runs through 100 games at Triple-A Las Vegas and hitting .302 against lefties. He’s been up for seven games and is batting .350 over 20 at-bats.
Brett Jackson, OF CHC — Was only batting .256 at Triple-A and is hitting just .143 through four game since his call-up. He might not be ready yet, but he’s got a job anyway.
Mike Olt, 3B TEX — He was batting .288 with 28 home runs at Triple-A this season with most of his power coming against right-handed pitchers.
Five to Consider
Clayton Kershaw (8/10 @ MIA) — He’s allowed one or fewer runs in four of his last five starts including a complete-game shutout of the division rival Giants. He’s got 31 strikeouts in that span and is holding all hitters to a .216 average for the season.
Carlos Beltran (8/10 @ PHI) — He’s batting .326 with two home runs and a double over 43 at-bats against , and that’s when Halladay was in top form. Now that he [Halladay] is struggling a little…
Justin Verlander (8/11 @ TEX) — He’s coming off eight shutout innings with 14 strikeouts against the Yankees, has already shut out the Rangers once this season and held them to three runs in seven innings during his last start in Arlington. No Rangers player is batting higher than .286 against him.
Joe Mauer (8/12 vs TB) — Kills James Shields every time he faces him. Career .400 average over 25 at-bats with a .444 on-base percentage.
Dan Uggla (8/12 @ NYM) — Usually struggles with average but still manages to hit .304 over 25 plate appearances against Jonathon Niese.
Five to Avoid
Max Scherzer (8/10 @ TEX) — He’s allowed nine earned runs over his last two starts (11.1 innings) and has a 6.00 ERA in his last two starts in Arlington, allowing the Rangers a .283 average against him.
Chase Utley (8/10 vs STL) — Batting just .167 with a .208 slugging percentage through 24 at-bats against Kyle Lohse.
Ian Kinsler (8/11 vs DET) — He’s hitting just .143 with one extra-base hit in 25 plate appearances against Justin Verlander.
Aaron Hill (8/11 vs WAS) — Struggles mightily against Edwin Jackson, batting just .194 with an equally deficient OBP.
Carlos Lee (8/12 vs LAD) — Only hitting .207 against lefties this year and is batting an even worse .176 over 17 at-bats against Chris Capuano.
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.