Welcome back from the All-Star Break, folks! Robinson Cano got booed, Justin Verlander got shelled (and consoled by Kate Upton), and once again: This Time It Counted. Now that the fun and festivities are over…welcome to the important part of the season. Whether you’re in a roto league, a head-to-head league, or even a daily game, it’s time to buckle down and gear up for the upcoming home-stretch. The real and fantasy trade deadlines will be here before you know it, so take stock of your teams, assess your needs, and make the necessary adjustments and trades to set yourself up for success.
Each and every day, I’ll be combing over box scores and scouring local beat writers’ reports to make sure you have all the information you need in order to make the right decisions for your fantasy baseball lineup. Make sure you check back at this very spot for Hot/Cold Streaks, Injury News, Closer Updates, Daily Stats, and more so that you can stay one step ahead of the rest of your league.
As always, make sure you’re getting your daily fantasy sports fix by playing the FP911Challenge. Not sure how to play? Don’t worry, because Dan Stack’s got you covered with a quick tutorial and some tips for this week.
Daily Grab Bag
Check back here for daily updates on injuries, closer battles, player news, and anything else that might affect your fantasy baseball team.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (shoulder) is due to return to the Red Sox’ lineup today, so make sure you get him in your lineups too!
- In more Red Sox injury news, Carl Crawford (elbow) is reportedly going to join the Red Sox when they host the White Sox on Monday.
- Dillon Gee underwent surgery the other day to remove a blood clot and will likely miss the season. That sounds scary and I hope he’s OK, but I think it’s safe to drop him from your fantasy roster.
- With Heath Bell struggling, the Marlins are going to be using a closer-by-committee for the time being. While Juan Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) will get a shot, I’m putting my chips on Steve Cishek as the guy to own for now in the Marlins’ bullpen.
- Matt Capps (shoulder) has been activated by the Twins and will be available for Friday’s game against Oakland.
- Ben Sheets will make his first start in two years when he takes the ball for the Braves as they face the Mets Sunday. Don’t get too carried away here, though. Last I checked, it’s not 2004.
Starting and sitting the right pitchers on a day-to-day basis is often the linchpin of winning any league – roto, head-to-head, daily, and otherwise. In order to give you some help picking your pitchers for today, I’ve gone through all the stats I could (pitchers’ career numbers vs. certain hitters and lineups, home/road splits, lefty/righty splits, etc) and made nine recommendations. I’m not going to proclaim that I’ll get these 100% correct all season, but anyone that does should be sitting on an island they own in the Pacific – not writing fantasy baseball articles. The goal here is to play the odds the entire season and slowly build your “win” percentage closer to 100% than to 50%.
Here’s today’s recommendations with, 3 Up (three pitchers you shouldn’t think of sitting), 3 Down (three pitchers with some warning flags for today), and Throwing Darts (three pitchers that I’ll be taking a flier on):
Clayton Kershaw at San Diego Padres
Madison Bumgarner vs. Houston Astros
Zack Greinke at Pittsburgh Pirates
Ricky Romero at Cleveland Indians
C.J. Wilson at New York Yankees
Cliff Lee at Colorado Rockies
Jose Quintana at Kansas City Royals
Derek Holland at Seattle Mariners
Franklin Morales at Tampa Bay Rays
Today’s Swings and Misses
A hitter’s career numbers against a pitcher don’t always tell the whole story, but it can be informative if used correctly. I’m of the opinion that some information is better than none, and while there are other pieces to the puzzle of setting your daily lineup (splits, weather, etc.), I think a hitter’s career numbers against a pitcher can be very indicative of future success or failure. Some guys just own certain pitchers, and vice versa. As such, I’ve gone through today’s matchups and picked the best (and worst) matchups I could find. Anything less than 10-12 career at-bats is a relatively small sample-size (so take those with a grain of salt), but sometimes that’s all that is available.
- Johnny Damon is 12-for-23 (.522) with four home runs in his career against today’s starter, Ricky Romero.
- Jose Bautista is 5-for-10 (.500) with two home runs in his career against today’s starter, Justin Masterson.
- Carlos Beltran is 3-for-4 (.750) with three home runs in his career against today’s starter, Mat Latos.
- Alex Rodriguez is 1-for-16 (.063) in his career against today’s starter, C.J. Wilson.
- Joey Votto is 1-for-14 (.071) in his career against today’s starter, Adam Wainwright.
- David Wright is 13-for-63 (.206) in his career against today’s starter, Tim Hudson.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the great content on FantasyPros911.com, starting with some of our most recent updates:
- Albert Lang takes a look at today’s pitching matchups in the latest edition of Pitch or Ditch.
- Dan Stack identifies some guys to keep a close eye on in this week’s Players to Watch.
- Sick of the fans voting for the All-Star Game? Collin Hager’s HVaC 1st Half Review does a much better job of telling you who deserved to be there.
- Chuck Anderson gives you this week’s Add and Drops in the Break Time Edition.
- The calendar has turned to July, which means it’s time to start talking fantasy football! Before you start mock drafting, make sure you check out Paul Greco’s pre-season rankings, including Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, and Strength of Schedule.
- Collin Hager continues the fantasy football trend with a look at the impact of this year’s rookie quarterbacks.
- Steve DeAngelo previews Roy Helu’s impact on this year’s class of running backs.