Monday through Friday each week The Oracle will give his thoughts on the best and worst matchups of the day.
You would also be wise to bookmark the following two sources to check daily after you read this wondrous piece (I'm so afraid of giving myself props).
Fantasy Alarm Lineups
DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Marlon Byrd faces a gentleman who looked great in his first start, Matt Garza, but in 16 at-bats versus the righty Byrd has two homers and seven RBIs. He does have seven Ks though so it's far from being a lock that he goes nuts.
You don't need me to tell you that you should be playing Freddie Freeman. But if you do need me to say that --- play Freddie Freeman. He's got four hits, including a homer, in six at-bats against Zack Wheeler. He's also walked three times.
No one in baseball hits anyone better than Paul Goldschmidt when he faces off with Tim Lincecum. Doesn't matter the format you are in – Goldschmidt must be in your lineup. These numbers in 23 at-bats are insane. I'm talking they are the goofiest, dumbest, most mind-boggling numbers you've ever seen. Ever. Here they are: .522/.538/1.348. Yes, his OPS is 1.886. Goldschmidt has six homers and 13 RBIs in those 23 at-bats.
Curtis Granderson has hit .275 against Ervin Santana in 40 at-bats. He's also gone deep five times with nine RBIs, and we know how homer prone Santana could be. Making his first start of the season has to make you a bit nervous if you're thinking of starting Santana as well. Maybe not. See below.
DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day
Starlin Castro hasn't been impressive yet – though his outing Tuesday was dang exciting – and that may not change Wednesday when he takes on Wandy Rodriguez, a lefty that has held him in check allowing just five hits in 28 at-bats (.179). Pretty shocking that number is so low considering that Castro hasn't struck out once in the matchup.
Josh Donaldson has had no success against Phil Hughes with an 0-for-5 line with two strikeouts. Given that he's also hitting .161 with no homers, probably safe to say that you would be better moving on.
Prince Fielder hasn't had the start to the season that he had hoped for. He's also got a dicey matchup with Jake Peavy. The tough righty has given up a .278 average to Fielder, but he's also held the slugger to a .705 OPS, hasn't given up a homer, and has struck out Fielder 10 times in 36 at-bats. As bad as Fielder has been his buddy, Adrian Beltre, has been even worse with a .222 average and nine punchouts in 36 at-bats.
If you're a music fan and you don't know who Robert Johnson is, boy are you missing out.
I will be going to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier tonight. There is no truth to the rumor that I will stop making superhero references merely because I've seen the movie. Speaking of superhero reference, is this the hammer of Thor, in a 100 million year old rock?
MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target
Matt Garza didn't look good in spring, but he had it all working in his first outing allowing just a run and two hits to the Braves. He's smeared the Phillies to the tune of a 1.30 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over five career starts, and current Phillies are hitting .183.261/.293 against him over 82 at-bats.
Jason Hammel looked impressive the first time he took on the Pirates this season. Back on April 3rd – my brother's birthday – Hammel limited the Pirates to one run over 6.2 innings (he struck out five and allowed one walk). That effort ran Hammel's lifetime mark against the Pirates to 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Oh, the current Pirates roster has also posted this anemic slash line against Hammel (79 at-bats): .177/.226/.291.
Shelby Miller was successful against the Reds last season with a 3.24 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 18 Ks in 16.2 innings. He also held the Reds to a mere .211 batting average. Miller was also dominant at home last season with a 1.75 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 16 starts.
Yes it's his first start. Yes Curtis Granderson hits him hard. However, there's a lot to like otherwise with Ervin Santana – if you don't believe the first start jitters will jump up and bite him. Remove Granderson and Mets batters are hitting .208 in 24 at-bats. Nerves could be an an issue, but does the Mets lineup scare you?
MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid
Miguel Gonzalez got beat up in his first start (seven runs in 3.1 innings versus the Tigers). Last season Miguel had a 4.06 ERA on the road. He heads to NY to face the men in pinstripes. Last season in three starts there he was 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.
Eric Stults on the road. Avoid. In his first start this season on the road he allowed five runs in four innings. Last season he had a 4.77 ERA and 1.49 WHIP on the road. Don't have him anywhere near your lineup Wednesday as he pitched in Cleveland.
Make sure you tune in to the Fantasy Alarm's Daily Game Show at 6 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87) as Jeff Mans and Ted Schuster will help you to set your daily lineups.