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Passing mid-August, we are officially in the dog days of summer. Players are dragging, both on the field and in the fantasy game. It's grind it out time right now. Ray Flowers will help you to make the best decisions for August 19th so you can feel confident about your roster for the day. 

* NOTE: Players are listed in alphabetical order for the sake of making them easily sortable/findable. The matchups are also generated based on Batter vs. Pitcher data. Just because a player is not listed does not mean that he is a bad or good play. The players listed below are mentioned merely because of the BVP data for the matchup.

DISH DIAMONDS – The Best Hitting Matchups of the Day
Yunel Escobar has 11 hits in 30 at-bats when flame throwing righty Max Scherzer is on the hill. That's a cool .367 batting average and includes a home run. 

Andre Ethier has a couple of big flies and five runs batted in against Ian Kennedy in 34 at-bats. He's sporting a .solid .324 average and .937 OPS. 

UFO's around a black hole. What are the lights?

Russell Martin has hit a robust .462 with two RBIs over 13 at-bats when Aaron Harang is slinging the ball.

Justin Morneau has a .341 average, four homers, six doubles and a rather impressive 11 RBIs in 44 at-bats against James Shields.

Mike Napoli has 10 hits in 29 at-bats against Jered Weaver. Not just hitting singles either. Weaver has three homers and five walks on his way to a .345 batting average and 1.165 OPS. David Ortiz has two big flies and nine RBIs in his 35 at-bats. 

Seth Smith has seven hits in 20 at-bats against Kevin Correia. That's an impressive .350 batting average. Will Venable is at .333 with two steals over his 16 plate appearances. 

Rickie Weeks lights up J.A. Happ (he's not the only one of course). In 17 at-bats Weeks has hit .471 with two homers, three doubles an a 1.526 OPS. Ryan Braun has also been very effective with a .308-3-8 line over 26 at-bats. 

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Pedro Alvarez can't throw and he also cannot hit when Aaron Harang is pitching. He has one hit in 11 at-bats. 

Robinson Cano has five hits in 23 at-bats when the struggling A.J. Burnett is on the bump. That's a .217 batting and .511 OPS.

A.J. Ellis has three hits in 18 at-bats against Ian Kennedy. That's a .167 batting average. Adrian Gonzalez has a homer and four RBIs over 30 at-bats against Ian Kennedy. That's a .233 average and .286 OBP. Matt Kemp has two homers and six RBIs over 25 at-bats, so when you hit .240 with 11 strikeouts you get put on the naughty list. 

So close... but yet so far apart for years.

Matt Joyce has been woeful against Max Scherzer. He has two hits in 17 at-bats (.118), though he does have four RBIs. He's not the only Ray that struggles in the matchup. Evan Longoria has two hits in 14 at-bats, Ben Zobrist has two in 18 at-bats and Desmond Jennings has two hits in 15 at-bats. Yeah, the Rays may not score a bunch of runs Tuesday.

Ian Kinsler is 1-for-10 with four punchuots against Chris Archer

Dustin Pedroia is getting over an illness and he's also just 7-for-31 against Jered Weaver in his career. When Dustin is batting .226 against someone, you take notice. 

Mark Reynolds has come to the plate 16 times against J.A. Happ. Not only has he struck out eight times but he's also never gotten a single hit. 


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Bookmark the following four sources to check daily after you read this piece.


Fantasy Alarm Lineups

Batter Versus Pitcher

Daily Projections – For every single day of the season.

MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Chase Anderson pitches on the road against the Nationals. In six road outings this season he's posted a 3.00 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 33 innings. Overall he's allowed six runs in his last four starts and nine in his last six – all of which have been quality starts. 

Chris Archer is working on 5-straight quality starts. He's walked two or fewer batters in 5-straight outings. He's allowed a total of two earned runs the last two outings. The last time he faced the Tigers he permitted two runs over 8.1 innings. The game is in Tampa Bay. 

Hisashi Iwakuma has 109 Ks and 12 walks this season. He's posted a 2.82 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in eight road starts. His numbers in 15 night starts are nearly identical (2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP). He faces the Phillies in Philly after allowing two runs over his last three starts. 

Francisco Liriano is a notoriously streaky hurler. That streak is on success mode right now. Since the All-Star break he has a 1.89 ERA and 42 Ks over 38 innings. He's also strung together 6-straight outings of two or fewer earned runs. The last time he faced the Braves he allowed one run, no walks, and struck out 11 over eight innings. The game is in Pittsburgh. 

Brett Oberholtzer starts against the Yankees in New York. He's hurled a quality start each of his last six outings, and nine of 10, and he's also worked seven innings in four of five outings. The last time he faced the Yankees he allowed three runs over 5.2 innings. 

"UFOs Caught By Canadian News Crew During Forest Fire Coverage."

Stephen Strasburg has a 2.41 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 13 homer starts. The last time he faced the Diamondbacks he allowed three runs over seven innings. That effort raised his career ERA to 2.53 in five outings against the snakes. 

Ryan Vogelsong has a 4.37 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 11 road starts this season. He's posted a 5.75 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 61 innings against the Cubs. He's allowed a big fly in 3-straight outings. The Cubs can't hit righties though, second worst in baseball in OPS, and Vogelsong has allowed four runs in his last three outings.

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Trevor Bauer pitches at home against the Twins. On the year he's made eight starts on the road, gone 1-5, and posted a 5.82 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. The strikeouts are there, 101 in 107.2 innings, but so are the walks (.3.43 per nine). Bauer has failed to go five innings in two of his last four starts, and from July 18 to August 8th, five outings, he allowed at least three earned runs each time as his ERA went from 3.84 to 4.52. One of the starts in the run was against the Twins whom he held to three runs over six innings. 

No makeup needed?

A.J. Burnett has allowed nine runs over his last two outings, 14 over his last three and 21 over his last four. He's also lost each outing. Can't trust him in any format. He pitches at home against the Mariners. 

Jarred Cosart has great stuff. The results are often moderate however. He shut out the Cards in his last outing after being skipped once in through the rotation, but he's still allowed four or more runs in five of his last six outings. The last time he struck out more than four batters in a game? Try June 9th. He faces the Texans in Miami.

Aaron Harang faces the Pirates, the 5th best team in OPS against righties this season. Their .336 OBP leads the National League against righties. Harang allowed five runs in his last outing, has permitted three homers in four starts, and last won a game back on July 10th. 

Make sure you tune in to the Drive at 7 PM EDT, Monday through Friday on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius210, XM87), to hear Ray Flowers pontificate about the world of sports.