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Back from the Playboy Mansion and the 3rd Annual Pornstar Fantasy Football League it's time to get back to reality. Wish I didn't have to, but you can only live the dream for so long. Today I'll break down the matchups for the diamond action, focusing on what you need to know to avoid disaster or win. 

* 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
 
Michael Brantley has a homer, a steal an a .467 batting average over 15 at-bats versus Jose Quintana

Jacoby Ellsbury lights up Rick Porcello. Jacoby has a splashy .615 batting average and two homers, not to mention two steals, over 14 plate appearances. Ichiro Suzuki, for what it's worth, also has success with the ground baller batting .393 over 28 at-bats. 

What gets into Alcides Escobar against Ricky Nolasco? He's stroked seven hits in 14 at-bats. Josh Willingham doesn’t have a homer in 13 at-bats but he's batting .385 with seven runs batted in. 

Wow Adrian Gonzalez. I say that when a guy bats .458 with two homers, seven RBIs an a 1.333 OPS over 27 plate appearances. Poor Trevor Cahill

Scott Hairston is the balls against Cole Hamels. Just how it is: .386/.426/.841 over 46 plate appearances. He also has five homers and nine RBIs. Amazing really. Bryce Harper is batting .320 over 25 at-bats. And don't forget Denard Span who boasts an impressive .400 average and five steals over 22 plate appearances. 

Daniel Murphy has five hits in 11 at-bats against Dillon Gee. Jason Heyward has had .333 with a homer and steal over 30 plate appearance. Love that .484 OBP too. 

Derek Norris is a man to start if he's in the lineup for the Athletics. He's batting .429 over 14 at-bats against Dallas Keuchel

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Torii Hunter is batting .421 with a homer an a steal over 19 at-bats against Brandon McCarthy. Victor Martinez is slightly behind with a .375 average an a homer in 24 at-bats. 

Ben Revere is hitting like an reincarnated Ty Cobb. He's also produced seven hits in 16 at-bats against Gio Gonzalez (.438). He also had one steal.

Josh Rutledge is blahtastic. He takes things up a notch against Madison Bumgarner with eight hits in 17 at-bats (.471 average with a homer). Meanwhile Wilin Rosario has hit .323 with a homer and six RBIs in 31 at-bats. 

Ben Zobrist has hit .367 with a .906 OPS over 32 plate appearances against Wei-Yin Chen. He's also done deep once.

DISH DISASTERS – Worst Hitting Matchups of the Day

Zack Cozart has two hits in 21 at-bats against Travis Wood. He's also struck out nine times. 

Brian Dozier has a .200 average with a .250 OBP over 16 plate appearances against Danny Duffy. Meanwhile Joe Mauer is 0-for-7. No one holds Mauer to 0-for-7. 

I've seen some hand eye coordination before, but you don't want to play beer pong against this guy...

Desmond Jennings is but one Ray to struggle against lefty Wei-Yin Chen. The outfielder has a homer and steal in the matchup but also a .200/.286/.400 slash line over 28 plate appearances. Others are worse. Evan Longoria has a .611 OPS over 21 plate appearances. Sean Rodriguez has a .607 OPS over 21 plate appearances. In 15 plate Yunel Escobar has a .533 OPS.

Derek Jeter equals awful against Rick Porcello. He has one hit, one, in 15 at-bats. 

Adam Jones has five strikeouts and only four hits in 19 at-bats against Alex Cobb. That .461 OPS is an eyesore. Nelson Cruz has one RBI an a .333 OPS in 12 at-bats. 

DJ LeMahieu has two hits in 20 at-bats against Madison Bumgarner

Andrew McCutchen cannot hit Lance Lynn. He's struck out 11 times in 29 at-bats on his way to a .138 batting average. 

Dustin Pedroia doesn't exactly square up the knuckle ball. He's batting .143 over 21 at-bats. 

Hanley Ramirez is just back from injury, and he's only hit .176 over 7 at-bats against Trevor Cahill

Anthony Rizzo what happens against Johnny Cueto? You have one hit in 15 at-bats? Not good bro. 

Carlos Santana checks in at .154 over 13 at-bats against Jose Quintana

Oh Mark Trumbo. He's hitting .200 against Roberto Hernandez (15 ABs).

Chase Utley has a .399 OPS over 18 plate appearances when Gio Gonzalez toes the rubber. Look for Ryan Howard to be on the bench. He's got 11 hitless at-bats along with six strikeouts. Marlon Byrd also isn't himself with a .200/.294/.200 slashing line over 17 plate appearances. 

Justin Upton has hit a meager .207 with seven strikeouts in 24 at-bats against Dillon Gee. Evan Gattis (1-for-12), Andrelton Simmons (2-for-13) and Chris Johnson (3-for-13) all also suck wind. The trio has combined for one RBI. 

Jayson Werth is having another impressive season, but he's hideous against Cole Hamels with a .551 OPS over 30 plate appearances. Ian Desmond is slightly worse at .464 over 45 plate appearances,. He has 11 Ks. Danny Espinosa only has eight, but he's also only had 18 at-bats (.472 OPS). And then there is .143 hitting Wilson Ramos (14 ABs).

 

 


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

DFS PLAYBOOK

Fantasy Alarm Lineups

Batter Versus Pitcher

Daily Projections – For every single day of the season.


MOUND MAVENS – Starting Pitchers to Target

Trevor Cahill, yes that guy, is on the hill Tuesday. Guess what? He's pitching well having allowed a total of seven runs over his last four starts, each of which has lasted at least 6.1 innings. He's keeping the ball down, his last homer allowed was July 18th, but he has walked seven men his last two outings out. The Dodgers can mash, but Cahill has been effective. 

Danny Duffy continues to get it done. His ERA is sitting at 2.53 at the moment and he's picked up a “W” in three of his last four outings. He Faced a Twins team that he allowed three runs to (two earned) over 5.1 innings in their last matchup. There is still regression lurking here, but in 93 innings at night this season Duffy has a 2.03 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Will the Twins keep up their recent hot hitting ways? 

Roberto Hernandez faces the D'backs, a team he held to two runs over seven innings back on July 27th. He doesn't allow homers, none since July 22nd, and he's held the opposition to three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven outings. Not an upside play though. 

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Dallas Keuchel has thrown back-to-back quality starts, but he's also allowed 11 runs over his last three starts as his ERA has inched up from 2.89 to 3.12. He allowed one run in a complete game victory against the A's back on July 30th and the Athletics are only 16th in OPS against lefties this season. Another moderately exciting option. 

James Paxton has allowed three earned runs his last three starts, and he's posted a 2.20 ERA through six starts this year. He also faced a Rangers team that just lost Shin-Soo Choo for the year and possibly Yu Darvish as well. That team has got to be crushed. Check out Paxton's Player Profile

Jose Quintana has allowed eight runs over his last two outings, both loses. The Indians though are 4th worst in baseball in OPS against lefties and Quintana has been very good at home this year (3.24 ERA, 1.22 WHIP over 11 starts). Also held the Indians to two runs over six innings in the last matchup.

Tyson Ross at home. Winner. He has a 1.94 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 92 Ks in 88.1 innings in 13 starts. He's also allowed a total of two homers his last eight starts, and over his last 10 outings he's given up a total of 14 earned runs. Start him against the Brewers. 

Matt Shoemaker has allowed a total of two runs over his last three outings – all wins. The last time he allowed more than two earned runs was back on July 21st as he's lowered his ERA to 3.56. He pitches at home against the Marlins and he's the bee's knee's at home this season: 6-3, 2.72 ERA, 1.17 WHIP. 

MOUND MESSES – Starting Pitchers to Avoid

Madison Bumgarner is a tough case. The last time he faced the Rockies he allowed four runs in seven innings. In 12 home starts this season he's 4-6 with a 5.17 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Still, he's MadBum and he's allowed a total of seven earned runs over his last four starts, all lasting at least seven innings so it's always tough to bench him. 

Nathan Eovaldi isn't someone you can trust. His last two outings are losses and he's given up nine runs and 17 hits in 11 innings. In four of his last seven outings he's allowed at least five runs. He's pitched well on the road this season (3.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) but his work at nighttime doesn't impress (4.41 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 5-5 in 17 outings).

Dillon Gee faces the Braves in New York. His ERA us up to 3.84, it was 2.56 eight starts ago. He's walking batters, not striking out many, and the homer has become an issue (eight in seven starts). Tough to trust him right now.

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Ricky Nolasco. Come on now. You know. Six quality starts in 20 outings tells the story. He faces the Royals in Kansas City.

Travis Wood faces the Reds in Cincinnati. He doesn't have a win in his last 10 starts and he's the proud owner of a 6.03 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 13 road starts. Gosh is that horrible. 


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.