It's Friday, and that means a couple of things. First, the weekend is nearly upon us (thank goodness). Second, it's time to get your drink on. Third, it's time to get ready for your weekend of fantasy baseball with DailyJoust.com.
For those of you unaware of just what DailyJoust is and what the offer, click on the link to BBGuys Partners with DailyJoust. The bottom line is DJ allows you the chance to play daily fantasy baseball, choose a team today an another one tomorrow if you want, all the while giving you the chance to make some real money. Today, I'll give some advice on how you might choose to fill out your lineup for Friday or Saturday.
HITTERS – FRIDAY
Brandon Phillips vs. J.A. Happ: Just like Uggla below, Phillips doesn't have much of a track record against the pitcher he is facing. At the same time, what he has done is hard to ignore. In nine at-bats Phillips has five hits leading to a .556 batting average against Happ. Three of those five hits were dingers, and that has helped to push his RBI total top five in this tasty matchup.
Ryan Theriot vs. Paul Maholm: Looking for an under the radar play on Friday? If you are, it would be wise to look to the Giants' Theriot who has had quite an extensive run of success against the lefty with the Cubs. Theriot has hit .343 with a .410 OBP in 35 at-bats against Maholm over 35 at-bats.
Dan Uggla vs. Stephen Strasburg: How in the world could I suggest starting a guy against a pitcher who has a 2.64 ERA, 1.10 WHIP an a 10.86 K/9 mark? It's been a mere eight at-bats but Uggla has had phenomenal success against the righty from Washington with six hits including two homers leading to seven RBI. Pretty darn amazing.
PITCHERS – FRIDAY
Wade Miley vs. Padres: The young lefty has held his own and then some through 10 appearances this year as he has gone 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He still has a poor 2.00 K/BB ratio, that 5.50 K/9 mark is weak, and two homers in 52.1 innings – let's just say that isn't likely to continue. Still, in this matchup against the Padres in Petco, it's lock and load time.
Felipe Paulino vs. Athletics: The A's have a historically bad offense, an I'm not making that up. Paulino has a 2.03 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 34 Ks through 31.1 innings this season. Moreover, three of his five outings this year he has held the opponent scoreless. I'm going to ignore his lone performance against the A's last September 5th (4.1 IP, 6 ER).
Randy Wolf vs. Pirates: Why not complete the trifecta of starters against the worst offenses in baseball? Wolf has struggled this year big time (5.73 ERA, 1.67 WHIP), but he has looked better of late allowing three or fewer runs in three of his last four starts. He's also facing a Pirates club that he has gone 9-3 against in his career with 112 Ks in 124 innings. Plus, the club from Pittsburgh has the lowest average in the NL (.218), the worst OBP in baseball (.272) and has scored 17 runs less than any other club in the game (147).
HITTERS – SATURDAY
Ryan Ludwick vs. Wandy Rodriguez: Wandy has pitched well this season, and the perception is that Ludwick has really struggled this year. The truth is in the middle perhaps. Ludwick has had a lot of success against Wandy with two homer an a .314 batting average in 35 at-bats against the lefty and he's also gone deep twice while knocking in eight runners in his last eight games.
Hanley Ramirez vs. Cole Hamels: HanRam has barely been a .250 hitter since the start of the 2011 season and he's also hit a mere .264 against Hamels in 53 at-bats in the match up. Why in the world would I suggest paying close attention to Hanley on Friday then? Of the 14 hits that Hanley has against the lefty Ramirez has 10 doubles. Ten. That's a pace for 100 doubles over 530 at-bats. Wow is right. Is it a stretch to think that he could lift one of those pitches into the seats?
Ichiro Suzuki vs. Gavin Floyd: Ichiro has struggled this year, at least when compared to his previous levels of excellence, but he's pretty much looked very much like the guy we saw for most of 2011. Middling. Still, Ichiro has a track record of success against Floyd as he has hit .361 in 36 at-bats. Given that Floyd has also allowed 21 runs in his last 14.2 innings it would seem like a pretty good time to trust Ichiro.
PITCHERS – SATURDAY
Mat Latos vs. Astros: Latos has been uneven this year, all those that own him understand that, but he's won his last four decisions and has allowed three or fewer runs in four of his last five outings during which time his ERA has gone down from 5.97 to 4.58. He's also struck out 18 batters while issuing only four walks in his last three starts, so as long as he can keep the ball in the park – he allowed an amazing five homers in his last start – he should have a solid outing against an Astros club that he is 3-1 with a 3.21 ERA, 0.89 WHIP against in his career.
Ricky Nolasco vs. Phillies: Off the top it sounds a bit crazy, but think about it. Nolasco will be facing a Phillies club without Howard/Utley, Jimmy Rollins can barely hit his way out of a papersack right now, and Carlos Ruiz is less than 100 percent physically. There's also the fact that Nolasco has long had success against the club from Philly going 6-4 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 83.2 innings.
Edinson Volquez vs. D'backs: Volquez pitches at home Saturday, and he's had a ton of success there this season even though his record is 1-3 (3.19 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 42 Ks in 42.1 innings). He faces a D'backs club that he held to two runs in seven innings in his second start of the year, and in his career he has 28 punchouts in 24.1 innings against the club from Arizona. He's also allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his 11 starts this season. It's not always pretty, sometimes he has trouble throwing strikes, but he has been able to limit the damage, for the most part, in his first year in San Diego.
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By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- Calvin Johnson unlikely to play
- Donald Brown hasn't cleared concussion protocol
- V-Mart seeking 4-yr contract in free agency
- Lincecum's MRI clean, available Friday
- Wainwright underwent surgery Friday
- Vereen "questionable" for Sunday
- Jimmy Graham likely to play Sunday
- P. Thomas & K. Robinson ruled out for Sunday
- Marquis Teague has been traded to the 76ers
- Aldridge (groin) will not play Friday night