The weekend is quickly approaching, so get ready to get your swerve on. For those of you looking to remain at least a little bit serious with your hobby (fantasy baseball not drinking) I'll give some advice on how you might choose to fill out your lineup for Friday or Saturday while also suggesting you head over to DailyJoust.com to check out their unique brand of daily fantasy baseball games (including a way to win two tickets to the Major League All-Star Game).
HITTERS – FRIDAY
Jay Bruce vs. Nick Blackburn: Bruce has been ice cold for a while hitting .227 over his last 45 games. Still, he has 12 walks in 18 games in June and his SLG for the month is .500. Bruce has gone deep 12 times in 174 at-bats against righties this year and he gets to face Nick Blackburn who has been torched by lefty batters this year to the tune of a .393 BAA and .924 OPS against this season.
Andre Ethier vs. Dan Haren: The Angels' righty has struggled a bit with health and performance which only adds to the aura for Ethier in this matchup. In 44 career at-bats Ethier has five doubles, two homers, seven RBI and a .386 batting average against Haren. James Loney also hammers Haren (.359 in 39 at-bats).
David Wright vs. Andy Pettitte: Wright is third in baseball with a .358 batting average. He's hitting .343 in June. He's hitting .343 against lefties this season. Facing Pettitte 24 previous times Wright has managed to produce two homers an a .458 batting average. Lock and load.
PITCHERS – FRIDAY
A.J. Burnett vs. Tigers: The last eight times that Burnett has taken the hill this year he has allowed two or fewer runs seven times (he allowed three runs in the other outing). He's also picked up a win in each of his last six outings. He does face a Tigers club that is potent, but I'm going to focus on his recent success this season and the 5-2 career record he has against the Tigers over the 5.92 ERA and 1.52 WHIP he has against the Motown club over nine career starts.
Jason Hammel vs. Nationals: Hammel has killed it at home this year with a 2.53 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over five starts spanning 32 innings. He's also had success in his career against the Nats going 4-0 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over six starts.
Clayton Richard vs. Mariners: (1) He's facing the Mariners. (2) Richard is Matt Cain when pitching at home. Think I'm nuts? Here are the numbers that prove it.
Matt Cain 2012: 12Wins, 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 179 K in 222.2 IP
Clayton Richard career at Petco: 13Wins , 2.72 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 180 K in 228.1 IP
HITTERS – SATURDAY
Russell Martin vs. Chris Young: Martin has eight hits in 25 at-bats against Young leading to a .320 batting average. Martin has also had a solid June with four homers and nine RBIs for the Yankees.
Alexei Ramirez vs. Randy Wolf: The lefty from Milwaukee has bombed on the road this year with a 6.75 ERA and 1.84 WHIP over six starts. Ramirez has finally started to pick things up of late as well as he's hitting .359 the past two weeks, and for his career he has hit .300 in 617 at-bats against lefties.
Ben Zobrist vs. Kyle Kendrick: Over the past two weeks Zobrist is hitting a robust .400 (he's also scored 10 runs in 10 games). Kendrick, on the other hand, has struggled like he's looking to be demoted as he's allowed at least five runs in each of this last three starts as his ERA has gone from 4.02 to .529.
PITCHERS – SATURDAY
Johnny Cueto vs. Twins: The Twins can't hit, and that situation isn't helped by the fact that Joe Mauer can't get his wheel healthy enough to play. Cueto has never faced the Twins but he's sporting a 2.68 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in six home starts this season, and over his last four outings overall he's permitted only seven runs while not allowing a single long ball.
Ian Kennedy vs. Cubs: Though he owns a 5.91 ERA over three starts against the Cubs, how about we focus on the positive – he's lasted 21.1 innings in those three starts during which time he has struck out 18 and walked only two leading to a 1.08 WHIP. Kennedy has also allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts this year. The key will be keeping the ball in the yard as he's allowed nine homers over his last eight outings.
Adam Wainwright vs. Royals: Wainwright is back on his game, well pretty much. Though he allowed seven runs on June 1st the other six times he has taken the hill since May 20th have resulted in eight earned runs allowed. In the process Adam W. has lowered his ERA from 5.77 to 4.46. He's also had success in his career against the Royals with a 3.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over 32.2 innings.
Over at DailyJoust folks, lots of hot things popping (didn't I sound super street there?).
Friday June 22 7pm EST – 2012 MLB All Star Joust.
This contest has been running for the past six weeks and Jousters have been playing every day to see who will qualify. If you were the winner of a $1 Page Thomas or $2 Squire Williams All Star Joust Qualifier, then you have earned a seat in the All Star Joust. The winner of All Star Joust will receive $1500 CASH plus 2 tickets to the 2012 MLB All Star Game in Kansas City on July 10th.
$2,000 MLB All Star Joust Freeroll - $1,500 CASH to the WINNER - 2 tickets ($500 value) to the 2012 MLB All Star Game in Kansas City on July 10th Please check the list of Qualifiers to see if you are in All Star Joust
$1,000 King James "BEAT MOBYDICKLER" MLB Tournament - 1st place $400 and Tournament Badge - Winner gets seat in $15,000 Super Joust III in September - Beat “Mobydickler” and earn a “Bounty” badge towards your Super Joust III and $250 Monthly Badge Rewards Freeroll total
$300 King John MLB Tournament - $5 entry - 1st place $100 - Winner receives seat in $15,000 Super Joust III in September
To sign up for any game with DailyJoust simply click on the link and look for the "Crown" icon along with "Super Joust Qualifier" in the contest line.
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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.
- Vaughn McClure expects Julio Jones to play Sunday
- Deron Williams strained his right calf Friday
- Rubio expected to be ready for contact in 2 weeks
- Rondo will play on Saturday
- McGehee has been traded to the Giants
- Leonard has physical damage in his right hand
- Nic Batum (wrist) will not play on Friday
- Durant will not play Friday
- Teague (hamstring) is doubtful for Friday.
- Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Fri