In what would seem to have the makings of a great pitcher's duel, Gio Gonzalez and Julio Teheran will square off in the nation's capital this evening. However, neither starter has managed to defeat his respective division rival to this point in the season. The Braves' right-handed rookie is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA over three attempts, while Washington's All-Star southpaw is 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA during three tries of his own.
According to ParkFactors.com, Nationals Park produces about 5% more home runs than the typical major league stadium. The outblowing breeze expected in D.C. could very well result in an even more power-friendly environment.
- Adam LaRoche WAS-1B ($4,688) - A track record of nine seasons puts to rest any thoughts of coincidence when it comes to explaining offensive splits. Well known to those that have followed the veteran first baseman, LaRoche is most definitely the epitome of a second-half performer. For his career, he currently holds a pre-break OPS of .766 compared to a post-break mark of .877. The last three games have seen what may be the start of his stretch-run surge. The former Atlanta Brave will head into the series against his former team having picked up four hits, including a double and two homers, over his last dozen at bats.
- Chris Johnson ATL-3B ($6,335) - The NL's leading hitter has burst onto the baseball scene in his fifth big-league campaign. Picking up multiple base hits in nine of the last eleven games has given Johnson a .012 cushion over the competition for a batting title. Given the .391/.430/.533 stat line he has produced against left-handed pitching this season, the 28-year-old third baseman could certainly add to that lead tonight.
- Alexei Ramirez CWS-SS ($4,891) - The White Sox contact-hitting shortstop is one of the toughest strikeouts (10.9 K%) in Major League Baseball. Yankee hurler Hiroki Kuroda has only managed to strike Ramirez out once, while also surrendering a home run, a double and two singles over eleven plate appearances to the Cuban native. Ramirez has had a complete power outage this season, which has resulted in the low price tag. However, a career-high 23 stolen bases and his .283 average make him an easy purchase at this price.
- Tyler Chatwood COL-SP ($9,309) - Chatwood saw a very solid streak of four consecutive quality starts come to a brutal end last Wednesday. Let's chalk his last appearance up to running into a red-hot Atlanta offense. The Rockies' young starter is having a banner year in his third stint through the majors. A 7-4 record with a 3.15 ERA is exactly what the front office was looking for when they acquired him from the Angels on November 30, 2011. The Mets are the competition tonight, and they are very ripe for the picking. Still without All-Star clubhouse leader David Wright, as a team they have struggled to a paltry .235 BA and 22% K rate against righties this season. Factor in that Chatwood has allowed just one long ball on the road while sporting a very solid 2.77 ERA and the evidence is there to buy with confidence.
As always, remember to check your MLB daily lineups before they lock and make sure you are doing your own research, too, for optimal performance! The most successful daily leaguers are grinders who are constantly tweaking their lineups as the day goes on and fantasy news gets released. Good luck today, RotoBallers!
Nate Miller spouts off about fantasy sports everyday on Twitter @Miller_WeTalkFS