MLB Daily Leagues – Lineup Picks for August 31, 2013
P - Dan Haren (WAS): Haren has really turned it up since the All-Star Break. He's put up a 4-1 record with a 2.87 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Out of all today's starting pitchers, he's actually the No. 1 ranked fantasy pitcher over the past 30 days. He's facing a depleted NY Mets lineup today at home, and the Mets are nothing but an above-average minor-league lineup after losing Wright to injury and trading Byrd and Buck to the Pirates earlier this week. Look for Haren to dominate the Mets and get enough run support to get the W.
C - Jason Castro (HOU): Castro is smack dab in the middle of a career year. He has really shown his power off so far this season, with 34 doubles and 18 HR during his 2013 campaign. Jason has been on a tear the whole month of August, posting a .338 BA over the past 30 days. Pitchers are really starting to respect him at the plate, as he's already walked 18 times this month. Castro will be facing Joe Saunders today in Houston; he's had some success against Saunders in his career, going 3-for-6 with a double. Castro seems to enjoy facing the Mariners with a .326 BA over 12 career games.
1B - Edwin Encarnacion (TOR): Edwin will be facing Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals today. Guthrie is one of those hit-or-miss pitchers. When he's hot, nobody can hit him; when he's not, it's like holding batting practice during a live game. I don't expect Guthrie to have a dominating start on the road today. E5 has seen a lot of Guthrie over his career, and he's 9-for-27 (.333) with four doubles and two homers. And Edwin has swung a consistent bat versus the Royals over his career-- he sport's a .310 BA over 22 career games against KC.
2B - Aaron Hill (ARI): I expected Hill to have a huge game on Friday night. Owners enjoyed the multiple walks, but were hoping for more from that game. The problem was that Tim Linecum wouldn't throw him any strikes. Nearly every time I expect a guy to have a huge game and he goes hitless, he has a really good game the next day. This scenario works out even better considering that Hill is facing Vogelsong today a guy against whom he is 6-for-12 with a double and a HR. Vogelsong just cannot find the groove he was in a couple of years ago, and Hill has still had a crazy good month posting a .380 BA during August. Hill has had no problems hitting RHP this season, posting a .313 BA; look for Hill to smack the ball around Chase Field today.
SS - Jed Lowrie (OAK): Lowrie is in the middle of his hottest stretch of the season. He brings a 13-game hitting streak into Saturday's game vs. Tampa Bay. And this consistency isn't just from slapping singles-- Lowrie has shown tons of power lately with eight doubles, two triples and a homerun. When a batter faces a pitcher four times, and get's a hit in all four, it's hard to find reason not to invest in them. Lowrie is 4-for-4 with a double career vs. Alex Cobb. Cobb has had a really good season, but he's not an unstoppable pitcher. The stars have aligned for Lowrie to have a huge game in Oakland today.
3B - Adrian Beltre (TEX): As I was saying yesterday, Beltre is having another strong year with the bat. He's also in a great stretch of the season with a .391 BA during the month of August. Adrian loves playing at his home park in Arlington, putting up a .333 BA in Texas. Just like Aaron Hill, Beltre didn't live up to his high price on Friday night, so I'm gonna double down on him and make another big investment for Saturday. Mike Pelfrey is on the mound for the Twins as they take on the Rangers today, and I honestly think Pelfrey is one of the worst starting pitchers in the majors today. Not only do I think Beltre will have a good game, but I suggest stacking as many Ranger hitters in your lineups as you possibly can. Beltre is 1-for-3 with a HR in his career vs. Pelfrey.
OF - Curtis Granderson (NYY): Granderson has shown he enjoys playing at home. He's put up a .347 BA at the Stadium in 14 games so far this season. Even though he's not known for being a particularly consistent hitter, he has hit safely in 10 of his past 12 games. I mainly have Granderson on here because of the matchup, facing Scott Feldman and the Baltimore Orioles today. Not only has Granderson hit Feldman well over his career, but he's hit him for power. And we all know that power is how you win your daily fantasy league. Curtis is 5-for-11 with a double and three homeruns vs. Feldman. The Yankees didn't have a problem knocking around Baltimore pitching on Friday night, and I expect them and Granderson to continue that trend today.
OF - Jayson Werth (WAS): Werth is quietly having a huge year. Nobody has really given him the attention he deserves this season. The Nats will be taking on Zack Wheeler and the New York Mets today. I love all the numbers matchups working in Jayson's favor today. He posts a .330 BA at home against right-handed pitchers this season. He could be even hotter than Beltre during the month of August, with a .412, six HR and 20 RBI. He's already gotten underneath Wheeler's skin by parking a homerun in his only previous at-bat. Even going hitless the last night vs. Dillon Gee, Werth has still hit a HR in two of his past three games, and he seems like a solid option in the outfield today.
OF - Alex Rios (TEX): Rios look like a very solid affordable option for today. As I mentioned with Beltre, Rios is facing one of the worst pitchers in baseball in Mike Pelfrey. Over Alex's 10-year career, he's 3-for-6 with a double against Pelfrey. Pelfrey just can't find a way to pitch to right-handed batters-- he's given up a .330 BA to them during 2013. That makes me think that anyone slotted in the Rangers lineup for Saturday who hits from the right side should be set up for success. I think Rios is good for a couple of hits and a stolen base today.
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!
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