Each and every day, Iâ€™ll be combing over box scores and scouring local beat writersâ€™ reports to make sure you have all the information you need in order to make the right decisions for your fantasy baseball lineup. Make sure you check back at this very spot for Hot/Cold Streaks, Injury News, Closer Updates, Daily Stats, and more so that you can stay one step ahead of the rest of your league.
As always, make sure youâ€™re getting your daily fantasy baseball fix by playing theÂ FP911Challenge.
5 Good Nights, 5 Bad Nights
It’s a fact of life that every baseball player goes through hot and cold streaks. It’s important not to let those streaks influence a player’s fantasy baseball valueÂ tooÂ much, but it is important to be aware of how a player is doing within a short period of time (a seven-day sorter is always a good tool to use). A player’s short-term numbers can be the difference between winning and losing in daily games, and it can also make a huge difference in year-long leagues. For instance, if you can keep finding the second basemen on hot streaks and dropping them for another streaking second basemen once they get cold, you can piece together a very useful middle infielder-by-committeefor your roto team. So before we get to todayâ€™s games, letâ€™s take a spin through last nightâ€™s box scores to identify who had a good night and who had a bad night on Tuesday, July 31st.
5 Good Nights
- A.J. Burnett:Â 9.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 8 K’s, W
- James Shields:Â 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 11 K’s, W
- Wade Miley:Â 8.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 7 K’s, W
- Albert Pujols:Â 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
- Aramis Ramirez:Â 3-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Honorable Mention:Â Juan Pierre, Dustin Ackley, Darin Mastroianni, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Davis, Corey Hart, Allen Craig, Josh Rutledge, Alcides Escobar, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltre, A.J. Pierzynski, Brian McCann, Nick Markakis, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Juan Francisco, Denard Span, Alex Gordon, Nick Blackburn, Cliff Lee, Jason Vargas, Yovani Gallardo, Tim Lincecum, Jered Weaver, Francisco Liriano, Kris Medlen, Matt Harvey
5 Bad Nights
- Derek Lowe:Â 2.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, K
- Ivan Nova:Â 5.0 IP, 10 H, 9 ER, BB, 5 K’s
- Homer Bailey:Â 3.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s
- Aaron Hill:Â 0-5
- Starling Marte:Â 0-5, 1 steal
Dishonorable Mention:Â Dallas Keuchel, Aaron Laffey, Stephen Strasburg, Jeff Francis, Jason Marquis, Jason Motte, Derek Holland, Casey Coleman, Kyle Lohse, Chris Capuano, Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Tillman
Daily Grab Bag
Check back here for daily updates on injuries, closer battles, player news, and anything else that might affect your fantasy baseball team.
- Jonathon Broxton was traded to the Reds yesterday, which leaves him devoid of value in anything by the deepest of leagues. Greg Holland, who will mostly likely assume closing duties in Kansas City, is the biggest beneficiary of this deal.
- Brandon PhillipsÂ left last night’s game with a strained calf, and is currently listed as day-to-day. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to spend any time on the DL, but he’ll mostly likely miss at least today’s game.
- With Francisco Cordero being well, Francisco Cordero, the Astros will turn to Wilton Lopez to close games in the near future. The Astros won’t win a ton of games so his value is limited, but he’s still worth a look if you need a closer.
- Chris Sale (arm fatigue) is now scheduled to start next Tuesday against the Royals.
- Tommy Hanson was placed on the 15-day DL with a back strain.
- Josh Beckett left last night’s game in the third inning due to back spasms. The injury isn’t considered serious, however, and Beckett is currently expected to make his next start.
- Scott Downs has been placed on the 15-day DL with an undisclosed injury, and this is great news for Ernesto Frieri owners who won’t have to worry about Downs stealing any saves for at least the next two weeks.
- Ryan Zimmerman wasn’t in the lineup last night due to back spasms, but he is expected to play tonight against the Phillies.
- Rafael Furcal has missed the last three games with a bad back, and while the Cardinals are trying to avoid a DL-stint, I would be prepared to find a short-term fill-in if you’re a Furcal owner.
- Trevor Plouffe (thumb) was told there was no structural damage in his hand, and is currently eligible to come off the DL on August 5th as long as he doesn’t experience any setbacks.
- Matt Garza (forearm) was surprisingly not traded yesterday, and is currently scheduled to make his next start against the Padres on August 7th.
- Trout/Harper/Rizzo/BauerÂ Watch:Â With two of baseballâ€™s best prospects being called-up earlier this season, Iâ€™m going to dedicate this space to keeping tabs on the youngsters. Hereâ€™s to hoping that you were able to grab some of them! (UPDATE:Â Anthony RizzoÂ isÂ the latest uber prospects to get the call, so I’ve added them to the list, as well.)
Mike Trout: Trout went 2-4 with two runs, one home run, and two RBI yesterday. Â (.353, 80 Runs, 18 HR, 55 RBI, 31 steals on the season).
Bryce Harper: Harper went 0-4 yesterday. (.258, 53 R, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 13 steals on the season).
Anthony Rizzo:Â Rizzo went 0-3 yesterday. (.321, 15 R, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 1 steal on the season).
3 Up, 3 Down, and Throwing Darts
Starting and sitting the right pitchers on a day-to-day basis is often theÂ linchpinÂ of winning any fantasy baseball league – roto, head-to-head, daily, and otherwise. In order to give you some help picking your pitchers for today, I’ve gone through all of the stats that I could (pitchers’ career numbers vs. certain hitters and lineups, home/road splits, lefty/righty splits, etc) and have made nine recommendations. I’m not going to proclaim that I’ll get these 100% correct all season, but anyone that does should be sitting on an island that they own in the Pacific – not writing fantasy baseball articles. The goal here is to play the odds the entire season and slowly build your “win” percentage closer to 100% than to 50%.
Here’s today’s recommendations with,Â 3 UpÂ (three pitchers you shouldn’t think of sitting),Â 3 DownÂ (three pitchers with some warning flags for today), andÂ Throwing DartsÂ (three pitchers that I’ll be taking a flier on):
Mike FiersÂ vs. Houston Astros
Matt CainÂ vs. New York Mets
Jake PeavyÂ at Minnesota Twins
Dan HarenÂ at Texas Rangers
Rick PorcelloÂ at Boston Red Sox
Zach BrittonÂ at New York Yankees
Edwin JacksonÂ vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Jonathon NieseÂ at San Francisco Giants
Jarrod ParkerÂ vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Swings and Misses
A hitter’s career numbers against a pitcher don’t always tell the whole story, but it can be informative if used correctly. I’m of the opinion thatÂ someÂ information is better thanÂ none, and while there are other pieces to the puzzle of setting your daily lineup (splits, weather, etc.), I think a hitter’s career numbers against a pitcher can be very indicative of future success or failure. Some guys just own certain pitchers, and vice versa.Â As such, I’ve gone through today’s matchups and picked the best (and worst) matchups I could find. Anything less than 10-12 career at-bats is a relatively small sample-size (so take those with a grain of salt), but sometimes that’s all that is available.
- Alfonso SorianoÂ is 7-for-16 (.438) with two home runs in his career against todayâ€™s starter,Â Jeff Karstens.
- Jacoby EllsburyÂ is 5-for-5 (1.000) with one home run in his career against todayâ€™s starter,Â Rick Porcello.
- Scott RolenÂ is 7-for-17 (.412) with one home run in his career against todayâ€™s starter, Kip Wells.
- David Wright is 9-for-21 (.429) in his career against today’s starter,Â Matt Cain.
- Carlos RuizÂ is 5-for-6 (.833) in his career against todayâ€™s starter,Â Edwin Jackson.
- Prince FielderÂ is 3-for-20 (.150) in his career against todayâ€™s starter, Aaron Cook.
- Hunter PenceÂ is 3-for-21 (.143) in his career against todayâ€™s starter,Â Jonathon Niese.
- Adam JonesÂ is 4-for-25 (.160) in his career against today’s starter,Â Phil Hughes.
- Chase HeadleyÂ is 3-for-18 (.167) in his career against today’s starter,Â Bronson Arroyo.
- Josh WillinghamÂ is hitless in his career (12 at-bats) against today’s starter,Â Jake Peavy.
Donâ€™t forget to check out the rest of the great content on FantasyPros911.com, starting with some of our most recent updates:
- Collin Hager takes a look at today’s pitching matchups in the latest edition ofÂ Pitch or Ditch.
- Chuck’s also got a greatÂ Added and DroppedÂ list for this week, and he’s especially focused on the red-hot Cincinnati Reds.
- There’s been an update to the Closer Identifier Algorithm Results! Don’t miss theÂ latestÂ updateÂ of Patrick DiCaprio’s patented closer-prediction system.
- Greg Marta helps you choose your pitchers for this week in the latestÂ Pitching Matchups to Watch.
- And while Greg focused on pitchers, Dan Stack picks out someÂ PlayersÂ to WatchÂ for this week.
- Bookmark Alert: Make sure you don’t miss Patrick DiCaprio and the rest of the crew on tonight’s Fantasy Baseball Roundtable Show at 9 PM (Eastern)!
- The calendar has turned to August, which means it’s officially fantasy football season! Before you start drafting, make sure you check out Paul Greco’s pre-season rankings, includingÂ Quarterback,Â Running Back,Â Wide Receiver,Â Tight End, andÂ Strength of Schedule.
- WWPGD? (What Would Paul Greco Do?) You don’t have to wonder anymore, as Paul gives you his personal favorites – starting with Gotta Have QBs.
- Mid-Tier QB’s can go a long way towards helping you win your league, and Collin Hager does the heavy-lifting for you in this week’sÂ Impact Quarterbacks.
- Collin’s also got an update to theÂ ADP ReportÂ to help all of you early-drafters!
- Steve DeAngelo is taking a look at impact running backs, and Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson, and Darren Sproles are the subjects of hisÂ latest post.
- Dan Stack previews someÂ impact wide receiversÂ like Julio Jones and Eric Decker in his latest update.
- Dan also gives out theÂ Blair Thomas AwardÂ to a few of this year’s running back busts.