It’s Friday, and that means a couple of things. One, it’s about time to cut loose and have some fun. Two, I’ll be giving some plays for Friday and Saturday that would seem to be in prime position to succeed.
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HITTERS – FRIDAY
Carlos Lee vs. John Lannan: Lee is hitting, get this, .538 over his last seven games with 14 hits in 26 at-bats. You simply cannot be hotter than that. He also faces Lannan Friday night who he has hit .474 against in 19 at-bats. Seems like a match made in heaven.
A.J. Pierzynski vs. Zack Greinke: The old reliable matchup. AJP has hit .408 with two homers in 49 at-bats against the new Angel. While you’ll want to start the backstop you’ll want to avoid his slugging teammate Paul Konerko who has only nine hits in 62 at-bats (.145) against Greinke.
All Yankees vs. Kevin Millwood: I’m only sorta kidding. Look at these numbers though.
Nick Swisher .357 (42 ABs)
Mark Teixeira .379 (injured)
Raul Ibanez .373 (51 ABs)
Ichiro Suzuki .395 (81 ABs)
Robinson Cano .394 (33 ABs)
Andruw Jones .421 (19 ABs)
PITCHERS – FRIDAY
Matt Harrison vs. Royals: (1) Harrison has a 12-6 record and 3.19 ERA this year. (2) He’s pitched slightly better on the road (3.01 ERA, 1.17 WHIP). (3) He’s facing off against Jeremy Guthrie. Seems like a solid start to me even though he’s allowed nine runs in his last two outings.
Tim Hudson vs. Astros: Hudson has long had success against the Astros with a 1.44 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 4-0 record against the club. He’s also won his last three starts to improve to 10-4, and he’s just not beating himself as he’s walked just nine batters in his last seven starts.
Matt Moore vs. Orioles: Moore has allowed four runs over his last three starts, and the last two times he’s taken the hill he’s struck out 13 batters while walking just two. He’s also gone 5-straight starts without allowing a long ball and he’s pitched a bit better at home this year as well (3.61 ERA, 129 WHIP in 12 starts) than on the road.
HITTERS – SATURDAY
Robinson Cano vs. Felix Hernandez: Dan the difficult looking matchup. Cano has hit King Felix to the tune of a .378 average and 1.007 OPS over 37 at-bats as he has gone deep twice.
Aramis Ramirez vs. Adam Wainwright: In 47 at-bats Aramis has clearly gotten the better of the Cards’ righty with 19 hits, including seven doubles and two homers, leading to a .404 average and 1.142 OPS. Overall Aramis also has 10 hits in his last 22 at-bats (.455).
Neil Walker vs. Mike Leake: Over the last month Walker is hitting .351 with six homers, 18 RBIs and 15 runs scored as the second most valuable fantasy performer at second base (only Brandon Phillips has been better). Walker has also killed it vs. Leake hitting .368 with a homer and eight RBIs in 19 at-bats.
PITCHERS – SATURDAY
Wei-Yin Chen vs. Rays: Chen made five starts in July and four of them were “quality” as he racked up 41 Ks, with a 3.15 K/BB ratio and 3.44 ERA, over 36.2 innings. He faces a Rays club that has produced just eight hits off him in two starts (.200/.319/.300 slash line against him).
Doug Fister vs. the Indians: Fister had a nice month of July that included a 3.60 ERA and 37 Ks in 40 innings on the bump. He also won four games for the Tigers and has allowed a total of six runs in his last four starts while picking up an impressive total of 31 Ks.
Hiroki Kuroda vs. Mariners: You’re pretty safe pitching anyone against the Mariners, but when it’s Kuroda, it makes even more sense. Not only has he held current Mariner’s batters to a .231 average an a .645 OPS, he’s also rolling having allowed just three runs over his last three starts and he’s also gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.
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By Ray Flowers