There’s really nothing better than a Friday in baseball – and that’s because you know there’s 45 games to be played over the course of the weekend.
With Friday’s 15 matchups already in the books, fantasy baseball owners turn their attention to Saturday, where we’ll see a lot of those Opening Day starting pitchers take the hill for their respective teams again.
Of course, because a bunch of teams had an off day this week, we’ll also get to send out our sluggers vs. those forgettable No. 5 starters.
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Choosing who to play and who to bench with a full slate of games is no easy task. Luckily, I’m here can help make the decisions easier for you.
» Delmon Young, OF/DH, Baltimore Orioles: Delmon Young will never be the poster child for good behavior. He’s been called a drunk and even pleaded guilty to a hate crime (meaning he admitted it), but there’s one thing he does well – and that’s hit the crap outta the ball at Comerica Park. By playing with Minnesota and Detroit for a combined five seasons, Young has been afforded 544 plate appearances in the Tigers’ home ballpark. He’s made the best of them too, smashing 18 HR with 82 RBI, which are both tops for any stadium he’s played in. On Saturday he’ll face Tigers’ starter Rick Porcello, who will not be happy to see Young. Porcello has served up hits to Young in eight of 14 at bats, including a home run and a double. Despite some optimism surrounding Porcello this season, he was miserable in spring training, allowing 16 ER and 4 HR in 18.1 IP. This game has all the makings of a slugfest. Make sure Delmon Young is in your fantasy baseball team’s lineup on Saturday.
Pitchers beware: Dayan Viciedo (10-for-29, .345 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI vs. Chen), Denard Span (7-for-15, .467 BA, 2 3B, RBI vs. Teheran), Dan Uggla (11-for-27, .407 BA, 2 HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI vs. Strasburg), Jhonny Peralta (13-for-37, .351 BA, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI vs. Liriano)
» Billy Butler, DH, Kansas City Royals: If you look up “professional hitter” in the dictionary, Billy Butler’s name is probably gonna be there. The guy can rake. He also has one of the best nicknames in all of baseball. So what’s not to like? Well, the guy simply can’t touch John Danks. Yes, John Danks, the White Sox pitcher who was 4-14 last season and owns a 4.20 ERA during his seven-year career. It’s not that Butler can’t hit lefties — he actually fares better against them, sporting a career .314/.394/.527 line vs. southpaws, compared to .292/.353/.434 when facing right-handed pitching — it’s that Danks simply has his number (#16, your pastrami on rye is ready!”). When facing the Sox’ left-hander, Butler is just 6-for-32 with two extra-base hits and nine strikeouts. In fact, you’d have to go back to September 18, 2011 to find the last time Butler got a hit off him. Danks is lights out vs. the Royals in general, allowing just 33 hits — 10 of them the extra-base variety — in 144 at bats against current members of their squad. Folks, Billy Butler’s Saturday buffet is shut down until further notice.
Take a seat, meat: Adrian Gonzalez/Andre Ethier (5-for-44, .113 BA combined vs. Bumgarner), J.P. Arencibia (2-for-16, 8 K vs. Price), David Wright (5-for-20, .250 BA, HR, 3 K vs. Cueto), Alex Gordon (4-for-26, .154 BA vs. Danks), Josh Reddick (4-for-27, .148 BA, 5 K vs. Hernandez)