Saturday, December 20, 2014

Picking a winner: The weekend's best matchups

Matchups are everything in fantasy baseball, especially in FanDuel single-day competitions.

Picking a winner: The weekend's best matchups

Will Scott Rolen continue his impressive numbers vs. Charlie Morton? (Al Behrman/AP)
Will Scott Rolen continue his impressive numbers vs. Charlie Morton? (Al Behrman/AP)

Matchups are everything in fantasy baseball, especially in FanDuel single-day competitions.

This weekend, there are a lot of intriguing matchups, and I'm here to lend you a hand in finding out what those are.

With the amount of FanDuel tournaments going on, I figured there is a lot of money at stake, and why not try to help you pocket some of it.

First, FanDeul is hosting a free tournament tonight just for philly.fanduel.com users. Make sure to sign up before the picks lock at 7 p.m.

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For those of you who like to live on the edge, FanDuel will be offering a $5,000 MLB MVP tournament today, which costs $100 to join, but is limited to just 56 competitors, making your chances of winning much higher.

And if you aren't able to afford that, there is the $1,000 MLB Hit & Run that costs just $10 join.

Finally, there is Saturday's $4,000 MLB Grand Slam, which costs $10 to join and has a top prize of $800 with the top 39 spots winning cash.

That being said, here are a look at some matchups that could help pad your wallet:

FRIDAY

Mark Ellis (2B - OAK) vs. Tigers - Ellis is 4/8 lifetime against Rick Porcello, including a pair of home runs. Despite a poor start, Ellis could be worth a look on Friday.

Raul Ibanez (1B - PHI) vs. Marlins - There were so many Phillies to pick from against Javier Vazquez. As a team, they are hitting .308 off the righty. Ibanez has a career .320 average with 4 home runs. With Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, and Ryan Howard all hitting in front of him, he should have plenty of chances to drive in some runs.

Scott Rolen (3B - CIN) vs. Pirates - After going hitless in 8 at-bats during two starts against the Padres, Rolen may get some relief on Friday night. He had at least a hit in eight-straight games before facing the Padres. Tomorrow, he will face Charlie Morton of the Pirates. Rolen is 6/13 in his career of Morton with three doubles and a home run.

Others to watch: Alex Rodriguez (NYY), Ryan Braun (MIL), Adam Lind (TOR), Hanley Ramirez (FLA), Zach Britton (BAL)

SATURDAY

Mat Latos (SP - SD) vs. Astros - Latos wasn't stellar in his first start of the season, allowing three runs in six innings of a loss to the Reds. Latos is 2-0 in two career starts vs. the Astros, pitching 16 innings while striking out 16 and allowing no runs. No runs, as in 0. In fact, current Astros are just 4/28 off Latos and three of those hits belong to Carlos Lee, who is struggling to start the season.

Placido Polanco (3B - PHI) vs. Marlins - Polanco is 5/10 lifetime against Anibal Sanchez. The Phillies offense is one of the hottest in the league. While they haven't had a ton of success as a team against Sanchez, it's not a stretch to assume that their current success will overcome their past struggles. Polanco, however, is still hitting .500 off Sanchez, so don't be afraid to start him on Saturday.

Stephen Drew (SS - ARI) vs. Giants - What? You're suggesting someone facing the vaunted Giants' rotation? I am indeed. Mainly because Barry Zito is pitching. At first glance, the Diamondbacks look like a good matchup for Zito, having held them to a .286 average in his career. But then I thought: How many of those starts came from the Barry Zito of old, and how many have been from the current Zito? In the last three years, Zito is 1-5 with a 6.90 ERA against the D'Backs. Drew is a career .344 against Zito, and now that he appears back to full health, go ahead and start him.

SUNDAY

Todd Helton (1B - COL) vs. Cubs - There is a chance that Helton gets the day off on Sunday, but if Jim Tracy and his staff look at the numbers, they may want to consider assigning him a different off day. Ryan Dempster will get the start for the Cubs, and Helton is 9/21 (.429) off Dempster in his career with three home runs. If Helton is in the lineup, for the love of god play him. Need extra convincing? Two words: Coors Field. Oh, and it is going to be a sweltering 68 degrees on Sunday at Coors. That sounds like home run weather to me.

Chris Carpenter (SP - STL) vs. Dodgers - The Dodgers have been playing well this season, considering the tough schedule they were given to open the season. However, they could run into a brick wall on Sunday. Carpenter doesn't lose to the Dodgers. Literally. He is 6-0 with a 1.77 ERA against them in his career. He has struggled this season, losing his first three starts. But this is Chris Carpenter we are talking about. He's the poor man's Roy Halladay. He has to right the ship eventually. Well, ladies and gentlemen, Sunday is that day. Look for big things from him, and definitely start him. If you are playing FanDuel on Sunday, it could be even more beneficial to start him, considering his price tag.


Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at mmullin@philly.com. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

Matt Mullin Sports Editor
About this blog
From football to baseball, Fantasy Island is your stop for all things fantasy, with a Philly spin. Reach Matt at mmullin@philly.com.

Matt Mullin Sports Editor
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