May 27, 2012 -
By Steve Grantz—When picking players for my daily fantasy line on Fan Duel, one place I like to look for guidance is past batter-pitcher matchups. I weigh recent results more than older reaults, but sometimes you have to use older results. For instance, Adam Wainwright did not pitch at all last year, so you have to at least go back to 2010 for results. And any given year may be a small sample size, so I do like to look at overall career numbers for a broader picture.
For instance, last year Yadier Molina was 1 for 2 against Roy Halladay, while Carlos Beltran was 2 for 4. Going back over their careers, though, Molina is only 1 for 5, while Beltran is a pretty consistent 14 for 42, with so-called slash numbers (batting average, on-base, and slugging) of .333/.370/.500. Clearly, Beltran has an ability to hit Halladay. And those numbers look like his full career of .283/.362/.499. So you’re likely to get what you expect from Beltran today.
In contrast, Ben Zobrist looks nothing like himself against Clay Buchholz. Zobrist is 3 for 20 lifetime against Buchholz, with a line of .150/.290/.150. Yes, that is a lifetime ISO (isolated power, derived by taking slugging and subtracting batting average) of precisely zero, meaning Zobrist has no extra base hits in those 20 at-bats. That is nowhere near his lifetime average of .254/.348/.434. The recent numbers are not any better. Despite Clay Buchholz’s struggles this year, Zobrist is 0 for 5 against him in 2012.
Luke Scott has better numbers against Buchholz, 5 for 23 lifetime, with most of that production in the last two years when Scott is 4 for 7. At $2900, that might be worth a look.
Today’s batter-pitcher matchups also offered this gem. The Rockies are in Cincinnati today, and since their pitcher also did not pitch in 2011, I had to look back for career numbers. I spotted one Red player with an impressive 1.375 OPS in the matchup. It was Bo Diaz, a former Phillie who last played in 1989 before a sad accidental death at the age of 37.
The pitcher, of course, was Jamie Moyer.