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Fantasy Baseball Today

Who says defense doesn't matter in Fantasy?

By Al Melchior | Data Analyst

With a staff 8.0 K/9 ratio and 3.78 ERA, the Marlins' pitchers have not been the easiest matchup for opposing hitters, though especially without Jose Fernandez, they haven't been striking fear in the hearts of Fantasy owners either. For Tuesday's Daily League Roundup segment on Fantasy Baseball Today, I discovered a weakness that can make them a clearly favorable matchup for certain hitters. Specifically, Miami pitchers have collectively allowed a .264 batting average on ground balls, so a speedy ground ball hitter like Denard Span could enjoy a productive series against them.

The only team that has allowed a higher ground ball batting average is the Rangers (.268), so they, too, are a good matchup for ground ball hitters. Not surprisingly, the infield defense for both of these teams has been suspect this season.

And which two teams have been far and away the best at preventing ground ball base hits? That honor belongs to the Athletics (.197) and Rockies (.203), who just happen to boast robust infield defenders. Those teams will likely present bad matchups for ground ball hitters like Howie Kendrick, Norichika Aoki, Ben Revere and A.J. Pollock, though it remains to be seen how much the Rockies' defense will suffer with the absence of Nolan Arenado.

Whether you play in a daily or weekly league, it could pay off to see which of your hitters are facing these teams. If any rely more on speed than power to boost their batting average, particularly among your fringier hitters, the matchup just might be the determining factor in your start/sit decision.

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