Fantasy Sports Fantasy Baseball

2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For June 16

2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For June 16

Starlin Castro Cubs
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

For any fantasy baseball team, starting the right players is unsurprisingly the key to success. This is especially true in the immensely popular daily leagues, where a single player can mean the difference between a big payday and crushing disappointment. Based on matchups and talent, the following five players could all be in for an outstanding day on June 16 and deserve your utmost consideration.

5. OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Charlie Blackmon Rockies
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

5. OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Charlie Blackmon Rockies
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Blackmon has cooled down in recent weeks after a blistering hot start, but looks to be firing up the grill again. He's hitting .529 over his last four games with three doubles and a HR, and will look to continue rolling today when the Rockies take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu. While Ryu's overall stats are solid, his home ERA is an ugly 6.15, and left-handed bats are hitting .333 against him this season.

4. DH Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

Billy Butler Royals
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

4. DH Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

Billy Butler Royals
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We are finally seeing Butler's 2014 breakout. After a mostly miserable season, he's hitting .357 over his past 16 games, and has been even better over his last five with a HR, seven RBIs and .444 average. He'll face Justin Verlander today, and that's a good sign of more success. Verlander owns an unbelievable 7.50 ERA over his last six starts, plus Butler has owned him to the tune of a .432 average over 74 career at-bats.

3. 3B Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians

Carlos Santana Indians
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

3. 3B Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians

Carlos Santana Indians
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Santana's numbers are quickly nearing the point of respectability. He's hitting .343 so far in June, and that's brought his overall average back near the Mendoza Line (.190). He'll square off against Jered Weaver today, and the hurler has struggled recently with a 5.45 ERA over his past four games. Santana has had plenty of success off of Weaver as well, as he sports a .529 average versus him in 17 career at-bats, including a HR.

2. SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Starlin Castro Cubs
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

2. SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Starlin Castro Cubs
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of heating up, someone seems to have turned Castro's kettle on. He's batting .382 over his last nine games, and has two HRs and six RBIs over that span. Look for continued success when the Cubs take on Tom Koehler and the Miami Marlins tonight. Koehler has been terrible of late with a 7.33 ERA over his last four starts, plus right-handed bats are hitting 64 points higher against him than lefties.

1. P Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels Phillies
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

1. P Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels Phillies
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Hamels has been utterly dominant of late. He's allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his last seven starts, and sports a 0.41 ERA over his last three games with 26 Ks. He could be in for another really big night when he takes on the Atlanta Braves. Not only does Atlanta rank just 27th in the league in runs scored per game, but they have struck out the fourth-most times per game as a team in 2014.

Brian Davis is a fantasy writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SportsGuyBrian, ”Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.