2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For June 20

2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For June 20

Robinson Cano Mariners
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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 20 and deserve your utmost consideration.

5. C Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics

Derek Norris Athletics
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

5. C Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics

Derek Norris Athletics
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3 catcher on ESPN's player rater has really been rolling in June. He's batting a lofty .371 to this point, plus has three HRs and nine RBIs in only 35 at-bats. He has an excellent shot at improving those numbers today against left-hander Felix Doubront. The Boston Red Sox starter has really struggled this year with a 5.12 ERA and 1.55 WHIP, plus Norris is hitting a tidy .362 against lefties this season with five HRs in 69 at-bats.

4. SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Starlin Castro Cubs
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

4. SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs

Starlin Castro Cubs
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

After a cold May at the plate, Castro is once again cooking. He's batting a tremendous .408 in his last 12 games, plus has three HRs and 11 RBIs to boot. He'll face Charlie Morton and the Pittsburgh Pirates today, and history indicates continued success for the Cubs' shortstop. In 24 career at-bats versus the right-hander, Castro is hitting .458 with two HRs.

3. SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

3. SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

After posting an ugly 6.00 ERA in his first four starts this season, Strasburg has looked far more like an ace since. In his last 10 outings, he's managed a much more Strasburg-like 2.22 ERA, and that has resulted in a strong 5-3 record. The Nats host the Atlanta Braves today, and more domination should be in the cards. The Braves rank 29th in baseball in runs per game, plus are batting just .240 against right-handed pitching.

2. 2B Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano Mariners
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. 2B Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

Robinson Cano Mariners
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a .366 average since May 3, Cano is now the AL's batting leader at .333. He also has two HRs and 11 RBIs in his past 11 games, and should keep up the success today. Cano will square off against James Shields tonight, but that isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Shields has struggled of late with a 5.09 ERA in his past six starts, and Cano has owned him in his career with a .395 average in 81 at-bats, including 14 extra-base hits.

1. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

1. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While Cano has owned James Shields, his stats pale in comparison to what Goldschmidt has done to poor Tim Lincecum. In 24 career at-bats, the D-backs' first baseman is hitting .542 off of the Freak, and has managed an incredible seven HRs. Fantasy's top 1B is always an excellent play, but he should be worth his weight in gold for fantasy teams today.

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.


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