2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For July 1

5 Shrewd Plays for July 1

David Ortiz Red Sox
Rick Osentoski-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 store for an outstanding day on July 1 and deserve your utmost consideration.

5. OF - Matt Joyce: Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Joyce Rays
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. OF - Matt Joyce: Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Joyce Rays
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This left-hander is one of the streakiest hitters in the game, and it looks like he just turned on the jets. After a long dry spell at the plate, Joyce is batting .444 over his past three games with three HRs, seven RBIs and six runs scored. The Rays continue their series at Yankee Stadium today, facing Hiroki Kuroda and his unimpressive 4.69 home ERA. In 16 career at bats against Kuroda, Joyce is hitting a tidy .375 with three HRs.

4. P - Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

4. P - Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

This fireballer has really struggled on the road this season, but lucky for him (and maybe you) he'll pitch at home tonight. In nine home starts this year, Strasburg has managed a solid 5-1 record to go along with an outstanding 2.51 ERA. He'll face the Colorado Rockies this evening, and while they may give pitchers nightmares with their 6.38 runs per game at home, that number is a far less threatening 3.80 on the road.

3. 2B - Anthony Rendon: Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon Nationals
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

3. 2B - Anthony Rendon: Washington Nationals

Anthony Rendon Nationals
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rendon is coming off an outstanding June, as he managed six HRs and 19 RBIs to go along with a solid .310 average. Look for him to continue that success as we head into July. The Nats take on lefty Christian Friedrich today, and he hasn't impressed anyone with a 8.10 ERA in 2.00 WHIP in his first two starts this year. Rendon loves hitting southpaws too, as his average sits at an impressive .351 against them this season.

2. C - Jonathan Lucroy: Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Lucroy Brewers
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

2. C - Jonathan Lucroy: Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Lucroy Brewers
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball's No. 1 catcher had quite the June himself. Lucroy managed a robust .359 average for the month and chipped in six HRs and 20 RBIs to boot. I doubt he slows down today when the Brew Crew take on Drew Hutchinson and the Toronto Blue Jays up in Canada. While Hutchinson has been dynamite on the road this year, he sports a horrific 8.13 home ERA in six starts and is allowing batters to hit .307 to this point.

1. DH - David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox

David Ortiz Red Sox
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1. DH - David Ortiz: Boston Red Sox

David Ortiz Red Sox
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

While this slugger hasn't hit for much average of late, he's managed a solid seven HRs and 21 RBIs since June 4. He has a great matchup today at Fenway Park, so a big day could be in the cards. Edwin Jackson will start for the Chicago Cubs this evening, and on top of his terrible 6.70 road ERA, lefties are batting a robust .325 against him this season. In 20 career at bats against Jackson, Ortiz is batting a magnificent .450 with two HRs.

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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