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2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For July 22

2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For July 22

Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees
David Butler II-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 22 and deserve your utmost consideration.

5. 3B Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins

Trevor Plouffe Twins
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. 3B Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota Twins

Trevor Plouffe Twins
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins 3B has picked up his play after struggling mightily in May and June. He's batting a solid .302 over his past 11 games, plus has five RBIs and 10 runs scored over that span. He has an excellent matchup to take advantage of today as the Twins take on Danny Salazar and the Cleveland Indians. Not only are right-handers batting a lofty .341 vs. Salazar this season, but he's already allowed eight HRs in just 40.2 innings pitched.

4. 2B Tommy La Stella, Atlanta Braves

Tommy La Stella Braves
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

4. 2B Tommy La Stella, Atlanta Braves

Tommy La Stella Braves
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This rookie has seen his bat come alive in July, as he's batting a tidy .327 over his past 14 games with six multi-hit performances. He'll square off with Jacob Turner and the Miami Marlins this evening, and that bodes well for continued success. Turner has been a disaster this season as he owns a putrid 6.22 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, and is allowing opponents to bat a ridiculous .326 against him.

3. OF Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

3. OF Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees

Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This speedster is absolutely cooking at the dish right now. Ellsbury has managed six multi-hit performances over his last 12 games, and is batting a tremendous .395 over his past nine. Look for more of the same as the Yankees take on the Texas Rangers this evening. Nick Martinez will get the ball for Texas, and on top of his terrible 5.10 ERA, he's allowed a generous .321 average to left-handed bats.

2. SP Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics

Scott Kazmir Athletics
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

2. SP Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics

Scott Kazmir Athletics
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

There seems to be no stopping this southpaw, as Kazmir has now allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 19 outings this season. His 2.38 ERA and 0.98 WHIP are both by far career-highs, and he'll look to improve upon those numbers today against the Houston Astros. The Astros ranks just 25th in the league in runs per game, and in two starts vs. them this year, Kazmir has held the team to three earned runs over 14 innings while fanning 12.

1. 1B Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu White Sox
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

1. 1B Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

Jose Abreu White Sox
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This slugger is nearly unstoppable right now as he's registered at least one hit in 31 of his last 32 games. He's actually batting an extraordinary .415 over his past 10 contests, and should keep it going against a weak left-hander today. Bruce Chen will be on the hill for the Kansas City Royals in this one, and on top of a horrific 6.46 ERA on the season, right-handers are batting an absurd .330 against him.

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.