2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Shrewd Plays For Aug. 13

5 Shrewd Plays for August 13

Josh Harrison Pirates
Rick Scuteri-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 players could all be in for an outstanding day on Aug. 13 and deserve your utmost consideration.

(All stats current through 7:00 p.m. Tuesday)

5. C Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics

Derek Norris Athletics
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

5. C Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics

Derek Norris Athletics
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Norris has seen limited playing time of late as part of the catching platoon in Oakland. He certainly takes advantage when he gets to face those left-handers though, as he's batting a cool .364 against them on the season. The Seattle Mariners will send southpaw Jason Vargas to the hill vs. the A's on Wednesday. Vargas has looked very shaky in two starts since coming off the DL, as he's allowed nine runs in just 9.1 innings of work.

4. OF Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins

Christian Yelich Marlins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4. OF Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins

Christian Yelich Marlins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This youngster continues to thrive in his second big league season, and is one of the main reasons why the Marlins' offense has been so improved in 2014. He could be in for a big day on Wednesday as the terrible Justin Masterson will square off with the fish. Masterson has posted a horrific 10.04 ERA over his last seven outings, and has allowed left-handers to bat a very lofty .335 on the season.

3. SS Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox

Alexei Ramirez White Sox
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

3. SS Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox

Alexei Ramirez White Sox
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Ramirez's bat is so hot right now you could probably fry an egg on it. The shortstop has posted 11 multi-hit efforts over his last 22 games, and is batting a robust .375 in the month of August. That trend should continue on Wednesday vs. starter Jake Peavy. The former Cy Young winner now owns a hideous 1-12 record on the season, and has allowed a crisp .292 average vs. right-handed bats.

2. SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2. SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This southpaw continues to shine for the Dodgers, and now sports an excellent 13-5 record to go with a strong 3.21 ERA on the season. Look for those numbers to improve even further on Wednesday as he'll take on the struggling Atlanta Braves. The Braves have seen their playoff hopes dwindle of late with a 2-10 record over their past 12 games, and have scored a minuscule 2.58 runs per contest over that span.

1. 3B Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

Josh Harrison Pirates
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

1. 3B Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

Josh Harrison Pirates
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a mind-blowing August thus far for this All-Star as Harrison is batting a sensational .476 with eight extra-base hits and 12 runs scored in 10 games. He has a great chance at keeping the train rolling on Wednesday vs. the Detroit Tigers. Injuries have forced Detroit to call up right-hander Buck Farmer to start this one, and Farmer will make his big league debut having never pitched above the double-A level.

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.