Young and sexy names are NOT the way to go tonight. Potential helps in season long games, but if you’re only worried about tonight’s production, stick with the guys who have a proven 2012 track record against their opponent.
Alex Rios – Rios is having by far his best season as a member of the White Sox, providing me with confidence in him when Chicago needs him the most. David Price takes the bump tonight, a pitcher whom very few batters have had any success against, but Rios has dominated him. How good has he been? How does a .500 batting average and 1.214 slugging percentage sound? Add the fact that he is sandwiched between two hitters in Paul Konerko and Kevin Youkilis that have combined for a .385 batting average against the Rays ace. Give me the offense that needs a game over a pitcher who has nothing left to prove this season, especially when the past has been this encouraging.
Edwin Encarnacion – The surprise slugger of 2012 has increased him home run total in 3 of 4 months thus far, and on the final day of the month, is one long ball short of making it 4 of 5. He’s got a good chance to make it happen as he opposes Phil Hughes, a pitcher who the Blue Jays infielder has a .360 career batting average and a .640 slugging percentage against. Hughes has given up a HR in 8 of his last 10 starts, a concerning stat for Yankee fans considering the Blue Jays hit for power, and lots of it. Odd stat to watch: Hughes has recorded a decision in 13 straight contests, giving up 14 home runs in the process. Read more…