Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 9/22/12

Just how far can playing the matchups on free agency take you? Could a full season of waiver wire-caliber second basemen equal a year’s worth of Neil Walker? Those are the questions we seek to answer with another edition of our Spot Start Squad.

Expanded Notes

There are a lot of new names on today’s edition of the Spot Start Squad, and that begins at catcher with Josh Donaldson. He’s been pretty hot of late and I’ve almost picked him a few times this week, but I like his matchup tomorrow facing the right-handed Ivan Nova in a hitter’s park. Nova has a very high WHIP and gives up a lot of hits.

Chris Nelson has been a featured starter for the better part of a week, and there’s no reason for that to change as he faces the left-handed Patrick Corbin. Nelson’s ownership rate is up to 27 percent from just 22 percent yesterday, but he’ll almost assuredly stay under 50 percent for the remainder of the season.

Matt Dominguez has been Houston’s starting third baseman for a few weeks now, and he’s put up great numbers in very limited time. Kevin Correia has been very hot, posting an ERA under 2.00 over the last month, but he’s a low-strikeout starter and if Dominguez can put the ball in play I like his chances at giving us some fantasy production.

Clint Barmes is the reach of the day as he’s available in 99 percent of fantasy leagues, but he’s actually an above average hitter against southpaws and he has success in limited experience against Dallas Keuchel.

Ryan Ludwick, Jon Jay, and Nate McClouth have the makings of a very productive outfield. Since July 1, Ludwick has been on a 112-RBI pace, and Stephen Fife isn’t a starter to be feared. Jay has had great success in his nine at-bats versus Travis Wood, so we’ll see if he can keep it up. McClouth will be facing Aaron Cook, who he’s just 4-for-18 (.222) against in his career. Normally that would worry me, but he’s struck out just once in those 18 at-bats so luck has probably been a small factor. If even two of those outs in play found holes in the defense, McClouth’s 6-for-18 (.333) line would look much better. Also he’s absolutely killing the ball with an OPS over 1.000 over the last two weeks.

Brandon Moss has tortured right-handers this year with 16 homers in just 180 at-bats. Extrapolated over 500 at-bats, that’s 44 home runs. And he’s playing in Yankee Stadium against a pitcher (Nova) who’s allowed 1.43 HR/9 this year, the 11th highest mark of 113 pitchers who’ve thrown at least 120 innings.

I don’t like any of the pitching options available in more than 50 percent of fantasy leagues, but Will Smith might have the best chance at picking up a win solely by virtue of facing the 9-16 Ubaldo Jimenez. Smith also tossed six strong innings against Cleveland earlier in the year, allowing just two earned runs and striking out five.

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