What’s up everyone!
If you’re unfamiliar with this article series, each week I take a look at some hitting matchups you should take advantage of and some hitting matchups you should avoid, based on who the hitters will likely be facing on the mound.
If you’d like to learn more about when it becomes less risky to stream hitters (and pitchers) and when certain team stats start to stabilize during the year, check out this article.
So let’s take a look at the hitters to start and avoid in Week 2 (4/10-4/16) of the fantasy baseball season.
Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this post’s publication. It is entirely possible that the actual matchups could change for any number of reasons. Keep in mind, this article is geared toward middle-of-the-road players, meaning you should be starting top-of-the-line bats regardless of the matchup. Always start your studs.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals have a full seven-game week this week starting with three games in Coors Field, which is always great news for hitters, and ending with four games against the Pirates where they’ll see Vince Velasquez, Johan Oviedo, Roansy Contreras, and Mitch Keller, none of whom scare me in the least. So it’s all systems go for your Cardinals hitters this week. Brendan Donovan has been off to a hot start this year, hitting .269/.310/.500 on the season so far, and is definitely worth a look. Also, Alec Burleson, who’s pretty widely available, might be worth a look in deeper leagues, as he’s slashing .316/.350/.579 on the season to start off the year, and has been hitting towards the top of the Cardinals’ lineup.
Atlanta hitters – Atlanta has six games this week, starting with three against the Reds where they’ll see Connor Overton, Luis Cessa, and Hunter Greene. Greene could be a tough matchup for your Atlanta hitters, but all in all, I’m not worried about that series. Then, they’ll face the Royals in Kansas City where they’ll see Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, and Zack Greinke, none of whom are particularly threatening for your Atlanta hitters, so make sure they’re in your lineups this week! If you’re looking for a hitter to stream, Orlando Arcia has been hot to start the year, slashing .313/.353/.563 so far, and is worth a look this week.
Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels also have a six-game week this week, starting with three games against the Nationals, which is always a pitching staff you want to take advantage of in fantasy, and closing with three games against the Red Sox, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball to start the year. And in that Red Sox series, the Angels will miss Chris Sale (not that he’s been all that spectacular lately) and Corey Kluber.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have a full seven-game week this week, starting with four games against the A’s, a team that owns the fifth-worst team FIP in the league so far this year, and closing with three games against the White Sox, who own the worst team FIP in baseball so far. One of those games will be against Dylan Cease, so that could be tough for the Orioles, but otherwise, I think you’re probably good to go. Adam Frazier has been off to a hot start so far, slashing .318/.400/.591, as has Jorge Mateo (assuming this ankle injury he’s dealing with isn’t anything serious) as he’s been hitting .350/.435/.650 with five steals on the year so far. Austin Hays is also worth a look, as he’s been hitting well to start the year with a .280/.333/.520 slash line so far.
Rob Refsnyder – If you’re in a deep league and looking for a guy to stream this week, Rob Refsnyder might be worth a look. Why? Because the Red Sox are slated to face six lefties this week out of the seven games they have, and I could easily see them getting Refsnyder some work against those lefties this week. Last year, Refsnyder hit .359/.411/.594 against lefties, and slashed .304/.391/.393 against them in 2021. It’s no guarantee they’ll use him this week, but when you’ve got a lefty-masher on your bench who has experience playing virtually every position on the field and a seven-game week, I could easily see the Red Sox popping Refsnyder in all around the field to give some guys the day off. Again, this is a deep league play, but one that I think has some potential to pay off this week.
Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs have six games this week, starting with three games against the Mariners where they’ll see both Luis Casillo and Logan Gilbert. Then, they’ll close with three games against the Dodgers, who own the third-best team FIP in baseball so far this year, and in that series, the Cubs will get to face Julio Urías. There’s just not enough value this week to make your Cubs worth starting in weekly leagues.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals also have six games this week, starting with three against the Rangers where they’ll see both Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, and closing with three against Atlanta where they’ll see Jared Shuster, Charlie Morton, and Dylan Dodd. Those three aren’t all terrifying, but Morton can absolutely be a scary matchup, Dodd looked pretty solid in his debut, and Shuster certainly has the potential to turn in a solid start. All in all, there’s enough uncertainty this week to make me wary to start my Royals hitters.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins have seven games this week, starting with three against the White Sox. Now, earlier I mentioned the White Sox have the worst team FIP in baseball so far this year, so it’s possible these matchups could be decent, but unlike the Orioles, the Twins are going to see not only Dylan Cease but Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito, all of whom have the capability to turn in very good starts. Then, the Twins will close their week out with four games against the Yankees, where they’ll see both Nestor Cortes and Gerrit Cole. So while a seven-game week is always enticing in weekly leagues, there are a few too many question marks with the Twins’ matchups to make me feel comfortable starting their hitters this week.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins have six games this week and are slated for some tough matchups. They start the week off with three games against the Phillies where they’ll see both Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, and then they’ll close the week out with three games against the Diamondbacks where they’ll see Zac Gallen. I’m not overly worried about the other two D’Backs games (though Ryne Nelson could prove a tricky matchup), so in daily leagues, that’s fine, but two games of value aren’t worth it in weekly leagues.
Alex Verdugo – With the Red Sox slated to face six lefties this week, it could be tough going for Alex Verdugo, as he’s a career .269/.316/.362 hitter against lefties, so if you’ve got a better option this week, I’d recommend it.
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Joe Robbins / Icon Sportswire