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 here’s who you should start and avoid in Week 2 (4/18-4/24) 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.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies have six games this week, starting with three in Coors Field against the Phillies, and while one of those games is against Aaron Nola, I’m not concerned because, you know, it’s Coors. Then, they’ll head to Detroit to face the Tigers and Michael Pineda, Tyler Alexander, and Eduardo Rodríguez. E-Rod might be a tricky matchup, but generally speaking, this should be a really solid week for the Rockies. Connor Joe has been starting off the season strong, slashing .321/.424/.571, so he’s definitely worth a start.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s get a full seven-game slate this week against some very favorable pitching matchups. They start off the week with four games against the Orioles, who just lost John Means to the IL, meaning every pitcher in the rotation is someone worth taking advantage of.
Then, they’ll have three games against the Rangers where they’ll see Martín Pérez and Jon Gray (as well as a starter who’s TBD at this point). Basically, there’s not a matchup here that worries me at all. As a deep league play, Sheldon Neuse has been starting off the year relatively well, slashing .278/.350/.444, and could be a sneaky play at third base. Elvis Andrus has been starting strong, too, slashing .276/.364/.517 so far, and could be worth a look.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – As I mentioned earlier, the Phillies get three games in Coors Field this week, which is always good news for your hitters. Then, they’ll have three games against the Brewers, where they’ll face Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser, and Aaron Ashby.
Peralta could be a somewhat tricky matchup, but Houser doesn’t scare me in the least, and I’m not all that worried about Ashby just yet. Jean Segura’s been off to a hot start so far this season, slashing .353/.421/.765, and is worth a look this week.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners have six games this week, starting with three against the Rangers, where they’ll see Jon Gray, Dane Dunning, and Taylor Hearn. Then, they’ll have three games against the Royals where they’ll see Kris Bubic, Carlos Hernandez, and Daniel Lynch. None of those six matchups sound particularly concerning even a little bit, so I’m all for starting your Mariners this week.
J.P. Crawford has been off to a hot start this year with a .407/.515/.519 line so far and is worth a look this week. And given how good the matchups are, this could be a good week for Julio Rodriguez and Jarred Kelenic to start heating up. I will offer one note of caution: The Mariners are slated to face three lefties this week, which would be bad for Jesse Winker, who is notoriously bad against lefties.
Trent Grisham – I know, it’s been roughing having Trent Grisham on your team so far this year, but if ever there was a week for him to pick things up, it’s hopefully this week. The Padres are going to face five left-handed pitchers this week, and last year, Grisham was notably better against lefties than righties, with a .359 wOBA and .191 ISO against them, as well as an 11.6% walk rate. Fingers crossed this is the week he picks things up.
Atlanta hitters – All in all, this week is actually relatively evenly matched for most teams. A handful of teams have half their week against tough matchups and their other half against easy ones. But Atlanta kind of gets the short end of the stick of all the teams this week.
This week, they’ve got six games, starting with three against the Dodgers, where they’ll see Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Tony Gonsolin. Then, they’ll have three games against the Marlins, where they’ll see Trevor Rogers, Eliesar Hernandez, and Jesús Luzardo. I’m not all that concerned about the matchup against Hernandez, but all the others range from concerning to really bad.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitters – Speaking of the Dodgers, they’ve also got six games this week, and the three against Atlanta will see them face Huascar Ynoa, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton. Ynoa doesn’t worry me all that much (though he can be very good), but Fried and Morton certainly do.
Then, the Dodgers will go into pitcher-friendly Petco Park to face the Padres, where they’ll see Nick Martinez, Yu Darvish, and Sean Maneaea. Martinez has looked pretty good so far, as has Manaea, so those could all prove to be tricky matchups. Like I said, this week is fairly evenly matched, so I wouldn’t say the week for the Dodgers is horrible, but it’s definitely on the difficult side.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets have seven games this week, starting with four against the Giants, who so far have the best team FIP in baseball. In that series, the Mets will face Alex Cobb, Logan Webb, Carlos Rodon, and Anthony DeSclafani, so a decent handful of difficult matchups.
The Mets will then get three games against Arizona, which honestly isn’t all that worrying (who knows, maybe Madison Bumgarner puts together a good start, that’s very possible, as could Merrill Kelly). Still, given that at least four out of the Mets’ seven games are tough matchups, this could be a tricky week for your Mets hitters.
Jake Cronenworth – As I mentioned, the Padres are slated to face five left-handed pitchers this week, which isn’t great news for Jake Cronenworth, as he’s got a career line of .255/.327/.383 against lefties. Unless you don’t have a better alternative, I’d avoid starting Cronenworth this week.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)