Each week, we’ve been taking a look at five hitting matchups you should take advantage of and five hitting matchups you should avoid. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 2 (4/8–4/14) 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 either because of injury, weather or anything else. 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.
Boston Red Sox hitters – I know, it hasn’t been great for the Red Sox so far this season, but I think things will get better this week. They only have five games this week, which is kind of a bummer, but every single one has the potential for some fantasy goodness. They start off with two games against the Toronto Blue Jays and then three games against the Baltimore Orioles, two rotations that are pretty awful. And they’ll be at home the whole time in hitter-friendly Fenway Park. So if you’ve been worried about Jackie Bradley Jr./strong>. or Rafael Devers or Andrew Benintendi, I think you’ll be okay starting them week.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s get a seven-game week, which is awesome, and even better, they’ll be spending it on the road in very hitter-friendly parks against terrible rotations. They start off with a four-game series in Camden Yards against the Orioles and close with a three-game series in Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers. If you’ve got a member of the A’s on your team, I’d toss him out there. They’re also likely to see almost entirely right-handed pitchers, which is good news for Kendrys Morales, who slashed .274/.366/.495 against righties last year.
Tampa Bay Rays hitters – The Rays are another team that get to visit some hitter-friendly parks against bad rotations, starting off the week in Guaranteed Rate Field against the Chicago White Sox and closing it out in Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. The Rays haven’t exactly been lighting things up so far, but I think this is a good week to start guys like Avisail Garcia, Ji-Man Choi, and Kevin Kiermaier in deeper leagues, as well as your usual starting Rays like Tommy Pham.
Cleveland Indians hitters – While the Indians’ offense hasn’t exactly been great this year, they should have a nice set of matchups this week, starting off with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers and closing with a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Neither of those rotations should scare you (though they will see Matt Boyd), so you should be good starting your Indians this week. I’d especially recommend starting Leonys Martin, as the Indians will see five right-handed pitchers this week, and Martin slashed .279/.348/.451 against righties last year. He’s available in 96% of leagues.
Christian Walker – In case you hadn’t noticed, Christian Walker has been annihilating the ball so far this year, slashing .304/.360/.783 so far. He’s a guy I always liked as a prospect, and now he’s getting a full-time gig (at least, while he’s hitting), so I think you should pick him up in general. However, I think he’s especially a good start this week, as the Arizona Diamondbacks will see four left-handed pitchers this week, and Walker slashed .297/.323/.542 against lefties between the majors and minors last season.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox are in for a difficult week this week, starting with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays where they’ll see Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, not to mention Tyler Glasnow, who’s looked pretty solid so far. Then, they’ll head to New York to face off against the Yankees where they’ll see Masahiro Tanaka as well as Domingo German, who I personally think is a pretty solid pitcher.
Kansas City Royals hitters – In general, I don’t think this is a great week to start your Royals hitters. However I do think there’s one area you might be able to take advantage, but more on that in a second. This week, the Royals get the joy of facing the Cleveland Indians with a three-game series against Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber, so that’s a hard pass. They’ll also see the Seattle Mariners and Marco Gonzales, who’s looked pretty solid this year, and Yusei Kikuchi, who’s admittedly been off and on, but is a solid pitcher. However, the one area I think you can take advantage of this week for the Royals is steals. They’ll be up against Omar Navarez with the Mariners, who allowed 11 steals in nine games to the Royals last year. While Billy Hamilton or Adalberto Mondesi might have some struggles this week with the pitching matchups, they could snag a handful of steals if you need the help.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres spend all week on the road, starting with a three-game series in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park against the San Francisco Giants where they’ll see Madison Bumgarner and Derek Holland. Then, they’ll head to Arizona, where they’ll see Merrill Kelly and Zack Greinke. If you’re in a daily league, I don’t mind taking advantage of the matchups against Zack Godley and Luke Weaver (though I think Weaver is still a pretty solid pitcher), but in a weekly league, I think it’s going to be tough going for your Padres.
Atlanta Braves hitters – I know, I know, it’s weird that I’m saying don’t start a team that spends three days in Coors Field this week. But here’s the deal—during that three game series, the Braves will face Kyle Freeland and German Marquez, two tough pitchers. While Coors Field will mitigate some of that difficulty, those are still two tough matchups. Then, the Braves will go up against the New York Mets and Zack Wheeler and Jacob DeGrom. In a daily league, there are some matchups you can take advantage of, and obviously still start your Braves studs, but this could be a tricky week for some of your Braves.
David Peralta – As I said with Christian Walker’s entry, the Diamondbacks will see four left-handed pitchers this week, and that’s bad news for Peralta, as he’s got pretty stark lefty/righty splits. Last year, Peralta slashed .237/.294/.399 against lefties.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire.