Position Players to Start
Carlos Gonzalez hasn’t had just unusually great success against all the pitchers that he will face this week, but he has had great success against a few of the pitchers that he will face.
Gonzalez’ hot hitting against three of the starters he faces this week have allowed him to build up an impressive .326 batting average (16-49) with six career homeruns.
Make sure he is active in your lineup to take advantage of the hot hitting.
Catcher is a very thin position and if you have a top guy like Brian McCann you likely don’t have a better option anyway, but if he is healthy McCann is set up for a solid week.
McCann missed time at the end of last week with a strained muscle, but has said he feels much better and he hopes to play Monday.
He was back in the lineup for the game Sunday, so he should be all set to go this week.
McCann and the Braves are scheduled to have seven games this week, so even if he rests a day McCann should have plenty of opportunity to turn in a good week.
In his career McCann is hitting at a .304 (38-125) clip when facing the team of pitchers he is up against this week.
Billy Butler might be the only player in fantasy baseball that frustrates you when he projects to have a good week!
Butler’s limited position eligibility makes it difficult to work him in your lineup, but his steady production is too good to bench.
Butler has gotten off to a solid start this season and should be positioned to build on that success this week as he is slated to face starting pitchers against whom he is a career .382 (44-115) batter.
Work Butler and his hot bat in your utility slot this week.
There has been no “sophomore slump” so far this season for the Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Freeman has been hitting the ball great in the first month of this season and the numbers suggest that this trend will continue.
In thirty four career at bats against the starters Freeman is scheduled to face this coming week he has managed to slap three homeruns.
Combine that power surge with an impressive .353 average and Freeman is a must start corner infielder this week.
Brandon Phillips has spent the last week steadily improving his batting average the upward trend should continue.
Phillips gets several favorable matchups this week and appears poised to take advantage of the situation.
Over his career Phillips has pounded out a .372 (48-129) batting average, while hitting seven long balls.
That kind of track record from a middle infielder makes Phillips the play of the week!
Position Players to Avoid
Neil Walker has started to fall out of favor with many fantasy owners and is slowing finding his way to the free agent pool.
With a tough week staring him in the face, he may again find himself being dropped in many leagues.
Walker has only managed a career .211 batting average when matched up with the starting pitchers that he is set to square off with this week.
If you are holding on to Walker, hoping for a spark, keep him reserved this week and temper your expectations.
The Kansas City Royals and Alex Gordon will have the benefit of seven scheduled games this week.
The greater number of games doesn’t figure to be a benefit, however, if Gordon can’t hit the ball better than he historically has against the starting pitchers he stands to face.
In his career Gordon has been limited to a .202 (19-94) career average.
Look elsewhere for help in your outfield this week.
Alexi Ramirez is dangerously flirting with the “Mendoza line” in the early going this season.
This week does not have the makings of a rebound as Ramirez expects to face a team of pitchers that have held him to a miniscule .147 batting average.
Keep Ramirez on your bench this week until he starts hitting or draws some better matchups.
Alex Rios has gotten off to a respectable start this season, but he will find a tough road ahead of him this week.
Rios is scheduled to face starting pitchers that have held him to a .198 (8-54) career batting average.
The outfield position is deep and you can find a better option for your team this week.
Mark Reynolds has been a real disappointment so far this season.
You never draft Reynolds looking for a great average, but this season he has only managed a pedestrian .158 average and he has yet to hit a home run.
A one trick pony that is not doing their tricks just isn’t very useful.
You may find yourself in the spot of dropping Reynolds and at the very least he belongs on your bench this week.
Reynolds will not find the going any easier this week as he is staring at pitchers that have historically gotten the best of him.
Keep Reynolds relegated to the bench this week to see if he can snap out of his slump.
All Teams are Not Created Equal
These teams all are scheduled to have seven games this week.
If you have two players with similar projections start the guy with more games who can help your team in the “volume” categories.
Los Angeles Angels
Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals
Toronto Blue Jays
Two Start Pitchers
Chris Sale faces two teams that he has had success against in the past.
Sale’s success against the Indians and Tigers has all been out of the bullpen thus far, but he will look to duplicate that success as a starter this week.
Sale has been very solid this season and his ability to register strikeouts is enough to work him in to your lineup for his two starts.
Cole Hamels has not an impressive 11-6 record against the Braves, but his success has been mixed as he only has a 3.72 earned run average.
After an early week start at Atlanta, Hamels will again take the mound in Washington against the Nationals.
Hamels has been equally successful when pitching against the Nats, going 10-4 and logging a 2.71 earned run average.
With the two solid matchups you should make sure to have Hamels in your active lineup.
Jordan Zimmerman has had mixed success historically against the two teams that he is scheduled to face this week, but he has simply been pitching too well this season to let that override starting him.
Despite only a 1-1 record on the season, Zimmerman has pitched very well, only allowing a single earned run in each of his four starts.
Roll the dice and expect Zimmerman to build on his recent success in the two start week.
Ubaldo Jimenez has been unimpressive thus far this season and will be facing an uphill battle in his two starts this week.
Jimenez only has a combined five starts against the White Sox and Rangers, but he has not been successful when matched up with those foes.
Give Jimenez the week off and monitor his status for better matchups.
C.J. Wilson is a “roll the dice” candidate for the week.
He has a combined 4-6 record with an earned run average over four against his opponents this week.
If you need the strikeouts or are convinced that Wilson will be more successful with his new team then plug Wilson in cross your fingers, but beware of his past struggles.
Braves righty Brandon Beachy has been great so far this season, going 2-1 while limiting opponents to a 1.15 earned run average.
Beachy will have a much rougher go of it this week as he faces the Phillies and Rockies.
In seven career starts against this week’s opponents Beachy has gone 0-4 with an earned run average of nearly five.
It is difficult to suggest benching the young star in the making, but you are tempting fate if you choose to start Beachy this week.
Jeremy Hellickson has a stellar 3-0 career record with a miniscule 0.81 earned run average when pitching against the Seattle Mariners.
The track record against the Oakland A’s is not nearly as impressive.
In two starts Hellickson has only lasted eleven and a third while allowing six earned runs.
I’m starting Hellickson in light of the success against the Mariners and counting on him to right the ship later in the week against the A’s.
Things have been difficult in the early part of the season for Adam Wainwright this year as he is returning from Tommy John surgery.
Wainwright will get two starts this week and he should be poised to get back on track with two matchups where he has historically been successful.
The Pirates have given Wainwright some trouble in years past, but he has been able to register a 7-3 record anyway.
Against the Astros Wainwright has been nearly flawless, going 9-1 with a 1.56 earned run average.
Plug Wainwright in to your lineup for this string of matchups.
One Start Wonders
Wait til Next Week