Position Players to Start
Howie Kendrick hasn’t exactly been tearing it up this season, but he has been steady and consistent. Over the last couple of weeks Kendrick is hitting the ball better by hitting at nearly a .300 clip. He has hit the ball even better against the pitchers that he will face this week and deserves a spot in your starting lineup.
Shin-Soo Choo appeared on this list a few weeks back and we noted the difference that being moved to the leadoff spot had made on his production. Choo continues to enjoy hitting from the top of the order. This week he will have the opportunity to leadoff against a couple of pitchers off whom he has pounded several home runs. Don’t hesitate to plug Choo in to your lineup and expect a power surge.
Brandon Phillips has been swinging a hot bat of late, collecting three home runs in the last week to go with several multi-hit games. The hot streak should continue this week. Phillips has hit the ball well when facing the Cleveland Indians’ starters that are scheduled to take the mound this week. Phillips is a must-start this week in your middle infield.
Position Players to Avoid
Adam LaRoche enters the week finding himself stuck in a slump. The lefty first baseman has even found himself getting an occasional day off of late to try and rest and get back on track. Things don’t look real promising this week. LaRoche has struggled in a small sampling against this week’s opponents, but given his recent struggles you should find another option at first base for your team this week.
Nick Swisher limps into the week hitting ball well but a little banged up after leaving Saturday’s game with a minor injury. With limited success against he starters that Swisher and the New York Yankees will face, you would be advised to find another option in your fantasy lineup this week.
Someone is going to have to hit the ball for the Yankees this week as Swisher and Russell Martin headline a list of players with little success against their upcoming opponents. Martin often redeems himself with the occasional long ball, but against this weeks opponents he has only managed one home run. Sit him down this week.
Always a must start, C.C. Sabathia gets two starts this week. He has few starts against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, this week’s two interleague opponents, but he has been effective against them. You know what to do … start him!
Despite the results not showing in the win column, Jake Peavy has pitched very well in his last three starts. With two starts against opponents that he has historically pitched well against, I suggest being sure to get Peavy in your rotation this week.
Matt Harrison has thrown the ball well lately. With two starts against teams he has never faced you never know exactly what you will get. Based on his recent success and the opponents and venues, I would roll the dive and start Harrison this week.
Clay Buchholz will be relied on to anchor the Boston Red Sox staff with Josh Beckett on the shelf for a while. Buchholz has been working toward that role of late with several solid outings. He should be started again this week.
Cole Hamels has been roughed up in his career against this week’s opponents. Don’t get cute and over think it. Hamels is a must start every time out. Get him in your lineup.
I have been eagerly awaiting the regression of R.A. Dickey, mostly because the guy who has him in my league is running away with from the rest of the pack on the heels of some fortunate pickups. Dickey gets two starts this week, and you can’t sit him now.
Looking to sneak in a two-start pitcher and considering Mark Buehrle? Look somewhere else. Buehrle has struggled of late and his matchups are no sure thing.
Matt Cain gets two starts this week after throwing a perfect game in his last start. You are starting him. It is just that simple.
David Price has been hit hard by the Philadelphia Phillies in his career. This Phillies offense is struggling right now, and Price should be poised to better those career stats.
Lance Lynn gets two starts against teams that will be seeing him for the first time. It wouldn’t matter any way. Lynn is a different pitcher this year. Start him with confidence.
Never the model of consistency, Mat Latos is a matchup starter. He makes his first appearance against the Minnesota Twins after facing off with the Cleveland Indians early in the week. He has pitched well in his career against the Indians. Start him if you think you need the starts, but know that he could get roughed up and hurt you.
Even though these guys get only one start this week, all signs point to them having the opportunity to register good numbers. Make sure to have them active.
Kevin Millwood, Seattle
Jordan Zimmerman, Washington
Jason Vargas, Seattle
Clayton Richard, San Diego
Johan Santana, New York Mets
Edwin Jackson, Washington
Wait Until Next Week
Kyle Lohse, St. Louis
Joe Saunders, Arizona
Wandy Rodriguez, Houston
Bartolo Colon, Oakland
Tim Hudson, Atlanta