Position Players to Start
The Miami Marlins signing of Jose Reyes is paying off nicely in the early going of the season. Reyes comes in to this week on the heels of a seven-game hitting streak and boasts a .355 average against the starting pitchers that he will face this week. He is a useful play for your fantasy team this week.
The Atlanta Braves will be depending on Martin Prado to contribute more offensively while Chipper Jones does a stint on the disabled list. Prado has nine multi-hit games in the last two weeks in addition to absolutely owning the starters he should see this week. Utilize Prado’s versatility and find him a spot in your starting lineup this week.
A discussion of the game’s best young hitters has to include Chicago Cubs’ shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro is at it again through the first two months of this season hitting the ball well. This week he is matched up with starting pitchers against whom he holds a .438 (14-32) career average.
David Ortiz has stormed out of the gates early in the season, putting up some very impressive stats in the early going. Of late, Ortiz has been in a small slump, but his upcoming matchups might be just what he needs to snap out of it. Ortiz is a career .308 hitter against the team of starting pitchers he is scheduled to face this week. You may be forced to slide him in to your utility slot, because of his limited eligibility, but the rewards will pay off for your team.
Position Players to Avoid
Matt Wieters enters the week finding himself mired in a deep slump. The Baltimore catcher likely won’t see any relief from the competition this week. Look elsewhere for a better option behind the plate for your fantasy squad this week.
Chris Young was off to a hot start to the season before an injury sidelined him for a couple of weeks. Young returned to lineup on May 18, but has struggled. This week Young is set to face a team of pitchers that have held him to a career .215 batting average. Young has slugged eight home runs off these pitchers, so this week may bring a “feast or famine” type result for Young owners.
Mark Teixeira has responded to being dropped in the lineup by coming alive and hitting the ball better of late. It is difficult to ever leave a player the caliber of Teixeira out of your lineup, but if you have a better option this might be the week to consider it. Teixeira is set to face off with six veteran pitchers who have overwhelmingly been successful against him by limiting him to a paltry .184 batting average.
Two Start Pitchers
Ted Lilly has been a pleasant surprise this season. He was roughed up in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but should recover with two favorable matchups this week. Lilly has a solid track record against both the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies. Factor in his two good starts already this season against Colorado and Lilly should be started this week.
Jordan Zimmerman struggled to get any run support in the early season, and though his record does not reflect it, he has pitched well this season. This week he faces off with the Minnesota Twins and division rival Atlanta. Plug him in your lineup and expect good performances even if the wins don’t pile up.
Matt Moore has struggled to deliver on the preseason hype surrounding him. Moore hasn’t really been hit hard in his starts, but his control has gotten him into trouble. The high strikeout, high walk routine drives pitch counts up quickly and translates in to quick exits for a young pitcher. Keep Moore reserved until he can improve his control and earn his spot back in to your rotation.
Many owners have latched on to Wandy Rodriguez and enjoyed a good performance spot start from him this season. This week, Rodriguez has the tough task of facing off with the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds. Rodriguez has historically been roughed up against these two teams. For what it’s worth, he had a tough go with the Chicago Cubs in his career prior to his start against them last week. I say keep him reserved unless you are desperate for pitching options.
Shaun Marcum has been incredibly underwhelming through the first couple of months of the season, collecting a 2-3 record in the early going. Marcum has two favorable matchups this week and could use the games a good catapult to turn the season around
One Start Wonders
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.
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati
Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox
Derek Holland, Texas
Gio Gonzalez, Washington
Ian Kennedy, Arizona
Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay
Anibal Sanchez, Miami
Josh Johnson, Miami
Wait Until Next Week
Brandon Morrow, Toronto
R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
Tim Hudson, Atlanta
Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels