Position Players to Start
Get a leg up on your competitor this week by making sure that you work these guys in to your lineup.
Having second base and outfield eligibility is an odd combination, but that sort of flexibility makes Howie Kendrick a good player to have on your roster. This week is setting up as a nice week for Kendrick. Kendrick is set to face three starters this week against which he owns a .500 career batting average or better. Overall, Kendrick has tallied a .371 average with two homeruns against the team of starters he is scheduled to face. Pick your position of greatest need and get Kendrick plugged in to your lineup.
Asdrubal Cabrera has been hitting the ball well in the last couple of weeks and figures to be a good play this week for you at shortstop. Cabrera is the recipient of a full slate of seven games this week and should see a high number of at bats to produce for you. Cabrera has been very successful against the starters that he should be facing this week. In his career Cabrera is hitting an impressive .371 with four home runs. Be sure Cabrera is active on your squad this week.
Adrian Beltre has been a little banged up and you will need to monitor his status. He was used as a pinch hitter late in the week and should be good to go barring a setback. If Beltre can stay in the lineup he appears to be poised for a good hitting week. Beltre’s average against the pitchers he figures to face is a solid, but not astronomical .281, but he has also managed to slap six home runs. Count on Beltre for a solid contribution for your team this week as long as he is healthy.
Adam Jones only has a limited body of work against the pitchers that he will face in the coming week, but that body of work is impressive. Jones is a .358 career hitter and he has hit three home runs against the starters that he will take the field against this week. Jones is off to a good start this season and he will enjoy his schedule of matchups this week.
Position Players to Avoid
Lucas Duda has been hitting the ball better lately after battling with an illness that kept him out of the lineup for a while. Now Duda finds himself facing a platoon with Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Given his struggles against the pitchers that the Mets will face this week, Duda may find himself relegated to the bench for much of the week. In twenty nine at bats Duda has only managed two hits for a puny .069 batting average. Look elsewhere for outfield production this week.
Another example of a guy with a limited number of at bats against the pitchers that he will face this week is Zack Cozart. Though he has only nine at bats, Cozart has yet to register a hit off of any of the starters that will take the mound against him this week. You can find a better option this week.
Matt Joyce has been in a small slump lately, and history suggests the struggles may continue this week. Joyce is 4-22 (.181) with a single home run against the starter that he will face this week. Joyce is generally a coin flip type starter in mixed leagues. This week he belongs on your bench.
Nick Markakis’ bat has come alive in the last two weeks and he is slowly pulling his batting average to respectability. This week, however, Markakis will find the going tough. Over his career Markakis has only a .218 (25-110) batting average against the starters that will take the mound against the Orioles this week. He does have four long balls against those starters, so he may be able to get a home run this week, but overall he looks likely to struggle at the plate.
All Teams are Not Created Equal
These teams have a full slate of seven games this week. If you are considering two players with similar skills, go with the guy with more games and more opportunities to contribute.
Boston Red Sox
Two Start Pitchers
Several fantasy owners got caught up in Phil Humber’s no hitter earlier in the season. Humber has the makeup and stuff to be a top of the rotation starter, but right now he is just not consistent enough to count on in fantasy baseball. Humber gets two starts this week, but I can’t recommend that you start him. I can’t justify him having a spot on your roster, but if you are holding on to him make sure you have him reserved this week. Humber did not pitch well against the Indians last week, and he will face them again this week. Later in the week he gets the Royals. Humber has been a reliable source of strikeouts, but his deficiencies in the other categories can not be overlooked.
Ricky Romero has two great matchups this week. Tuesday Romero takes the mound against the A’s. In is career he has a 4-0 record with a 1.49 earned run average. Romero should kick start the week there and then gets the Twins later in the week. He has been equally impressive against the Twins going 4-0 with a 1.70 earned run average. Romero may not always get the run support he needs from the Blue Jays, but his recent performances are enough to warrant keeping him in your lineup.
Jonathan Niese is facing two tough starts this week against the Phillies and Marlins. The N.L. East foes have given Niese a tough time over his career. Niese has a 4.28 combined earned run average and has not been at his best when facing these teams. Niese was hit hard in his last outing and he will again be up against tough foes this week. Keep him reserved this week.
I can’t believe that I am telling you to start Edwin Jackson this week. Jackson gets two starts this week against the Pirates and the Reds this week. Jackson is undefeated against the two opponents and has an impressive 2.59 earned run average. Jackson is always a good candidate to register good strikeout numbers, but this week he appears to be set up for some really good performances. If there has ever been a week to make sure that Jackson is active in your lineup, this is the week.
Tommy Hanson gets the distinction of having one favorable matchup along with a tough matchup. Hanson is winless against the Cubs and Cardinals, but he has pitched well against the Cards. Hanson only has one career start against the Cards, but in that start he went seven innings and only allowed two earned runs. His luck against the Cubs has not been as positive. Hanson has suffered two losses against the Cubs and has an earned run average of over five. Hanson is a young pitcher with a small sampling against all big league teams. He was hit hard in his last outing, so he is not a sure thing, but his talent is enough to suggest you have him active this week.
Yovani Gallardo has been wildly inconsistent this season and this week could be more of the same. Gallardo will face off with the Reds and Cubs this week. He has had a mixed bag of results against the division foes. Don’t be fooled by the name recognition, focus on the numbers. The numbers say that Gallardo belongs on your bench right now.
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.
Wait til Next Week