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Position Players to Start
Aramis Ramirez gets several matchups this week that are to his favor. Ramirez has a terrific track record against four of the starting pitchers he is set to face. Overall, against the starters that Ramirez stands to face, he has a hefty .383 (18 for 47) career batting average with four homeruns. After getting off to a slow start Ramirez seems to be coming around and should find his way in to your lineup this week.
Yunel Escobar has shown promise over the years, but has never really gotten over the hump as an elite performer. Players like Escobar who are plagued with inconsistency drive fantasy owners crazy. This week should be one of those good weeks where fantasy owners are pleased with the offensive output. Escobar has an impressive track record against the starters that the Blue Jays will square off with, batting .467 (21 for 45) with four long balls in his five big league seasons. Plug him in if you are struggling at shortstop or are looking for a favorable utility play.
Ryan Zimmerman is a career .400 hitter when facing the starters that he is slated to see this week. Zimmerman has a banged up shoulder and his ability to play Sunday was questionable. A rainout should give him the extra rest that he needs to get back in the lineup when the Nationals start their week on Tuesday on the west coast in San Diego. While he may get a day an extra day off somewhere this week, Zimmerman’s success is too much to ignore. He is a start this week.
Gaby Sanchez is another corner infielder who has a string of favorable matchups this week. Sanchez will look to build off his success as the Marlins face the Mets and Diamondbacks in series this week. Sanchez has hammered four long balls and boasts a .343 career average against the starting pictures he is scheduled to meet up with this week.
The Red Sox are in disarray and struggling out of the gate. Josh Willingham has feasted off their pitching and will be waiting to tee off on them again to open the week. While he hasn’t touched the Sox pitchers up for homeruns, he is a career .500 hitter against their starters that he will square off with to start the week. He hasn’t faired as well against the Royals’ staff he closes the week out with, but he should be a good play this week in your lineup.
Omar Infante is a risky play this week despite his strong historic numbers when facing his scheduled opponents. Infante has been battling through back trouble and was not in the lineup Sunday before the game was rained out. His status for Tuesday’s game is not known. Don’t get fooled by his strong numbers and leave a player in your lineup that will likely see limited action this coming week.
Position Players to Avoid
Miguel Montero doesn’t have a huge sampling but he has had a tough time when facing the Phillies and Marlins pitchers that he will be facing off with this week. Montero is only a career .250 hitter with a single homerun against those starters. The catcher position is not very deep, but if you have a better option, this week is a good week to plug him in and cross your fingers. Montero will have a tough week this week.
While we are on the subject of catchers facing an uphill battle this week, Geovany Soto certainly doesn’t have a cakewalk either. Soto hasn’t hit the ball off anyone yet this season and the week of matchups coming up doesn’t look like the place where he will likely heat up. Over his career, Soto is only a .219 hitter against the pitchers he faces this week. Plugging in another catcher at this point is the best advice that I can offer.
Ryan Roberts is a versatile player who earns his way on to many fantasy rosters due to his multiple position eligibility. Though he may find the field a lot this week, he will also likely find it tough to get on base. Roberts did not play on Sunday against the Braves and is hitless in his previous four games. This week he is scheduled to face off against several pitchers who have gotten the best of him over the years. Roberts has only one hit against three of the starters he faces this week and has yet to see the other three. Avoid Roberts this week until he can get his bat going.
Carlos Lee has belted five homeruns against the starters that he should see this week, but beyond that he hasn’t hit the ball well off of them. Lee is only a career .218 hitter when facing the starters that he is scheduled to face. Mix in the fact that he has gotten off to a slow start and I recommend that Lee spends this week on your bench.
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.
San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Boston Red Sox
Two Start Pitchers
Though his history against the Red Sox and A’s isn’t overwhelming, Jake Peavy has been pitching too good to sit him this week. Peavy’s earned run average is in the mid fours in limited appearances against the teams he will face this week, but his numbers in his first three starts this season have been great. Get him in your lineup and take advantage of the resurgence.
Jordan Zimmerman has been the model of consistency so far this season, going seven innings and allowing one earned runs in each of his first three starts. This week he faces the Padres and Dodgers. He has a small sampling of starts against the two National League West clubs, but is far too hot to consider benching this week.
Jamie Garcia is historically a better pitcher at home than on the road. This week he gets a road and home start. He has been successful against both the Cubs and Brewers in his career, but be warned the occasional road start bomb is not out of the question.
Mat Latos has yet to get on track and has been roughed up in each of his starts this season. This week he should get back on track with two starts against teams that he has had success against in the past. Latos will throw against the Giants and Astros this week. Though he only has a combined 5-4 record against the two clubs he does boast a 2.53 earned run average. Look for Latos to turn the corner this week and make sure you have him in your starting lineup.
Jon Lester will be looking to rebound after a rocky outing where he only lasted in to the third inning against the Rangers this week as he gets two starts against the Twins and White Sox. Unfortunately for Lester owners the lefty does not have a good track record against these two foes. In his career Lester is only 4-6 with an earned run average of right at five. It may be tough to bench a pitcher as talented as Lester, but it is even tougher to win your matchup with two sub par starts.
It is hard to warn against a two start pitcher who has never lost to either of the teams he is set to face. That’s exactly where Max Scherzer sits this week, and the only warning you will get from me is to make sure that he is in your lineup. Scherzer is a combined 7-0 with a 2.35 earned run average against the Mariners and Yankees. Take advantage of the sneaky hot streak and get Scherzer in your starting lineup.
You shouldn’t have to warn fantasy owners to be cautious with a pitcher that is 0-3 with a 6.75 earned run average, but when it comes to two start pitchers many owners are eager to take advantage and ignore conventional wisdom. Ervin Santana has been cold out of the gates and faces the Rays and Indians this week. If his slow start wasn’t enough to scare you he is a combined 6-11 with a 4.79 earned run average against these weeks’ foes. Sit him this week and cross your fingers that he can get back on track.
One Start Wonders
Wait til Next Week
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