Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Hitting Planner: Something Brewing

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Welcome to the Week 3 Hitting Planner! If you need some last minute planning going into the weekend, check out the Week 2 Hitting Planner.

Is anyone else’s season getting completely thrown off by injuries? I mean, I know that someone reading this is suffering the same pain I am. Just two weeks into the season and we’ve already seen major players placed on the DL, Nelson Cruz, Adam Eaton (again), Anthony Rizzo, and Xander Boegarts come to mind. Now David Price is feeling “tingling” in his hand? It’s gone past the point of ridiculous.

There’s nothing you can do to plan for injuries, except avoiding Travis D’arnaud. Hopefully, your team is healthy enough to make it through another week without having to scramble to fill out your roster. If you are scrambling, the Hitting Planner can help you pick your spots for next week.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Hitting Planner

Get customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.

Offenses to Target

Milwaukee Brewers (vs. Cincinnati, vs. Miami)

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Thanks to injuries to Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich the Brewers offense has fallen on hard times. Over the last seven days, Milwaukee ranks 27th in the league in runs scored, and 26th in wOBA. Fortunately, Cain is scheduled to return to the lineup Friday, while Yelich is hoping to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday. The timing couldn’t be better for the Brew Crew as they’ll head into a week against two of the worst rotations in the league.

The Brewers will start their week-long homestand on Monday against the Reds. Through 10 games, the Reds have the worst team ERA (5.59) in the majors and rank 29th in K/BB and HR/9. Safe to say that Cincy is an easily exploitable matchup. Barring any changes, the Reds will send Luis Castillo, Sal Romano, and Tyler Mahle to the hill during the series. Castillo is the only pitcher of concern, but his fastball command has been off and he’s giving up a lot of hard contact. Until he turns it around, he’s not a pitcher owners should fade.

For their second series, the Brewers will welcome the Marlins to Miller Park. The Marlins rotation hasn’t been as bad the Reds’ but they still rank near the bottom of the league in ERA (28th), HR/9 (24th) and K/BB (20th). They’re also 27th in opponents average, allowing batters to hit .255 against them. The Marlins rotation is awful, as their “best” starter, Jose Urena, has an ERA of 5.06 over three starts.

Players to Target: Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia, Eric Thames, Jonathan Villar, Domingo Santana

Of course, guys like Cain, Yelich, and Travis Shaw should be started. For guys like Braun, Santana, and Villar, this series is the perfect opportunity to get their seasons off the ground.

Houston Astros (@ Seattle, @ CWS)

Yes, my advice is to target one of the most loaded offenses in the majors. Genius, right?

The Astros play a full slate of games this week, against two of the poorest performing pitching staffs in the league. First, they will head to Seattle where the Mariners staff has an ERA of 4.97 and are giving up 1.55 HR/9. The Astros will go against the trio of Ariel Miranda, Mike Leake, and Marco Gonzales. They’ll have to face James Paxton on Monday, which is easily the toughest test they’ll face all week long.

Houston will then visit the White Sox and their staff who rank 28th in team ERA. The Sox staff walks a ton of batters (4.68 BB/9) which will be music to the ears of the Astros lineup. Through 13 games, the Astros have the sixth highest walk rate in the majors and are tied for the fourth best OBP. If they’re able to consistently get on base, there will be plenty of opportunity for run scoring all through the lineup. Not to mention that Guaranteed Rate Field was one of the better hitters parks all of last year.

Players to Target: Josh Reddick, Marwin Gonzalez, Brian McCann, Derek Fisher
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I shouldn’t have to tell you to start your studs. If you have Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa or Evan Gattis: Start them. This week, fringe guys like Reddick, Gonzalez, and McCann should see a boost in value due to the softer schedule. Reddick and Gonzalez still have great spots in the lineup and will have plenty of opportunities to cash in the big four.

Offenses to Avoid

San Diego Padres (vs. LAD, @ Arizona)

The Padres offense isn’t a powerhouse to begin with, but owners will want to avoid them like the plague next week. Wil Myers is still on the DL with nerve irritation and he hasn’t thrown or hit in his rehab so he will likely be out a while longer. Manuel Margot is also on the DL and won’t be eligible to return until after next week, so an already weak-hitting Padres lineup will be without two of their best weapons.

Now a solo act, Eric Hosmer and co. will face the Dodgers at home. Luckily they’ll avoid Clayton Kershaw but they’ll still have to deal with Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, and Rich Hill in the three-game series. Wood didn’t look like himself in his last start, giving up seven runs to the A’s. If the poor outing was due to his decreased velocity, not his reported illness, then the Padres will have an easier night against him.

The matchup against the Diamondbacks is even tougher, as the Arizona rotation has been excellent to start the season. The team ERA is a sparkling 2.72 with a 3.72 K/BB, both marks are third in the league. The Padres will line up against Taijuan Walker, Zack Godley, and Patrick Corbin. They don’t sound like the scariest trio out there, but through seven combined starts they’ve only surrendered ten earned runs.

Players to Avoid: Eric Hosmer, Freddy Galvis, Jose Pirela, Austin Hedges

Without Myers and Margot, it’s best to avoid anyone in the Padres lineup until they return. Hosmer could still provide a good average for owners, but it will be an empty average without the counting stats or power to support it. Pirela is having a nice season so far, but his .409 BABIP is due for regression. Galvis and Hedges are fringe options that should be avoided at all costs this week.

Minnesota Twins (vs. Cleveland, @ Tampa Bay)

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The Twins have a couple things working against them next week. First, they only play five games this week, with a rest day on Monday and Thursday. Second, they will be facing five tough matchups on the days they do play. The Twins will play their first series at home against Cleveland, where they will face Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer.

The Twins’ second series of the week will be in Tampa Bay, where they’ll have the misfortune of lining up against the Rays three best pitchers in Chris Archer, Blake Snell, and Yonny Chirinos.

Players to Avoid: Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler

Buxton and Sano are going to have a bad time in their first four games of the week. Sano is striking out nearly 50 percent of the time, while Buxton is closing in on 30 percent. The “worst” pitcher they’ll be facing all week in Yonny Chirinos, who hasn’t given up a run in 14.1 innings this season and striking out nearly a batter per inning. Owners in points leagues need to consider outright benching those two all week long.

Platoon Targets

Eric Thames, OF/1B, Milwaukee Brewers

Thames could be the biggest beneficiary of the Milwaukee schedule next week. In their seven games, the Brewers will be facing six right-handed pitchers. With just one southpaw on the schedule, Thames will see plenty of playing time. He has eight hits against right-handers this season, five of which have been home runs. With a relatively soft lineup of pitchers on the docket Thames should be able to take advantage with a couple of dingers.

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Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros

Fisher hasn’t played well this season but he’ll have his chance to turn it around late in the week. The Astros will be facing four straight right-handers in Chicago, meaning Fisher should get four games hitting in front of Houston’s big guns. He makes for a decent DFS and streaming option during the White Sox series.


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About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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