Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Hitting Planner: To The Left


Happy Easter everyone! Hopefully, everyone is enjoying a safe and happy long weekend.

A full weekend of games in the books and there have been some major developments thus far. Injuries are the worst thing to happen to baseball since Rob Manfred got his hands on the pace of play rules.

Thus far, the much-ballyhooed humidor hasn’t done much to slow the offense in Arizona. Granted, the Rockies were in town so we’ll wait for a bit longer to see how things change moving forward.

The Week 1 Hitting planner will look at matchups between April 2nd and April 8th.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Hitting Planner

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

Offenses To Target

Atlanta Braves (.vs Nationals, @ Rockies)

You knew this was coming. The Braves will spend three nights in Coors at the end of the week and will make for great targets in Week 1. Atlanta put up 27 runs in three games against the Phillies and looked great (even without Ronald Acuna). They’ll start their week against the Nationals at home where A.J. Cole and Tanner Roark await. You might want to sit these hitters against Max Scherzer, but they are great plays for the rest of their games.

Players to Target: Nick Markakis, Ender InciarteRyan Flaherty
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I didn’t put Freddie Freeman on the list because he’s going to be started everywhere anyways. However, guys like the ones above might not be in everyday lineups but should be played in every game outside of the Scherzer matchup. Fringe guys like Dansby Swanson are options at Coors as well for those hurting for depth.

 Texas Rangers (@ Athletics, .vs Blue Jays)

Finally, the Rangers offense will be away from the buzzsaw that is the Astros rotation. In the four-game series against their Texas neighbors, the Rangers offense only mustered eight runs in four games. Yes, the loss of Delino Deshields will hurt the top of the order, but the rest of the offense should be more than capable of producing enough runs.

Players to Target: Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor, Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara

As predicted, Gallo and Odor had a rough time against the Astros. Neither was able to get much going (save for the expected Gallo dinger) because they were too busy striking out. However, the upcoming four-game series in Oakland should help in getting them both on track. The A’s rotation (outside of Sean Manea) aren’t known for their strikeout prowess, meaning Gallo and Odor will have plenty of chance to make contact with the ball. The pitcher-friendly Coliseum won’t matter to either of them.

With Deshields out, Mazara and Choo will occupy for prominent spots in the lineup and should be able to take advantage of the soft A’s rotation.

After the A’s series, the Rangers will travel home to face the Blue Jays. Anything can happen when these teams play each other and I want a piece of it. I’m waiting for Jose Bautista to heckle Odor from the stands.

Offenses to Avoid

San Francisco Giants (vs. Mariners, vs. Dodgers)

The new look offense for the Giants hasn’t looked much different than last year’s edition who ranked 29th in runs scored. Over a weekend series with the Dodgers, the Giants only offense came on two Joe Panik solo shots. They managed to win two of the games because of the Dodgers offensive struggles but were otherwise shut down by the Dodgers rotation.

Players to Avoid: Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Andrew McCutchen
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Giants hitters will be hard pressed to produce once again in Week 2. They have an off day Monday and Thursday and will play all their games at home, in one of the worst hitters parks in the league. After a two-game series against Seattle, the Dodgers will come to visit where the Giants figure to line up against Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Clayton Kershaw once again. Good luck.

Tampa Bay Rays (@ Yankees, @ Red Sox)

I’m also surprised that I would suggest avoiding a team playing in New York and Boston, but there a few reasons to avoid Rays hitters this week. First, they only have five games, so right away you’re at a disadvantage in weekly leagues or in leagues with short benches.

Second, Tampa Bay will face a tough run of starters.  Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, and David Price are huge matchup problems for Tampa Bay and I can easily see them being shut down in each game.

Players to Avoid: Kevin Kiermaier, Mallex Smith, Brad Miller, Denard Span

Two of the three starters the Rays will face before Friday are southpaws (Montgomery and Price) meaning that the above players could have a very tough start to the week. Those looking for cheap steals from Smith might be out of luck, as he’s a candidate to sit against both lefties.

Platoon Targets

Kyle Schwarber, OF, Chicago Cubs

Schwarber has gotten off to a great start this season, hitting two homers in four games. The former catcher has also collected multiple hits in two straight games. The weight loss looks to have done wonders for him and he’ll be a great play over the next week where the Cubs will face five right-handed pitchers (career .870 OPS) and only two lefties (career .570 OPS).

Jake Lamb/David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks

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With upcoming matchups against three tough lefties (Ryu, Kershaw, Alex Wood) Lamb and Peralta are good bets to struggle. Lamb slashes a career .157/.264/.297 against lefties, while Peralta holds a career .242./.308/.353 line against southpaws. Chris Owings might see a start or two over Peralta in the outfield while Daniel Descalso could give Lamb a breather if the first game or two doesn’t turn out too well.

Check out the rest of our great 2018 Fantasy Baseball content.

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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  1. Pingback: 2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Hitting Planner: Fly High - Fantasy Six Pack

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