2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Drop List: Every Matchup Counts

by Tom Stewart
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Drop List

Rejoice! Fantasy Baseball has returned.

You've drafted your squad, your league dues are paid and now it's time to get to work. While the rest of your league rests on their proverbial laurels, you're anxious to make moves. Unlike them, you know that every matchup counts.

In our first installment of the 'Weekly to Drop List,' we'll examine some of the players that you can confidently and comfortably part ways with before they have the opportunity to bury your team's prospects.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Drop List

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Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 2B, Toronto Blue Jays

It's tough to say what will force the 25-year old infielder out of the everyday lineup for the Blue Jays this season. It's a toss-up between the play of teammate and fellow middle infielder Richard Urena and his shockingly apparent inefficiencies at the dish.

In his first five games, Gurriel has gone 2-for-19 with seven strikeouts. The sophomore second baseman has demonstrated little to no plate discipline to start the season. Those games were against arguably the two worst pitching staffs in the American League, the Tigers and Orioles.

Outside of his 2B and SS eligibility, Gurriel Jr. offers Fantasy owners very little in terms of offensive capabilities, at least not to start the year.

Look for his 44% ownership to drop in the coming weeks, much like his playing time.

Sonny Gray, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Like a lot of Fantasy owners looking for pitching depth late in the draft, you may have targeted veteran right-hander Sonny Gray as a possible sleeper pick for your 2019 squad.

Well, like everyone else, you were faced with the blatant realization that he is far from the player he was back in 2015 with the Athletics. Heck, he may not even be the player he was a season ago.

Gray struggled immensely in his Reds debut, surrendering five hits and four walks before being pulled after tossing only 2.2 innings pitched.

The fact of the matter is that the lasting reputation Gray has garnered in recent seasons as a serviceable depth arm has transitioned to being no more than a waiver wire lottery play.

Pick him up if he ever strings together a few decent starts. However, he has no business occupying permanent real estate in your 2019 lineup.

Matt Strahm, SP, San Diego Padres

Matt Strahm's career numbers indicate that he is an incredible reliever. They also indicate that he is a brutal starter.

In nine career starts, the 27-year old left-hander has posted a 5.53 ERA and a 1.41WHIP. Far from the crisp 2.52 ERA and 1.16 WHIP he's tossed across 78 career appearances in relief.

His start on opening weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks followed the trend of his career. He scattered three walks, eight hits, and five earned runs across just 2.2 innings pitched.

The lack of starting pitching depth for the Padres means that Strahm will more than likely have to figure out his struggles on the job. Which could be bad news for Fantasy owners.

My advice is to drop him now, anticipate that his inflated numbers scare off any would-be suitors, and be ready to scoop him back up if he ever can replicate the success he's had as a reliever in a starting role.

Hunter Strickland, RP, Seattle Mariners

It's going to be a few months before we see Hunter Strickland close for the Seattle Mariners again.

The 30-year old right-hander was placed on the 60-day disabled list after an MRI exam revealed a Grade 2 strain in his right lat muscle.

In three appearances for Seattle this season, Strickland was 2-for-3 in save opportunities surrendering three earned runs across 2.1 innings pitched.

Fantasy owners should target newly appointed closer Cory Gearrin. He is owned in just 14% of leagues and is expected to carry the closing duties while Strickland recovers from his early-season injury.

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

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