Is there anything more American than Opening Day? This is one of my favorite times of the year. I am happy to be able to bring you the weekly pitching planner for 2019! In this column, I will highlight two-start pitchers, flyers to start with confidence, guys to avoid and some other notable tidbits of information on a weekly basis.
With the regular season already underway with Seattle and Oakland at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, this first week is a lot longer for fantasy purposes. To muddy the waters more, some teams do not have their rotations or lineups set. So, some of these guys will have three starts in the week and some teams will not have their rotations projected for me to highlight multiple starts deep into Week 1.
Fantasy baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. It is important to use your adds/drops wisely, especially in keeper leagues. For me, fantasy starting pitching is very fluid because it is linked to many other factors from the remaining eight players on the field. Keep in mind, variables independent of the performance of the starter such as run support, ballpark, designated hitters, and relief pitching are all very crucial in deciding on a starter.
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Pitching Planner
I wanted to highlight the number of games played to open the season by team:
- 11 games – Red Sox, Blue Jays, A’s
- 10 games – Rays, Tigers, Rangers, Astros, Angels, Marlins, Reds, Brewers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres, Rockies
- 9 games – Orioles, Yankees, Indians, Mariners, Mets, Braves, Pirates, Cubs, Cardinals,
- 8 games – Twins, White Sox, Royals, Nationals, Phillies
For Week 1 (3/28-4/7) of the 2019 MLB season, we have only three confirmed "three-start" pitchers.
|Player||Opponent 1||Opponent 2||Opponent 3|
|Marcus Stroman||vs Detroit||vs Baltimore||@Cleveland|
|Mike Fiers||vs Los Angeles Angels||vs Boston||@Houston|
(I will denote all left-handed pitchers with a *)
Chris Sale is a must-start in three pitcher-friendly parks.
I like Marcus Stroman to start the season. He gets three nice matchups, and while he doesn’t offer much in terms of K/9, I think he does a good job of keeping the ball on the ground and should up at least one win to start the season.
Mike Fiers is a guy I might roll the dice with against the Angels at home, but otherwise, nothing to see here.
Pitchers to stream week 1 (owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues)
I always like to begin the year with hedging my bets on starters from the National League, playing without the designated hitter to start the season. Hedging your bets, as we have already discussed, will help prime your rosters with as many winning pitchers as possible. For this week:
- Corbin Burnes (MIL): (3/31 vs St Louis)
- Brandon Woodruff (MIL): (3/30 vs St Louis, 4/5 vs Chicago Cubs)
- Tyler Anderson* (COL): (3/30 @ Miami, 4/5 vs Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Matt Strahm* (SD): (4/1 vs Arizona)
- Dereck Rodriguez (SF): (3/30 @ San Diego, 4/5 vs Tampa Bay)
The Brewers and the Padres both have a home stretch to kick off the season. For the Brew-Crew, I like what I see from Burns and Woodruff, and the team has the ability to score a lot of runs. They both have upside and performed well enough lately to earn a spot in the rotation. While the matchups look tough, what better way to kick off a division rivalry than right off the bat (see what I did there?).
Tyler Anderson makes for an intriguing play. The Rockies should score a lot of runs and Anderson poses some quality K/9 upside. He goes against an awful Marlins lineup to kick things off, and I will be starting him with confidence in deeper leagues for that one.
With all the buzz going around about the new and improved Padre lineup, the team should have the ability to score runs and win more games this season. I like what I have seen from Strahm this spring and I think he will settle in nicely.
Dereck Rodriguez gets two pitcher-friendly parks to open up the season and he has done really well against the Padres in the past. While the Giants really struggled to score runs last year, and should again this year, I still think Rodriguez makes for a good deep league flyer this week. Make Pudge proud!
Pitchers to avoid week 1
The White Sox, Royals, and Marlins (and Giants) all scare me in a lot of ways, bad ways.
It is yet to be seen how much run support each of these teams will get or how their relief pitching will settle in. In terms of overall starters though, I think the Marlins have the most upside of these rotations. I like Caleb Smith*, Pablo Lopez, and the young arms Miami is bringing to the table; however, I am not confident in starting any of these starters right away, so for Week 1, leave them alone.
As starting lineups get sorted out, I will point out trends and sleeper players I like each week. I kept this initial posting a little bit more general, as there still are a lot of moving parts left to determine early in the season.
Until next week fans!
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