Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Hitting Planner: Vlad Arrives!


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made his Major League debut on Friday night against the Athletics. While it wasn’t the four-hit, 16 RBI game Blue Jays fans were expecting, Guerrero hit a ninth-inning double that lead to the eventual walk-off hit.

He finished the game 1-for-4 with a double and also had two DEEP fly balls in the game. It’s clear that his power is real and will cause problems for opposing pitchers very soon.

Anyone lucky enough to have Vlad on their team is going to be reaping massive rewards, even in a weak Jays lineup.

Let’s get to the hitting planner.

BONUS ROUND: I’m aware that the Rays have a full seven-game week against the Royals and Orioles. They are an excellent target for next week, but I’ve already talked about them at length in the previous two Hitting Planners. To avoid repeating myself again, I’ll just say to trust the Tampa Bay Hitters next week.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Hitting Planner

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Offense to Target – Washington Nationals

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The decent Nationals offense got a big boost to their lineup on Friday, with top prospect Carter Kieboom debuting. Any help in the middle infield would help Washington, as the ghost of Brian Dozier hasn’t quite been up to snuff.

They will also run into a couple of good matchups to make things easier for Kieboom. St. Louis and their 29th ranked (by WAR) pitching staff. Cardinals pitchers have been walking a ton of batters but their 82.5 LOB (left on base) percentage is easily the highest in the league. Eventually, some of the people they put on base will start scoring and their ERA will soar.

Notable Players

Kieboom is the easiest option here. If he’s available, he should be added in all leagues, especially for owners who need a shortstop. Adam Eaton, Dozier and the catching tandem of Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki should all see a boost next week.

Offense to Avoid – Seattle Mariners

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The Mariners will take the double whammy next week. Not only do they have just five games on the schedule, but they will also be facing a couple of good pitching staffs.

After an off day Monday, Seattle will start a two-game mini-series against the Cubs. The Cubs staff didn’t have a great start to the season, but they have been excellent in the last two weeks. As a team, Chicago has a 2.09 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over the last 14 days. Starters Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, and Cole Hamels have given up a combined eight earned runs over their last 53.1 innings.

Next, the Mariners will travel to Cleveland to take on the Indians and their top-ranked pitching staff. If the current schedule lines up, the probable starters for Cleveland over the three-game series will be Shane Bieber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer.

Notable Players

Mitch Haniger is bordering on must-start territory, so I would leave him in lineups. However, the slumping Edwin Encarnacion (2-for-22 last week), Ryon Healy, Mallex Smith, Tim Beckham, and Daniel Vogelbach are difficult starts next week.

Offense to Target – Colorado Rockies

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The Colorado offense has not been the powerhouse we would normally expect. As of Thursday night, they rank 25th in home runs, 23rd in runs scored and dead last in wRC+. It’s been a tough go for Rockies owners so far, but this could be the week they get themselves back on track.

Colorado starts the week with a four-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers. While the Milwaukee bats have been incredible, their pitching has not been able to keep up. Their pitching staff is ranked 27th by WAR and carries a 5.35 ERA, fifth worst in the league. A struggling staff and an extreme pitcher’s park makes the Rockies early series an easy one to target.

Next, the Rockies will travel back home for a three-game series against the Diamondbacks. The Arizona staff has been very average this season, but an average staff can turn into a bad one thanks to Coors Field. Of course, the Colorado offense performs much better at home than they do on the road.

Notable Players

A returning Daniel Murphy, Ryan McMahon, and Garrett Hampson are solid options that might be available in your league. McMahon and Hampson, in particular, are widely available. I will never recommend Ian Desmond. Use him at your own risk.

Offense to Avoid – Los Angeles Angels

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The Angels are another victim of the double whammy schedule, playing just five games against tough opponents.

Their first series is against the Blue Jays are their surprisingly effective rotation. Right now, Toronto has the 10th ranked rotation, with a sterling 3.52 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Aaron Sanchez‘s fragile fingernails have left their rotation depth in question, but at the moment both he and Marcus Stroman are scheduled to pitch against the Angels.

Los Angeles will then host Houston for a short two-game series over the weekend. Of course, Houston still has one of the best rotations in the league and will be sending Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole to the hill during the series.

Notable Players

Every Los Angeles bat not named Mike Trout should be benched this week.

Platoon Target

Nick Markakis, OF, Atlanta Braves

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The Braves will be facing at least three left-handers next week, making the veteran Markakis a sneaky streaming option. The former Oriole is hitting a ridiculous .421 against southpaws in 21 at-bats this season.

The platoon split is not confined to Markakis, as the Braves have seven regular starters hitting over .300 against left-handed pitching. Ender Inciarte (.375 against lefties) and Dansby Swanson (.353) are two other Braves with some appeal during a lefty-heavy week.

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

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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