Fantasy Baseball

2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Part II Hitting Planner

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Wow, what a fun weekend that was. I think I watched an estimated 25 hours of baseball between Friday and Sunday. On an unrelated note, I also gained at least five pounds. Since we have an extended “Week 1” I’m presenting you with my 2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Part II Hitting Planner.

Let’s see how my picks fared in last week’s hitting planner:

  • Boston, Baltimore, and Philly all hit for me in the “offenses to target” section. All three teams were in the top ten in runs scored per game last week. I don’t think it’ll be long before Alex Verdugo hits at the top of the Red Sox lineup. Anthony Santander for the Orioles was also very impressive.
  • I didn’t do half-bad on my “offenses to avoid” section either. All four teams I listed finished in the bottom ten in runs scored per game – Seattle, Detroit, Kansas City, and Colorado. To be fair, the Mariners actually played decently against a strong Houston pitching staff. More on them later.

Okay, now time to peer into the second part of Week 1 of the fantasy baseball season!

2020 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Part II Hitting Planner

Matchup Chart

The basic idea behind the chart is to give a quick, digestible view of the pitchers each team will face using “R”/”L” for righty versus lefty and color-coding those letters based on that pitcher’s skill level. This will be a gut feeling color-coding, not an exact science. Green will mean a good matchup and red will mean a bad matchup.

Of course, this chart is subject to change. I may try to incorporate some BI software to create an interactive chart where you can select dropdown options by handedness, pitcher rank, or actual pitcher name. We shall see – the season is young!

Also, my source for probable pitchers comes from the folks over at FantasyPros. Once I learn who to give the props to, I will certainly do so! It’s basically this chart transposed and nameless.

Offenses to Target

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Tampa Bay Rays

This one is kind of easy, but it’s necessary to point out because of all the platoon bats they mix in on a daily basis. The Rays are expected to face four righties this week and if I had to guess, that Friday starter for Baltimore will also be a righty. So, it should be a great week for the left-handed bats in Tampa.

In the early going, we’ve seen Tampa place Ji-Man Choi and Brandon Lowe in the leadoff and two-hole slots, respectively. They will be auto-plays this week in season-long and DFS. Yoshi Tsutugo needs to garner consideration in your lineups as well to a lesser extent. I wouldn’t worry too much about Yandy Diaz as they’ve batted him third in each game so far.

On the other hand, expectations for Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, and Jose Martinez need to be tempered.

Seattle Mariners

As previously mentioned, I was impressed by the M’s offense against some very strong pitchers in the Houston starting staff and bullpen alike. This week, they’ll have seven games against mostly mediocre starters. I’m excited to see what this young team can do with better opportunities!

I’m very impressed by rookie Kyle Lewis so far. He’s a player that I’ve been able to watch in person a few times at the Double-A level. He’s always had the raw talent, but it’s finally coming together for him and he could be an electric player. Against Houston in the opening weekend, he had four hits including a homer off both Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. He’s a strong waiver wire pickup and a plug-in option for this week.

The veterans are playing well too. Kyle Seager is always a consistent player and has gotten off to a hot start. J.P. Crawford is a post-hype player that is showing out. If you need catcher help, Austin Nola should be available on waiver wires and provide a nice week of production.

Offenses to Avoid

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Atlanta Braves

I’m not avoiding the top half of the lineup in any situation. That group is way too solid to ever sit in a standard fantasy lineup. However, I am concerned for most of the other bats in this lineup for this week. It’ll be mostly righty starters for opposing teams this week from two tough rosters in the Rays and Mets.

Not that anyone is truly relying on these guys, but I’d be reluctant to play Dansby Swanson or Austin Riley in this scenario. Adam Duvall might be an enticing waiver wire name, but don’t fall for it. Additionally, while Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers could return this week, I’d give them a rest in my fantasy lineup until you see them come back to full strength.

Baltimore Orioles

Alright, I guessed correctly on the Orioles last week, but it’s time to fade them again. Their series against the Marlins is up in the air due to the breakout of COVID-19 in the Miami clubhouse. Then, they turn around and face Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow over the weekend. Not exactly what you want out of your Baltimore hitters this week!

I’d be sitting just about everybody in this lineup. While there is a case to be made for someone like Anthony Santander, who’s gotten off to a great start this year, I’d be looking just to stash him and play the waiting game. Rio Ruiz may require some attention if they do get to play the Marlins’ slew of righties, but again that’s looking very unlikely right now.

Notable Players

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Eric Thames, 1B, Washington Nationals

Thames should be a nice plug-in option, at least for five games this week. The Nationals face five righty starters this week, none of whom are top 50 pitchers by ADP in 2020. Thames runs a career 0.354 wOBA against righties and he’s really their only power bat from the left side to work with so he should hit cleanup in those games.



Trent Grisham, OF, San Diego Padres

Grisham’s opening weekend was solid, hitting three singles and taking three walks in 13 plate appearances, good for a 0.462 OBP. The Padres don’t have any reason to drop him the lineup at the moment from the 2-hole, especially against righties. I’d expect him to show some of that power that he had in the minors last year and really take off this week. Plus, a few games at Coors Field over the weekend never hurt! Give your waiver wire a look just in case Grisham slipped through the cracks.


Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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