Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 2 (4/8-4/14)

The hitters you should start and avoid this week in fantasy.

What’s up everyone!

If you’re unfamiliar with this series, each week I take a look at some hitting matchups you should take advantage of and some hitting matchups you should avoid, based on who the hitters will likely be facing on the mound. I’ll also be focusing on catchers you can stream each week since we all know that catcher can be an especially tricky position in fantasy.

If you’d like to learn more about when it becomes less risky to stream hitters (and pitchers) and when certain team stats start to stabilize during the year, check out this article.

So let’s take a look at the hitters to start and avoid in Week 2 (4/8-4/14) of the fantasy baseball season.

Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this post’s publication. It is entirely possible that the actual matchups could change for any number of reasons. Keep in mind, this article is geared toward middle-of-the-road players, meaning you should be starting top-of-the-line bats regardless of the matchup. Always start your studs.




Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – The Diamondbacks get a six-game week this week, starting off with three games against the Rockies in Coors Field, and whenever you get to face one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball (or, arguably the worst pitching staff in baseball) in the best hitters park in baseball, you know you’ve got to start your hitters.

After that, the D’Backs will have three games against the Cardinals, where they’ll see Steven Matz, Kyle Gibson, and Miles Mikolas, none of whom scare me all that much.

Jake McCarthy has started off the year pretty solid, slashing .308/.357/.385, if you’re looking for an outfielder in deeper leagues. Eugenio Suárez has been starting off hot too, slashing .355/.382/.516 to kick off the season and is worth a start this week.

One caveat here to your D’Backs hitters though: in deeper weekly leagues you may actually not want to start Joc Pederson. Pederson has been hot to start the year, but of the six games the D’Backs have this week, half of them are scheduled to be against lefties, meaning Pederson likely won’t be in the lineup. In daily leagues, go ahead and start Pederson in the matchups against righties though.

CATCHER TO STREAM: He’s relatively widely owned still, but Gabriel Moreno has been struggling to start the season. If ever there was a week for him to start turning it around, it would probably be this week, so if you’ve been benching him for someone else, I’d say he’s worth a start this week.


Colorado Rockies hitters – If you’re a frequent reader of this series (and if so, you’re the best), you know that if a team ends up in the start column because they’re playing in Coors Field, it’s likely the Rockies end up in the start column too, because the joys of Coors Field works both ways.

The Rockies have just the three games at home this week against the D’Backs. In that series, they’ll see Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Tommy Henry. Now, in any other week, if the Rockies were facing Zac Gallen I’d tell you not to start your Rockies hitters in daily leagues in that game, but I have a hard time not starting my Rockies hitters if they’re at home regardless of who they’re up against, so I think you’re good for that series.

After that, the Rockies will head to Toronto for a three-game series against the Blue Jays. In that series, they will see Kevin Gausman, so I’d avoid that in daily leagues, but after that they’ll see Bowden Francis and José Berríos, neither of whom scare me all that much.

Charlie Blackmon has kicked off the year well, slashing .357/.379/.536 so far and is worth a look in deeper leagues if you need some outfield help. Same with Ryan McMahon, who’s slashing .414/.471/.586 to start off the year.

CATCHER TO STREAM: Elias Díaz hasn’t been horrible to start off the year, slashing .250/.273/.400 so far (that’s a .150 ISO which is at least something) and if you’re in need of a catcher, this week might not be a bad week to snag him. He’s typically been hitting closer to the middle of the lineup and it’s hard to beat three games in Coors.


Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers get a full seven-game week this week, which already puts them at an advantage for weekly leagues. On top of that, they’re slated to have some fairly favorable matchups for their hitters.

They start the week off with four games in the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ballpark for a series against the Reds, a team that currently owns the 10th-worst team FIP in the league so far this year. In that series, the Brewers will see Graham Ashcraft, Frankie Montas, Nick Lodolo, and Hunter Greene—that’s a pretty volatile group of guys there.

After that, the Brewers will face off against the Orioles where they’ll see Tyler Wells, Dean Kremer, and Cole Irvin. Honestly, if you’re facing off against the Orioles, that’s the section of the rotation you want to see.

If you’re in a deep league and looking for someone to stream, Oliver Dunn has started off the year fairly strong, slashing .313/.389/.500, and has been hitting in the middle of the Brewers’ lineup against righties (and this week, the Brewers are only slated to see two lefties). Brice Turang has also been pretty good to start off the season, slashing .368/.409/.474 so far and is worth a look this week.


Cincinnati Reds hitters – Speaking of the Reds, their hitters are worth starting this week as well, especially since the team also has a seven-game week this week.

They kick off the week with the aforementioned four-game series against the Brewers, a series where they’ll see whoever replaces Jakob Junis, Joe Ross, Freddy Peralta, and DL Hall. Peralta can definitely be a tough matchup, but the rest of the series should be totally fine for your Reds hitters.

After that, they’ll get three games against the White Sox, a team that currently owns the eighth-worst team FIP in the league. They will see Garrett Crochet in that series, who has looked pretty good as a starter so far, but other than that, I’m all-in with my Reds hitters for that series.

Jake Fraley has started off the season hot, slashing .438/.438/.563, and is definitely worth a look this week. Same with Nick Martini, who’s slashing .333/.353/.800 to kick off the year, and is worth a look if you’re in a deeper league and need some outfield help.

CATCHER TO STREAM: Tyler Stephenson is in a similar situation to Gabriel Moreno that I mentioned earlier—he’s had a pretty rough start to the season, so it would be understandable if you’d been starting someone else in his place (or if he even got dropped). If there’s a week for Stephenson to start picking things up, this might be a good one if you’re in need of catcher help.


Cleveland Guardians hitters – The Guardians have a six-game week this week, starting off with three games against the White Sox who, as I mentioned earlier, have the eighth-worst team FIP in the league so far. In that series, they’re slated to see Michael Soroka and Erick Fedde (as of this writing, the starter for Monday is TBD), neither of whom scare me from a hitter perspective.

After that, the Guardians will host the Yankees for three games in a series where they’ll face Clarke Schmidt, Luis Gil, and Nestor Cortes. Certainly Cortes can be good, but he’s not someone I’m specifically avoiding at this point, and certainly I’m not avoiding Schmidt or Gil right now.

Andrés Giménez has started off the year well, slashing .300/.405/.500 so far, and is definitely worth a look this week.

CATCHER TO STREAM: Bo Naylor has been a bit rough to start the year, but if you’re in need of catching help, this week should be a good series of matchups for the Guardians and they’re only slated to see one left-handed pitcher, meaning Naylor will likely be in the lineup.




Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs have a six-game week this week and a tough one at that. They’ll start the week off with three games against the Padres in pitcher-friendly Petco Park where they’ll see Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Dylan Cease.

Then, they’ll host the Mariners for three games where they’ll see Bryce Miller, Emerson Hancock, and Luis Castillo. Hancock doesn’t worry me all that much, so in daily leagues, that’s a fine day to start your Cubs hitters, but basically everything else doesn’t look good.


Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins have a seven-game week this week, which would normally be pretty exciting, but they’re slated for some tough matchups this week.

They start off the week with three games against the Dodgers where they’ll see James Paxton, Tyler Glasnow, and Bobby Miller. Paxton doesn’t worry me all that much (though certainly he can be pretty good), but Glasnow and Miller do.

After that, they’ll have four games against the Tigers where they’ll see Tarik Skubal, Kenta Maeda, Jack Flaherty, and Reese Olson. Skubal is definitely a problem for hitters and Olson has shown he definitely can be. Flaherty has shown some flashes so far, but neither him nor Maeda are definite avoids in daily leagues.

Now, I want to say this—while there are definitely some tough matchups here, there’s still some value to be had in daily leagues. The games against Flaherty, Maeda, and Paxton are worth a shot if you need it in daily leagues. But in weekly leagues, I don’t think there’s enough overall value to warrant starting my middle-of-the-road Twins hitters.


Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels have six games this week, starting off with three games against the Rays where they’ll face Zach Eflin, Aaron Civale, and Zack Littell, all of whom have the potential to be difficult matchups for your Angels hitters.

After that, the Angels will head to Boston to face off against the Red Sox, who so far this year have the best team FIP in all of baseball. In that series, they’ll see Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, and Brayan Bello. I’m not all that worried about Bello, but both Whitlock and Houck have looked quite good to start off the year.


New York Mets hitters – The Mets have a seven-game week this week, but they’re slated for a series of matchups that are likely to be pretty tough for their hitters.

They start the week off with four games against Atlanta where they’re slated to see Charlie Morton, Reynaldo López, and Max Fried. They were also slated to see Spencer Strider, however with his recent injury news, that isn’t likely, so we’ll see if Atlanta elects to either bump up the rotation a spot, which would have the Mets face Chris Sale (which also isn’t great) or if they’ll slide someone else into that spot.

Then, after that, the Mets will host three games against the Royals where they’ll see Michael Wacha, Alec Marsh, and Cole Ragans. Wacha has looked pretty solid so far, Marsh has impressed, and Ragans is awesome as always, making this a pretty rough week for your Mets hitters, especially in weekly leagues.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@artbymikep on Twitter) / Photo by Joe Robbins / Icon Sportswire

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan, also a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music, watch way too many movies, and collect way too many records.

4 responses to “Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 2 (4/8-4/14)”

  1. Chucky says:

    Any concerns about Corbin Carroll and his balky shoulder? Can’t use the cold weather excuse in Phoenix.

    • Ben Palmer says:

      It’s definitely something worth monitoring but it’s not something I’m overly concerned about right now

  2. Doug says:

    Probably shouldn’t be writing off Gil so easily, firstly, because he has yet to get out of the 5th inning and the Yankees pen is no joke, second, because in those 9.1 innings he’s been on the field, against the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays, he’s got a 1.93 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP to go along with 14 K’s. The only reason to actually start guys against him is if the Yankees pen has been over-worked.

    • Ben Palmer says:

      That’s fair! Gil has been quite good. He’s still not someone I’m specifically benching my hitters because they’re facing him (yet), but certainly has the potential to be a tough matchup

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