Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 3 (4/17-4/23)

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

What’s up everyone!

If you’re unfamiliar with this article 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.

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 3 (4/17-4/23) 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.




Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles only have five games this week, but its five games against two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball, so I think there’s some value to be had here. They start the week off with two games against the Nationals, who own the fourth-worst team FIP in baseball so far, and they’ll close with three games against the Tigers, who own the second-worst team FIP in the league. One caveat: Of those five games, three of them look to be against lefties, which isn’t going to be great for Gunnar Henderson, who’s struggling enough as it is this year. Henderson hasn’t been especially good against lefties to this point, so that could be a tough week. On the flip side, seeing three lefties out of five games could be great for Anthony Santander, who was a .293/.365/.548 hitter against lefties last year.

Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins get six games this week, starting with three against the Red Sox, who currently own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Nationals and their aforementioned bad pitching staff, so it’s a good week to start your Twins. Donovan Solano has been off to a good start on the year so far, slashing .341/.383/.432, and is worth a look in deeper leagues where you need some corner infield help. Similarly, if you need help at Catcher and he’s out there, Christian Vázquez has been hitting .364/.447/.455 on the year so far and is worth a look.

Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers have six games this week, starting with three against the Royals where they’ll see Jordan Lyles, Brad Keller, and Brady Singer, none of whom are overly worrisome for me. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the A’s, who own the worst team FIP in all of baseball right now. Josh Jung has been off to a good start so far, hitting .277/.333/.447 on the year so far, and is definitely worth a look this week.

Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies have a full seven-game week this week, starting with three games against the White Sox, who own the sixth-worst team FIP in baseball right now, and closing with four games against the Rockies (at home unfortunately, not in Coors Field), who own the seventh-worst team FIP in baseball. Brandon Marsh has been off to a hot start so far this year, slashing .361/.425/.806 so far, and is definitely worth a look this week.

Amed Rosario – The Cleveland Guardians have six games this week and four of those are slated to be against left-handed pitchers, which could be good news for Amed Rosario, as he’s a career .299/.339/.468 hitter against lefties.




Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have six games this week, starting with three against the Rangers where they’ll see Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, and Martín Pérez. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the Angels where they’ll see Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers, and Shohei Ohtani. There are maybe one or two matchups there that don’t worry me too much from a hitting perspective, but I’m just not seeing enough potential value this week to start my middle-of-the-road Royals in weekly leagues.

New York Mets hitters – The Mets have seven games this week, which normally would be exciting, but they’re slated to have some matchups that could be tough. They’ll start the week with three games against the Dodgers where they’ll see Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, and Noah Syndergaard. Then, they’ll close with four games in the very pitcher-friendly Oracle Park against the Giants and see Sean Manaea, Anthony DeSclafani, Logan Webb, and Alex Wood. Now, not all of those Giants matchups are very obviously bad ones for the hitters, but virtually any of the pitchers the Mets are slated to face could easily put up a great game, and on top of that, they’ve got four games in arguably the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball, making this a potentially tough week for your Mets hitters.

New York Yankees hitters – Speaking of New York, it could be a tricky week for your Yankees hitters too. This is mostly for weekly leagues, and here’s why: The Yankees have six games this week, starting with three against the Angels where they’ll see José Suarez, Griffin Canning, and Patrick Sandoval. The only matchup there that scares me is Sandoval, the other two should be fine (though who knows with Canning, he’s certainly got the ability to be good). Then, they’ll see the Blue Jays for three games where they’ll face Yusei Kikuchi, Alek Manoah, and Kevin Gausman. Now, Kikuchi doesn’t worry me, but you bet Manoah and Gausman do. So to recap: half the games this week for the Yankees are likely to be pretty tough matchups, meaning you’ve got about three games’ worth of value for your Yankees hitters. In weekly leagues, I don’t think that’s worth it for your middle-of-the-road guys. In daily leagues, go ahead and start them in the three good matchups though.

Josh Naylor – With the Guardians slated to face four lefties this week out of six games, it might be a good week to bench Josh Naylor, who’s a career .200/.272/.273 hitter against lefties.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Frank Jansky/ 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.

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