There are a couple of games with a chance for weather (Was @ MIA and MIN @ SEA), and even if you want to just avoid them entirely, there are still twenty-six teams to pick over. Here are a few players to consider from those thirteen games, from every position and price range. Good luck.
Scott Kazmir vs. HOU ($8,500) – Kazmir has the ERA and the WHIP so far on the season to attract interest, but what really makes me take notice is the 7 K/start average so far, and the 20+ innings already thrown in three games. Those are the kinds of numbers that make me think of the Kazmir I remember from a few years back, so as long as he’s healthy, he is worth your consideration.
R.A. Dickey @ TB ($8,200) – Dickey doesn’t have a win yet, but considering he has gone six innings, at least, in every outing and had games of only one and two earned runs, those no decisions aren’t entirely his fault. And with that offense behind him, you could see him notch his first win really soon. Like, tonight.
Carlos Martinez @ MIL ($7,200) – Tonight actually feels like a night where you might not be putting yourself in a hole by relying on less expensive pitchers, because there are a few in that second tier of prices of below who seem worth using, including Martinez. Facing the light-hitting Brewers, and coming off a six inning win in Cincinnati where he allowed only three hits and one run, he is easy to trust in this one.
Shane Greene vs. CLE ($7,100) – He’s won each of his first three starts, and is another guy with an offense supporting him that actually impacts his fantasy value as a pitcher – that’s how good those bats are. But he’s doing well more than his part, with 23 innings in three starts and a grand total of one earned run. I’ll take some of that if I can get it, please.
Buster Posey @ Eddie Butler ($5,000) – Butler has a WHIP over 1.6 after giving up six hits and a walk in five innings last time out, and now he’s at home for the first time this season. Which, of course, is not a good thing in this case. Welcome back to Coors Field!
Yadier Molina @ Shane Green ($3,900) – I don’t love the matchup, but he has multiple hits in five of his last seven games, and that is exactly what you’re hoping for. I don’t see a big game for the Cardinals here, but that doesn’t mean that at least some of them won’t have productive outings.
Stephen Vogt vs. HOU ($3,700) – There is a reason his price keeps going up. He would be worthy of consideration for your lineups even without the catcher eligibility, with his 1.141 OPS, so being able to plug him into this slot on your roster just makes it that much easier.
Salvador Perez @ Jose Quintana ($3,700) – I would expect to see Quintana’s name all over this list: 8.40 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, at least nine hits in two of his three starts, two outings of five innings or less – and now facing one of the better offenses in the game (of which Perez is an integral part).
Jose Abreu vs. Danny Duffy ($5,400) – With Danny Duffy facing off against Quintana, this is a game you might actually want to watch. It could be fun. With five home runs already this season, Abreu is not showing any signs of slowing down and this doesn’t seem like the matchup that will do it to him.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Danny Salazar ($5,000) – Let’s just take this opportunity to think about how good this guy actually is. He’s so good, in fact, that when you see “no multi-hit games in a week,” you think “he’s due.”
Kendrys Morales @ Jose Quintana ($3,900) – Morales was never going to keep up the pace he set at the beginning of the year, so he has, predictably, slowed down some. But he is still hitting well, with at least one hit in seven of eight, and there is always the potential for runs and RBI galore in this lineup.
Adam LaRoche vs. Danny Duffy ($3,800) – LaRoche, for whatever else he is, still has pop. And Duffy has been known to give it up on occasion. All it takes it once (or, preferably, twice. Or at least once with a walk mixed in or something).
Jose Altuve @ Scott Kazmir ($4,800) – He’s got multiple-hit games, and five steals on the season, to the tune of six games out of his last seven with at least 7 fantasy points, great for a middle infield option.
Dustin Pedroia @ Miguel Gonzalez ($4,200) – His bat is right at the center of one of the best offenses in the league. Gonzalez is not a great matchup, so you aren’t going to see a bunch of Sox in this column, but Pedroia is the exception to a lot of rules.
Howie Kendrick @ Andrew Cashner ($3,800) – Hitting .321 with a .968 OPS, Kendrick is showing some staying power. It seems like he has been around on the Angels forever now, and he is still a very efficient line drive hitter and competent defender, two good ways to hold onto your job.
Matt Duffy @ Eddie Butler ($3,800) – You have to love a guy like Duffy who can actually contribute on offense, and who you can slot into either middle infield spot to make building your lineup a little less of a headache.
Matt Carpenter @ Matt Garza ($4,800) – Yup, he’s a stud. And in case you haven’t noticed, so far on the year, Garza has not been. Without more than 4 four K’s, or five innings, in any game so far on the year, people are making contact. And when Carpenter makes contact, good things happen.
Pedro Alvarez @ Josh Collmenter ($4,300) – Collmenter is coming off a complete-game, four-hit shutout. Which he threw while coming off of a pair of five-inning, ten-hit losses. If you know exactly what to expect out of him, you’re in better shape than the rest of us, but suffice it to say I am NOT expecting another game like his last one, not against a solid Pittsburgh offense.
Xander Bogaerts @ Miguel Gonzalez ($3,800) – Again, I don’t love the matchup here, but Bogaerts doesn’t have enough history against him (or really anyone else) to be really scared off. And Bogaerts is priced at $3,800 despite hitting over .300, with speed on the base paths, in a high-octane offense. Most of the other guys around him in this price range have averages .100 points lower with no where near as much upside.
Mike Moustakas @ Jose Quintana ($3,500) – Once again, I would have no problem taking plenty of these Royals against Quintana, and Moustakas is a chance to get in on the action for short money. Plus, when you are looking at a guy with two three-hit games in his last three, an average over .300, and three home runs in only 64 at-bats, it doesn’t take much to decide a $3,500 price tag isn’t too high.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Chris Heston ($5,200) – Heston has been great, which is why you aren’t seeing a lot of Rockies on this list despite their early-season success and a return to the friendly confines. But if you are going to trust one of them, you might as well make it Tulo.
Brandon Crawford @ Eddie Butler ($4,400) – OK, so playing guys active in Colorado isn’t exactly breaking new ground. But that doesn’t make it wrong. Crawford has three home runs on the year, but doesn’t have a great average. Luckily for him, Butler doesn’t miss a lot of bats, either, so the chance for one or two big extra base hits is on the table.
Starlin Castro @ Mike Leake ($3,900) – Castro has been a revelation. You know he has to feel good about still being the brightest star after all the hoopla that surrounded Addison Russell getting called up last week. And with eight hits, five RBI and two runs scored in his last four outings, HIS hoopla is well-deserved.
Andrelton Simmons @ Aaron Harang ($3,800) – He’s one of the reasons Atlanta’s offense has performed better than expected so far, so even though Harang has had some good numbers, you have come to expect SOMETHING out of Simmons regardless. He can get a hold of at least one fastball well enough to find the outfield and make it on base, something he’s done successfully in sevens straight.
Andrew McCutchen vs. Josh Collmenter ($5,300) – Collmenter had that great game last time out, but Mccutcheon might have something to say about a repeat performance. He has started slow, and if you own him in your roto league you are probably freaking out about now, but this price still reflects his upside, his potential, and it would be great to be on board with that whenever he starts to turn it around. It’s going to be one fantastic hot streak when he finally starts pushing his averages up around the range where they should be.
Charlie Blackmon vs. Chris Heston ($4,800) – Blackmon has sixteen hits in sixteen games, including seven that have gone for extra bases.
Angel Pagan @ Eddie Butler ($4,600) – Coors Field helps people with power most of all, and Pagan is not exactly that. So just concentrate on the pitching matchup and the fact that Pagan is hitting third and maintaining an OBP over .360. That works.
Lorenzo Cain @ Jose Quintana ($4,400) – More Jose Quintana! I knew I could fit in one more. Gotta love it when an offense chock full of overachieving hitters meets a pitchers who likes to let hitters overachieve.
Melky Cabrera vs. Danny Duffy ($4,100) – I am pretty sure he has been playing in the majors since the dead ball era, no? That’s just my way of saying that he might not be the sexiest pick you make all night, but he might be the one low-ownership guy who puts you over the top (he has had at least six fantasy points in six straight).
Rajai Davis vs. Danny Salazar ($3,800) – He’s leading off, which gives him plenty of opportunities of his own, and he has a .385 OBP, which gives all the beasts in the lineup behind him plenty of opportunities to do what they do best – drive in runs. It works out well.
Dalton Pompey @ Drew Smyly ($3,500) – Coming off a five hit series against Baltimore, in which he had three doubles and a couple of walks, Pompey is showing the kind of consistency and talent it takes to lock down an everyday spot in a lineup.
Justin Maxwell @ Eddie Butler ($3,500) – One more in Coors Field for the road. Maxwell had two hits twice in the series that just ended with the Dodgers, and even though he started getting some PT in a platoon, and only because of injury, he is starting to look like someone the Giants will need to consider more often than that. If he can keep anything like his current pace up, it’s not as if SF has a plethora of untouchables in their lineup – they could use all the help they can get!
And as always, so can your fantasy lineups. Good luck!