All Down the Line: Week 3

pomeranz-may2014We’re nearly to week 3 of the fantasy baseball season and several things are clear at this point:

  • Several of your “studs” haven’t been performing as such
  • There are a group of waiver wire players outperforming those studs
  • You’re starting to wonder if you should swap those studs out for the waiver wire heroes

It all depends on which players you are qualifying as studs. If it’s someone like Marcell Ozuna or Melky Cabrera then I’d say make the move. Their history and patterns don’t show that they are head and shoulders above players on the waiver wire like Alejandro De Aza and Mike Moustakas who are outperforming them so far. For these players the early numbers are more likely to be sustainable. That’s the key when deciding who stays on your team and who goes.

Real studs are players like Yadier Molina, who has had a slow start but who will turn it around. Real studs are players like Cole Hamels, even though he’s been giving up homers like they’re going out of style so far this year. These players are due for a course correction, and when it happens you don’t want someone else scooping them up off the waiver wire. The key is to know who your studs are, to stick by them, and to switch out those non-studs who aren’t pulling their own weight. That’s where I come in.

I’m here to help you make those difficult choices, because while statistics can tell a lot of the story, it can also be about momentum, figuring out who to start from week to week. It’s a weekly piece I like to call All Down the Line.

In each segment I will let you know three players at each position who should have a good statistical week. I’m not here to tell you to start Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout because you’re starting them regardless every single week. Instead I’m going to tell you why Drew Pomeranz and Jean Segura are good starts this week. This is for those tough decisions you have to make on a weekly basis, so strap in and let’s go down the line(up)…

CATCHER

  • Russell Martin [TOR] facing BAL; @TB
  • A.J. Pierzynski [ATL] @NYM; @PHI
  • Yasmani Grandal [LAD] @SF; @SD

1ST BASE

  • Ike Davis [OAK] @LAA; facing HOU
  • Mark Teixeira [NYY] @DET; facing NYM
  • Eric Hosmer [KC] facing MIN; @CHW

2ND BASE

  • DJ LeMahieu [COL] facing SD; facing SF
  • Logan Forsythe [TB] facing BOS; facing TOR
  • Danny Espinosa [WAS] facing STL; @MIA

3RD BASE

  • Alex Rodriguez [NYY] @DET; facing NYM
  • Jake Lamb [ARI] facing TEX; facing PIT
  • Will Middlebrooks [SD] @COL; facing LAD

SHORTSTOP

  • Jean Segura [MIL] facing CIN; facing STL – He fell on bad times at the end of last season, and as a result tumbled down draft boards, but if you stuck with him I think he’s due for a rebound, and he’s already started it so far this season. He’s top-10 among shortstops in terms of fantasy production and he’s due for another big week now that he’s batting leadoff. Get him active.
  • Jhonny Peralta [STL] @WAS; @MIL
  • Jed Lowrie [HOU] @SEA; @OAK

OUTFIELD

  • Ender Inciarte [ARI] facing TEX; facing PIT
  • A.J. Pollock [ARI] facing TEX; facing PIT
  • Mookie Betts [BOS] facing BAL; @TB; @BAL

PITCHER

  • Drew Pomeranz [OAK] 4/21 @LAA (Hector Santiago); 4/26 facing HOU (Asher Wojciechowski) – Pomeranz had a bit of a rough start in week 2, but his numbers are still good on the season. Besides, this week he gets two starts, facing two pitchers he should be able to beat. I like the Oakland pitching staff this year, and Pomeranz is near the top of that list.
  • Nick Martinez [TEX] 4/21 @ARI (Chase Anderson)
  • Wade Davis [KC] facing MIN; @CHW

Remember, these are recommendations based on past history and on potential in these upcoming matchups, but whatever you do don’t go chasing 2-start pitchers across the board. There are many 2-start pitchers who aren’t worth it this week. If you have a choice between a 1-start Sonny Gray and a 2-start Francisco Liriano, always go with Gray. As always, send me any questions or lineup choice issues you have, and I’ll get to them before the next week.

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