All Down the Line: Week 4

628x471When will Stephen Strasburg wake up and realize the regular season has started without him? Has the “cooling off” of Alex Rodriguez already begun? What should we make of Jacob deGrom’s seeming regression against the Yankees last week? And who is most trustworthy for saves in the upcoming week? These are tough questions that your fantasy team might face this week regardless of whether or not you come in off a win.

Every 2-start pitcher is not the same, and every ace should play like one. So what should you do with Cole Hamels this week? He’s a 2-start ace, but he has been prone to giving up the long ball already this season. Should you sit him for someone like a Bartolo Colon who has been lights out? And is Masahiro Tanaka worth a play in a 1-start week, coming off a strong showing? As always, don’t forget that a stud is a stud for a reason. Sure, they can have poor outings, but you need to have faith in them. If you’ve lost faith in your stud then you should trade him for someone you do have faith in so you’re not fretting from week to week.

Otherwise, play your studs. That’s why you spent a high draft pick on them. Makes sense. But when you have choices to make between players who are below your studs 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 Alfredo Simon and Adam Lind 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

  • Caleb Joseph [BAL] facing CHW; facing TB
  • Nick Hundley [COL] @ARI; @SD
  • Derek Norris [SD] facing HOU; facing COL

1st BASE

  • Kendrys Morales [KC] @CLE; facing DET
  • Stephen Vogt [OAK] facing LAA; @TEX
  • Adam Lind [MIL] @CIN; @CHC – Lind has a high strikeout rate, but with 20 hits already on the season, he still has a solid on-base percentage. The .318 batting average is indicative of that as well.

2nd BASE

  • Logan Forsythe [TB] @NYY; @BAL
  • Kolten Wong [STL] facing PHI; facing PIT
  • Odubel Herrera [PHI] @STL; @MIA

3rd BASE

  • Manny Machado [BAL] facing CHW; facing TB
  • Marcus Semien [OAK] facing LAA; @TEX
  • David Freese [LAA] @OAK; @SF

SHORTSTOP

  • Adeiny Hechavarria [MIA] facing NYM; facing PHI
  • Zack Cozart [CIN] facing MIL; @ATL
  • Andrelton Simmons [ATL] facing WAS; facing CIN

OUTFIELD

  • Nori Aoki [SF] @LAD; facing LAA
  • Chris Young [NYY] facing TB; @BOS
  • Curtis Granderson [NYM] @MIA; facing WAS

PITCHER

  • Alfredo Simon [DET] 4/30 @KC (Danny Duffy) – The man has 4 wins, no losses, a 1.65 ERA, and yet he’s not owned in 100% of leagues at this point. What does he need to do to get some love? The offense has come alive for him, but to this point it hasn’t been necessary. If he is still available in your league pick him up and start him right away. Sure, he will have a bad start at some point, but it won’t happen this week against Duffy, who has been erratic at best so far.
  • Aaron Harang [PHI] 4/29 @STL (Carlos Martinez)
  • Jeurys Familia [NYM] @MIA; facing WAS

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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