Fantasy Baseball: Week 3 Pitching Preview

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Week 2 in fantasy baseball will have seen roto leagues begin to take shape.  If your team is one that is settling at the bottom, don’t panic, because this is still repairable so early in the season.

The best way to ensure you stay in your fantasy baseball league’s race early on, is to play the pitching matchups — and that is exactly what the Week 3 pitching preview is here to help you do!

This week there are 37 two-start pitchers confirmed, but with a couple of rotation spots still undecided, there are opportunities for a few more.  Week 3 is comprised of an interesting mix of pitchers making two starts, with 11 teams playing seven games and only one team playing five.  There are still a fair number of aces on one-start weeks so the number of must-start two-start pitchers is maybe a little lower than in the last two scoring periods.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

BOS

CWS

CWS

CWS

vs BAL

vs BAL

vs BAL

NYY

vs CHC

vs CHC

TB

TB

TB

TB

BAL

TB

TB

TB

BOS

BOS

BOS

TB

vs BAL

vs BAL

vs BAL

vs NYY

vs NYY

vs NYY

vs NYY

TOR

MIN

MIN

MIN

CLE

CLE

CLE

DET

vs CLE

vs CLE

vs CLE

vs LAA

vs LAA

vs LAA

CWS

vs BOS

vs BOS

vs BOS

TEX

TEX

TEX

KC

HOU

HOU

HOU

vs MIN

vs MIN

vs MIN

CLE

DET

DET

DET

vs TOR

vs TOR

vs TOR

MIN

vs TOR

vs TOR

vs TOR

KC

KC

KC

TEX

vs SEA

vs SEA

vs SEA

vs SEA

vs CWS

vs CWS

vs CWS

OAK

LAA

LAA

LAA

vs HOU

vs HOU

vs HOU

LAA

vs OAK

vs OAK

vs OAK

DET

DET

DET

HOU

vs KC

vs KC

vs KC

OAK

OAK

OAK

SEA

TEX

TEX

TEX

TEX

MIA

MIA

MIA

NYM

ARI

ARI

ARI

vs ATL

vs ATL

vs ATL

WSH

MIA

MIA

MIA

vs STL

vs STL

vs STL

vs STL

ATL

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

NYM

NYM

NYM

MIA

vs WSH

vs WSH

vs WSH

vs SEA

vs SEA

vs SEA

PHI

vs ATL

vs ATL

vs ATL

vs ATL

COL

COL

COL

CHC

NYY

NYY

vs CIN

vs CIN

vs CIN

MIL

vs STL

vs STL

vs STL

PIT

PIT

PIT

PIT

STL

MIL

MIL

MIL

WSH

WSH

WSH

WSH

CIN

vs PIT

vs PIT

vs PIT

CHC

CHC

CHC

PIT

CIN

CIN

CIN

vs MIL

vs MIL

vs MIL

vs MIL

LAD

SF

SF

SF

vs ARI

vs ARI

vs ARI

ARI

vs NYM

vs NYM

vs NYM

LAD

LAD

LAD

SF

vs LAD

vs LAD

vs LAD

SD

SD

SD

COL

SD

SD

SD

SD

vs PHI

vs PHI

vs PHI

SD

vs COL

vs COL

vs COL

vs COL

vs SF

vs SF

vs SF

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

BOS

Peavy

Buchholz

Lester

Lackey

Doubront

Peavy

NYY

Tanaka

Pineda

Sabathia

Kuroda

Nova

Tanaka

BAL

Chen

Gonzalez

Tillman

Norris

Jimenez

Chen

TB

Archer

Odorizzi

Price

Cobb

Ramos

Archer

Odorizzi

TOR

Morrow

Dickey

McGowan

Hutchison

Buehrle

Morrow

DET

Sanchez

Smyly

Porcello

Verlander

Scherzer

Sanchez

CWS

Johnson

Danks

Sale

Paulino

Quintana

Johnson

KC

Ventura

Guthries

Chen

Shields

Vargas

Ventura

CLE

McAllister

Salazar

Masterson

Kluber

Carrasco

McAllister

MIN

Hughes

Pelfry

Gibson

Nolasco

Correia

Hughes

TEX

Ross

Lewis

Darvish

Scheppers

Perez

Ross

Lewis

OAK

Chavez

Straily

Milone

Gray

Kazmir

Chavez

LAA

Santiago

Richards

Skaggs

Weaver

Wilson

Santiago

HOU

Harrell

Kuechel

Feldman

Cosart

Oberholtzer

Harrell

SEA

Elias

Beaven

Hernandez

Ramirez

Young

Elias

Beaven

NYM

Wheeler

Mejia

Gee

Niese

Colon

Wheeler

WSH

Zimmermann

Strasburg

Roark

Jordan

Gonzalez

Zimmermann

Strasburg

ATL

Santana

Hale

Teheran

Wood

Harang

Santana

Hale

MIA

Hand

Koehler

Fernandez

Eovaldi

Alvarez

Undecided

PHI

Hernandez

Lee

Burnett

Pettibone

Kendrick

Hernandez

Lee

CHC

Hammel

Wood

Samardzija

Villanueva

Jackson

MIL

Garza

Estrada

Peralta

Gallardo

Lohse

Garza

Estrada

STL

Lynn

Miller

Klly

Wainwright

Wacha

Lynn

Miller

CIN

Bailey

Leake

Cueto

Undecided

Undecided

Undecided

PIT

Rodriguez

Cole

Liriano

Volquez

Morton

Rodriguez

Cole

LAD

Beckett

Ryu

Grienke

Haren

Maholm

Beckett

ARI

Collmenter

Arroyo

McCarthy

Miley

Cahill

Arroyo

SF

Lincecum

Vogelsong

Bumgarner

Cain

Hudson

Lincecum

COL

Lyles

Nicasio

De La Rosa

Anderson

Chatwood

Undecided

Nicasio

SD

Erlin

Stults

Cashner

Kennedy

Ross

Erlin

Stults

 

Two-Start Pitchers

The players within the following tiers aren’t necessarily listed in any particular order.  I have also dropped the ownership percentages because it is generally different for every website you play on.

Must-Start:

fantasy baseball

Can Tanaka be a Week 3 fantasy “Hiro”? (courtesy of NJ.com)

  • Masahiro Tanaka: At home against the Cubs and at Tampa are lovely match ups for someone off to a hot start.
  • Chris Archer: Two games at home in his pitcher-friendly park.
  • Anibal Sanchez: Two games at home vs. decent but not great lineups.
  • Jesse Chavez: First game is at pitcher-friendly Anaheim and then he comes home to face the weak Houston lineup in his cavernous home ballpark.
  • Jordan Zimmermann: A nice start in Miami is followed by a slightly tougher one in St. Louis, but I think he handles it.
  • Stephen Strasburg: He’s an ace you’re starting every week if you can.
  • Gerrit Cole: Slightly concerned he could get longballed in Cincy, but then he pitches at home in his second match up.

Safe Starts:

  • Jake Odorizzi: I love him playing twice at home, but I am not as confident in him as I am with Archer.
  • Yordano Ventura: Could have issues in hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park, but a home game against Minnesota should be better.
  • Phil Hughes: Pitching at home against a Toronto lineup that’s misfired early on and then an away game in largely pitcher-friendly Kansas City.
  • Lucas Harrell: A little concerned KC could deposit him over the boundaries at home, but he should be money in pitcher-friendly O.co Coliseum.
  • Ervin Santana: A great start first time up last week means I have a lot of confidence in him.  I’m a little concerned for his trip to Philly, but less so for his start in New York.
  • Matt Garza: Pitching at home could be tough, but his start in Pittsburgh may well save his week.
  • Marco Estrada: See Garza, Matt
  • Lance Lynn: Could struggle in Milwaukee, but a road game in Washington has it’s appeals.
  • Shelby Miller: He’s had a poor start to the season so he’ll hope to get firing in one of these two starts.
  • Josh Beckett: A road game at massive AT&T Park followed by a return home vs. the woeful Diamondbacks sets Beckett up for a nice week.
  • Tim Lincecum: Two nice parks this week means I am taking a risk on big Tim.
  • Robbie Erlin: Always love when a Padres’ starter has two games at home, but there is always a little risk with them
  • Eric Stults: See Erlin, Robbie

Tough Choices:

fantasy baseball

Peavy is not Boston strong this week  (Image courtesy of espn.com)

  • Jake Peavy: He doesn’t have an easy matchup against the White Sox in Cellular Field to start the week and then he gets the potentially explosive Orioles at home.
  • Wei-Yin Chen: Nice matchup in Tampa but a tough one in Fenway.
  • Brandon Morrow: Two games away from home against teams that have been scoring fairly freely lately.
  • Zach McAllister: Two matchups against powerful teams means he could struggle.
  • Colby Lewis: His first two starts of 2014 were always going to be tough, but a game at home in hitter-friendly Arlington is looking very ominous.  I’m not sure he is worth starting in shallow leagues.
  • Robbie Ross: He has good stuff but his control isn’t always there, and a game at home in Texas worries me.  Deep-league consideration only.
  • Hector Santiago: Pitches in a nice home park so his first start vs. Oakland should be decent.  His second start in Detroit is a far bigger concern for me as he could get smashed.
  • Roenis Elias: Not keen on him starting in Texas, but he should have a decent start in Miami.
  • Blake Beaven: See Elias, Roenis.
  • Zack Wheeler: The start in hitter friendly Chase Field could be disastrous, but his return home should salvage his week a little.
  • Cliff Lee: This may surprise you a bit to see him here, but Philly is always a tough park to pitch in and his second start will be in the ultra-tough Coors Field.  His quality may well overcome this, but I would be really cautious.
  • Wandy Rodriguez: Same concerns as with Cole and he’s not as good as him either.
  • Bronson Arroyo: His start at home in Chase Field will always be tough, but a weekend start in L.A. should be a little easier.

Risky Starts:

  • Erik Johnson: Two really tough matchups this week make him a sit in most leagues.
  • David Hale: Really tough start in Philly and then he’ll face a scrappy Mets team in New York.
  • Roberto Hernandez: Same matchups as Cliff Lee, but he doesn’t have anywhere near Lee’s talent.
  • Juan Nicasio: I like his start in San Diego, but any start in Coors worries me.  He’s a sit for me.

One-Start Pitchers

Must-Starts:

fantasy baseball

“Yu” gotta start Darvish…  (Image courtesy of sports illustrated)

  • Justin Verlander: L.A. has been struggling at times and Verlander looked like his old self in Week 2.
  • Chris Sale: Won’t be easy in Boston, but he is an ace and you aren’t sitting him.
  • James Shields: He struggled last time round against Minnesota but I cannot see it happening twice.
  • Yu Darvish: Pitching in Texas is always dangerous, but he is too good to consider sitting.
  • Felix Hernandez: Never easy in Texas, but he is a fantastic pitcher.
  • Jose Fernandez: A nice home matchup for him.
  • Adam Wainwright: It won’t be easy in Washington, but he is a top-5 pitcher who you want to start every week.
  • Madison Bumgarner: Pitching in L.A. isn’t as ideal as AT&T Park, but he is a must-start regardless.
  • Matt Cain: Awesome pitching matchup in pitcher-friendly PETCO Park.

Intriguing matchups:

fantasy baseball

Sent from heaven…  (Image courtesy of espn.com)

  • Chris Tillman: A really nice matchup in Tampa that could be one of the best this week.
  • Sonny Gray: Love him at home — especially against Houston.
  • Scott KazmirSee Gray, Sonny.
  • Tyler Skaggs: He has gotten off to a nice start and has a nice matchup in cavernous Oakland.
  • Tim Hudson: This is my one-start start of the week with him pitching in San Diego.
  • Jorge De La Rosa: Like him whenever he pitches away from home, but when that game happens to be in San Diego it is even better!
  • Andrew Cashner: Pitching at home against Colorado is reason for intrigue.
  • Ian Kennedy: See Cashner, Andrew

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