Baseball! It’s back.
The 2015 Major League Baseball season has arrived and, as such, your Fantasy Baseball championship run begins.
Welcome to the Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Hitting Planner!
This article will be released every weekend throughout the upcoming season in an effort to best prepare you for the week ahead.
It will highlight the baseball teams who play in the most games, play home versus away, and players who have favorable matchups throughout the week.
Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Hitting Planner
Let’s take a look at the schedule for Week 1!
|Monday 4/6||Tuesday 4/7||Wednesday 4/8||Thursday 4/9||Friday 4/10||Saturday 4/11||Sunday 4/12|
|ARI||vs SF||vs SF||vs SF||vs LAD||vs LAD||vs LAD|
|ATL||@ MIA||@ MIA||@ MIA||vs NYM:||vs NYM||vs NYM|
|BAL||@ TB||@ TB||@ TB||vs TOR||vs TOR||vs TOR|
|BOS||@ PHI||@ PHI||@ PHI||@ NYY||@ NYY||@ NYY|
|CHW||@ KC||@ KC||@ KC||vs MIN||vs MIN||vs MIN|
|CHC||vs STL (Sun)||vs STL||vs STL||@ COL||@ COL||@ COL|
|CIN||Cueto vs PIT||vs PIT||vs PIT||vs STL||vs STL||vs STL|
|CLE||@ HOU||@ HOU||@ HOU||vs DET||vs DET||vs DET|
|COL||@ MIL||@ MIL||@ MIL||vs CHC||vs CHC||vs CHC|
|DET||vs MIN||vs MIN||vs MIN||@ CLE||@ CLE||@ CLE|
|HOU||vs CLE||vs CLE:||vs CLE||@ TEX||@ TEX||@ TEX|
|KC||vs CHW||vs CHW||vs CHW||@ LAA||@ LAA||@ LAA|
|LAA||@ SEA||@ SEA||@ SEA||vs KC||vs KC||vs KC|
|LAD||vs SD||vs SD||vs SD||@ ARI||@ ARI||@ ARI|
|MIA||vs ATL||vs ATL||vs ATL||vs TB||vs TB||vs TB|
|MIL||vs COL||vs COL||vs COL||vs PIT||vs PIT||vs PIT|
|MIN||@ DET||@ DET||@ DET||@ CHW||@ CHW||@ CHW|
|NYM||@ WAS||@ WAS||@ WAS||@ ATL||@ ATL||@ ATL|
|NYY||vs TOR||vs TOR||vs TOR||vs BOS||vs BOS||vs BOS|
|OAK||vs TEX||vs TEX||vs TEX||vs TEX||vs SEA||vs SEA||vs SEA|
|PHI||vs BOS||vs BOS||vs BOS||vs WAS||vs WAS||vs WAS|
|PIT||@ CIN||@ CIN||@ CIN||@ MIL||@ MIL||@ MIL|
|SD||@ LAD||@ LAD||@ LAD||vs SF||vs SF||vs SF||vs SF|
|SF||@ ARI||@ ARI||@ ARI||@ SD||@ SD||@SD||@ SD|
|SEA||vs LAA||vs LAA||vs LAA||@ OAK||@ OAK||@ OAK|
|STL||@ CHC (Sun)||@ CHC||@ CHC||@ CIN||@ CIN||@ CIN|
|TB||vs BAL||vs BAL||vs BAL||@ MIA||@ MIA||@ MIA|
|TEX||@ OAK||@ OAK||@ OAK||@ OAK||vs HOU||vs HOU||vs HOU|
|TOR||@ NYY||@ NYY||@ NYY||@ BAL||@ BAL||@ BAL|
|WAS||vs NYM||vs NYM||vs NYM||@ PHI||@ PHI||@ PHI|
Teams with Most Total Games:
- Texas Rangers – 7
- San Diego Padres – 7
- Oakland Athletics – 7
- San Francisco Giants – 7
Teams with Most Home Games:
- Oakland Athletics – 7
- New York Yankees – 6
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 6
- Miami Marlins – 6
- Cincinnati Reds – 6
- Philadelphia Phillies– 6
- Milwaukee Brewers – 6
Most Games Versus RH Pitchers
- San Francisco Giants – 6
- Pittsburg Pirates – 6
- L.A. Dodgers – 6
Most Games Versus LH Pitchers
- Kansas City Royals – 4
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 3
Best Hitter Matchups for Week 1
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona
Goldschmidt will have to face Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke – ouch! That’s the bad news. The good news is that the rest of the pitchers represent favorable matchups. And even better, all of his games will be played at home. Chase Field ranks No. 2 as the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball – Advantage: Goldschmidt.
A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona
Like Goldschmidt, Pollock has the luxury of playing his first week of the season at Chase Field. Kershaw tempers some of the excitement but Arizona should score runs this week. Pollock will bat leadoff, which means two things: runs scored and more at-bats.
Stick him in your lineup with confidence. Same could be said for Mark Trumbo as he has the ability to hit home runs in bunches. Chris Owings is a bit of a sneaky play if you’re desperate at middle infield.
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee
The Brewers also start the season with six straight home games. They open up against a pitching-deficient Colorado Rockies team that represents an elite matchup for any offense.
The Brewers then get to host the Pirates who will send out two left-handed pitchers against the Braun, who is a career .337 hitter against southpaws.
Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee
For the same reasons as I mentioned with Braun, Gomez has two elite matchups at home to start the season and should fill up the stat sheet this week. Jonathan Lucroy and the rest of the Brewers’ offense also represent strong plays in any format, as the matchups are incredibly favorable.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston
Pedroia and the Red Sox will open the season against lefty Cole Hamels, but after that it’s smooth sailing. They don’t play a single home game over the first week of the season, but the Red Sox and Pedroia will face Aaron Harang and Jerome Williams over the final two games of the series – representing elite matchups. Pedroia then gets to hit in Yankee Stadium against a beatable Yankee pitching staff.
Hanley Ramirez, OF, Boston
It’s always tough to predict how a player will play in his first season with a new club, but Ramirez is a .284 career hitter in March/April, and with a favorable schedule, it’s tough to see him not producing early on. Another player to consider here is Mookie Betts. He could have a fantastic week to start the season, but I’m reluctant to lean on a player who has just 189 career at-bats.
Then there is the situation at first base. The Red Sox will be playing under National League rules in Philadelphia and we’ll likely have David Ortiz play the first two games at first base and Mike Napoli play first during the final game of the series. Basically putting both players into a bit of a platoon.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs will open the season against the Cardinals. While it’s not an ideal matchup, they’ll get to face Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and John Lackey in their home ballpark. While it appears fairly tough on paper, Lynn and Lackey represent beatable matchups for Rizzo who crushed 24 homers off right handers last season and hit a cool .315 at home. Rizzo and the Cubs then get the play at Colorado to finish up the week. As previously mention, the Rockies represent an elite matchup for any offensive player – especially when it’s in Colorado.
Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler could also have big weeks if they can get through the Cardinals’ series with a few hits. Soler’s power should play huge in the thin air of Colorado. Dexter Fowler, Chris Coghlan and Arismendy Alcantara could all be in line for a strong Week 1.
Hitters to Avoids for Week 1
Kansas City Royals
The Royals will face four left-handed pitchers this week. As a left-handed heavy lineup, that doesn’t bode too well. An average Royals offense mixed with lefty-dominant matchups doesn’t seem too appealing.
New York Mets
|Helpful Articles for Week 1|
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To be honest, I don’t think anyone knows how well the Nationals’ pitching staff will play out, but the way it looks on paper is downright scary.
The Mets will have to face Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg in Washington D.C. to start the season. Those aren’t exactly matchups to exploit. The next series against the Braves is way more appealing, but it’s still on the road and the Braves pitching staff isn’t exactly chopped liver.
Each week, we’ll share with you which teams are facing the best hitting matchups and which ones are in trouble in our Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Hitting Planner. Good luck this week!
A.J. Pollock Photo Credit: Not That Bob James
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