The Hit Parade is your guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Looking at matchups for the week ahead and considering other factors such as streaks, injuries and lineup changes, we sort all Fantasy-relevant hitters at each position into five categories: "no-brainers," "advisable starts," "shaky starts," "strictly AL/NL-only" and "don't bother."
These designations rate each player's Fantasy value for the current week only and have no bearing on his value for the season as a whole. Injuries are shown in parentheses.
|Player Name||% change|
|1.||Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers||33|
|2.||Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins||25|
|3.||Kelly Johnson, 2B, Rays||17|
|4.||Ryan Raburn, OF, Indians||17|
|5.||Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers||14|
|6.||A.J. Pollock, OF, D-Backs||13|
|7.||Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies||11|
|8.||Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves||10|
|9.||Yonder Alonso, 1B, Padres||10|
|10.||Russell Martin, C, Pirates||10|
Any players not appearing on these lists are presumed to be below "don't bother" status and are obvious sits in Fantasy.
All stats are updated through Wednesday, May 8.
CatcherWith A.J. Pierzynski finally going on the DL with an oblique injury, Geovany Soto is once again a starting catcher in the major leagues, which seems like an exciting prospect for Fantasy owners. But keep in mind the only reason the former All-Star wasn't a starter in the first place was because he couldn't keep the job with the Cubs in 2012. Unless he gets hot, you should probably leave him for AL-only leagues.
Worth a second look: Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
Lucroy is on thin ice with Fantasy owners right now. Not only is he slumping to begin the season, but he's been alternating starts with Martin Maldonado over the team's last six games. Fortunately, the Brewers at least seem to recognize he's their best option against left-handed pitchers, who he obliterated with a .400 batting average and 1.169 OPS last year. With four on the schedule early this week, Lucroy could earn enough favor to continue starting through the weekend. Stick with him for now.
Approach with caution: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox
Against left-handers, Lucroy and Saltalamacchia are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Saltalamacchia was disgraceful against southpaws last season, batting .170 with a .494 OPS, and hasn't been any better in 16 at-bats this season. The Red Sox could use the four lefties they have on tap this week as an excuse to sit Salty for the suddenly hot David Ross, who has three homers in his last five games. Even if Saltalamacchia gets his usual workload, it's pretty clear he's not going to do much.
No-brainers: Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, Yadier Molina, Wilin Rosario
Advisable starts: Matt Wieters, Russell Martin, Salvador Perez
Shaky starts: Miguel Montero, John Buck, Evan Gattis, Jonathan Lucroy, Brian McCann, J.P. Arencibia, Ryan Doumit, Jesus Montero, Carlos Ruiz, John Jaso, Alex Avila, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Tyler Flowers, A.J. Ellis, Chris Iannetta, Welington Castillo
Strictly AL/NL-only: Geovany Soto, Nick Hundley, David Ross, Kurt Suzuki, Devin Mesoraco, Rob Brantly (finger), Derek Norris, Martin Maldonado
Don't bother: Wilson Ramos, Jason Castro, Chris Stewart, Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Hanigan (thumb), Erik Kratz, Michael McKenry, Ryan Lavarnway, Yasmani Grandal (suspension), A.J. Pierzynski (oblique), Francisco Cervelli (hand), Mike Zunino, Travis d'Arnaud
First baseThe few players who qualify only at DH now appear alongside the first basemen so that their owners might have some context for how to approach them this week. If you see an asterisk (*) next to a player's name, it means he's DH-only and not a legitimate first baseman.
Adrian Gonzalez, who missed three games last weekend with a strained neck, aggravated the injury Wednesday. He thinks he'll be back in the lineup Friday, but manager Don Mattingly isn't so sure. If he seems fine over the weekend, then you should start a high-end player like him. Otherwise, you might want to play it safe at a deep position.
Worth a second look: Lance Berkman, Rangers
Berkman hasn't gotten to play much lately because of the Rangers' repeated trips to NL parks, but while the loss of at-bats is frustrating, keep in mind the only times he has sat this season are when the DH spot was unavailable or when the Rangers faced left-handed pitchers that they suspected would give him trouble. Neither is the case this week. It's all right-handers and all AL parks. Berkman has been his usual high-OPS self when he's gotten to play, so he's useful in all leagues this week.
Approach with caution: Justin Morneau, Twins
After a miserable start to the season, Morneau has shown some signs of life recently, but looking at the matchups ahead, his turnaround will likely be short-lived. Hector Santiago, Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz and Ryan Dempster are four of the six pitchers he's scheduled to face this week. Plus, the Twins are home at Target Field, where he hit .252 with a .728 OPS last year.
No-brainers: Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Paul Goldschmidt, Albert Pujols, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, Allen Craig, Anthony Rizzo, Mark Trumbo, Joe Mauer, Billy Butler
Advisable starts: Chris Davis, David Ortiz*, Freddie Freeman, Mike Napoli, Michael Cuddyer, Ryan Howard, Mark Reynolds, Nick Swisher, Matt Carpenter, Adrian Gonzalez (neck), Lance Berkman
Shaky starts: Paul Konerko, Victor Martinez*, Brandon Moss, Justin Morneau, Todd Frazier, Eric Hosmer, Brandon Belt, Yonder Alonso, Michael Young, Mitch Moreland, Travis Hafner*, Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Garrett Jones, Kendrys Morales, Yuniesky Betancourt
Strictly AL/NL-only: Lyle Overbay, Justin Smoak, Chris Carter, Chris Johnson, Ike Davis, Carlos Pena, James Loney, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Parmelee, Adam Lind, Jeff Keppinger
Don't bother: Matt Adams, Todd Helton, Mike Carp, Martin Maldonado, Jordan Pacheco, Greg Dobbs, John Mayberry, Joe Mahoney (hamstring), Kevin Youkilis (back), Mark Teixeira (wrist), Corey Hart (knee), Logan Morrison (knee), Mike Olt, Jonathan Singleton
|1.||Yankees||@CLE2, SEA3, TOR3|
|2.||White Sox||@MIN3, @LAA4|
Worth a second look: Dan Uggla, Braves
Streaky he's always been. Frustrating he'll always be. But washed up Uggla is not. His last six games, during which he's batting .375 (9 for 24) with three home runs and two triples, prove it. He's driving the ball the other way, so he seems to be locked in right now. If you drafted him in Fantasy, you should probably take advantage of one of the few times he'll actually produce something for you.
Approach with caution: Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Yes, with six doubles and three homers in his last 16 games, Gyorko seems to have found himself after a frustrating first few weeks in the majors, and I'm sure that in future weeks, I'll say he's "worth a second look." But not this week. Not with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann on tap -- and at PETCO Park, no less.
No-brainers: Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, Brandon Phillips
Advisable starts: Jason Kipnis, Martin Prado, Matt Carpenter, Jose Altuve, Josh Rutledge, Marco Scutaro, Dan Uggla
Shaky starts: Howie Kendrick, Rickie Weeks, Daniel Murphy, Jedd Gyorko, Yuniesky Betancourt, Neil Walker (finger), Danny Espinosa, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson
Strictly AL/NL-only: Ryan Raburn, Dustin Ackley, Darwin Barney, Jeff Keppinger, Brian Dozier, Chris Nelson, Ryan Roberts
Don't bother: Chris Getz, Emilio Bonifacio, Cliff Pennington, Eric Sogard, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Aaron Hill (wrist), Mark Ellis (quadriceps), Brian Roberts (hamstring), Gordon Beckham (wrist), Logan Forsythe (foot), Donovan Solano (side), Jurickson Profar, Jemile Weeks, Kolten Wong
Third baseWith Chris Nelson now in New York, Nolan Arenado is here to stay, and fortunately for Fantasy owners, his production so far justifies the Rockies' commitment to him. He'll have his ups and downs like any rookie, but with only three strikeouts in his first 37 at-bats, the high contact rate that carried him throughout his minor-league career seems to have translated to the majors. If that's the case, any power he provides -- and he should provide some playing half his games at Coors Field -- is icing on the cake.
Worth a second look: Mike Moustakas, Royals
This one is kind of a reach, as you can probably tell since I still list Moustakas as a "shaky start" for this week, but the Royals third baseman has shown signs of coming around lately with a .367 (11 for 30) batting average and two home runs in his last 10 games. With matchups against hittable pitchers like Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Jarrod Parker this week, he's at least a reasonable start in Fantasy.
Approach with caution: Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are one of three teams playing five games this week, and of those three, they have the worst matchups, going against the red-hot Barry Zito, the under-the-radar Hiroki Kuroda and the always-dangerous CC Sabathia. With only one hit in his last 21 at-bats, it's not like Lawrie has been carrying your team anyway. Surely you can do better off the waiver wire.
No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, Chase Headley, Pablo Sandoval
Advisable starts: Aramis Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Zimmerman, Martin Prado, Matt Carpenter, Manny Machado
Shaky starts: Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Mike Moustakas, Todd Frazier, Kyle Seager, Pedro Alvarez, Brett Lawrie, David Freese, Will Middlebrooks, Jedd Gyorko, Michael Young, Trevor Plouffe, Yuniesky Betancourt
Strictly AL/NL-only: Chris Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Eric Chavez, Luis Valbuena, Lonnie Chisenhall, Placido Polanco, Juan Francisco, Conor Gillaspie, Ryan Roberts, Chris Nelson, Jeff Keppinger, Matt Dominguez, Adeiny Hechavarria
Don't bother: Derek Dietrich, Jordan Pacheco, Greg Dobbs, Maicer Izturis, Luis Cruz, Luis Jimenez, Daniel Descalso, Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Kevin Youkilis (back), Alex Rodriguez (hip), Wilson Betemit (knee), Wilson Betemit (knee), Nick Castellanos, Anthony Rendon
|4.||Blue Jays||SF2, @NYY3|
|5.||Red Sox||@TB3, @MIN3|
Worth a second look: Marco Scutaro, Giants
After the kind of start that had his Fantasy owners believing he was washed up again, the 37-year-old Scutaro has reclaimed his place in mixed leagues with a .484 (15 for 31) batting average over his last eight games. And with four games at Coors Field this week, he has a pretty good chance to keep it going. He also gets whoever the injury-depleted Blue Jays dig up to start Tuesday's game. Feel free to start him at either middle-infield spot.
Approach with caution: Dee Gordon, Dodgers
Though Gordon's return to the big leagues as a replacement for the injured Hanley Ramirez deserves plenty of fanfare for the kind of impact he could make as an elite base-stealer, you might want to hold off on starting him this week. He has to face Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, Ross Detwiler, Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen and Mike Minor in seven games. Not a weak link in the bunch.
No-brainers: Troy Tulowitzki, Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond, Starlin Castro, Jean Segura
Advisable starts: Asdrubal Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Josh Rutledge, Jed Lowrie, Marco Scutaro, Jimmy Rollins, Andrelton Simmons, Everth Cabrera
Shaky starts: Alcides Escobar, Erick Aybar, Dee Gordon, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Alexei Ramirez, Stephen Drew, Danny Espinosa, Brandon Crawford, Zack Cozart
Strictly AL/NL-only: Yunel Escobar, Pete Kozma, Didi Gregorius, Ruben Tejada, Marwin Gonzalez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brian Dozier, Eduardo Nunez (ribcage)
Don't bother: Cliff Pennington, Eric Sogard, Maicer Izturis, Daniel Descalso, Clint Barmes, Luis Cruz, Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Jose Reyes (leg), Derek Jeter (ankle), Hiroyuki Nakajima (hamstring), Billy Hamilton
OutfieldTwo high-profile outfielders began minor-league rehab assignments Thursday. Jason Heyward, who has been out since April 20 because of an appendectomy, was in a deep slump before the procedure, so you might want to give him a week to prove himself before you activate him in Fantasy. Curtis Granderson, who has yet to play this season because of a broken forearm, is basically going through his own spring training and might still be a week or two away.
Worth a second look: Vernon Wells, Yankees and Jon Jay, Cardinals
Wells, who has endured a bit of a course correction over the last couple weeks, bounced back with three hits and a homer Wednesday and is still looking like a viable mixed-league option. Because of a doubleheader Monday, the Yankees have the good fortune of playing eight games this week, including one against Aaron Harang and one against Mark Buehrle. The eight-game slate could be Wells' last hurrah with Curtis Granderson expected back soon. Jay, meanwhile, seems to have rediscovered his stroke after getting caught up swinging for the fences early in the year, batting .500 (10 for 20) over his last six games. With matchups against Jeremy Hefner, Dillon Gee, Shaun Marcum and Wily Peralta in a seven-game week, he's at least viable in leagues that require five outfielders.
Approach with caution: Carl Crawford, Dodgers and Daniel Nava, Red Sox
Crawford is trying his best to play through a hamstring injury, but he's had to miss four of the last eight games because of it. If the injury continues to linger, he could wind up on the DL, making him inherently risky for this week. Considering his matchups against the Nationals and Braves rotations, why risk it? Nava's usefulness may have finally run out, at least in standard mixed leagues. The historically streaky player hasn't definitively cooled off yet because he's been out of the lineup too often for anyone to know for sure. His .200 career batting average against lefties has compelled the Red Sox to sit him against the last three they've faced, and they have four more on tap in six games this week, including Matt Moore, David Price and the surprising Scott Diamond.
No-brainers: Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton,
Advisable starts: Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Hamilton, Ben Zobrist, Jay Bruce, Austin Jackson, Chris Davis, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn (hand), Shane Victorino, Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, Nelson Cruz, Desmond Jennings, Torii Hunter, Dexter Fowler, Martin Prado, Michael Morse, Matt Carpenter, Nick Swisher, Vernon Wells, Nick Markakis
Shaky starts: Angel Pagan (groin), Jayson Werth (illness), Josh Willingham, Jon Jay, B.J. Upton, Norichika Aoki, Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Brandon Moss, Lorenzo Cain, Alejandro De Aza, Lucas Duda, Carl Crawford (hamstring), Domonic Brown, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Saunders, Justin Ruggiano, Jason Heyward (appendectomy), Evan Gattis, Denard Span, Nate McLouth, Andre Ethier, Gerardo Parra, Ben Revere, Garrett Jones, A.J. Pollock, Kelly Johnson, Juan Pierre, Michael Brantley, Ryan Doumit, Colby Rasmus, Seth Smith, Nate Schierholtz, Marcell Ozuna, Drew Stubbs, Cody Ross
Strictly AL/NL-only: Daniel Nava, Chris Carter, David DeJesus, Carlos Quentin, Jason Kubel, David Murphy, Dayan Viciedo (oblique), Ryan Raburn, Matt Joyce, Rajai Davis, Travis Snider, Nolan Reimold, Andy Dirks, Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Will Venable, Jordany Valdespin, Leonys Martin, Delmon Young, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bay, Chris Denorfia, Jonny Gomes, Craig Gentry, J.D. Martinez, Eric Young
Don't bother: Emilio Bonifacio, Greg Dobbs, Raul Ibanez, Chris Parmelee, Robbie Grossman, Fernando Martinez, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, John Mayberry, Stephen Lombardozzi, Gregor Blanco, Coco Crisp (hamstring), Chris Young (quadriceps), Josh Reddick (wrist), Curtis Granderson (forearm), Corey Hart (knee), Adam Eaton (elbow), Justin Maxwell (hand), Chris Heisey (hamstring), Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring), Peter Bourjos (hamstring), Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), Darin Mastroianni (ankle), Cameron Maybin (wrist), Logan Morrison (knee), Wil Myers, Oscar Taveras, Jackie Bradley, Yasiel Puig, Christian Yelich
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