The Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming week. Every Saturday, we provide you with favorable hitting matchups for teams, as well as which hitters are hot or not. The Pitching Planner, complete with upcoming two-start pitchers, will be posted on Sunday.
Taking BP: Don't forget to set your lineups extra early this week. The Angels travel to Fenway Park to take on the Red Sox for Patriots Day Monday. The game starts at 10:05 a.m. (weather permitting) ... Aramis Ramirez has a wrist injury that has been troubling him since spring training. He might not be ready for Monday ... Ryan Church has extended his hitting streak to 11 games through Saturday ... David Wright's hitting streak has reached 23 games dating back to last season ... After a slow start to the season, Juan Pierre was officially dropped to second in the batting lineup behind Rafael Furcal.
Projections are for April 16-22 games. All stats are through Friday's games.
|This week's matchups|
|AL early||AL late||NL early||NL middle||NL late|
|Boston and L.A. Angels wrap up a four-game series from Week 2 on Monday.|
|Bold denotes a four-game series.|
|Italics denotes a four-game series.|
|The following teams play seven games this week: Boston and the entire National League.|
|The following teams play five games this week: Oakland.|
Taking into account all games with at least a 50 percent chance of precipitation according to the Weather.com, the following might be threatened by poor weather: L.A. Angels at Boston (60 percent) on Monday; St. Louis at Chicago Cubs (60) on Saturday; San Diego at Colorado (60), Minnesota at Kansas City and Oakland at Texas (60).
|B E S T H I T T I N G S C H E D U L E|
|' 06 Stadium stats: Tropicana Field, 9.7 RPG (16th); Camden Yards, 10.2 RPG (9th).|
|TB pitching: 6.07 ERA overall (30th), 6.33 Home ERA (29th), 5.11 '06 Sept. ERA (25th).|
|TOR pitching: 3.87 ERA overall (19th), 5.24 Road ERA (24th), 2.99 '06 Sept. ERA (2nd).|
|The O's face two staffs that just haven't found their strides yet -- and they get the Jays at Camden Yards.|
Five other favorable hitter schedules
- Cleveland Indians -- at NYY (3), at TB (3)
- The Indians have six games on the road, but the Yankees' staff is struggling again and the Devil Rays are currently worst in the majors
- The Rockies get seven games at Coors Field.
- The AL champs have six games at home against shaky staffs.
- The Fish get five home games and the Nationals are the worst staff in the NL.
- Again, the Twins are on the road, but against two subpar pitching staffs.
|H O T H I T T E R S|
|We aren't suggesting you start these players no matter what, but you might consider starting them over struggling stars. The following eight hitters have extremely favorable matchups and/or are in the midst of hot streaks:|
|Gregg Zaun, C, Toronto: He's hitting .375 with a homer and four RBI in Week 2 so far.|
|Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto: He's leading the Jays in hits (16), HR (2), RBI (11) and runs scored (8) this season.|
|Ty Wigginton, 1B/2B/3B, Tampa Bay: He's batting .476 with two homers and six RBI this week.|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS, L.A. Angels: Cabrera doesn't pack a lot of power, but he's hitting .375 in Week 2.|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B, Houston: He already has a homer and four RBI, with a .307 BA in Week 2.|
|Carlos Lee, OF, Houston: He finally snapped out of it. He has three homers and seven RBI in Week 2.|
|Josh Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati: Manager Jerry Narron is forced to find at-bats for the former No. 1 pick. He has two homers and five RBI this week.|
|Craig Monroe, OF, Detroit: He hit .300 with a homer and five RBI this week for the Tigers.|
|W O R S T H I T T I N G S C H E D U L E|
|' 06 Stadium stats: McAfee Coliseum, 8.9 RPG (28th); Rangers Park in Arlington, 10.4 RPG (6th).|
|LAA pitching: 3.38 ERA overall (10th), Road 6.00 ERA (29th), 3.15 '06 Sept. ERA (3rd).|
|TEX pitching: 4.14 ERA overall (21st), Home 3.83 ERA (16th), 4.22 '06 Sept. ERA (11th).|
|It's tough to start most Oakland players with only five games on the docket -- especially with a couple games against the Angels' staff.|
Five other below-average hitter schedules
- San Francisco Giants -- at COL (2), vs. STL (2), vs. ARI (3)
- The Giants have five home games and two more at Coors Field.
- The Royals face the '06 AL champs and possibly the '07 AL champs this week.
- The Bucs are on the road for seven games against some pretty good staffs.
- The M's face Minnesota at home, but they travel to Anaheim against one of the best pitching staffs in the AL.
- The Cubs have four games against two of the top three pitching staffs in the majors.
|C O L D H I T T E R S|
|We aren't suggesting you sit anyone, but take a look at your roster to see if you have a better alternative. The following eight hitters have poor matchups and/or are in the midst of cold streaks:|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C, Detroit: I-Rod is hitting only .111 with two hits during this scoring period.|
|Ryan Shealy, 1B, Kansas City: Shealy has only one hit in his past 13 at-bats -- how much of a leash does Buddy Bell give him?|
|Josh Barfield, 2B, Cleveland: The second-year man just hasn't been able to get going so far this season. In Week 2, he hit .133 with an RBI.|
|Khalil Greene, SS, San Diego: After a hot start, Greene is hitting only .067 in Week 2.|
|Mark Teahen, 3B/OF, Kansas City: Teahen finally picked up OF eligibility, but he still has to pick up his batting average. He's hitless in Week 2 (16 at-bats).|
|Sammy Sosa, OF, Texas: Spring training seems like it's miles away. Sosa is hitting only .076 in Week 2.|
|Elijah Dukes, OF, Tampa Bay: Dukes just can't live up to his Opening Day production. He's hitting .077 this scoring period.|
|Gary Sheffield, OF, Detroit: He's still not used to hitting DH -- batting .105 during this scoring period.|
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