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: Troy Glaus (heel) was activated off the 15-day disabled list Saturday, so he should be ready for your Week 5 lineup … The Astros finally called up Hunter Pence from the minors to start Saturday's game over Chris Burke at center field. He had a huge spring (.571, 9 RBI) and was hitting .341 with three homers and 19 RBI in 22 games at Triple-A … The Rockies are hoping to get SS Troy Tulowitzki going offensively, so they've been hitting him in the two-hole. He hit his first homer of the season on Friday … Ryan Theriot has gotten some starts in place of Cesar Izturis at SS with the Cubs lately … Speaking of the Cubs, they appear to be sticking with the OF combo of Matt Murton in right, Felix Pie in center and Alfonso Soriano in left.
Projections are for April 30-May 6 games. All stats are through Friday's games.
|This week's matchups|
|AL early||NL early||AL late||NL late|
|Bold denotes a four-game series.|
|Italics denotes a two-game series.|
|Seattle plays at Boston on May 3 as a makeup game for an April 12 rainout.|
|The following teams play seven games this week: Arizona, Kansas City, L.A. Angels, L.A. Dodgers, Milwaukee, N.Y. Mets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Texas and Toronto.|
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: Seattle at N.Y. Yankees (60 percent), Detroit at Kansas City (60) on Saturday; L.A. Dodgers at Atlanta (60), Toronto at Texas (60) on Sunday.
|B E S T H I T T I N G S C H E D U L E|
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|' 06 Stadium stats: Rogers Centre, 10.0 RPG (10th); Rangers Park in Arlington, 10.4 RPG (5th).|
|CLE pitching: 4.28 ERA overall (20th), 5.16 Road ERA (26th), 5.52 '06 Sept. ERA (26th).|
|TEX pitching: 5.17 ERA overall (29th), 4.70 Home ERA (23rd), 4.71 '06 Sept. ERA (18th).|
|The Jays have four games against the second-worst staff in the majors right now and Cleveland's 4.30 staff ERA is in the bottom seven as well.|
Five other favorable hitter schedules
- N.Y. Yankees -- at TEX (3), vs. SEA (3)
- The Bronx Bombers are finally healthy and they'll get to face two of the three worst pitching staffs in the AL.
- The Padres get two series against the two worst pitching staffs in the NL right now.
- Three games at the Devil Rays should more than make up for three games at home against the Red Sox.
- The Giants get seven home games against two of the four worst NL staffs this month.
- The Rangers will go six games this week, three against a Yankees staff that is on the ropes.
|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:|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C, Chicago White Sox: A.J. has three doubles and three homers over the past two weeks.|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego: He leads the position with 15 RBI since April 14.|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B, Atlanta: Only Chase Utley has more Head-to-Head points than Johnson over the past half a month. He's hitting .461.|
|J.J. Hardy, SS, Milwaukee: He leads the position over the past couple weeks with five homers and nine extra-base hits.|
|B.J. Upton, 2B/3B, Tampa Bay: Upton's hitting .297 with two homers and two steals over his past 37 at-bats and he'll likely be moving up in the order soon.|
|Sammy Sosa, OF, Texas: Sosa leads all outfielders since April 14 in Head-to-Head points.|
|Jose Cruz., OF, San Diego: Cruz is hitting .395 with three homers in his past 38 at-bats.|
|Jeff Francoeur, OF, Atlanta: He's batting .298 with 15 RBI over the past two weeks.|
|W O R S T H I T T I N G S C H E D U L E|
|' 06 Stadium stats: Fenway Park, 10.3 RPG (6th); Tropicana Field, 9.7 RPG (16th).|
|BOS pitching: 3.25 ERA overall (3rd), 2.63 Home ERA (1st), 4.67 '06 Sept. ERA (17th).|
|TB pitching: 5.85 ERA overall (30th), 5.73 Home ERA (30th), 5.74 '06 Sept. ERA (28th).|
|Sure, it's nice to face the Devil Rays, but the A's only have five games this week and they are all on the road -- on the other coast.|
Five other below-average hitter schedules
- L.A. Dodgers -- vs. ARI (2), at ATL (3)
- The Dodgers get only five games this week and three go up against a pretty good Braves team.
- The D-Backs are looking at seven games -- but both of their opponents are among the top-five staffs in the majors.
- The A's lead the AL in ERA right now and the Twins are better than a mediocre staff.
- The Bucs have seven games on tap, but both the Cubs and Brewers are under 4.00 in ERA.
- The Brew Crew have seven games, but both opponents are starting to pitch very well again.
|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:|
|Paul Lo Duca, C, N.Y. Mets: Usually Lo Duca waits until the second half to slow down. He's hitting only .172 over his past 29 at-bats.|
|Ty Wigginton, 1B/2B/3B, Tampa Bay: He's going to be playing more third base, but he's hitting only .176 with five RBI in the past two weeks.|
|Josh Barfield, 2B, Cleveland: He's hitting only .182 over his past 39 at-bats.|
|Michael Young, SS, Texas: He has multiple 200-hit seasons on his resume, but he's hitting only .157 over the past 14 days.|
|Freddy Sanchez, 2B/3B, Pittsburgh: The NL batting champion is hitting only .171 over the past two weeks.|
|Craig Monroe, OF, Detroit: In his past 38 at-bats, he's hitting only .158 with no homers and four RBI.|
|Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago Cubs: The top free agent signing of the offseason has only one RBI, one steal and no homers in the past two weeks.|
|J.D. Drew, OF, Boston: Drew has only one RBI (a solo homer against the Yankees) since April 14.|
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