Fantasy Baseball Hitting Streamers: Week 1 (Part 2)
The MLB regular season is here, and every team has at least one game under its belt. Be careful, but aggressive early in the season. Obviously, do not drop a top-50 pick for the player who hit two home runs on Opening Day. Adding a hot player off waivers, however, can be a positive move in the first week.
With that said, let’s focus on the second part of Week 1 for hitters to stream. I will take a look at the schedule and a few targets fantasy managers can use in the week ahead.
I initially looked at Thursday through Sunday for those that had lineup locks on Opening Day. You can find that article here. Next up, I’ll examine the rest of Week 1 from Monday through the following Sunday, April 7.
Five teams (Boston, Cincinnati, Oakland, Texas, and Toronto) play seven games this week. Additionally, seven organizations (White Sox, Royals, Twins, Phillies, Mariners, Cardinals, and Nationals) have only five contests. The remaining 18 teams play six games in the week ahead.
Depending on the depth of your league, fantasy managers should avoid players with five games and stream hitters with seven. The two additional games allow for more plate appearances to make fantasy goodness happen. In standard 10- and 12-team leagues, top-50 players with five games should still start, but everyone else is on a case-by-case basis.
Here is a look at the top pickups playing seven games this week.
Delino DeShields (TEX – OF)
DeShields led off for the Rangers on Opening Day. That does not appear likely to change anytime soon, as DeShields is 26 and coming off two straight seasons of 20-plus steals. His career high in plate appearances is 492, but DeShields still has 20-plus stolen bases in three of the last four years. Fantasy managers are going to search for speed all season. Now is the perfect time to add DeShields and ease the burden.
The Rangers host the Astros before traveling to play the Angels in a four-game set this week.
Scott Schebler (CIN – OF)
Fantasy managers are quick to forget and write off a player. In 2017, Schebler hit 30 home runs in 531 at-bats. Last season, he got injured and had a down statistical year. He still, however, hit 17 home runs in 430 at-bats. At age 28, he could easily return to 30-home run production. The Reds played Schebler in center field on Opening Day and penciled him in the fifth spot directly behind Eugenio Suarez. That should be a productive place in the lineup for Schebler this season.
This week, the Reds host the Brewers for three games before playing four times in Pittsburgh over the weekend.
Randal Grichuk (TOR – OF)
Grichuk has three straight seasons with over 22 home runs on his ledger. That’s despite his plate appearances maxing out at 478. Grichuk, who batted second on Opening Day, figures to be in line for as many plate appearances as he can handle this year. That could mean 30 bombs from the 27-year-old outfielder.
The Blue Jays host the Orioles to open the week, so Grichuk could deliver a home run or two against mediocre pitching. They then travel to Cleveland for a four-game series.
Teoscar Hernandez (TOR – OF)
Hernandez batted third for the Jays on Opening Day, and the 26-year-old figures to be their everyday left fielder this season. Coming off a 22-home run season with five steals, Hernandez could easily repeat those numbers in 2019.
Kendrys Morales (OAK – DH)
Just acquired by the A’s, Morales is not guaranteed playing time. He was out of the lineup on Thursday. Morales has hit over 20 home runs in four straight seasons, though. In his last two campaigns with over 600 plate appearances, he has 28 and 30 long balls on the back of his baseball card.
Monitor his playing time this week, and add Morales if he is in line for regular at-bats.
Chad Pinder (OAK – 2B/3B/OF)
Morales will presumably at least play some first base with Matt Olson on the shelf. That forces Jurickson Profar to play somewhere else on the diamond. If Chad Pinder — who has started all three games at second base this season — can still get full-time at-bats, he’s a sneaky value for fantasy managers. He only had 642 combined plate appearances in the last two seasons, but he hit 28 home runs in that time. If he can stay healthy and earn a permanent role, Pinder could be a 25-home run middle-infield option.
The A’s host the Red Sox for four games before traveling to Houston for a weekend set. Pinder will get no easy pitching matchups, but monitor his playing time and be ready to pounce if he keeps getting regular at-bats.
Mitch Moreland (BOS – 1B)
Moreland batted sixth for the Red Sox on Opening Day. He was an All-Star last season, and the defending champions figure to score plenty of runs in 2019. It would not be surprising to see Moreland top 25 home runs if he gets 600 plate appearances, and he shouldn’t have to worry about an early platoon with Steve Pearce starting the season on the IL. The Red Sox travel to Oakland and Arizona — where they’re currently slated to face at least five righties — but Moreland figures to be a steady producer all season long.
Tyler Watts is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Tyler, follow him @tylerpwatts.