It’s been a fun and exciting week-and-change of the 2023 fantasy baseball season, and the good news is we’re just getting started!
Last week we looked at some teams and names to target and avoid based on the upcoming schedule. That’s what these pieces will be about, after all, and we’re right back at it this week as we need to ensure we’re rostering the best lineups possible with the schedule in mind.
Let’s have a look at the best and worst schedules for the upcoming week beginning on April 10. Remember, we are suggesting “fringe” players to target or avoid, as we know the stars will be in the lineup and worth rostering each and every time they hit the field.
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Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Planner
St. Louis Cardinals: @ COL (3), vs. PIT (4)
Coors Field is a hitter’s playground, and the St. Louis Cardinals get three chances to rake in the thin air next week. The Rockies began their home schedule with a shutout of the Nationals on Thursday, but let’s not pretend that to be a trend. The Mile High City is ripe for the taking, and the Cardinals should be able to get their week started with a bang.
Players to Target
Nolan Gorman boasts some serious raw power, and that’s enough to get him into your lineups in Colorado while hosting the Pirates this week.
The 22-year-old has already flashed said power with two homers through his first five games of the season after slugging 14 round-trippers in his 89-game debut last season. His defense is a question mark, and while fellow youngster Brendan Donovan is eating his playing time at second base, Donovan’s defensive versatility should allow Gorman regular playing time at the keystone and designated hitter.
In short, Gorman will play so long as his power plays. Strikeouts are an issue, with a 32.6% K-rate in 94 big-league contests. However, time will tell whether we see the 2021 Gorman who struck out in just 19.2% of his plate appearances at Triple-A or the 2022 version when he punched out in a concerning — and massive — 36.7% of his plate appearances.
Nonetheless, this is a guy who could erupt early next week.
With Lars Nootbaar currently on the injured list with a thumb injury, Dylan Carlson should be able to get into the lineup early next week. Nootbaar may not require a rehab assignment, and while that could cut into Carlson’s playing time, he’s worth a crack for the upcoming week.
The switch-hitting 24-year-old saw his power decline in 2022 as he hit just eight homers with a .144 isolated power last season across 128 games after he hit 18 long balls with a .172 ISO across 149 contests at the ripe age of 22 in the 2021 campaign. Of course, there’s plenty of potential to tap into here as he also brings a touch of speed to the table with eight steals in his 317 games at the big-league level.
Again, this is about the ballpark where he will begin his week. If we can find his way into the lineup after the Rockies series against a weak Pirates staff, he should be able to deliver solid results for those willing to put him into the lineup next week.
Philadelphia Phillies: vs. MIA (3), @ CIN (3)
The Miami Marlins boast a solid pitching staff, but it’s later in the week when the Phillies should really rake in one of the best ballparks in which to play the long ball.
You know Kyle Schwarber is licking his lips looking at that short porch in right field at Great American Ball Park. The rebuilding Reds will surely yield plenty of offense on their home turf this season, and we want to be there when that happens.
Players to Target
Like Schwarber, Marsh hits from the left side, and the 25-year-old has already hit for notable power to kick off the 2023 campaign.
The former Angel has a homer, two doubles, and a triple in just 15 trips to the plate this season while he’s gone 5-for-15 in that time. Marsh also brings speed to the table as he swiped 10 bases in 134 games last season, while his sprint speed ranked in the league’s 89th percentile a season ago. It’s already in the 77th percentile in this young season.
The power/speed combination is certainly worth looking at for the upcoming week.
Lookie here, another left-handed bat that could feast in the second half of the upcoming week at the very least.
With Rhys Hoskins set to miss the 2023 season following a spring training ACL tear, Darick Hall is going to see notable reps at the designated hitter spot, and that’s a very appetizing notion for fantasy managers.
Hall, 27, hit nine homers in just 42 games in his big-league debut last season, along with an impressive .272 ISO. This came after he launched 28 long balls across 101 games at the Triple-A level alongside a .274 ISO. Simply put, the dude hits for a ton of power from the left side of the plate.
He could have a monster week while seeing small rostership in fantasy baseball.
Chicago Cubs: vs. SEA (3), @ LAD (3)
The Chicago Cubs will face some difficult pitching this week as the Seattle Mariners roll into town before they travel west to take on the Dodgers of Los Angeles.
I mean, the Mariners sit eighth with a 3.38 ERA in the early going, while the Dodgers have been dynamite to the tune of a third-ranked 2.14 mark to this point. Only the Twins and Rays have superior team ERAs to the Dodgers. The chilly early-season temperatures in Chicago won’t bode well for many bats to begin the week before they travel to take on an elite Dodgers pitching staff in the second half.
Players to Avoid:
Trey Mancini’s power took a steep dive last season, and it’s worth wondering if he can be a 20-homer guy in the 2023 campaign.
His lack of defense could limit his playing time with the Cubs this season, and his bat will likely need that jet stream out to left field in Chicago during the summer months to help him out. He’s hitting just .211 without a homer in 22 trips to the plate this season after finishing with fewer than 21 homers for the first time in his career in 2022.
A poor defender, Mancini won’t be an everyday player this season. He’ll get his reps, to be sure, but this will be a tough week to get the job done.
Patrick Wisdom has worked a ton to get where he is as a late bloomer, but his production should be stalled this week.
The 31-year-old has pretty much raked when given the opportunity. The guy owns a career .246 ISO and hit 55 home runs across the last two seasons. He’s now in a battle for playing time, and his enormous 36.7% K-rate for his career could work against him moving forward.
There’s a wealth of power here, but it’s not likely to show up in the upcoming week,
Arizona Diamondbacks: vs. MIL (3), @ MIA (3)
The D-backs are another team that should be in trouble this week as they take on a pair of quality staffs across their six-game schedule.
Let’s take a look at some players worth putting on the pine this week.
I’m not sure how many folks are rostering the veteran these days, but he should not be in your lineup this week.
He’s off to a nice enough start as he’s hitting .273 with a homer across just four games played, and his power actually took a leap last season as he posted a .207 isolated power which is identical to his career mark.
However, the Brewers sit fifth with a 2.72 ERA on the young season and, obviously, are projected to boast one of the stronger groups this season. They’ve made good on that promise to this point.
It will be tough for the veteran to do much damage this week.
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