So this week starts the first in the series of â€œHit or Ditchâ€ articles you will see on the site. Figured it might be best to start with the baseline. After all, it can be a little hard to play the game if you have no idea about the rules. The goal is obviously to make sure that there is plenty of information on each team to help you make the right call.
Overall, always assume that if you drafted a player in the first five rounds, he should be starting. The obvious names are not always going to appear on this list. In fact, the only time they are likely to appear is if there is a problem or if they are lights out against an opponent. Each team will get a blurb of some type. There may be an overall recommendation or calling out individual players. Either way, the point should come across crystal clear.
With every team getting basically two opponents, I will be sure to point out who they are and if they are home or away. It always makes a difference.
As always, if you have suggestions, think I missed someone, have a question, or want to disagree, leave a comment here or send me a tweet @cwhager.
Here we goâ€¦
Boston (@ Tor, vs. TB) â€“ Start everyone against Toronto. Boston hit .310 against them last season with no regular below .265. Opposite is true against the Rays, but Mike Aviles should be in your lineup. He hit .360 with two home runs in 25 at-bats against Tampa Bay and was strong against Toronto as well.
New York Yankees (@ Bal, vs. LAA) â€“ Ditch Brett Gardner all week (.136 last year against Baltimore and .233 against the Angels) and Nick Swisher (.246 and .263). Mark Teixeira has major problems against Los Angeles and is a typically slow starter.
Los Angeles Angels (@ Min, vs. NYY) â€“ Need to hit Erick Aybar, Pete Bourjos, and Vernon Wells against the Twins. Bourjos is solid against New York as well, hitting over .300. Ditch Mark Trumbo against Minnesota but play him against New York.
Chicago White Sox (@ Cle, vs. Det) â€“ Need to ditch Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, and Alexei Ramirez against Cleveland. All were well sub-.240 against them in 2010. Rios and Ramirez are .250 hitters against Detroit. Hit Brent Morel for certain as he was a .300 hitter against Cleveland and .348 against Detroit last year.
Seattle (@ Tex, vs. Oak) â€“ Ichiro hit just .187 last year against Texas. Chone Figgins and Dustin Ackley were both sub-.200. Ditch them against Texas. Figgins should be down all week. Ichiro and Ackley are good against Oakland. Hit Justin Smoak as he is near .300 against both teams.
Kansas City (@ Oak, vs. Cle) â€“ Ditch Billy Butler and Alex Gordon. Both struggled mightily against Oakland last year, hitting below .233 with a combined three home runs in 63 at-bats. No concerns against Cleveland for any player on the current roster.
Toronto (vs. Bos, vs. Bal) â€“ All home games for Toronto. Not good news for J.P. Arencibia (.201) or Colby Rasmus (.125) as both had issues in the dome. Arencibia had problems against both Boston and Baltimore last year. Adam Lind hit just .250 at home as well but hits Baltimore well. Hit Rajai Davis against Boston.
Baltimore (vs. NYY, @ Tor) â€“ J.J. Hardy hit only .117 against the Yankees. Ditch him, Matt Wieters and Nolan Reimold against them. Hit Mark Reynolds. As bad as his average is, the power and the .270 average against New York are worth it. Wieters and Reimold should be ditched against the Blue Jays as well.
Minnesota (vs. LAA, vs. Tex) â€“ Ditch Denard Span against the Angels. Hit the rest of your Twins against both teams. Good numbers abound for the players most likely in your lineup.
Cleveland (vs. CWS, @ KC) â€“ No reason to ditch any of your Indians this week. They all hit their two Central Division opponents well. Keep them active where you have options.
Texas (vs. Sea, @ Minn) â€“ Need to ditch Adrian Beltre against the Mariners. He hit only .200 against them last season. David Murphy was sub-.200 against both teams the Rangers draw this week. Hit Michael Young for certain here.
Oakland (vs. KC, @ Sea) â€“ Make sure to hit both Kurt Suzuki and Jemile Weeks. Weeks struggled against Seattle, but strong numbers against the Royals make him a good play. No startling numbers to have anyone riding the pine for otherwise.
Detroit (vs. TB, @ CWS) â€“ Ditch Brennan Boesch this week as he has had his struggles with both the Rays and the White Sox. Austin Jackson should be on the hit list. Light numbers against the Rays, but small sample sizeâ€¦and he rakes against the White Sox.
Philadelphia (vs. Mia, vs. NYM) â€“ You might be surprised to know that the Phillies hit just .256 at home last season. Jimmy Rollins was only a .238 hitter, but hit him as he was over .300 against both teams on the docket. Hit John Mayberry as he is starting in left, hit well at home, and had strong numbers against the Marlins.
Colorado (vs. SF, vs. AZ) â€“ Keep your Rockies active. The stars all hit well at home and performed reasonably well against both the Giants and the Diamondbacks.
Chicago Cubs (vs. Mil, @STL) â€“ Hit Geovany Soto. Sure, may only see an average around .260 against both teams, but he hit eight home runs in under 90 at-bats combined against them last year. Ditch Alfonso Soriano. Not the time to get cute yet and he hit only .220 and .230 against the Brewers and Cardinals respectively.
Cincinnati (vs. STL, @ Wash) â€“ Ditch Jay Bruce. Bruce hit only .197 against the Cardinals and .125 against the Nationals in 2011 with only three home runs in 85 at-bats.
New York Mets (vs. Wash, @ Phi) â€“ Hit Ike Davis and Jason Bay against Washington, but ditch them if you can against the Phillies. Davis was 11-for-22 against Washington last year and Bay was at .333 in 51 at-bats.
Houston (vs. Atl, @ Mia) â€“ The good news is that there are no major names to note. The bad news is that if you were looking here it means you have to start someone in the Houston lineupâ€¦
San Diego (vs. AZ, @ LAD) â€“ Hit Nick Hundley and Jesus Guzman as they each had good numbers against these NL West foes. Might be some hesitation around Cameron Maybin given his marks against both teams last year, but worth a shot in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. Pitt, vs. SD) â€“ No major concerns with the Dodgers when you look at all six games. Andre Ethier should be ditched in daily leagues against the Pirates and Dee Gordon had issues with the Padres.
Miami (@ Phi, vs. Hou) â€“ Ditch Emilio Bonifacio andÂ Giancarlo
Stanton this week. Both have rough numbers against the Philies and Astros. Hit Gaby Sanchez for certain. Great numbers in 2011 against the teams.
San Francisco (@ Col, vs. Pitt) â€“ No need for guys to ditch here. Hit all your Giants. Good numbers across the board.
Milwaukee (@ CHC, @Atl) â€“ Definitely hit Rickie Weeks. You probably were anyway, but it is worth noting that he has shown good power and average against the Cubs and Braves in the past.
St. Louis (@ Cin, vs. CHC) â€“ Hit Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso. Jay hit over .400 against the Reds and .333 against the Cubs in 2011. Ditch David Freese (.243 against the Reds and .242 against the Cubs last season).
Atlanta (@ Hou, vs. Mil) â€“ Ditch Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla against Houston. Uggla had just one of his 36 home runs in 22 at-bats against the Astros while hitting .227. Freeman hit only .200 against Houston while putting up a .174 mark against the Brewers. Hit Martin Prado who is over .300 against each team. Beware of Jason Heyward as well. Last year was ugly overall and he did not fare well against these Central division teams.
Tampa Bay (@ Det, @ Bos) â€“ Ditch Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist against Boston. Their .240 marks are not going to get the job done. Longoria adds a .214 mark against Detroit while Zobrist was at .174. Hit Desmond Jennings. Good numbers against Boston and 7-for-14 against Detroit last season.
Arizona (@ SD, @ Col) â€“ Six road games and this is a team that hit only .239 away from home last season overall. Hit Gerardo Parra but ditch Chris Young.
Pittsburgh (@ LAD, @ SF) â€“ Ditch Neil Walker and Alex Presley. Presley should be down against both teams while Walker has only truly had issues with the Dodgers. Hit Garrett Jones.