2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball, Week 3 Preview

We close the book on week 2 and now sample sizes are starting to become more meaningful. More panic is setting in with numerous stars struggling in the early going. And next week we’ll look more into those struggling stars to see if there’s any foundation to worry.

I have enough struggling stars of my own so know your pain.

But we’ll kick things off this week with looking ahead to week 3 and the Two Start Stars; pitchers who could be a significant contributor to your week 3 success.

We’ve got the Gut Call again and we’ll take a look at some under-owned hitters you should be at least considering to pick-up before they get snapped up by someone else.

So let’s dive right in to this.

Two Start Stars

Just a reminder, the criteria is simple. A pitcher who is scheduled to have 2 starts in the next week who isn’t widely owned and could be a big boost to your fantasy team.

First one who meets the requirement this week is Jaime Garcia.

The veteran Braves pitcher gets his first start of the week at the new Suntrust Park against the Padres and Jered Weaver before a Saturday start against the Phillies (who are yet to confirm their rotation for the week).

Both matchups look nice for the lefty and even with the stuttering Braves offense, he should be able to snag a win. The Padres don’t score many runs and the Phillies strikeout a fair bit so Garcia should be able to contribute in all the categories next week.

Currently at less than 10% owned across most sites, Garcia is widely available and although I’m not sure I’d be sticking with him after week 3, he should be just fine over the next two starts.

Second 2 Start Star is Yankees youngster Jordan Montgomery.

Montgomery had a very nice Spring and made the Yankees rotation when they needed a 5th starter on Wednesday, going 4 2/3 innings with 7 strikeouts and 2 earned runs. Montgomery likely won’t go deep into games right now, but he has favourable matchups. He should be capable of clearing the 5th inning at least.

Monday, he faces the White Sox and Derek Holland at home before a Sunday start in Pittsburgh facing Ivan Nova.

Both teams currently rank in the bottom 5 for runs scored across the Major League. Holland and Nova have both been very good so far but the Yankees should be familiar with Nova especially and their offense has been pretty good so far.

A win or two, plenty of strikeouts and a low ERA for the week should be enough to make you happy you picked him up.

There’s an honourable mention too for AJ Griffin who faces the Athletics in Oakland before the Royals at home in Arlington. Griffin has been far from good but two chances at a win if he does get it together.

Gut Call

As mentioned, every week I’ll also pick out a streaming option which is based entirely on my gut feeling.

This week, my gut tells me Chad Kuhl is going to have a stellar outing against the Cardinals on Tuesday. Back to back nice starts for the Pirates, I fancy Kuhl to keep the Cardinals quiet and make it 3 good starts to kick off his 2017 season.

The Cardinals haven’t got going so far in ’17 and if Kuhl can limit the walks like he did in his second start, the Cardinals might find it difficult to score enough runs for Mike Leake to defend.

The Pirates will have the chance to really twist the knife into the Cardinals early season hopes for a postseason run already and I expect them to make the most of it.

Under Owned Hitters

I’m still not advocating doing anything drastic, but the likelihood is at least one of your late round flyers in the draft isn’t working out and you could do with an upgrade. So here are 3 hitters who have got off to a good start, but are still owned less than 50% on most sites which will swell much more by the end of week 3.

Firstly, Mitch Haniger.

In the last few days, Haniger’s ownership has gone from around 15% to 50%. That’s still not enough. He’s hitting .273 as of typing, with 3 homers and 2 stolen bases. Haniger is entrenched as the Mariners no.2 hitter and despite Seattle not yet firing, he’s still scored 10 times and driven in 7 himself.

Haniger is likely to be an upgrade on any outfield you have and if he’s still available in your league, change that immediately.

Second is Matt Davidson. The White Sox third baseman is currently filling in for an unwell Todd Frazier but has also been DH’ing and making the most of it.

Davidson changed his swing in 2016, shortening it to reduce the strikeouts while still utilising his power. It worked in 2016 in the minors which saw his promotion to the White Sox before injury ended his year.

But those results are now rearing their head in 2017, to the tune of a .364 batting average and 3 home runs. He will still strikeout more than league average but is seeing enough playing time to be an asset. His 5% ownership will rocket up especially after a 3 game trip to the hitter friendly Bronx.

If not already third base eligible, Davidson should get that soon with Frazier sitting due to flu.

Third and final one is the Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. Currently around 30-40% owned, Souza had a noticeable spring in reducing his swing and missing, which has carried over to the regular season.

With 20/20 potential, even if Souza can carry a .260 average, the stolen base chances will come and leading off against lefties, run chances should also be there. He’s pretty much a slightly lesser version of Ian Desmond pre-Coors move. So he should be owned more and it’s trending that way.

Next week, there’ll be more on struggling hitters as sample sizes are more significant and we can start to justifiably panic. But until then, follow The Fantasy Fix on Twitter for the latest articles and you can find me on Twitter too for any questions you have.

Until then, happy fantasying.

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