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Top Hitter Streamers and Starts for Week 2

Welcome to the top hitter streamers column for Week 2 of the MLB season (4/5 through 4/11). This weekly piece should be helpful for anyone looking to gain an edge in their league. If you need a fill-in for an injured player or want to exploit some plus matchups to gain an edge on your opponent then you're in the right place. I'm here to help you make some informed decisions to remain competitive in your league. The aim of this column is to help you stay ahead of the game and get an early jump on those waiver claims before your league mates.

Remember that this piece is forward-looking and a lot can change over the course of a week. Potential pitching opponents, batting orders, and projected number of at-bats are all subject to change so make sure you're following @RotoballerMLB on Twitter to stay up to date!

Disclaimer: I am only highlighting players that are currently rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo! leagues, meaning you should have a decent chance of picking these guys up on the waiver wire. These recommendations should apply to most league settings and formats as I'm looking for players that can help you across a variety of scoring categories. If the following names aren't available, feel free to read our Waiver Wire Pickups piece that drops every Monday for more ideas. Alright, let's get after it.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Stream of the Week

Luis Arraez (2B/3B/OF, MIN): 17% Rostered

Arraez was likely heading for a platoon, super-utility role this season until Josh Donaldson went down with a hamstring injury on Opening Day vs. the Brewers. Donaldson's status and timetable to return are unknown at the time of this writing but the Twins are likely to play it cautious with him as they'll want him as healthy as possible for the long haul. This injury immediately opens up playing time for Arraez, who was actually leading off on Opening Day in left field. He slid down to third to cover Donaldson after he exited the game.

Arraez is a prototypical leadoff hitter with excellent contact skills and a career 9% Walk rate and 8.2% Strikeout rate. He's a must-add in OBP leagues and should provide a ton of runs scored as the Twins face the Tigers for three games on the road starting on Monday 4/5. After that, they host the Mariners for a three-game set at home. Neither Detroit nor Seattle's pitching staffs scare anyone. Arraez is more favorable vs. RHP (career .354/.393/.479) but he can hold his own against LHP (.264/.383/.282) as well.

 

Catcher

Buster Posey (C/1B, SF): 48% Rostered

Posey barely makes the cut as he's rostered in 48% of Yahoo! leagues but that just means the old vet is being overlooked in the other 52%. The first half of his week could be tough as the Giants face the Padres for a three-game set in San Diego but if the schedule holds he should face two lefties in Adrian Morejon and Blake Snell. Posey is a career .318/.385/.520 hitter vs. left-handed pitching and he'll also get to face Austin Gomber of the Rockies in the second series of the week.

He's had career success against German Marquez, which should cap off the Giants' three-game home-opening set with Colorado. He is 4-for-12 with a home run and four RBI off Marquez in his career. The 34-year-old looked good on Opening Day, smashing a solo home run off Mariners starter Marco Gonzales (another lefty). Posey will get at least one day off next week so he could only end up playing five games but he should be streamed with confidence when he plays, especially against southpaws.

Also Consider: Carson Kelly (C, ARI): 19% Rostered

 

Corner Infield

Joey Votto (1B, CIN): 21% Rostered

The Reds have a nice slate beginning on Monday when they host the Pirates for three games before heading to the desert to kick off a three-game set with the D-Backs. If the schedule holds as it should then Votto will get to face five right-handed pitchers out of a possible six starts. A lot of shine has worn off Votto and he's now 37-years-old but he's a career .311/.430/.537 hitter vs. RHP. He'll bat third in what is a formidable Cincinnati lineup. Their top five hitters are as good as any in MLB and Votto represents a cheap piece of it. He's worth prioritizing in leagues that score OBP.

Colin Moran (1B/2B/3B, PIT): 8% Rostered

The Pirates start a three-game set in the friendly confines of Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Monday, which bodes well for Moran. The 28-year-old has more career home runs in Cincinnati (six) than any other venue outside of PNC Park. He'll face Reds ace, Luis Castillo, who is coming off a disastrous Opening Day start vs. the Cardinals. Moran is 8-for-18 in his career vs. Castillo. He also has career success against Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies, who he'll face in the second half of the three-game set vs. the Cubbies at home. I get it, the Pirates are not very good but Moran is the cleanup hitter, and Adam Frazier, Ke'Bryan Hayes, and Bryan Reynolds are all solid table setters. Moran will face a right-handed pitcher in five of six games next week and he holds a career .770 OPS vs. RHP.

Also Consider: Maikel Franco (3B, BAL): 9% Rostered; Brandon Belt (1B, OF, SF): 14% Rostered

 

Middle Infield

Kolten Wong (2B, MIL): 25% Rostered

Next week's schedule sets up quite nicely for the left-handed Wong, who should face all righties: three against the Cubs and three against his former team, the Cardinals. Unfortunately, every game is on the road and neither ballpark is particularly hitter-friendly but he's got some career success against Chicago starters Trevor Williams (.389/.421/.556 over 18 at-bats) and Kyle Hendricks (.300/.364/.375 over 40 AB's) in his career. He clearly has no real game experience against any Cardinals starter as he spent his entire career in St. Louis prior to 2021 but he should be familiar with their offerings, at the very least. Wong had a phenomenal spring training, recording a 1.097 OPS, and should see plenty of run-scoring and stolen base opportunities hitting atop the Brewers lineup.

Jose Iglesias (SS, LAA): 4% Rostered

Iglesias starts out the week with a quick two-game set vs. the Astros at home on Monday (4/5) and Tuesday (4/6). Iglesias' career splits are fairly even when it comes to facing righties (.681 OPS) or lefties (.755 OPS). The real appeal with Iglesias is in the four-game series vs. the Blue Jays in Dunedin, FL. If the schedule holds then the Angels should miss Blue Jays ace Hyun Jin Ryu and face backend Toronto starters like Ross Stripling, Tanner Roark, and T.J. Zeuch. Iglesias bats near the bottom of the order, he hit seventh on Opening Night, so there's not a ton of upside here but maybe he's got a little juice left from his ridiculous .373/.400/.556 batting line he put up over 142 AB's with the Orioles in 2020.

Also Consider: Myles Straw (SS, OF, HOU): 25% Rostered; Willy Adames (SS, TB): 17% Rostered

 

Outfield

Raimel Tapia (OF, COL): 31% Rostered

The Rockies start their week off on a Tuesday, hosting the D-Backs for three games before heading to San Francisco for a weekend series. They play six-straight games and are projected to face five right-handed pitchers with Madison Bumgarner, who was hammered for six runs in his first start, being the lone southpaw on the schedule. Tapia is operating as the Rockies leadoff man and apart from Mad Bum won't be facing any "aces" next week. Luke Weaver, Merrill Kelly, Johnny Cueto, Logan Webb, and Anthony DeSclafani don't exactly strike fear into their opponent's hearts. Anytime you have a shot to play a Rockie at home, it's worth it. Also, Oracle Park in San Francisco had a Park Factor Score of 1.048 (anything above 1.000 favors hitters) last season due to some structural changes. Tapia should rack up plenty of AB's out of the leadoff spot against Arizona and San Francisco, who both lack quality starting pitching.

Jurickson Profar (2B/OF, SD): 17% Rostered

The Padres begin the week by hosting the Giants for three games at home and then head to Texas for a weekend series with the Rangers, who arguably have the worst starting rotation in baseball. He should hit towards the bottom of the lineup, which isn't great, but the Padres are loaded and they should feast on the likes of Anthony DeSclafani, Aaron Sanchez, Mike Foltynewicz, and Jordan Lyles. He doesn't strike out much (13.9% K rate in 2020) and gets on base at a decent clip (.343 OBP in 2020). He's a cheap piece of one of the best lineups in baseball but I still prefer Tapia over him.

Also Consider: Justin Upton (OF, LAA): 11% Rostered; Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT): 12% Rostered



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