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Week 4 Hitting Planner: Early Season SP Struggles

Welcome to the Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner for Week 4!

Each week, we try to point out the best set of hitters to target each week, so check back every Friday.

With the first month of baseball coming to a close, many players have yet to find their groove. Batters are still ahead of pitchers from a comfort standpoint, as hitters continue to hit and top-tier pitchers continue to struggle.

When an elite ace is on his game, sitting opposing hitters is a no-brainer. So far this season, however, that is not the case. Fantasy’s top arm, Clayton Kershaw, hasn’t lasted more than 6.1 innings in four starts, is 1-1 and is sporting a 4.07 ERA with a 1.31 WHIP. Jon Lester is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.

These numbers will likely regress to the mean, but in the meantime, get while the getting’ is good!

Because many top-level starting pitchers are starting slow out of the gate, there should be a little more confidence in starting hitters with seemingly tough matchups

Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner

Teams with Most Total Games

  • Washington Nationals (7)
  • New York Mets (7)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (7)
  • Atlanta Braves (7)
  • Houston Astros (7)
  • Seattle Mariners (7)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (7)
  • Louis Cardinals (7)
  • Cleveland Indians (7)
  • Kansas City Royals (7)
  • Cincinnati Reds (7)
  • Detroit Tigers (7)
  • Minnesota Twins (7)
  • Chicago White Sox (7)

All other teams play six games.

AL Teams Who Play Interleague Games at NL Parks (Lose DH)

  • L.A. Angels
  • Houston Astros

NL Teams Who Play Interleague Games at AL Parks (Gain DH)

  • None

Best Hitter Matchups for Week 4

Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto

The Blue Jays have been on an offensive tear of late, Pompey included. Over his last six games, Pompey has recorded eight hits – including three doubles – and has increased his batting average from .158 to .255 over that span. Pompey and the Blue Jays will head to Boston and face off against the Red Sox, who have a team ERA of 4.44 – 24th worst in baseball. Things do get tougher as the Blue Jays finish off the week against an impressive Indians’ staff, but with so many pitchers struggling with consistency early on, it’s worth the gamble.

Kevin Pillar, who has also been hitting well all season, could be worth start if you need him. The Blue Jays’ left fielder has recorded 15 hits through 15 games and has hit safely in all but four of them. Pillar won’t swat very many homers but he should score plenty of runs against an average Red Sox staff, and could swipe a couple bags off an Indian’s team who has given up the fifth most stolen bases (12) this season.

A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona

After a slow start to the season, Pollock has been raking. Over the past seven games, Pollock has recorded 13 hits, scored seven runs and stolen two bases. Not to mention, has recorded two doubles and a homer. In one week, Pollock has lifted his average from .250 to .358. He’ll enter Week 4 with one of the juiciest matchups on the docket: the Colorado Rockies.

While they won’t play in Colorado, Pollock and the Diamondbacks will host the mediocre Rockies’ pitching staff in the elite hitting environment of Chase Field. The Diamondbacks will close out the week at the Dodgers and will have to face off against that Clayton Kershaw fellow. Regardless, I’m starting all Fantasy-relevant Diamondbacks with confidence in Week 4.

Other Diamondbacks I would consider starting if you need them are shortstop/second baseman Chris Owings and outfielder Ender Inciarte. Both of which are playing well of late and make fine replacements if you’re in a pinch.

Pick-a-Padre, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, San Diego

The Padres offense came alive in Week 3 as they played four games at Colorado. With the offense now clicking, the Pads will face the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies at home in Week 4. While not the most desirable hitting environment at Petco Park in San Diego, the Padres will get elite pitching matchups and should take full advantage in front of their home crowd.

Outside of the obvious Fantasy starters (Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers), players like catcher Derek Norris, second baseman Jedd Gyorko and third baseman Will Middlebrooks are all solid plays heading into Week 4.

Zack Cozart, SS, Cincinnati

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Cozart, who has been a streaky hitter throughout his career, is currently in one of those streaks. In Week 3 he absolutely demolished the Brewers’ pitching staff in Milwaukee, recording five hits, three homers, six RBI and a stolen base. So who will Cozart and the Reds see in Week 4? Why the Milwaukee Brewers of course – this time at the hitter’s haven, better known as Great American Ball Park – or Small Park, as some may say.

Of course, all Reds are in play in Week 4, as the team hosts the Brewers and then finish off the week at Atlanta where they are in line to face Trevor Cahill, Eric Stults and Julio Teheran – the former representing elite hitter matchups.

Brandon Phillips also makes a fine play for Week 4, as he’ll get those favorable matchups and he continues to get a ton of at-bats out of the clean-up spot in the Reds’ batting order.

Hopefully, this Week 4 Hitting Planner helps you take advantage of some struggling pitchers, and pushes you up your Fantasy Baseball league’s standings!

Dalton Pompey Photo Credit: Tom Hagerty

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