Welcome to the newest edition of the Weekly MLB Preview!


Red Sox77025
Blue Jays60624
White Sox60633

Analysis: Fantasy owners should be aware of the following splits prior to setting their Week 5 lineups:

  • The Boston Red Sox are home for the entirety of Week 6, and face off against the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. The Astros' staff collectively holds a 4.79 ERA, good for the 25th worst in all of baseball, while the Athletics are a slightly more respectable 3.89. The Red Sox are batting .280 as a team while at home, good for fourth best in all of baseball. Additionally, the Red Sox lead all of baseball in steals against RHP, and they face five next week.
  • The Colorado Rockies also are at home for all of next week, so it goes without saying that owners should look to start their batters. Not surprisingly, Colorado leads the majors in home batting average at .293 as a team, while they only bat. 255 on the road. The Rockies do face the New York Mets as one of their opponents, but managed to miss Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon.
  • Here’s a fun statistic for a bar bet – the New York Mets are tied for second in all of baseball with 40 home runs. Next week they face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers (but miss Clayton Kershaw) and the Colorado Rockies. Michael Conforto, Lucas Duda and Yoenis Cespedes owners should be thrilled.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates have the second-best team average on the road at .292, and have scored nearly 80 runs in 14 games away from PNC Park. They are on the road all of next week, and take on the Cincinnati Reds to start the week. Expect them to put up some major numbers early on.


TigersNationals3No (3)Victor Martinez
Blue JaysGiants3No (3)Edwin Encarnacion
CardinalsAngels3Yes (3)Brandon Moss, Matt Adams, Jedd Gyorko
BravesRoyals3Yes (3)Kelly Johnson, Reid Brignac, Tyler Flowers

Analysis: There are 12 interleague games next week, and both contests where the AL is considered the away team has major Fantasy implications. Victor Martinez has been one of the lone bright spots in the Detroit Tigers lineup to start 2016, batting .341 with a .396 OBP and five home runs. With the team losing the DH spot, expect him to sit and be relegated to pinch-hitting duties. For the Toronto Blue Jays, Edwin Encarnacion is at risk of losing starts, which is quite unfortunate from a timing perspective, as his bat was just starting to come alive.


Stephen StrasburgTigers (Sanchez)Marlins (Conley)
Corey Kluber@Astros (Fiers)Twins (Duffey)
Felix HernandezRays (Smyly)Angels (Santiago)
Jon LesterPadres (Vargas)Pirates (Niese)
Jacob deGrom@Dodgers (Wood)@Rockies (Chatwood)
Steven Matz@Dodgers (Kazmir)@Rockies (Butler)
Jose FernandezBrewers (Davies)@Nationals (Cole)
Sonny Gray@Red Sox (Buchholz)@Rays (Smyly)
Aaron Sanchez@Giants (Peavy)@Rangers (Lewis)
Masahiro TanakaRoyals (Medlen)White Sox (Rodon)
Carlos Rodon@Rangers (Lewis)@Yankees (Tanaka)
Jose BerriosOrioles (Wilson)@Indians (Bauer)
Drew Smyly@Mariners (Hernanez)Athletics (Gray)
Kevin Gausman@Twins (Hughes)Tigers (Fulmer)
Colby LewisWhite Sox (Rodon)Blue Jays (Sanchez)
Chris Young@Yankees (Sabathia)Braves (Wisler)
Kris Medlen@Yankees (Tanaka)Braves (Foltynewicz)
Mike FoltynewiczPhillies (Morgan)@Royals (Medlen)
Adam ConleyBrewers (Anderson)@Nationals (Strasburg)
Trevor Bauer@Astros (Devenski)Twins (Berrios)
Hector SantiagoReds (Leake)@Mariners (Hernandez)
Alex WoodMets (deGrom)Reds (Cardinals)
Mike FiersIndians (Kluber)@Red Sox (Buchholz)
CC SabathiaRoyals (Young)White Sox (Quintana)

Analysis: Several top-tier aces receive two starts in Week 6, most notably Stephen Strasburg, who I’ve ranked first overall. Strasburg has been flat-out dominant to start 2016, averaging over a strikeout per inning while posting a 2.36 ERA and WHIP just under 1.00. He takes on the struggling Detroit Tigers and feeble Miami Marlins.

  • I have Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz ranked back-to-back, as they both face the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies on the road. While I’m not a huge fan of the Rockies matchups in Coors, the two pitchers combined have allowed zero earned runs over their last 20 innings. This is a matchup of strengths.
  • While none of Masahiro Tanaka’s starts have been “clean,” he has been remarkably consistent, averaging two earned runs every outing this season, with close to six strikeouts each time. Tanaka draws two home starts against the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox next week. While one would assume that the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium would come at a detriment to Tanaka, he owns a 2.75 ERA and  0.86 WHIP at home.
  • Welcome to the big leagues, Jose Berrios! Some may wonder why I’m putting so much faith into a rookie pitcher, ranking him as my 12th best two-start option next week. Both the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians are prone to offensive outbursts, but after watching both of Berrios’ first two starts, one thing is for certain – his entire arsenal of pitches is filthy. Harnessing his control and cutting down on free passes is his next challenge, but he is everything that the scouts thought – a future ace.
Jake ArrietaPirates (Cole)9
Vince Velasquez@Braves (Blair)8.5
Chris Sale@Yankees (Severino)8.5
Clayton KershawCardinals (Wainwright)8
Max ScherzerTigers (Zimmerman)8
Noah Syndergaard@Dodgers (Maeda)7.25
Francisco Liriano@Reds (Adleman)7.25
David PriceAstros (Keuchel)7.25
Madison BumgarnerBlue Jays (Stroman)7.25
Jake OdorizziAthletics (Hahn)6.75
Edinson VolquezBraves (Teheran)6.75
Danny Salazar@Astros (Fister)6.5
Chris Archer@Mariners (Walker)6.5
Jordan Zimmermann@Nationals (Scherzer)6.5
Ian Kennedy@Yankees (Eovaldi)6.5
Jose Quintana @Yankees (Sabathia)6.5
Matt MooreAthletics (Graveman)6.5
Rick PorcelloAthletics (Hill)6.5
A.J. GriffinBlue Jays (Dickey)6.5
Aaron NolaReds (Undecided)6.5
Cole HamelsWhite Sox (Latos)6.5
Carlos Martinez@Angels (Weaver)6.25
James Shields@Brewers (Nelson)6.25
Michael Wacha@Dodgers (Kazmir)6.25
Bartolo Colon@Dodgers (Stripling)6.25
J.A. Happ@Giants (Cain)6.25
Ervin Santana@Indians (Tomlin)6.25
Brandon Finnegan@Phillies (Hellickson)6.25
Rich Hill@Red Sox (Porcello)6.25
Juan Nicasio@Reds (Simon)6.25
Zack Greinke@Rockies (Bettis)6.25
Yordano Ventura@Yankees (Pineda)6.25
Hisashi IwakumaAngels (Undecided)6.25
Gio GonzalezMarlins (Koehler)6.25
Kenta MaedaMets (Syndergaard)6.25
John Lackey Padres (Pomeranz)6.25
Taijuan WalkerRays (Archer)6.25
Jeremy HellicksonReds (Finnegan)6.25
Jerad Eickhoff@Braves (Chacin)6
Jeff Samardzija@Diamondbacks (Corbin)6
Johnny Cueto@Diamondbacks (Miller)6
Marcus Stroman@Giants (Bumgarner)6
Nick Tropeano@Mariners (Karns)6
Justin Verlander@Orioles (Tillman)6
Dan Straily@Phillies (Morgan)6

Analysis: I had a momentary pause debating if I would rank Jake Arrieta as the top recommendation for Week 6, and then thought better of it. His matchup comes against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who currently rank tied for fifth in runs scored and lead the league in .AVG, yet that honestly doesn’t matter much. Why, you might ask? Well considering that Arrieta just two-hit them over seven innings on May 3, I think he will be OK. Enjoy the ride, fantasy owners.

  • Readers might be scratching their heads, wondering why I ranked David Price so high, despite his 6.14 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Consider this – Price’s xFIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) statistic suggests that his ERA should be closer to 2.68, which is by far one of the biggest disparities in baseball. Simply put, he’s pitching much better than his numbers suggest and is the victim of poor luck to start the season. Hang in there.
  • Another difficult matchup for me to rank was Jordan Zimmermann against the Washington Nationals. Zimmerman has allowed a ridiculous two earned runs so far this season, over 33 innings pitched. His starts have generally come against poor offenses, but one can’t simply discredit how well he has pitched. While I can’t promise owners that he won’t allow an earned run, he is pitching so well, this rank is justified.
  • Another pitcher who is experiencing a tremendous run with a new team is Ian Kennedy of the Kansas City Royals. Unlike Zimmermann, Kennedy has faced several difficult clubs, and still has an ERA of 2.61 with a 1.13 WHIP. I fully expect him to take advantage of a plus matchup against the New York Yankees horrific lineup.