It’s Opening Day, and whether you’re in a head-to-head or roto league, it’s important to put the best possible players in your fantasy baseball lineup.
We’ll have plenty of waiver-wire articles for you throughout each week, but this daily column will help you make lineup decisions based on who is already on your team. Optimizing your roster each day will hopefully keep you from racking up a bunch of 0-for-4 performances or even the dreaded golden sombrero.
With most teams sending out their aces on Monday, there are quite a few players worth keeping out of your lineup, but while there are guys you should be sitting, there are some to consider starting just the same.
» Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks: The D-Backs will be facing Giants’ left-handed starter Madison Bumgarner, who was 3-0 with a 1.55 against them last year. Montero, who bats left-handed, has a career .185 BA (5-for-27, 7 K) vs. Bumgarner and was 20-for-105 (.190) with 32 K vs. LHP in 2013.
» Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates: Fresh off signing a brand new $31 million extension, it’s possible Starling Marte comes into this game trying to prove something. He’ll be squaring off against Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija, who is looking for some redemption after a poor 2013 campaign. Despite Samardzija’s sky-high 4.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP last season, he performed well against the Pirates, limiting them to 11 ER in 33 IP (3.00 ERA) while striking out 34 batters. Marte has not been successful vs. Samardzija during his two-year career, going 4-for-16 with zero extra base hits, zero RBI, and four strikeouts against the Cubs’ right-hander.
Other players to avoid: Starlin Castro (2-for-17, .118 BA, 5 K vs. Liriano), Ryan Zimmerman (6-for-29, .207 BA, 1 XBH vs. Gee), Alcides Escobar (8-for-40, .200 BA, 2 RBI, 2 XBH vs. Verlander), Adrian Beltre (4-for-32, .125 BA vs. Lee), Desmond Jennings (1-for-16, .063 BA, 6 K vs. Dickey)
Billy Butler (30-for-68, .441 BA, 2 HR, 11 RBI vs. Verlander), Ryan Ludwick (5-for-15, .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBI vs. Wainwright), Jon Jay (10-for-21, .476 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI vs. Cueto), Michael Saunders (6-for-18, .333 BA vs. Weaver), John Jaso (4-for-13, .308 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI vs. Masterson), Nelson Cruz (10-for-22, .455 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI vs. Lester)