Welcome to the RotoExperts Pitching Planner for Week 2 of the 2018 Fantasy Baseball season. Baseball got off to a strange and early start, kicking off on a Thursday instead of the more traditional start at the beginning of the week. This made for some unusual circumstances in some leagues. There were some leagues that combined last week’s short schedule with this week to make a long 10 or 11 day week. Other leagues ignored the first few days and will begin with the Monday games this coming week. Since most Fantasy managers were likely to start their pitchers over this first weekend regardless of the matchup, we decided to forego the short week’s planner and begin in earnest with Week 2.
— MLB (@MLB) March 31, 2018
There are two schools of thought when it comes to pitching during the first month of the season. One philosophy is to be conservative with your starters until you feel confident putting them out there. The other is to take advantage of the thought that pitchers generally have the upper hand during the first month. They are stretched out from spring training and are throwing well because of all the rest since last fall. I tend to favor the latter line of thought. You can always go conservative later so you might as well take advantage of any possible leg up on your competition. Stream like crazy, especially against teams with weaker looking offenses. As you’ll see in this week’s planner, I am throwing caution to the wind. Rack up some strikeouts while the hitters are still working out the kinks.
The table below will be published each week showing the expected pitching rotation matchups, whether the game is at home or on the road, and it will include the pitcher’s handedness (left-handers are designated with an “L”). Finally, you will note that each matchup is assigned a ranking numbered #1-5. This number refers to my recommendation as far as starting that pitcher in Fantasy play and the rankings break down as follows:
1 – Must-Start – These pitchers are aces and are virtually matchup proof.
2 – Favorable Start – These pitchers may or may not be aces but the matchup is favorable.
3 – Streaming Option – These pitchers are in a favorable matchup, so they can be started if needed.
4 – Risky Start – The matchup is prohibitively risky. Owners are advised to avoid this pitcher.
5 – Bench – Do not start this pitcher in this matchup.[table “2712” not found /]
Luis Castillo Photo Credit: AP Photo