Fantasy Baseball Weekend Preview: Great hitter matchups at an all-season high

Fantasy managers should see offensive fireworks this weekend. There are many great matchups for hitters, and those who aggressively stream bats could start to separate from the pack. And there are only a few stream-worthy starters, which means the early birds will get the worms.

Matchups to target

Rangers at A’s

Finding players who are facing the A’s (7.43 team ERA) is a key to fantasy success this year. Josh Jung (75% rostered) can be streamed in shallow leagues, while Leody Taveras (4%), Ezequiel Duran (55%) and Robbie Grossman (5%) make sense in some 12-team formats.

Red Sox vs. Cardinals

Boston hitters should thrive at their offense-inducing home park against three St. Louis starters who currently have an ERA over 5.00. Jarren Duran (54% rostered) and Justin Turner (64%) are good streaming options. Also, catcher Connor Wong (10%) has swung a hot bat of late. And the matchups are similarly rosy for St. Louis sluggers, especially those who succeed against lefties.

One St. Louis player to bench is Nolan Gorman, who is unlikely to face lefty starters Friday and Saturday.

Guardians vs. Angels

Cleveland faces a trio of left-handers (Tyler Anderson, Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval) this weekend. Josh Bell (48% rostered) and Andres Gimenez (89%) are among the Guardians players who thrive vs. southpaws, while lefty slugger Josh Naylor needs to be benched everywhere.

Rockies vs. Phillies

With zero ace-level hurlers set to toe the rubber, there should be plenty of offense at hitter-friendly Coors Field this weekend. Among Phillies, Bryson Stott (60% rostered) and Brandon Marsh (60%) are obvious streamers, while Edmundo Sosa (2%) is an option in deep leagues. The best Rockies to stream are Charlie Blackmon (42%), Ezequiel Tovar (32%) and Elias Diaz (47%).

Marlins vs. Reds

Miami could score early and often against Nick Lodolo (6.29 ERA) and Luke Weaver (7.36 ERA), while Graham Ashcraft has not been as effective as his 3.82 ERA indicates. Jesus Sanchez (1% rostered) and Yuli Gurriel (3%) are sneaky streamers against the trio of righties. Sanchez left Wednesday’s game due to a leg injury, though, which means that managers will need to check on his status Friday before adding him.

Brewers vs. Royals

Kansas City (5.45 team ERA) is among the best targets for steaming hitters right now. Rowdy Tellez (79% rostered) and Brian Anderson (51%) are my favorite Brewers to stream, while Jesse Winker (16%) could finally get on track against right-handers Saturday and Sunday.

Mariners at Tigers

Seattle will enjoy facing three unremarkable Detroit starters (Matt Boyd, Alex Faedo, Joey Wentz) this weekend. Cal Raleigh (63% rostered) should be streamed in shallow leagues, while Ty France (81%) and Eugenio Suarez (76%) can have one more chance to turn around slow starts to the season.

Matchups to avoid

Cubs at Twins

Chicago will face three tough righties (Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Louie Varland) this weekend. Seiya Suzuki should be benched in most mixed leagues, and Dansby Swanson is a weak weekend option in 10-team leagues.

Yankees vs. Rays

Despite playing at offense-inducing Yankee Stadium, New York could struggle against three effective Tampa Bay starters. Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge are the only two Yankees I feel good about starting this weekend.

Seeking steals

Those who hope to pick up a couple of extra steals this weekend should target speedsters in these contests.

Orioles vs. Roansy Contreras (Saturday): Contreras leads baseball with 10 steals allowed. Cedric Mullins and Jorge Mateo are obvious fantasy stars for this matchup, while Adam Frazier (17% rostered) already has six steals.

Astros vs. Michael Kopech (Friday): Kopech has allowed seven steals across seven starts, which means that Jeremy Peña and Kyle Tucker could swipe a bag or two.

Red Sox at Steven Matz (Saturday): Matz is a great option to stream against, as he has allowed many steals (seven) while also pitching poorly (5.70 ERA). Managers should look to stream Jarren Duran (54% rostered) and Enmanuel Valdez (4%).

In deep daily leagues, check to see if Raimel Tapia (1%) is in Boston’s lineup. The White Sox have allowed the second-most steals per game, which makes the Red Sox's speedsters solid options all weekend.

Padres at Dodgers: An irresistible force meets an immovable object when the slow-footed Padres face a Dodgers club that leads the majors in steals allowed. Ha-Seong Kim (16% rostered) is the best swipes streamer to target in this series.

Streaming starters

In order, here are my favorite streamers from Friday to Sunday, with their start date and Yahoo roster rate in parentheses.

  • Bryce Miller @ DET (Saturday, 68)

  • Martin Perez @ OAK (Friday, 63)

  • Logan Allen vs. LAA (Friday, 43)

  • Tanner Bibee vs. LAA (Sunday, 47)

  • Andrew Heaney @ OAK (Sunday, 57)

  • Tyler Wells vs. PIT (Saturday, 41)

  • Louis Varland vs. CHC (Sunday, 13)

  • Marco Gonzales @ DET (Friday, 11)

  • MacKenzie Gore vs. NYM (Friday, 53)

  • Cal Quantrill vs. LAA (Saturday, 29)

  • J.P. France @ CWS (Friday, 20)

  • Drew Smyly @ MIN (Friday, 63)

  • Joey Lucchesi @ WSH (Saturday, 11)

  • Kyle Bradish vs. PIT (Friday, 7)

  • Braxton Garrett vs. CIN (Sunday, 6)

  • Brandon Pfaadt vs. SF (Sunday, 26)

  • Tylor Megill @ WSH (Friday, 24)