Before you look into streaming hitters off the waiver wire, know this: the players you drafted to be your starters should probably be your starters. That's especially true at the start of the year, when nobody has any idea how anything is going to play out. If you didn't think they were the best men for the job, you wouldn't have drafted them in the first place, right?
But sometimes you're in a bind. You don't have a replacement ready to go, or you didn't have a great starter in the first place and think it's time to make a change. That's what this list is for.
This first week actually requires two lists. With the season beginning on a Thursday, some leagues will choose to treat opening weekend as its own scoring period (which is the CBS standard), but others will combine it with the first full week for an extra long 11-day scoring period. However your league has opted to tackle it, I have recommendations for you.
For now, I've limited the selection to players rostered in less than 75 percent of CBS Sports leagues. In future weeks, after all leagues are fully formed, I may have to raise it to 80 percent. If I used that cutoff this week, Miguel Vargas, Eugenio Suarez and Triston Casas would all rank at or near the top of the list.
Not only is Jake Fraley facing the Pirates pitching staff but he's at home in the park that helped him unlock his power stroke last season. He also flashed plenty of speed this spring.
Though the Rockies are on the road this week, there will be no Coors Field hangover coming out of spring training, and the Padres aren't running their best out there with Yu Darvish delayed until next week. Ezequiel Tovar is a multi-category threat.
SEA Seattle • #10 • Age: 23
The Guardians are trotting out four righties this week, and of them, only Shane Bieber is a real threat. It improves the odds of Jarred Kelenic carrying over the momentum from spring training.
CIN Cincinnati • #7 • Age: 25
Spencer Steer managed to win the third base job this spring, and his middling power should play up at Great American Ballpark, where the Reds open the season -- and against the Pirates pitching staff, no less.
Elehuris Montero may lose some at-bats to Mike Moustakas, but he put together one of the most impressive stat lines of all of spring training and could feast on pitchers like Nick Martinez, Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo this week, even away from Coors Field.
Adam Duvall finished spring training on a high note, and his stroke seems perfectly suited for Fenway Park, where the Red Sox open the season. Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin are pretty vulnerable to the long ball, too.
KC Kansas City • Age: 25
The Twins are running some decent pitchers out there for their three-game series against the Royals, but they're all righties, which works to the left-handed-hitting Michael Massey's advantage. He showed exciting potential this spring.
The White Sox are one of just 10 teams playing four games in the season's opening weekend, making it not such a bad time to try out rising rookie Oscar Colas even if two of the matchups are against Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier.
Wil Myers RF
CIN Cincinnati • #4 • Age: 32
The theory during Draft Prep Season was that Wil Myers could be this year's Brandon Drury with his move to the Reds and Great American Ballpark. It'll be put to the test right away against a highly suspect Pirates pitching staff.
ATL Atlanta • #20 • Age: 32
Marcell Ozuna was swinging a hot bat toward the end of spring training, and some of the pitchers he'll be facing in the season-opening series against the Nationals (namely Patrick Corbin and Josiah Gray) are pretty vulnerable to the long ball.
Best hitter matchups for short Week 1
1. Padres COL4
2. Rockies @SD4
3. Twins @KC3
4. Dodgers ARI4
5. Mariners CLE4
Worst hitter matchups for short Week 1
1. Cardinals TOR3
2. Rangers PHI3
3. Cubs MIL3
4. Nationals ATL3
5. Tigers @TB3
Oscar Colas' matchups start out pretty tough but get much easier over the extra-long scoring period. If you're willing to start him against the Astros, then you should be against the Giants and especially the Pirates.
If you thought that season-opening series against the Padres was favorable for the Rockies, just wait until the Nationals come to town. Ezequiel Tovar could be at the center of some big scoring outputs.
Six of the Reds' nine games to begin the year are at home, where Jake Fraley already showed he could thrive. The matchups get a little tougher after the Pirates series, but there's only one ace on tap for the entire scoring period.
The Rockies have the third-best hitter matchups over the extra-long scoring period, bolstered by that series against the Nationals at the end. If you need help at third base, it makes sense to ride the hot hand of Elehuris Montero.
Not only will Adam Duvall have six games to try out Fenway Park, a nice fit given his penchant for towering flies to his pull side, but he'll also get to enjoy the most favorable matchups for any team during the extra long scoring period.
Best hitter matchups for long Week 1
1. Red Sox BAL3, PIT3, @DET3
2. Braves @WAS3, @STL3, SD4
3. Rockies @SD4, @LAD2, WAS4
4. Rays DET3, @WAS3, OAK3
5. Dodgers ARI4, COL2, @ARI4
Worst hitter matchups for long Week 1
1. Cardinals TOR3, ATL3, @MIL3
2. Diamondbacks @LAD4, @SD2, LAD4
3. Tigers @TB3, @HOU3, BOS3
4. Marlins NYM4, MIN3, @NYM3
5. Mets @MIA4, @MIL3, MIA3