Here are our Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Follow along with our full fantasy baseball tips page all MLB season.
Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox
- Start 1: vs. Cleveland
- Start 2: @ Boston Red Sox
Rodon wasn’t perfect in his first start, namely running up a pitch count to 95 in only five innings, but there was a ton to like. He allowed zero runs on two hits, three walks and nine strikeouts. The southpaw also coaxed 19-swinging strikes, a silly total.
The 28-year-old lefty’s velocity gains demonstrated in the spring carried over to the first game of the year, too. According to FanGraphs, he pumped his fastball to hitters at an average of 95.4 mph. Couple his excellent first start and his superb Spring Training showing, and there’s reason to believe he’s a post-hype breakout.
Cleveland is a fantasy-friendly matchup for him to start the week off on Monday. Only four of the hitters on their active lineup have a wRC+ above 100 against lefties since 2018. The Red Sox represents a more challenging matchup, and hitter-friendly Fenway Park creates some risk as well.
In leagues with daily lineup changes, I advise starting him for his first start of the week and sitting him in Boston. I’m willing to roll the dice in leagues with weekly lineup changes and start him in 12-team-mixed leagues or larger.
Dane Dunning, Texas Rangers
- Start 1: @ Tampa Bay Rays
- Start 2: vs. Baltimore Orioles
Dunning threw only 70 pitches in five innings in his first start, and he could continue to work in tandem with a bulk reliever. That’s fine. Dunning should provide quality innings even if the quantity isn’t that of a workhorse.
He’s made eight starts spanning 39.0 innings since debuting in the Bigs last year, twirling a 3.69 ERA, 4.07 SIERA, 1.05 WHIP, 8.1 BB%, 25.6 K%, and 11.5 SwStr%. The Rays are a tricky matchup, but the Orioles are a favorable one. Gamers in leagues with daily lineup changes can weigh the pros and cons of starting him in the first game of the week and activate him for his second matchup. Fire him up in leagues with weekly lineup changes.
Huascar Ynoa, Atlanta Braves
- Start 1: vs. Miami Marlins
- Start 2: @ Chicago Cubs
Ynoa is a widely available streaming option in 14-team-mixed leagues or deeper. BetMGM lists him and the Braves as -150 favorites with a total of 8.5 runs on Monday.
The 22-year-old righty has some blowup potential with below-average control, but he’s showcased bat-missing stuff with his mid-to-upper-90s fastball and slider. The lack of quality left-handed hitters on the Marlins should allow Ynoa’s two-pitch combo to play well in righty-righty matchups.
The Cubs have more left-handed threats to expose Ynoa’s poor changeup, but they’ve been a roaring tire fire against righties this year, ranking tied for last in wRC+ (41) this season and fanning at a 30.7 percent clip. Ynoa is worthy of streaming in 14-team-mixed leagues or larger.
Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters
Alex Cobb, Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals
Cobb’s first start of the year against the Chicago White Sox was a mixed bag. He allowed nine baserunners in six innings, walking one and ceding eight hits. The result was an ugly 1.50 WHIP.
He limited the damage, allowing three earned runs, good for a quality start. He also struck out seven hitters, kept the ball on the ground at a high rate (66.7 GB%), netted 19 swinging-strikes, got ahead with a first-pitch strike 70.4 percent of the time, and compelled hitters to fish out of the strike zone often with a 49.2 O-Swing%.
Cobb’s curve and splitter were money pitches, and he threw them a combined 63.9 percent of the time. I love his decision to use his two best pitches at such a high rate in his first start for the Angels, and continuing to do so could yield good results, starting with tonight against the Kansas City Royals. He’s a viable streaming option in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers.
Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Hitters
Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Tucker Barnhart, C, Cincinnati Reds
- 3 Games @ San Francisco Giants
- 3 Games vs. Cleveland
I’m lumping teammates Winker and Barnhart together with the Cincinnati Reds facing five right-handed pitchers in six games this week. Winker left Friday’s game early with a calf cramp and didn’t start either of Cincinnati’s weekend games, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter on Sunday, leading me to believe he’ll be back in the lineup to start this week. The left-handed-hitting outfielder rakes against righties, ripping them for a .296/.393/.507 slash with 31 homers in 751 plate appearances since 2018.
Barnhart’s bat is nothing special, but he’s exactly a league-average hitter against righties since 2019, and that plays at the notoriously light-hitting catcher position. Gamers in 14-team, single-catcher mixers could do worse than streaming Barnhart.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets
- 4 Games vs. Philadelphia Phillies
- 3 Games @ Colorado Rockies
The New York Mets have a full slate of seven games this week, and all seven are against right-handed probable starting pitchers. Nimmo sits atop the lineup against righties, and he’s hit .261/.409/.477 with 26 homers and nine stolen bases in 767 plate appearances and 239 games played against righties since 2018.
Three games at MLB’s premier destination for offense, Coors Field, kicks Nimmo’s value up a few notches. While he’s on 62 percent of ESPN rosters, he’s somehow inexplicably on just 27 percent of rosters at Yahoo! He’s more than just a streamer, but this week lays out perfectly for the left-handed-hitting outfielder.