Each week, we’ve been taking a look at five hitting matchups you should take advantage of and five hitting matchups you should avoid. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 11 (6/10-6/16) of the fantasy baseball season.
Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this post’s publication. It is entirely possible that the actual matchups could change either because of injury, weather, or anything else. Keep in mind, this article is geared toward middle-of-the-road players, meaning you should be starting top-of-the-line bats regardless of the matchup. Always start your studs.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox get to face two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball this week, and get a total of seven games. They start off with a four-game series against the Texas Rangers, who have the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball and really not a single scary pitcher on the staff outside of Mike Minor. The Sox will see Minor, so if you wanna avoid that in a daily league, I don’t mind, but otherwise, throw your Sox out there. Then, after the Rangers series, the Sox will see the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards—one of the best ballparks for hitters out there. Oh, and as I’m sure you know by now if you’ve been reading this column, the Orioles have the worst team ERA in all of baseball. I know a lot of people gave up on him (understandably), but Jackie Bradley Jr. is slashing .278/.422/.556 over the past two weeks and is available in 72% of leagues—he’s worth a start this week. Also, if you need a catcher, Christian Vazquez has been slashing .296/.315/.465 over the past month and is available in 71% of leagues.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres get the joy of a four-game series in Coors Field this week, plus a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants where they’ll miss both Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija‘s turns in the rotation, which means you can go ahead and toss your Padres out there this week. Hunter Renfroe is slashing .317/.417/.829 over the past two weeks and is available in 41% of leagues, and if you need power, Franmil Reyes is sporting a .325 ISO over the past two weeks and is available in 46% of leagues.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies spend all week at home this week, and of course that means it’s time to start your Rockies! They’ll start off with a series against the Chicago Cubs, which may prove somewhat tricky, given the Cubs have the sixth-best team ERA in baseball so far this year, but considering they’re in Coors, it’s hard not to start your Rockies regardless. Ian Desmond has been slashing .273/.347/.477 over the past two weeks and is available in 55% of leagues—he’s worth a look this week.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins have been one of the best teams in baseball for fantasy this year, and this week should be a good week for them, as they’ll get to see two pretty bad pitching staffs. First, they have a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, who own the third-worst team ERA in baseball, and then they’ll have a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, who have the second-worst team ERA in baseball. For some dumb reason, C.J. Cron is still available in 40% of leagues, despite his .320/.394/.639 slash line over the past month, and if you need a catcher, it’s worth remembering that Mitch Garver has a .320/.405/.701 slash line on the season so far, and he’s available in 55% of leagues.
Leury Garcia – In general, I think Leury Garcia is an interesting player in deeper leagues. He’s not going to give you much in the way of power, but he’s leading off for the White Sox, slashing .292/.330/.363 on the year, and can give you some speed. But this week, I think he’s definitely worth a look, even in some shallower leagues. The Chicago White Sox will be facing three left-handed pitchers this week, and Garcia is slashing .354/.404/.500 against lefties this year. He’s available in 91% of leagues.
Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels have a pretty tough schedule this week, starting off with a two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers where they’ll see Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, who own the best team ERA in baseball, and during that series, the Angels will get to see both Blake Snell and Charlie Morton. It’s not a great week to start your Angels.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers unfortunately have just a five-game week this week, which already puts them at a disadvantage in weekly leagues. On top of that, they have a two-game series against the Houston Astros where they’ll see Brad Peacock, who has a 2.12 ERA over the past two weeks, and Justin Verlander. Then, they’ll head to pitcher-friendly Oracle Park to face off against the San Francisco Giants where they’ll see Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija. Given the five-game week, the matchups, and the fact that the Brewers will be spending the majority of their week in one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball, I’d have a tough time starting many of my Brewers.
Kansas City Royals hitters – I can’t imagine you were thinking of starting too many hitters on the Royals anyways (though there are some fantasy relevant players on the team), but if you were, I’d avoid them this week. They’ll be facing off against the Detroit Tigers first where they’ll see both Spencer Turnbull and Matt Boyd. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins where they’ll see Kyle Gibson, who has given up one earned run in his last 12 innings, and Jake Odorizzi, who has pitched a shutout in six out of his last seven starts.
Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers start their week off with a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox where they’ll see Chris Sale, as well as David Price, both of whom should prove to be tough matchups. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, who own the fourth-best team ERA in baseball right now. During that series, they’ll see Sonny Gray, who has given up just three earned runs in his last 17 innings.
Justin Smoak – The Toronto Blue Jays will see three left-handed pitchers this week, and that’s bad news for Justin Smoak, as he is slashing .190/.320/.270 against lefties this year, and slashed .235/.318/.371 against them last year.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)