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Welcome! Each week, I’ll be taking a look at five hitting matchups you should take advantage of this week, and five hitting matchups you should avoid. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 11 (6/11 – 6/17) of the fantasy baseball season.
Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this writing. 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.
Cleveland Indians hitters – The Indians have a nice week ahead with a full seven-game week. They start off against the Chicago White Sox and their awful starting rotation, followed by a three-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins where they’ll be fortunate enough to miss Jose Berrios‘ turn in the rotation. Obviously the studs are already in your lineups, but I’d recommend starting guys like Yonder Alonso who’s available in 60% of leagues and is slashing .333/.417/.548 over the past two weeks, or even Jason Kipnis, who’s slashing .308/.345/.538 over the past two weeks.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox do have a couple matchups that could prove tricky this week—specifically one against Dylan Bundy and one against James Paxton. But other than that, it should be smooth sailing for the Red Sox who will also get to see the likes of Andrew Cashner, Wade LeBlanc, and Mike Leake. It’s worth noting that Mitch Moreland is still available in 34% of leagues, and Jackie Bradley Jr.—who’s slashing .270/.386/.405 over the past two weeks—is available in 84% of leagues if you need an outfield streamer.
Evan Longoria – On the whole, the San Francisco Giants have a solid week this week for matchups, playing four games in Miami against the Marlins and three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Any time they can spend away from AT&T Park is good for their hitters. However it should especially be a good week for Evan Longoria, as the Giants are slated to face three lefties this week and Longoria is slashing .295/.321/.603 against lefties this year.
C.J. Cron– Speaking of players who are good against lefties, C.J. Cron should be in consideration for your lineups this week. He’s been crushing the ball this year, with a .216 ISO on the season so far, but this week should be especially good. The Rays are slated to face three lefties in Jaime Garcia, J.A. Happ, and C.C. Sabathia, none of whom scare you. Not only that, but Cron is slashing .300/.372/.529 against lefties this year. He’s still available in about 43% of leagues, so I’d recommend grabbing him.
Jean Segura – Likely you were already starting Jean Segura this week, but if you were hesitating, make sure you start him. The Seattle Mariners are slated to face three left-handed hitters this week and Segura is slashing an excellent .355/.370/.513 against lefties on the year so far.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s have a fairly tough week ahead this week, starting off on Tuesday with a three-game series against the Houston Astros where they’ll see Lance McCullers, Gerrit Cole, and Justin Verlander. Then, they have a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels where they’ll get to see Andrew Heaney, who’s got a 1.83 ERA over the past month. I’d still be starting Jed Lowrie, Matt Olson, and Khris Davis, but aside from them, I might find someone else.
Minnesota Twins hitters – There are some matchups to take advantage of for your Twins hitters this week. They start off the week with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, with their first matchup against Blaine Hardy—I’m fine starting my Twins there. However, they’ll also see Michael Fulmer who, admittedly, has struggled some lately but is still a good pitcher in my opinion, and Matthew Boyd, who has a 2.95 ERA over the past two weeks including limiting the Boston Red Sox to just two runs over 6.1 innings last week. Still, if you went with your Twins hitters there, I can understand that. I’d personally avoid it, but I get it. However after that, they’ll see the Cleveland Indians along with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco—two matchups I’d be inclined to avoid. In a weekly league, I’m not all that sure starting my middle-of-the-road Twins is worth it, but in a daily league, I’d pay attention to the matchups and take advantage of a couple days.
Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs start off their week with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, which include some kind of so-so matchups for their hitters. At first glance, seeing that they’re facing Junior Guerra and Jhoulys Chacin sounds great, until you realize that Guerra has a 2.54 ERA and Chacin has a 3.03 ERA over the past month. Still, these guys aren’t amazing pitchers, so I don’t necessarily mind if you start your Cubs there. However, after that, the Cubs will head to St. Louis to face the Cardinals in pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium, and they’ll get to see Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha (who has a 1.35 ERA over the past month), and Jack Flaherty (who has a 3.07 ERA over the past month).
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have just five games this week, and three of them are games I would most certainly avoid—namely their three-game series against the Houston Astros where they’ll face off against Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers. However, they do have a two-game series against the Cincinnati Reds that should lean pretty hitter-friendly, as they’ll see Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle, so if you’re in a daily league, I’m fine starting my Royals hitters there. However, if you’re in a weekly league, given that they have just five games and that three of them are worth avoiding, I don’t think there’s enough value here to warrant starting them.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates are another team that really only have two games worth starting your hitters for this week. They start off the week against the Arizona Diamondbacks where they’ll see Patrick Corbin and Zack Greinke, as well as Clay Buchholz who has a 1.88 ERA over the past month. Then, they’ll see the Cincinnati Reds, and I don’t mind starting my Pirates in the matchups against Matt Harvey and Anthony DeSclafani, but they’ll also see Luis Castillo who certainly has his weaknesses, but is often a pretty tough matchup.
I’m tentatively benching Bryant in lieu of Candelario. Bryant has become a Punch and Judy hitter nowadays. Sounds crazy I know….but delving into Bryant’s numbers, leaves a lot to be desired.
Ehh, I can understand it, but I’d still be starting Bryant.