Championships are won by making the right little decisions through the season and micromanaging your lineup well can be the difference maker. 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 this week. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 11 (6/12 – 6/18) of the fantasy baseball season.
Note: 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.
Other note: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based off of projections as of this writing. It is entirely possible that the actual matchups could change either because of injury, weather, or anything else.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins get a doubleheader this week, which means they get to have an eight-game week, and even better, they don’t really have any scary matchups aside from one with Carlos Carrasco (so maybe avoid Twins hitters on that day). But otherwise they get to see the Seattle Mariners rotation and luckily miss James Paxton. Plus, they’ll spend all eight games at home, which is good news for Eddie Rosario who’s a .309 hitter at home and a .195 hitter away. It’d also be a good week to toss Brian Dozier and Max Kepler out there.
Corey Dickerson – The Rays have six games this week, all on the road, and that’s good news for Corey Dickerson. Dickerson has been a mainstay in most people’s lineups for some time now, but this week is a week you’ll want to keep him there, as Dickerson is, for some reason, a better hitter on the road this year than at home. He’s a .359 hitter on the road with a 1.036 OPS. Now, I’m not necessarily against starting most of the Rays this week, as they’re projected matchups are ok (they do see Justin Verlander and Marco Estrada, which aren’t great), but Dickerson is an absolute must-start this week.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have a full week this week, playing all seven days, with four games at the White Sox and three games at home against the Cardinals. There’s only one game that I would recommend avoiding Orioles hitters, and that’s Friday’s games against Carlos Martinez, but for every other day, throw those Orioles out there. They’ll get to see nobody intimidating in Chicago (including the now-unraveling Derek Holland), and aside from Martinez, they get to see Adam Wainwright (or really the ghost of what he once was) and Lance Lynn. So Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, toss them all out there.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies get a seven-game week this week, including four games at home in Coors, and the matchups are pretty nice. They start with a three-game series in Pittsburgh, which should be alright. They’ll get to see Jameson Taillon finally back off the DL, and while that would normally be intimidating, it’s Taillon’s first game back off the DL, anything is possible. The real juicy matchups come from their series in Coors against the San Francisco Giants. They’ll see Jeff Samardzija, which isn’t great, but other than that, every matchup should be a cake walk, toss your Rockies out there and enjoy.
San Francisco Giants hitters – That Coors Field advantage swings both ways. While the Giants will start off at home against Kansas City for a two-game series, they’ll see Jason Vargas and Jason Hammel, two matchups that aren’t too bad. Then they get to go to Coors for that four-game series I mentioned earlier against the Rockies, and outside of a matchup against the young and so far awesome Jeff Hoffman, the matchups aren’t all that scary. I’d recommend putting guys like Brandon Belt and Eduardo Nunez in your lineup.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – Likely you’ve already been avoiding Phillies hitters not named Aaron Altherr or Tommy Joseph already, but this week would be a good week to avoid all of them. They’ll be facing the Red Sox for four games (two at home and two away), and then they’ll have three games at home against the Diamondbacks. Here’s the list of pitchers they’re projected to face: Rick Porcello, David Price, Brian Johnson, Chris Sale, Randall Delgado, Zach Godley, and Robbie Ray. Delgado and Johnson have been surprisingly good, as has Godley. And obviously Porcello, Price, Sale, and Ray are tough matchups, The Phillies have been bad already, and this week might make them worse.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets get seven games at home this week, and not only do they get the joys of facing Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg this week, but they’re bad hitters at home. Like, they’re batting .225 at home this year. You’re still starting your studs, but if you were thinking about starting Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, or Curtis Granderson, I might think twice.
Oakland Athletics lefties against the Yankees – In general I’d probably avoid A’s hitters against the Yankees, but it’s especially a bad four-game series for the lefties. They’ll get to see Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and Luis Severino, and for the lefties, adding Sabathia in there just makes it all that much worse. I’d probably consider someone other than Yonder Alonso if I could this week. It’s also worth mentioning that the A’s will be heading to Miami for a two-game series against the Marlins before this series, so they’ll lose their DH position, which might mean they A’s shift things around and give Khris Davis some time off, considering he batted just .217 during their last road trip.
Houston Astros hitters against the Red Sox – For their three-game series at home against the Red Sox, the Astros will get to see Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, and David Price, making that a tough series for the Astros. It also means that, for the games against Pomeranz and Price, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick might get benched in favor of the right-handed bats on the roster.
Chicago Cubs hitters – It’s a tough week for the Cubs this week, as they’ll on the road all week and facing nothing but right-handers, including Jacob DeGrom and Jameson Taillon. The Cubs are slashing .231/.311/.711 against righties all year this year and they’re batting .221 on the road. Those two stats together make for a bad looking week, so if you were thinking of starting Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist, or Addison Russell, I’d reconsider.