Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 12 (6/17 – 6/23)
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 12 (6/17-6/23) 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.
Cleveland Indians hitters – It’s a good week for the Indians, as they get to face two pretty bad pitching staffs in a seven-game week. First, they’ll have a four-game series in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers, who own the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball, and then they get a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, who own the ninth-worst team ERA in baseball. Jake Bauers has been hitting well lately, slashing .275/.310/.600 over the past two weeks (including a cycle), so he might be worth a look. He’s available in 78% of leagues.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners get to see two of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball this week, starting with a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, who own the fourth-worst team ERA in baseball, and closing with a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, who (unsurprisingly) have the worst team ERA in baseball. Mallex Smith has been hitting well, slashing .281/.324/.438 with four steals over the past two weeks and is available in 42% of leagues. Dan Vogelbach has also been hitting well, slashing .319/.458/.489 over the past two weeks, and he’s available in 45% of leagues.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s also get to see the Orioles this week, which is always a major positive for their hitters. They close the week with a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, who can be a tough pitching team, but they’ll miss Blake Snell‘s turn in the rotation, instead facing Charlie Morton, Jalen Beeks, Yonny Chirinos, and Ryan Yarbrough. Obviously the Morton matchup isn’t great (and an avoid in daily leagues), but I’m not overly terrified of the rest of the matchups, so that, coupled with the games against the Orioles, make your A’s worth a look this week.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins start their week with a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox and will get to miss Chris Sale‘s turn in the rotation. They will see David Price, who can obviously be difficult, but they’ll also see Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez, neither of whom I’m worried about. Then, the Twins will face the Royals who, as I mentioned before, have the fourth-worst team ERA in baseball. C.J. Cron is still available in 39% of leagues and is slashing .319/.374/.626 over the past month (what more do you people need from him?), and Miguel Sano is slashing a respectable .240/.326/.573 over the past month and is available in 65% of leagues.
Renato Nunez – If the Orioles are facing a bunch of left-handed hitters, it’s hard not to recommend starting Renato Nunez, who absolutely mashes lefties to the tune of a .282/.337/.588 slash line this year. This week, the Orioles will see four lefties, and Nunez is still available in 70% of leagues.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies spend all week on the road, which is never good, and even worse, they’re going to have some tough pitching matchups, starting with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who own the eighth-best team ERA in baseball, where they’ll see Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where they’ll see Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, and Clayton Kershaw.
Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers have only a five-game week, one of the few teams with a short week this week, and there’s not a ton of value you’re going to be able to extract from them. They start with a two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates in pitcher-friendly PNC Park. While they’ll see Joe Musgrove, who’s been bad (and that’s a fine matchup to take advantage of in a daily league), they’ll also see Steven Brault, who’s been surprisingly good, giving up just three earned runs in his last 21.2 innings. Then, the Tigers will see the Cleveland Indians where they’ll face Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees start their week off against the Rays where they’ll get to see Blake Snell, which is never good news. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Houston Astros, where they’ll see Justin Verlander, Brad Peacock (who has a 2.54 ERA over the past month), and Wade Miley (who has a 2.48 ERA over the past month). They’ll also see Framber Valdez, who has given up just one earned run in his past 14.2 innings pitched.
San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants get the exact reverse of the Rockies’ schedule this week, starting with a four-game series against the Dodgers where they’ll see Kenta Maeda, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Walker Buehler. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Diamondbacks who, as I mentioned, have the eighth-best team ERA in baseball, where they’ll see Merrill Kelly who’s been surprisingly good lately, with a 2.50 ERA over the past month.
Justin Smoak – The Blue Jays will see five left-handed pitchers this week, and that’s bad news for Justin Smoak, as he’s slashing .183/.301/.254 against lefties so far this year.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)