Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire
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 12 (6/18 – 6/24) 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.
Colorado Rockies – If you learn anything from this article, it’s that you NEED to start your Rockies this week. Why? Because they have a full, seven-game week and it’s all at home in Coors Field. And not only that, they’ll be facing off against the New York Mets while Noah Syndergaard is on the DL (though they will see Jacob DeGrom) and the Miami Marlins‘ mediocre pitching staff. Every member of the Rockies you have, start them. I’m talking Trevor Story, I’m talking Carlos Gonzalez, I’m talking Gerardo Parra, I’m talking Ian Desmond (the last of whom has a .357 ISO over the past two weeks). This is one of just two weeks all year that the Rockies have a seven-game homestand—take advantage of it.
New York Mets hitters – And as usual, when the Rockies play at home, their opponents are usually worth starting too. Luckily for the Mets, they get a four-game series in Coors Field against a Rockies rotation that’s not even a little bit scary. After that, they head home for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Given that they’ll be seeing Alex Wood and Kenta Maeda, that should prove a bit trickier, however it’s still worth it to start your Mets this week, even if it’s just for that four-game series in Coors.
Miami Marlins hitters – And naturally, you should start your Marlins too since they get three games in Coors this week. They start off the week in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park against the San Francisco Giants, but given the fact that they’ll miss Madison Bumgarner’s turn in the rotation, mixed with the three-game series in Coors, I still think it’s worth starting your Marlins this week, and I don’t say that often. Which Marlins? Obviously Starlin Castro and J.T. Realmuto, but Derek Dietrich (.333/.387/.583 over the past month) and Brian Anderson (.351/.411/.505 over the past month) warrant a strong look too.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats get a seven-game week this week, starting with a single game against the New York Yankees, and then a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, who have the second-worst ERA in the majors at 4.92. On top of that, they get to miss Dylan Bundy—the only member of that rotation that actually scares you (though Kevin Gausman certainly has his moments). The Nats will then face off against the Philadelphia Phillies, and while they’ll see Aaron Nola, they should be fine against Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta. It’s especially a good week to start Matt Adams, as the Nats will see nothing but righties this week, and Adams is slashing .283/.364/.614 against righties this year.
Ketel Marte – Starting the season, Ketel Marte was rough to own. But over the past month, he’s been slashing .293/.337/.585. In general, I think he’s worth a pickup if not just for the streak he’s on (he’s available in 73% of leagues), but he’s especially worth a grab this week, as the Diamondbacks face all righties this week (that’s six games), and Marte has a .304 ISO against righties in June so far.
Chicago White Sox hitters – There are a couple matchups the White Sox have this week that you can take advantage of. Namely, the games they’ll have against Chris Bassitt and Paul Blackburn when they play the Oakland Athletics. They’ll also see Sean Manaea and Daniel Mengden—both of whom have the ability to shut a lineup down but have had their struggles. However what really makes life difficult for the White Sox is the beginning of their week—namely a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians in which they’ll see Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Corey Kluber. If you’re in a weekly league, I don’t think it’s worth it to start your White Sox. However, in a daily league, take advantage of those two matchups against the A’s.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – Similar to the White Sox hitters, there are a couple matchups you can take advantage of with your Pirates hitters this week if you’re in a daily league. They start off the week at home with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and during that series they’ll get to see Freddy Peralta and Brent Suter. I’m fine starting your Pirates for that game. However, the first game of the series will be against Jhoulys Chacin, who has a 2.76 ERA over the past month. After their series against the Brewers, the Pirates will get to see the Arizona Diamondbacks for four games, and along with that, both Patrick Corbin and Zack Greinke. Not only that, they’ll see Clay Buchholz—who’s had just one bad start all year—and Zack Godley—who’s fresh off of two straight games in which he gave up just two runs and struck out eight.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – If you’re about to sense a theme, you’re right. There are a couple matchups you can take advantage of with the Brewers—namely their matchup against Trevor Williams. I think you’re good to start them against Chad Kuhl as well, though it’s worth noting that Kuhl has had 3.21 ERA over the past month. But they’ll also see Jameson Taillon, who has had just one bad start since the beginning of May and has looked pretty solid otherwise. Then the Brewers will get to see the St. Louis Cardinals and face off against Carlos Martinez, Jack Flaherty, and Miles Mikolas. You’re still starting you Brewers studs—and I would include starting Eric Thames (assuming they start him all week) as that’ll be nothing but right-handed pitching. However, your other borderline Brewers, I’d avoid.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners get a six-game road trip this week and they’re in for some tough matchups. They start off against the New York Yankees where they get the pleasure of facing Luis Severino. They’ll also see rookie Jonathan Loaisiga who was pretty impressive in his first start. I wouldn’t be shocked if Johnny Lasagna had a great game against the Mariners, however I’m not advocating you sit your Mariners against him just yet, he’s had just one start. After their series against the Yankees, they head to Fenway to face off against the Boston Red Sox where they’ll get to see Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale. They’ll also see Steven Wright but I’d still start your Mariners. Games against knuckleballers tend to either be total dominance or a disaster.
Cody Bellinger – The Los Angeles Dodgers have six games this week, with three of them coming against left-handed pitchers. That’s bad news for Cody Bellinger, as he’s slashing .224/.333/.474 against lefties this year. That’s still a .250 ISO, but mostly because the average is so bad. It’s also worth noting that one of the righties they’ll be facing is Jacob DeGrom, making this week even more difficult for Bellinger.