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 13 (6/24-6/30) 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.
Also, special note for this week: The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will be playing each other in London on Sunday, June 30. Those games will start at 10:10 a.m. ET, so be sure to get your lineup set in daily leagues before then.
Cleveland Indians hitters – Every week that I do this article, one of the first things I say to myself as I’m doing research is “Okay, who’s playing the Orioles and who’s playing the Royals?” Well, luckily for the Indians, they get to play both, which means you should be starting your Indians hitters, as the Kansas City Royals own the sixth-worst team ERA in baseball, and the Orioles own the worst. Even better, their series against the Orioles will be in hitter-heaven Camden Yards. Oscar Mercado is available in 64% of leagues and has been hitting .333/.367/.544 over the past two weeks. Also, Jason Kipnis is available in 95% of leagues and has been slashing .350/.400/.650 over the past two weeks.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitters – The Dodgers start their week with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and I don’t really love their matchups against Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray, so I’d probably avoid those two in daily leagues. But the rest of their week should be great. The last pitcher they’ll see in Arizona is Taylor Clarke, who I’m not worried about, and then they get a four-game series in Coors Field, which is great news. And out of their seven games this week, they’ll see six right-handed pitchers, which is good news for Joc Pederson who’s got a .379 ISO against righties.
Atlanta Braves hitters – The Braves start their week off against the Chicago Cubs, where they’ll get to see Jon Lester, who has a 6.75 ERA over the past month, Jose Quintana, who has a 5.13 ERA over the past month, and Yu Darvish, who has a 4.34 ERA over the past month. Then, they’ll get to face the New York Mets, who just replaced their pitching coach because their pitching has been so bad (12th-worst in baseball). In daily league, I’d avoid the Braves’ matchup against Jacob DeGrom, but otherwise I think you’re good.
Houston Astros hitters – The Astros get to face two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball this week in the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have the fourth-worst team ERA in the league, and the Seattle Mariners, who have the second-worst team ERA in the league. Jose Altuve is back off the IL, which is great, and George Springer will hopefully come off this week. Worth noting: Over the past two weeks, Tyler White has been slashing .286/.457/.543, and he’s available in 91% of leagues.
James McCann – If you need some catcher help this week, James McCann is a good player to grab. The Chicago White Sox will see three left-handed pitchers this week, and that’s good news for McCann, as he’s slashing .318/.423/.545 against lefties this year. He’s available in 67% of leagues.
Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers start their week off against the Detroit Tigers and get to face the two best pitchers in their rotation: Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull. Then, they’ll face the Tampa Bay Rays, who own the second-best team ERA in baseball, and specifically Blake Snell, as well as Yonny Chirinos, who owns a 2.67 ERA over the past month.
Minnesota Twins hitters – Normally I’m pushing the Twins hitters hard every week mostly because of my deep, passionate love for Jorge Polanco, C.J. Cron, Willians Astudillo, and Jonathan Schoop (am… am I also a Twins fan now? What is this?), but this week, I’m avoiding my Twins. They start the week off with a three-game series against the aforementioned Rays, where they’ll get the pleasure of facing Blake Snell and Charlie Morton, not to mention Jalen Beeks, who’s quietly been sporting a 2.95 ERA this year. Then, they’ll see the Chicago White Sox, and while I’m not worried about Odrisamer Despaigne or Ivan Nova, I am worried about them facing Lucas Giolito amid his fantastic breakout this year. In a daily league, go ahead and toss your Twins out there against Despaigne and Nova, but that’s about it.
Detroit Tigers hitters – There is one person I’m afraid of in the Texas Rangers rotation, and that’s Mike Minor, and the Tigers get to see him this week in their opening three-game series against the Rangers. After that series, the Tigers will face off against the Washington Nationals, where they’ll get to see Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, who are always tough matchups, as well as Anibal Sanchez, who’s been pretty solid lately, putting up a 1.54 ERA over the past month.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins start their week off against the aforementioned Nationals, where they’ll see Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer. They’ll also see Erick Fedde, who I don’t mind starting your guys against in a daily league. Then, they’ll face off against the Philadelphia Phillies where they’ll see Jake Arrieta, who has a 3.00 ERA over the past two weeks, and Zach Eflin, who’s got a 2.21 ERA over the past two weeks.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – This week, the Toronto Blue Jays will get to see three left-handed pitchers, and so far this year, Vlad has struggled against lefties, posting a .213/.288/.383 slash line against them. I’d avoid starting him in a weekly league if you can.
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)