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 14 (7/1 – 7/7) 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.
Toronto Blue Jays hitters – Toronto hitters get a nice slate of juicy matchups this week. They start the week by finishing up their series against the Royals, drawing Glenn Sparkman, who has a 4.76 ERA over his last seven starts. And they close out the week against the meatball factory known as the Baltimore Orioles, who have surrendered more home runs than any team in baseball this year. Unfortunately, sandwiched between those two sweet little numbers is a Boston matchup where they’ll face both David Price and Chris Sale. But I think the Jays will get enough value from their time hosting Kansas City and Baltimore that it won’t even matter. Cavan Biggio, available in 70% of leagues, is hitting .294 over the past two weeks and recently moved into the cleanup spot, so consider getting him in your lineups. Same goes for Eric Sogard, who’s available in 83% of leagues and is batting .383 with three homers over his last 15 games. And in the off chance that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is available on waivers, please invite me into your league. But also, pick him up for this run, as he’s swatted five homers over the past week with a .484 average.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nationals get the benefit of two home series this week—good news for them as they are top-10 in team batting average when they play in D.C. They host the Marlins to start things off, and though Zach Gallen might be a tough matchup, Sandy Alcantara and Elieser Hernandez should provide them with plenty of opportunities to score runs. Washington will also be feasting on Kansas City’s pitching staff later in the week. Washington bats should be able to do plenty of damage against Brad Keller, whose road ERA is 4.62, and Glenn Sparkman, who has pitched to a 4.76 ERA over his last 34 innings. Adam Eaton and Matt Adams are both solid bets to cash in this week, especially considering that both Sandy Alcantara and Elieser Hernandez struggle badly against lefties.
Boston Red Sox hitters – Not that you needed any more reason to start your Red Sox hitters, but Boston has a juicy road slate coming up against the hapless Toronto Blue Jays and the hopeless Detroit Tigers. With Marcus Stroman potentially missing his next turn in the rotation, only Trent Thornton is confirmed as a starter for Boston’s series in Toronto. The “TBD” penciled in for those other two starts might as well stand for “To Be Destroyed,” as Boston has the fourth-highest wRC+ in baseball in away games. That’s obviously bad news for the Tigers as well, especially given that they’ll be opening their series against Boston with Jordan Zimmermann and a TBD pitcher of their own in the first two games. Get Michael Chavis (47% owned) in your lineups, as his .318 average and .887 OPS over the past two weeks indicate that he’s been seeing the ball well lately.
Houston Astros hitters – Allowing the Astros’ offense to play two games at Coors Field feels like it should be classified as a crime against humanity, but until the United Nations has a chance to investigate, we might as well take advantage. Houston will face a scuffling German Marquez, who has posted a 5.82 ERA in his last seven starts, and Peter the sacrificial Lambert, who has a 6.57 ERA on the season. Houston will then return home to face the Los Angeles Angels. They’ll draw both Griffin Canning and Andrew Heaney in this series, but given that they own the second-highest wRC+ in baseball in home games, they should fare just fine. Yuli Gurriel, owned in just 56% of leagues, is batting .323 over his last 15 games with four homers, and hits for much more power at home, so consider getting him in your lineups.
Cavan Biggio – Biggio has been heating up lately, hitting .333 over the past week, and he’s got some cushy matchups on the horizon in the form of Glenn Sparkman, Gabriel Ynoa, and Andrew Cashner. The fact that he’s hit all six of his homers this year off lefties should also soften the blow of having to run into both David Price and Chris Sale in the middle of the week.
San Diego Padres hitters – The front end of San Diego’s schedule this week is pretty favorable, with them facing off against the San Francisco Giants’ trio of Jeff Samardzija, Tyler Beede, and Shaun Anderson. But then they travel to Los Angeles, a place where both self-awareness and hitting go to die. That four-game set will see them matched up against Hyun-jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, and Ross Stripling, making this a series you’ll likely want to make sure Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers are benched for.
Kansas City Royals hitters – It’s going to be a rough week matchup-wise for the Royals. They come up against Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Zach Plesac, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin this week, which will likely put them in a hole that even Clayton Richard can’t help them dig themselves out of. Bauer, Scherzer, and Corbin have been particularly sharp over their last few starts, so their timing could not be worse here.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies will be squaring up against the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves this week, and will unfortunately be drawing both those teams’ best pitchers, as it seems Mike Soroka, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard will all be taking the mound. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that the Phillies hit lefties well, and Dallas Keuchel and Steven Matz will both be going this week. So if you’re in a daily league, consider mixing and matching as the week progresses.
Miami Marlins hitters – I realize it’s probably a huge bummer to have to bench amazing Miami hitters like Miguel Rojas and Curtis Granderson, but their week will likely start off with a whimper, coming up against Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, and Anibal Sanchez, the latter of whom has pitched to just a 2.21 ERA over his last seven starts. Things don’t get much easier to close out the week either, as the Braves will be throwing Julio Teheran, Max Fried, and Dallas Keuchel.
Garrett Cooper – As incredible as Cooper has been this year, he’s done almost all his damage against righties and is posting just a .287 wOBA and .224 average against lefties on the season. With Patrick Corbin, Max Fried, and Dallas Keuchel set to face the Marlins this week, it’s as good a time as any to keep him on your bench.
(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)