Photo by David Berding/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 14 (7/2 – 7/8) 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.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins draw a pretty nice schedule this week, starting off with a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers in hitter-friendly Miller Park. They will be facing Chase Anderson, who’s been pretty solid in his last couple starts, but overall, I’m not overly concerned about that matchup. After that, they’ll get to host the Baltimore Orioles and their embarrassment of a pitching staff. They will face Dylan Bundy, which could be difficult, but considering how godawful the Orioles have been this year, I’m not particularly concerned. The Twins will also see six right-handed pitchers this week, which is great news for Eddie Rosario (.325/.373/.608 against righties this year) and Eduardo Escobar (.303/.351/.615 against righties this year).
San Francisco Giants hitters – It’s time for your weekly reminder to start hitters in Coors Field this week, and luckily for the Giants, they get a three-game series in Coors to start the week off. After that, they’ll host the St. Louis Cardinals, which should prove somewhat trickier, as they will see Carlos Martinez and Jack Flaherty, but considering they’ll have the Coors series and two games against the Cardinals that should be hitter-friendly (against Luke Weaver and John Gant), I think your Giants hitters warrant a start. If you’re in a daily league, I don’t mind avoiding the CarMart matchup, and potentially the Flaherty one too.
Colorado Rockies hitters – And naturally, the Rockies get to play in Coors too (duh), which means you’ve gotta start your Rockies. They will see Madison Bumgarner which would normally be concerning, but in Coors, I’m still starting my Rockies. After the series against the Giants, the Rockies will head to Seattle to face off against the Mariners. In a daily league, I’d probably avoid the matchup against James Paxton, but otherwise, I’m generally fine starting my Rockies.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners get a solid week this week for their hitters, starting off with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. They’ll see Andrew Heaney, who I think is better than his 5.09 ERA over the past month, but while he’s struggling, I’m not worried about hitting against him. Otherwise, they’ll see Jaime Barria and Felix Pena, who I’m not particularly concerned about. Then, they’ll see the Rockies and miss Jon Gray’s turn in the rotation. Worth a consideration if you need power is Ryon Healy, who has a .216 ISO in June and is available in 61% of leagues.
Mitch Moreland – Fortunately for Mitch Moreland, the Red Sox will see six right-handed pitchers this week and Moreland is slashing .291/.365/.570 against righties this year. He’s available in 44% of leagues (for some reason), so go grab him.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have a rough week this week, starting off with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians where they’ll see Corey Kluber, Shane Bieber, and Trevor Bauer. Then, they’ll host the Boston Red Sox and face off against Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello. No thank you.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins start off the week against the Tampa Bay Rays, which shouldn’t be terrible, though they will face Nathan Eovaldi who’s fresh off a six-inning, nine-strikeout shutout game against the Washington Nationals. However, after the Rays series, they’ll see the Nats and Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer, so I’d pass there.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates get the joy of starting off the week against the Los Angeles Dodgers where they’ll get to see Alex Wood, Clayton Kershaw, and Rich Hill, which is likely to be a very tough slate for them. Then they’ll see the Philadelphia Phillies, and while both Nick Pivetta and Jake Arrieta have struggled at times this season, they’ve also had flashes of brilliance too. In a daily league, I’m not as concerned about the Phillies matchups, so I might start my Pirates, but in a weekly league, given the Dodgers matchups and the meh matchups against the Phillies, I might avoid my Pirates this week.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The start of the White Sox’s week isn’t too bad, as they’ll get to see the Cincinnati Reds. Sure, Luis Castillo always has the potential to be awesome, and Anthony DeSclafani has shown flashes, but generally speaking, I’m not overly concerned. What I am worried about, though, is their four-game series against the Houston Astros where they’ll see Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton, and Dallas Keuchel. In a daily league, go ahead and start your White Sox in Cincinnati, but in a weekly league, there’s more bad than good here and I might avoid my White Sox.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals start off their week against the Arizona Diamondbacks where they’ll get to see Robbie Ray, Zack Greinke, and Patrick Corbin, all of which should prove to be difficult matchups. Then, they’ll head to AT&T Park to face off against the Giants where they’ll get to see Madison Bumgarner, as well as Derek Holland, who has a 2.70 ERA and 10.46 K/9 over the past month.