If you’re unfamiliar with this article series, each week I take a look at some hitting matchups you should take advantage of and some hitting matchups you should avoid, based on who the hitters will likely be facing on the mound.
So here’s who you should start and avoid in Week 16 (7/26-8/1) 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 for any number of reasons. 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.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have six games this week, starting with two against the Marlins at home in Camden Yards. Normally, I’d recommend avoiding the Marlins pitching staff, and certainly, in daily leagues, their first game of the series against Sandy Alcantara is one I’d dodge, but the second game will see the Orioles face Jordan Holloway and I’m not too worried about that. Then, the Orioles finish out the week with four games against the Tigers, who own the seventh-worst team FIP in baseball. Trey Mancini has been hot, hitting .333/.375/.567 over the past two weeks, so make sure he’s in your lineups this week.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets get an eight-game week this week, thanks to a double-header against Atlanta on Monday. An eight-game week on its own makes any team tempting, but the pitching matchups still matter, and fortunately for the Mets, Atlanta has a pretty middle-of-the-road pitching staff. But after their four-game series against Atlanta, the Mets will face the Reds for three games, a team that owns the 11th-worst team FIP in baseball. Since it’s an eight-game week and neither pitching staff is especially scary, I’d definitely start my Mets as a nice volume play this week. J.D. Davis has been hot lately, slashing .278/.409/.611 and is worth a start this week.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies get a full seven-game week this week, starting with four games against the Nationals, who own the 10th-worst team FIP in baseball. One of those games will be against Max Scherzer, so I’d dodge that in daily leagues. Then, the Phillies close the week with three games against the Pirates, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball, so make sure your Phillies are in your lineups this week.
Detroit Tigers hitters – Not only do the Tigers get to face the second-worst pitching staff in baseball by FIP in the Orioles for four games this week, but they also get three games against the Twins, who own the fourth-worst team FIP in baseball, meaning it’s a good week to start your Tigers. Akil Baddoo owns a .366 ISO over the past two weeks and is worth a look this week. And Jonathan Schoop has been slashing .429/.447/.543 over the past two weeks, so make sure he’s in your lineup.
Hunter Renfroe – The Red Sox have seven games this week and, amazingly, six of them will be against left-handed pitchers, which is good news for Hunter Renfroe, who owns a career .262/.349/.557 line against lefties and is hitting .283/.390/.485 against them so far this year. He could be a sneaky play this week.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees have six games this week, starting with three against the Rays, who own the fifth-best team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Marlins, who own the fourth-best team FIP in baseball, so aside from your studs, I’d dodge the Yankees this week.
Atlanta hitters – I mentioned earlier that the Mets have eight games this week, which makes them enticing. Atlanta also has eight games this week, because of their doubleheader against the Mets, so why am I saying avoid them? Well, first off, the Mets own the best team FIP in the league, and Atlanta has four games against them. And second, they end the week with three games against the Brewers where they’ll see both Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. I know an eight-game week is very tempting, but Atlanta is going to be in for some tough pitching matchups this week.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies spend the whole week away from home with seven games this week. They start the week with three games against the Angels, where they’ll face Shohei Ohtani. The other two, against Andrew Heaney and Jose Suarez I’m not as worried about (though Heaney can be very good sometimes), so in daily leagues those are workable. But then the Rockies close the week with four games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park against the Padres, who own the 11th-best team FIP in baseball. So all in all, I’d avoid my Rockies this week.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have seven games this week, starting with four games against the White Sox, who own the third-best team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Blue Jays where they’ll face Robbie Ray. The other two Blue Jays games against Ross Stripling and Thomas Hatch are fine in daily leagues, but in all, there are only two games out of seven where I feel good about starting my Royals, which isn’t enough value in weekly leagues.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)