Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 18 (8/5 – 8/11)

Ben Palmer takes a look at the hitters you should start and avoid this week in fantasy.

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 18 (8/5-8/11) 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.

START

Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers are in store for a pretty solid week this week, as they get an eight-game week thanks to a double-header against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Not only that, they’ll be facing some beatable pitchers this week. As a team, the White Sox have the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball, and while the Tigers will face Lucas Giolito, who should prove to be a tough matchup, they’ll also face Dylan Cease, who’s given up at least four runs in all but one of his starts, and Ivan Nova. Then, they’ll get to face the Kansas City Royals, who own the sixth-worst team ERA in baseball. Over the past month, Niko Goodrum has been slashing .302/.348/.512 and is available in 81% of leagues. Similarly, Brandon Dixon is slashing .317/.377/.524 over the past month and is available in 99% of leagues.

New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees have a seven-game week this week, all on the road, and against two pretty bad pitching staffs, which spells fantasy goodness for your Yankees hitters. They start the week with a three-game matchup against the Baltimore Orioles who, as I’m sure you know by now, own the worst team ERA in baseball. Those games will be in hitter-heaven Camden Yards, which is even better. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have the 10th-worst team ERA in baseball and have since traded away their best pitcher in Marcus Stroman. Needless to say, it’s a good week to start your Yankees. Over the past month, Gio Urshela has been slashing .324/.342/.634 and is available in 78% of leagues. Also, Mike Tauchman is slashing a ridiculous .423/.474/.750 over the past month, may be in line for increased playing time as Aaron Hicks exited last nights game and is pending an MRI, and is available in 92% of leagues.

Houston Astros hitters – While the Astros only play five games this week, every game should be a good one for your Astros hitters. They start the week off with a two-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies, who have been pretty bad lately, and close the week with a three-game series against the Orioles in Camden Yards. Over the past month, Yuli Gurriel has been slashing .366/.404/.720, so make sure you roll him out there.

Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox have themselves a pretty solid week this week, starting with a three-game series against the Royals, who as I mentioned earlier, do not have a good pitching staff. Then, they’ll close the week with a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, who own the ninth-worst team ERA in baseball. While they haven’t been starting every day, both Brock Holt and Sam Travis have been pretty productive for the Red Sox over the past month, slashing .359/.409/.462 and .324/.359/.568 respectively. They’re both available in over 97% of leagues if you’re in a deep league and need a useful fill-in this week.

Travis d’Arnaud – Over the past month, Travis d’Arnaud has been absolutely on fire, slashing .347/.434/.736, and if that hot streak alone isn’t enough to convince you to pick him up, the fact that he’ll get to face three lefties this week should. Why? Because so far this season, d’Arnaud is slashing .281/.340/.618 against lefties. He’s available in 49% of leagues.

AVOID

Colorado Rockies hitters – When the Rockies are on the road, it’s generally best to avoid their hitters, but I’d especially advise against them this week. They start the week with the aforementioned two-game series against the Astros where they’ll face Zack Greinke and Gerrit Cole. Then, they’ll have a four-game series in pitcher-friendly Petco Park against the San Diego Padres where they’ll get to see Cal Quantrill, who owns a 0.53 ERA over the past month and Chris Paddack, who’s always great and has a 1.90 ERA over the past month.

Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners offense hasn’t exactly been on fire (I mean, they just got no-hit for a reason), and I’d avoid their hitters this week. They only play five games, which limits your value to begin with, and those five games don’t look to be good. Their two-game series against the Padres where they’ll face Dinelson Lamet and Joey Lucchesi is fine if you want to start your guys in daily leagues. But they close the week with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, who own the second-best team ERA in baseball.

Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats start their week off in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball in Oracle Park for a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants, which isn’t ideal for their hitters. Plus, while there, they’ll be facing Jeff Samardzija, who owns a 2.05 ERA over the past month. Then, they close the week with a three-game series against the New York Mets, where they’ll face Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob DeGrom.

Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s have a bit of a tough week this week, starting with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs, who own the fifth-best team ERA in baseball. Then, they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the White Sox, and while the White Sox as a team haven’t exactly been pitching great, the A’s will get to face Lucas Giolito, who’s generally been pretty awesome this year, as well as Reynaldo Lopez, who’s been turning it on as of late with a 2.66 ERA over the past two weeks.

Eric HosmerEric Hosmer has actually quietly put together a really solid season, slashing .286/.337/.444 on the season, however this week, you might want to avoid him this week, as the San Diego Padres will face three lefties this week, and Hosmer is hitting .250/.304/.327 against lefties this year. That’s pretty in line with his career too, as he’s a career .253/.300/.366 hitter against lefties.

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Ben Palmer

Lifelong Orioles fan (which can be....painful at times) and a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music and watch way too many movies.

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