Each week, I’ll be 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 2 (8/3-8/9) 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, especially given how fluid things are this season. 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.
Colorado Rockies hitters – It’s a beautiful week for the Rockies. They’ll start off with a four-game series against the Giants at home in Coors Field, and they’ll close with a three-game series on the road against the Seattle Mariners. The Giants rotation isn’t all that scary and with the added factor of Coors Field, I’m all about my Rockies in that series. And the Mariners so far have the worst team ERA in baseball, so even on the road, start your Rockies. Go nuts.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins get to face two pretty mediocre-to-bad pitching staffs this week, starting off with a four-game series against the Pirates where the only scary pitcher they’ll see is Joe Musgrove (and he’s not even all that scary). Then, they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the Royals, who don’t scare me all that much. Brady Singer has proven to be a solid pitcher so far, but it’s early, and I’m not benching my hitters against him just yet.
Toronto Blue Jays hitters – The Blue Jays get six games this week, starting with a three-game series against the Braves where they’ll see Max Fried, Sean Newcomb, and Touki Toussaint, none of whom give me much hesitation. Then, they’ll end the week with a three-game series against the Red Sox whose pitching staff has been just awful so far this year, posting the sixth-worst team ERA to this point. I’d be interested in guys like Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. this week in deeper leagues.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats only have a five-game week, and normally I’d say avoid that, especially in weekly leagues, but the five games they’re getting are all so good. They get a two-game series against the Mets where they’ll face Steven Matz and Rick Porcello, and then they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the Orioles. Every single one of those games has big potential for your Nats bats, so I’m saying start them.
Stephen Piscotty – The A’s will likely be seeing three left-handed pitchers this week, which is great news for Piscotty, as he’s a career .284/.371/.499 hitter against lefties and slashed .360/.391/.628 against them last year.
Boston Red Sox hitters – This recommendation is pretty specifically geared towards weekly leagues. The Red Sox don’t have horrible matchups this week. They get two games against the Rays where they’ll likely see Charlie Morton and Ryan Yarbrough, which you don’t love, but then they get three games against the Blue Jays, who don’t really scare you. In daily leagues, I’m fine starting my Red Sox against the Blue Jays. But, the Red Sox have just a five-game week, and two of those matchups aren’t great. So if you’re in a weekly league, you’re basically getting three worthwhile games out of your Red Sox, and that’s not good for your week. Unless they’re a Red Sox stud (i.e. J.D. Martinez), I’d bench them.
Oakland Athletics hitters – I know, I recommended starting Piscotty, and I still do given the matchups and how specifically good he is against lefties. But otherwise, I’d avoid my A’s. They have a three-game series against the Rangers where they’ll see the team’s three best starters in Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Mike Minor, and then they have a three-game series against the Astros. Now, in that series, they’ll see Zack Greinke, Josh James, and Framber Valdez. James and Valdez definitely have shown flashes, but they don’t scare me as much as other pitchers would. So in daily leagues, I might feel better about starting my A’s hitters against James and Valdez.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees have one game in which I’m totally comfortable starting my Yankees hitters this week—their game against the Orioles on Wednesday. Go for it. After that though, it’s a four-game series against the Rays where they’ll see Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Yonny Chirinos, and Charlie Morton. In weekly leagues, I don’t think that one game against the Orioles is worth it.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres start their week off with a three-game series against the Dodgers where they’ll likely see Walker Buehler, Dustin May (who’s looked pretty solid) and Ross Stripling. Then, they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the Diamondbacks which will include matchups against Luke Weaver and Madison Bumgarner. So all in all, it’s a tough week for your Padres hitters, and to make matters worse, they’re playing all of their games at home in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Brandon Lowe – The Rays will face four left-handed pitchers this week, which could be bad for Lowe’s fantasy value. He may get benched in those games in favor of someone like Mike Brosseau, and even if he does play, he’s a career .243/.277/.477 hitter against lefties.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)