Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 20 (8/23-8/29)

Which bats should you be targeting for the upcoming week?

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 17 (8/2-8/8) 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.

Also, I want to add a special thank you to both Scott Chu and Nick Bucher who covered this column for me while I was on vacation.

 

START

 

Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – The Diamondbacks get a full week this week, seven games, starting with three games against the Pirates whose pitching staff owns the seventh-worst team FIP in the league. Then, they close the week with a four-game series against the Phillies, whose pitching staff is on the worse end of the middle of the pack in team FIP (14th). They will have a game against Aaron Nola, so I’d dodge that, but otherwise, between facing a really bad pitching staff in the Pirates and a mediocre one in the Phillies with a full week, I like using my D’Backs this week. Josh Rojas has been ridiculously hot over the past two weeks, slashing .459/.500/.703, so make sure he’s in your lineup.

Houston Astros hitters – The Astros get six games this week, starting with three against the Royals, who own the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Rangers, who own the sixth-worst team FIP in baseball. Over the past two weeks, Aledmys Diaz has been pretty impressive, slashing .378/.417/.533 and is worth a look.

St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals also have six games this week, and they also get to face two pretty bad pitching staffs. They start with two games against the Tigers, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in the league, and they close with four games against the aforementioned Pirates. The wonderfully named Lars Nootbar has been hot when he’s been playing lately, slashing .375/.444/.792 over the past two weeks, and is worth a look in deep leagues (unless Dylan Carlson actually does return by Tuesday, which is possible, and would likely lead to Nootbar sitting). Tommy Edman has also been hitting well lately, slashing .283/.365/.457 over the past two weeks.

Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels only have five games this week, but they’re five games I think are worth taking advantage of. They start the week with three games against the Orioles who own the worst pitching staff in baseball by both ERA and FIP, in hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Then, they close the week with two games against the Padres where they’ll face Ryan Weathers, who doesn’t scare me all that much, and a yet-to-be-named starter. So while the Angels only have five games, I think you can get some production out of those five games. Over the past two weeks, Phil Gosselin has been pretty productive, slashing .333/.366/.538, and is worthy of a look in deeper leagues.

C.J. Cron – The Rockies have six games this week, half of which will be against left-handed pitchers, which is good news for Cron, as he’s a career .281/.334/.513 hitter against lefties.

 

AVOID

 

Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds have six games this week, starting with three against the Brewers, who own the second-best team FIP in baseball, and where they’ll get to face Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. Then, they close the week with three games against the Marlins, who own the 11th-best team FIP in baseball.

Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers have just five games this week, which already hurts their potential. But on top of that, they’ll get two games against the Cardinals, one of which will be against Jack Flaherty, and three games against the Blue Jays where they’ll face both Alek Manoah and Jose Berrios. They’ll also see Steven Matz and Jon Lester this week, both of which are matchups I’m fine taking advantage of in daily leagues, but on the whole, there are only about two games this week where I want my Tigers hitters, and that’s not enough to justify starting most of them in weekly leagues.

San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres also only have five games this week, three of which will be against the Dodgers, who own the best team FIP in the league. They close the week with two games against the Angels, and in daily leagues, I’m fine starting my Padres there, but similar to the Tigers, it’s hard to justify starting players who only have two worthwhile games in weekly leagues.

Atlanta hitters – Like the previous two teams, Atlanta has just five games as well this week, starting with two against the Yankees, who own the fifth-best team FIP in the league, and closing with three against the Giants, who own the third-best team FIP in baseball, making this week a really tough one for your Atlanta hitters.

Ryan McMahon – As previously mentioned, the Rockies have six games, half of which will be against lefties. That’s not good for McMahon, who’s slashing .227/.306/.370 against lefties so far this year.

 

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Ben Palmer

Managing editor at Pitcher List. 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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