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 21 (8/30-9/5) 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.
Atlanta hitters – This isn’t as rousing of an endorsement of Atlanta hitters as I’d like it to be, because this week could start off a little rough for them. They start the week with three games against the Dodgers where they’ll face both Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer. Normally, I wouldn’t want any part of that, but then Atlanta finishes the week off with four games in Coors Field, and that’s just too good to ignore. I don’t think this is going to be seven games worth of great production from your Atlanta hitters, but if you can endure a couple of bad games, I think four games in Coors has too much offensive potential to bench your guys. Austin Riley has been hitting .439/.489/.707 over the past two weeks and definitely warrants a start. Dansby Swanson has also looked pretty good, slashing .308/.386/.513 over the past two weeks.
Colorado Rockies hitters – Speaking of Coors Field, as you already know, the Rockies will get four games at home this week, which is always good news for your Rockies hitters. But even better? They start the week with three games against the Rangers, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball. Those games will be in Texas, so you don’t get seven games in Coors sadly, but it still should be a productive week for your Rockies. I mentioned C.J. Cron last week because of all the lefties he faced and he’s been raking lately, slashing .359/.422/.769 over the past two weeks. He only gets two lefties this week, but either way, make sure he’s in your lineups.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees start their week off with three games in Los Angeles against the Angels, and while the matchup against Shohei Ohtani could prove to be a bit tricky, I’m not worried by the rest of the Angels’ pitching staff. Then, the Yankees close the week with three games against the Orioles, who own the worst team FIP in the league, and all three games will be at home in homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. Andrew Velazquez has been hot lately, slashing .286/.306/.514 over the past two weeks and warrants a look if he gets consistent playing time.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox only get five games this week, which normally would mean I’d be avoiding their hitters in weekly leagues, but those five games are going to be against some bad pitching staffs, which means there’s good potential for production, even in limited action. They start the week with two games against the Pirates, who own the seventh-worst team FIP in baseball, and the close with three games against the Royals, who own the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball. So even with just five games, I think your White Sox hitters could still help you out this week.
Trey Mancini and Pedro Severino – The Orioles have six games this week and five of them are slated to be against left-handed pitchers, which is good for Mancini, who is hitting .281/.346/.545 against lefties so far this year. It’s also good news for Pedro Severino if you’re looking for a catcher to stream, as he’s hitting .271/.336/.458 against lefties this year.
San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants will spend their seven-game week at home in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball—Oracle Park. And on top of that, they’ll have four games against the Brewers, who own the third-best team FIP in baseball, and three games against the Dodgers, who own the best team FIP in baseball. All in all, it doesn’t look like a great week to start your Giants.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals start their week off against the Reds, and generally, I’m not worried about matchups against the Reds. But they will see Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray, both of whom should present tricky matchups. And on top of that, the Cardinals close the week with three games against the Brewers and their aforementioned very good pitching staff. So altogether, it doesn’t look like a great week for your Cardinals hitters.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins start their week with three games against the Mets—a team with the ninth-best team FIP in baseball—where they’ll face both Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the Phillies where they’ll face both Zack Wheeler and Kyle Gibson (the latter of whom owns a 2.57 ERA over the past two weeks).
Jared Walsh – It’s been a rough go of it for Jared Walsh lately, and it’s not looking like it’ll get better. The Angels have six games this week, half of which will be against lefties (the whole series against the Rangers) and Walsh is awful against lefties, slashing .199/.218/.370 against them for his career.
Photos by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire and Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)