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 22 (9/2-9/8) 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 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.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitters – The Dodgers get a good slate of matchups this week, starting with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies. This may shock you, but the Rockies own the second-worst team ERA in baseball this year. Then, the Dodgers host a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants, missing Madison Bumgarner’s turn in the rotation. Rosters expand on Monday, and Gavin Lux may end up on the Dodgers roster when that happens. So far this year in the minors between Double- and Triple-A, Lux has been killing the ball, slashing .346/.420/.608 with 26 home runs and 10 steals. If he gets promoted (although there are some reports to suggest he may not), go grab him. Also, Matt Beaty, who’s available in 98% of leagues, has been slashing .317/.411/.524 over the past month and is worth a look in deeper leagues.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals get a solid seven-game week, starting with a four-game series against the Giants at home. They will face Bumgarner in that series, but otherwise, I’m not worried about starting my Cardinals hitters. Then, they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who own the fifth-worst ERA in baseball. Over the past month, Kolten Wong has been slashing .362/.436/.522 and is available in 73% of leagues.
Tampa Bay Rays hitters – The Rays get to see two pretty bad pitching staffs this week, starting with a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, who own the worst ERA in baseball. Then, they get to see the Toronto Blue Jays for four games, who own the 10th-worst team ERA in baseball. Over the past month, Eric Sogard is slashing .312/.376/.506 and is available in 74% of leagues. Also over the past month, Willy Adames has been slashing .304/.366/.467 and is available in 86% of leagues.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s also get to face two pretty bad pitching staffs, starting with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, who own the seventh-worst team ERA in the league, and closing with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, who own the third-worst team ERA in baseball. Mark Canha has continued to crush the ball, slashing .355/.439/.624 over the past month, including a ridiculous .404/.466/.827 slashline over the past two weeks, and he’s available in 55% of leagues for some reason. Also, Jurickson Profar has really been heating up lately, slashing .370/.553/.852 over the past two weeks and is available in 57% of leagues.
Robinson Chirinos – The Houston Astros will see four left-handed pitchers this week, which is great news if you’re looking for a catcher to stream this week. Chirinos is slashing .306/.448/.528 against lefties this year.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – Normally, six games at home in Miller Park would be great news for your Brewers hitters, but not this week. They start off with a two-game series against the Astros where they get to face Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs, who have the seventh-best ERA in baseball right now. Aside from your usual Brewers studs, I’d avoid most of my Brewers this week.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners get essentially the reverse of the Brewers’ schedule this week, starting with a two-game series against the Cubs and closing with a four-game series against the Astros, where they’ll get to face Wade Miley, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole. Just about everything about this week for the Mariners says avoid.
Atlanta Braves hitters – The Braves start their week with a two-game series against the Blue Jays, and I’m fine starting my Braves in those two games in daily leagues. But then, they get a four-game series against the Washington Nationals where they’ll get to see Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Max Scherzer. In weekly leagues, there’s really only two or three games worth using your Braves for, and I don’t think that’s enough value to warrant starting them.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies start their week off with a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, who own the ninth-best team ERA in baseball. Then, they’ll face the New York Mets, where they’ll get to see Steven Matz, who owns a 3.14 ERA over the past month, and Noah Syndergaard. Aside from your Phillies studs, I’d generally avoid their hitters this week.
Tucker Barnhart – If you’re like me, you’ve been streaming catchers all season long, and lately, Tucker Barnhart has been a great catcher to stream, as he’s slashing .280/.386/.493 over the past month. However, this week you might want to find another catcher to stream (maybe Chirinos?), because the Reds will face four left-handed pitchers this week, and Barnhart is slashing .154/.267/.179 against lefties so far this year.
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