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 22 (9/6-9/12) 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.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles get a special week this week, playing eight games thanks to a doubleheader on Saturday. Even better? They’ll spend all eight games at home in hitter-friendly Camden Yards. And on top of that, they’ll face two pitching staffs that don’t scare me all that much. They start the week with four games against the Royals, who own the 11th-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close with four games against the Blue Jays, whose pitching staff has been fairly middle-of-the-road so far this year. They will face Robbie Ray, who could be a tough matchup, but it’s hard for me to pass up eight games in a hitter-friendly park. Ryan Mountcastle has been slashing .310/.412/.643 over the past two weeks and is worth a start. Similarly, Anthony Santander has been hitting .293/.341/.512 over the past two weeks and is worth a look.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have a seven-game week this week, starting with the aforementioned four-game series against the Orioles in Camden Yards, and lucky for the Royals, the Orioles own the worst team FIP in baseball. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the Twins, who own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball. That’s a full week against two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball, so I will gladly take that for my Royals hitters. Whit Merrifield has been hitting .288/.333/.519 over the past weeks and is definitely worth a start this week.
San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants get six games on the road this week, meaning they don’t have to hit in their extremely pitcher-friendly home ballpark. They start the week off with three games in Coors Field, which is always good news for hitters, and they close the week off with three games against the Cubs, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball. Oh yea, and the Rockies? Their team FIP is the ninth-worst in baseball. Brandon Belt has been slashing .278/.366/.556 over the past two weeks and is worth a look this week.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates get six games this week, starting with three games against the Tigers who own the seventh-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close the week with three games against the Nationals, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball. Colin Moran has looked pretty solid the past couple of weeks, slashing .311/.354/.467 and is worth a look if you need first base help.
Matt Chapman – The A’s have six games this week and four of them will be against lefties, which is good news for Chapman, because he’s been smoked by righties so far this year, hitting just .207/.310/.353 against them. But against lefties? He’s at .252/.339/.529 (that’s a .277 ISO). The average isn’t incredible but it works, and the power is good, so he’s worth a look.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres only have five games this week, which is already a big knock against them. On top of that, three of those games will be against the Dodgers, who own the second-best team FIP in baseball. The other two will be against the Angels, who don’t worry me much, meaning go ahead and start your Padres in daily leagues, but in weekly leagues, I’m only seeing two games worth starting your Padres in, and that’s not worth it for me.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – Speaking of the Dodgers, the Cardinals will see them for their first four games of the week this week, which isn’t great for their hitters. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the Reds where they’ll see Tyler Mahle, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray, all of whom could present challenging matchups.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets’ first game of the week will close a five-game series against the Nationals and they’ll face Patrick Corbin. I’m fine using my Mets hitters in daily leagues in that matchup. But the rest of the week doesn’t look great, with three games against the Marlins, who own the 10th-best team FIP in baseball, and three games against the Yankees, who own the fifth-best team FIP in baseball.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox have six games this week, starting with three against the Rays, who own the fourth-best team FIP in baseball, and they close with three games against the White Sox, who own the sixth-best team FIP in baseball, making this a tough week for Red Sox hitters this week. I’d especially avoid Alex Verdugo, who is a .208/.257/.268 hitter against lefties, and the Red Sox will see four lefties this week.
Didi Gregorius – The Phillies have six games this week, four of which will be against lefties, which isn’t great news for Gregorius, who is hitting .159/.267/.254 against lefties so far this year.
Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)