Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire
Welcome! Each week, we’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 23 (9/10–9/16) of the fantasy baseball season.
Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this writing. 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.
Also a special note: I want to thank Jonathan Metzelaar for covering this article for the past two weeks while I’ve been on vacation, you rock.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s have a great schedule ahead of them this week, starting with a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and their terrible pitching staff, followed by a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays where they’ll miss both Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow’s turn in the rotation. While you’re obviously starting your studs, you may also want to consider Stephen Piscotty, who’s available in 40% of leagues and has been slashing .310/.352/.600 over the past month, as well as Ramon Laureano, who’s been slashing .303/.397/.621 over the past month and is available in 93% of leagues.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets start off their week against the Miami Marlins and then see the Boston Red Sox, missing both Chris Sale and David Price’s turn in the rotation. In fact, there isn’t really a scary pitching matchup they see all week. Not only that, but they’ll see all right-handed pitchers, which is great news for Brandon Nimmo who’s available in 75% of leagues and is slashing .282/.408/.544 against righties this year, and Jeff McNeil, who’s slashing .314/.374/.457 against righties this year and is available in 85% of leagues.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees start their week against the Minnesota Twins and get to miss Jose Berrios‘ turn in the rotation. The Twins’ rotation as a whole has been pretty week this year, which should be good news for the Yankees. They then face off against the Toronto Blue Jays who also have a fairly weak rotation. Over the past month, Luke Voit has been slashing .356/.406/.712 and is available in 68% of leagues, if you haven’t jumped on the Luke Voit train, now is a good time to do it.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox get to face two of the worst rotations in baseball this week—the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals. Not only that, but they’ll see four right-handed pitchers, which is good news for Daniel Palka, who’s sporting a .260 ISO against righties this year.
Yan Gomes – Over the past month, Yan Gomes has been slashing .319/.324/.458. Catcher is a terrible position, and you should be taking advantage of Gomes, who’s available in 64% of leagues. You should especially take advantage of him this week, as he’s slated to face three lefties this week and he’s slashing .295/.368/.516 against lefties this year.
Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers have a really rough schedule this week, starting off with a three-game series against the Houston Astros where they’ll see Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Then, they’ll head to Cleveland to face the Indians where they’ll see Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber. I’d avoid just about everyone on the Tigers this week.
Atlanta Braves hitters – The Braves start their week with a three-game series in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park where they’ll face Derek Rodriguez (2.63 ERA over the past month), Chris Stratton (1.77 ERA over the past month), and Derek Holland (2.36 ERA over the past month). Then, they’ll host the Washington Nationals, and while I don’t mind the matchups against Erick Fedde and Tanner Roark in daily leagues, they’ll also see Max Scherzer. Altogether, this makes for a tough week to start most of your Braves hitters (outside of the studs) this week.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals spend their whole week at home in pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium, starting with a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates where they’ll see Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer. Then, they’ll host the Los Angeles Dodgers and Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Alex Wood, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the latter of whom has a 2.20 ERA over the past month. Outside of your studs, I’d avoid most of your Cardinals this week.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres only play five games this week, which means in weekly leagues, it’s going to be hard to take advantage of the hot streaks Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes have been on. I think you should still start them, but other Padres should be avoided in mixed leagues simply because there aren’t going to be many games to take advantage of.
Jonathan Villar – Villar has been hitting pretty well over the past week, slashing .293/.333/.448 over the past two weeks, but you might want to reconsider starting him this week. The Baltimore Orioles are scheduled to face nothing but right-handed pitchers this week, and Villar is slashing .261/.322/.371 against righties this year. If you really need steals, I can understand starting him, but otherwise, I’d look elsewhere.