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 23 (9/13-9/19) 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.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees have six games this week, starting with three against the Orioles, who own the worst team FIP in baseball, in Camden Yards, a very hitter-friendly park. They’ll then close the week with three games against Cleveland, who own the 10th-worst team FIP in baseball. There aren’t too many Yankees hitters that remain unowned, so make sure your guys are in your lineup this week.
Houston Astros hitters – The Astros have perhaps the most hitter-friendly schedule of the week, with seven games all against bad pitching staffs. They start with four games against the Rangers, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close with three games against the Diamondbacks, who own the second-worst team FIP in the league. Kyle Tucker has been on a tear lately, slashing .425/.467/.800 over the past two weeks, so make sure he’s in your lineup.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers only have five games this week, but they’re five games that I think could be productive. They start with two games against the Tigers, who own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close with three games against the Cubs, who own the fourth-worst team FIP in the league. Luis Urías has been hot lately, slashing .333/.413/.641 over the past two weeks and is worth a look this week.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins have six games this week, starting with three against the Nationals, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Pirates, who own the seventh-worst team FIP in baseball. Bryan De La Cruz has been hitting well lately, slashing .276/.344/.448 over the past two weeks and could be an interesting play in deeper leagues.
Enrique Hernández – The Red Sox have six games this week, five of which will be against left-handed pitchers, which means this week, Hernández could be an interesting play. So far this year, he’s slashing .269/.369/.509 against lefties and is a .264/.350/.481 hitter against them on his career. Those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but those are definitely some solid power numbers from a guy who has a lot of position flexibility, making him an interesting play in deeper leagues.
Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers have a six-game week this week, starting with two games against the Brewers, who own the third-best team FIP in baseball, and closing with four games against the Rays, who own the fourth-best team FIP in baseball. Not that you’re starting a ton of Tigers hitters anyways, but if you are, I’d avoid them this week.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals also have six games this week, both against some pretty tough pitching staffs. They start with three games against the Mets, who own the seventh-best FIP in baseball, and they close with three games against the Padres, who own the eighth-best team FIP in baseball, making the Cardinals a tough start this week.
Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – Another six-game week! Similar to the Cards and the Tigers, the D’Backs are slated to face some tough pitchers this week, starting with three games against the Dodgers where they’ll see Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urías. Then, they close with three games against the Astros where they’ll see Lance McCullers, Jake Odorizzi, and José Urquidy. I’m not overly worried about the Odorizzi matchup, so I’m fine starting my D’Backs in daily leagues there, but in weekly leagues, I’m not seeing enough value.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have (you guessed it) six games this week, starting with three against the Yankees where they’ll get to see Gerrit Cole, and closing with three games against the Red Sox, who own the ninth-best team FIP in baseball. I think you still start Cedric Mullins given how good he’s been, but the rest of your Orioles I’d probably avoid.
Kyle Schwarber – As previously mentioned, the Red Sox are seeing a bunch of lefties this week, which isn’t great for Schwarber. On his career, he’s a .212/.319/.358 hitter against lefties, and while his average has improved against them this year, he’s still slashing .267/.381/.390 against them, so there’s virtually no power to be found for Schwarber when he’s facing lefties.
Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)