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 24 (9/16-9/22) 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.
Minnesota Twins hitters – There aren’t too many teams playing seven games this week, but the Twins are one of them, and they get some pretty favorable matchups. They start with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, and while they will face Reynaldo Lopez (who’s good but inconsistent) and Lucas Giolito, they’ll also see Dylan Covey. Then, they’ll get a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals, who own the fifth-worst team ERA in baseball. Honestly, only those first two games give me any pause, other than that, put your Twins out there this week. Over the past month, Luis Arraez has been slashing .344/.394/.467 and is available in 83% of leagues. Also over the past month, Jonathan Schoop has been slashing .313/.389/.771 and is available in 57% of leagues.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets get to go to Coors Field this week, which is great news for their hitters. Then, they’ll head to hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark for a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, and while they will see Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray there, who are two tough matchups, overall the week should be pretty favorable for them. If you’re in a daily league, I’d probably avoid the Bauer and Gray matchups, but other than that, you’re good to go with your Mets.
Houston Astros hitters – Not that you really need any inspiration to start your Astros hitters, but they get pretty favorable matchups this week. They only play five games, but those five games should be pretty productive for their hitters. They start with a two-game series against the Texas Rangers, who own the ninth-worst team ERA in baseball, and they close the week with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, who own the seventh-worst team ERA in baseball. So make sure all your Astros are out there this week. I don’t typically recommend starting players with five-game weeks in weekly leagues, but this week, you’re good.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s get to start their week with a matchup against the Royals who, as I mentioned before, have a pretty bad pitching staff, and they get to close their week with a three-game series against the Rangers who, again as I said earlier, also have a pretty bad pitching staff. They do get one game against Mike Minor, but that’s the only matchup I’m even remotely concerned about. For whatever reason, people still don’t want to own Mark Canha, despite the fact that he’s slashing .333/.443/.563 over the past month. He’s available in 57% of leagues, so make sure you grab him.
Hanser Alberto and Renato Nunez – Normally I only put one player here, but the Baltimore Orioles will be facing four left-handed pitchers this week and both Alberto and Nunez hit lefties really well. So far this year, Alberto is slashing .416/.433/.564 against lefties and Nunez is slashing .273/.330/.525 against lefties. They’re available in 77% and 67% of leagues, respectively.
Texas Rangers hitters – I’ve already mentioned who the Rangers get to face earlier in this article, and while it’s good news for their opponents’ hitters, it’s bad news for the Rangers. They’ve only got a five-game week and that includes two games against the Astros where they’ll see Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, and then a three-game series against the A’s who own the seventh-best team ERA in baseball.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals have a tough slate this week, starting with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals where they’ll see Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Max Scherzer. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs, who own the sixth-best team ERA in baseball. Overall, a rough week for your Cardinals hitters.
Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds start their week with a three-game series against the aforementioned Cubs, whose pitching staff as I said is a tough matchup. Then, as I mentioned earlier, they’ll get a three-game series against the Mets where they’ll face Jacob DeGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz, the latter of whom has a 1.86 ERA over the past month.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies have six games on the road this week, starting with a series against the Atlanta Braves who own the 10th-best team ERA in baseball. In that series, they’ll get to see Mike Soroka, who’s given up three or fewer earned runs in nine out of his last 10 starts. Then they’ll get a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians where they’ll get to see Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber.
Josh Bell – Right now, Josh Bell is dealing with a groin injury, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to keep him out for much longer. If he does play this week, though, you might want to avoid him. The Pittsburgh Pirates are slated to face four left-handed pitchers and so far this year, Bell is slashing .224/.313/.448 against lefties.
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