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 24 (9/20-9/26) 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.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies have a full seven-game week this week, all against bad pitching staffs, so you know what that means? Start. Your. Phillies. They get three games against the Orioles, the worst pitching staff in baseball by FIP, and then they get four games against the Pirates, the seventh-worst staff in baseball by FIP. Jean Segura has been hitting well lately, slashing .347/.373/.510 over the past two weeks and warrants a start.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitters – The Dodgers have six games this week and similar to the Phillies, all six will be against bad pitching staffs. And a bonus? They get three games in Coors Field. So this week, it’s three games in Coors against a Rockies pitching staff ranked ninth in the league in team FIP, and then three games against the Diamondbacks who have the second-worst team FIP in the league. Basically every member of the Dodgers’ lineup is widely owned, so make sure they’re all in your lineups this week.
Cleveland hitters – More than anything, this is a volume play. Why? Because Cleveland will play nine games this week thanks to two doubleheaders. That kind of volume is super valuable in weekly leagues. Even better, they start the week with four games against the Royals, who own the 11th-worst team FIP in the league. They’ll then close with five games against the White Sox, who have a very good pitching staff, so that could be a bit tough, but in a weekly league, there’s no way I can pass up nine games, especially when four come against a bad pitching staff.
Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds have seven games this week, three against the Pirates and their aforementioned bad pitching staff, and four games against the Nationals, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball, so make sure you’ve got your Reds in your lineups.
Nick Solak – The Rangers have seven games this week, five of which will be against left-handed pitchers, which is good for Nick Solak, who’s a career .294/.365/.433 hitter against lefties. It’s not a ton of power, but it’s a nice batting average floor with a dash of power, and could make for an interesting play this week if you need him.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox have just five games this week, two against the Mets and three against the Yankees. In that Mets series, they’ll see Marcus Stroman and Tylor Megill, both of whom are solid pitchers and could be problematic for the Red Sox. And then they’ll see Luis Gil, Gerrit Cole, and Nestor Cortes Jr. against the Yankees, who also could be a problem. I’m not seeing enough value in weekly leagues to warrant starting my Red Sox this week.
Colorado Rockies hitters – This feels like craziness, and honestly, if you want to start your Rockies this week, I get it. They get six games, all in Coors Field. So why in the world am I not putting them in the start section? Because they’ll be playing the Dodgers and the Giants, the two best pitching staffs in baseball. Yea, it’s Coors Field, I get it, but that advantage only goes so far, and if I’m in the playoffs this week, I do not feel comfortable enough starting my Rockies against the two best pitching staffs in baseball. If you want to do it, I get it, and I think it’s defensible, but it’s not something I’d do.
New York Mets hitters – Similar to the Red Sox, the Mets get just five games this week, two against the Red Sox and three against the Brewers. The Sox have the seventh-best team FIP in the league and the Brewers have the third-best, so we’re looking at five games against two good pitching staffs. No thanks.
Adolis García – As I mentioned, the Rangers are facing a whole bunch of lefties, which isn’t great for Adolis García. This season, he’s been hitting .216/.249/.417 against lefties. That’s still a .201 ISO, because we know that, if anything, Adolis can hit for power, but the rest is pretty miserable.
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)