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Welcome! 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 25 (9/24–9/30) of the fantasy baseball season.
It’s the final week of the fantasy season and if you’re still in it, congratulations. This will obviously be our last hitter matchups article of the year, so I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for reading this article the past 25 weeks. Good luck in your championships!
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.
Colorado Rockies hitters – GOOD NEWS ROCKIES OWNERS. The Rockies spend all week (that’s seven games) in Coors Field. So what does that mean? START ALL THE ROCKIES. That’s right. They start the week off against the Philadelphia Phillies and fortunately miss Aaron Nola’s turn in the rotation, and then face the Washington Nationals and miss Max Scherzer’s turn in the rotation. They will see Stephen Strasburg though, which could be tricky, but they’re in Coors so I feel like you’ve gotta start your Rockies. Ian Desmond is slashing .319/.373/.383 over the past two weeks with three steals, so he’s worth a start. As for a lesser-owned Rockies member, David Dahl is available in 87% of leagues and is slashing .286/.320/.529 over the past month.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – As I always say, if the Rockies have a homestand in Coors Field, it’s generally a good idea to start their opponents. The Phillies have a four-game series in Coors which should be great for their hitters, and then a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves whose pitching staff has been struggling lately. If you’ve got a Phillies hitter, I’d recommend starting them.
Washington Nationals hitters – Not only do the Nats get their three-game series in Coors this week, but they start off the week with a three-game series against the Miami Marlins who have the 10th-worst ERA in baseball. Ryan Zimmerman is slashing .282/.347/.435 over the past month and could be in for a good week (available in 52% of leagues).
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins have themselves a nice week ahead, facing two poor starting rotations. They start off with a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers who have the ninth-worst ERA in baseball, and then see the Chicago White Sox for four games (one doubleheader) who have the seventh-worst ERA in baseball. In case you weren’t aware, Willians Astudillo, has been slashing .333/.360/.542 over the past month and is available in about 83% of leagues. Also, Jorge Polanco (available in 88% of leagues) is slashing .315/.357/.467 over the past month, and Jake Cave has a .211 ISO over the past month.
Franmil Reyes – I mentioned him last week and he’s still worth a pickup. He’s available in 74% of leagues and is slashing .380/.456/.658 over the past month, not to mention he’s hitting .358/.442/.657 against lefties this year. This week, he’ll see four lefties.
San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants spend all week at home in AT&T Park, which is among the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. Not only that, but they’ll get the privilege of going up against Ross Stripling, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Clayton Kershaw. There aren’t that many Giants you were probably planning on starting anyway, so I’d avoid just about all of them.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins have themselves a tough schedule this week, starting off with a three-game series against the Nationals where they’ll see Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. Then, they’ll see the New York Mets and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, the latter of whom has a 2.08 ERA over the past month. Similar to the Giants, I can’t imagine there were a ton of Marlins hitters you were dying to start, but if you were looking for some lesser-owned players to mine for your championship week, I’d look elsewhere.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox get the pleasure of starting off their week against the Cleveland Indians where they’ll get to see Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer (this is, of course, assuming the Indians don’t decide to bench these guys for the playoffs). Then, they face the Twins, and while some of these games could be ripe for hitters (especially the matchups against Chase De Jong and Kohl Stewart, they’ll also see Jose Berrios, which could be difficult. I’m not as worried about the Twins matchup for White Sox hitters as I am the Indians matchups. However, if the Indians elect to bench their studs for the playoffs, White Sox hitters become much more interesting.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles might have the toughest week ahead of them as they’ll face two of the best teams in baseball, starting with the Boston Red Sox and finishing with the Houston Astros. Assuming neither team benches their starters for the playoffs, the Orioles will see David Price, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton, and Dallas Keuchel, not to mention Framber Valdez who’s got a 2.59 ERA over the past month. That’s a hard pass.
Shin-Soo Choo – Not only has Choo been really bad lately, slashing .187/.315/.200 over the past month, but he’s especially bad against left-handed hitters, slashing .224/.337/.318 against them this year. Unfortunately for him, the Rangers see three lefties this week, and given that, I’d say drop Choo for your fantasy championship and grab someone else.
Last week Ben. I’m fighting for first, virtually tied with another owner. Question: Start Rocky and Phillies hitters. So would you start Philly leadoff man Hernandez over Ozzie Albies? Thanks man
Both Hernandez and Albies have been struggling, so I’d rather go with the ceiling of Albies if I have to choose.
Hi Ben. At this point, with a week to go, can II finally drop Gary Sanchez (guilt-free) for Astudillo? I keep waiting for a mini breakout the never comes. I’m in a tight race for the championship and every counting stat is critical. Thx for the advice.
If it’s a redraft league, I’m fine with that.