Each week, I’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 3 (8/10-8/16) 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, especially given how fluid things are this season. 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.
Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds get a nice slate of matchups this week, starting with a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals and ending with a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, neither of which are pitching staffs that scare you all that much. You’re already starting Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas, but guys like Shogo Akiyama and Jesse Winker are interesting this week in deeper leagues.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies get six games at home in Coors Field this week, which is fantastic news for their hitters. If I’ve got a hitter on the Rockies, I’m almost definitely starting them. David Dahl is an interesting play this week, as is Matt Kemp, who’s looked pretty solid for the Rockies so far.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – This comes with a massive, gigantic asterisk, because it all depends on the Cardinals being cleared to play. As of me writing this on Saturday night, there’s doubt that they’ll play their series against the Pirates, but if they’re cleared to play this week, they’ve got a really nice series of matchups. They’ll get a three-game series against the Pirates, a double-header against the Tigers, and then three games against the Chicago White Sox in hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field. If the Cardinals are healthy and playing this week, you should definitely start them.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats have a full, seven-game week this week with some really nice matchups. They start with a four-game series against the New York Mets where they’ll dodge Jacob deGrom, and they’ll close with a three-game series against arguably the worst pitching staff in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles. As of now, the Nats are projected to face four lefties this week, which is especially good news for Starlin Castro, who’s a career .300/.347/.439 hitter against lefties, and Howie Kendrick, who’s a career .298/.345/.449 hitter against lefties.
Kyle Tucker – The Astros are slated to face four left-handed pitchers this week, which is good news for Tucker who, despite being a lefty himself, hits lefties pretty hard. On his career so far, Tucker is a .327/.386/.519 hitter against lefties.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – There are a couple games where you could use your Orioles hitters this week. They start the week with a three-game series against the Phillies, and against Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta, I’m fine starting your Orioles. Zack Wheeler might be a bit more difficult though. But after that, the Orioles will face the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Max Scherzer (assuming he’s healthy).
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres are on the road all week with seven games, which would normally be promising for their hitters being out of Petco Park. But they’ll get four games against the Dodgers where they’ll face Dustin May, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and Clayton Kershaw, and then they’ll have three games against the Diamondbacks, where they’ll see Madison Bumgarner and Robbie Ray (not to mention Merrill Kelly, who’s sporting a 2.63 ERA so far this year, though it’s only been a couple of starts).
Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels start their week with a three-game series against the Oakland A’s, who you might be surprised to learn are sporting the third-best team ERA in baseball so far this year. Then, they’ll close the week with a three-game series against the Dodgers, where they’ll see Walker Buehler, Dustin May, and Ross Stripling.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox get a seven-game week this week, but with some tough matchups, starting with a four-game series against the Rays where they’ll face both Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Yankees where they’ll get to see Gerrit Cole, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka.
Marcus Semien – The A’s are slated to face six righties this week, and on his career so far, Semien is a pretty pedestrian .248/.316/.408 hitter against righties.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)