If you’re unfamiliar with this article series, each week I take a look at five hitting matchups you should take advantage of and five 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 4 (4/26-5/2) 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.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees probably have the best schedule of the week, with seven games against bad pitching staffs. They start with four games in hitter-friendly Camden Yards against the Orioles and end the week at home with three games against the Tigers. When the best pitcher you’re facing all week is probably John Means, you should be in for a good offensive week. Over the past two weeks, Gio Urshela is slashing .286/.342/.543 and certainly warrants a start alongside your Yankees studs.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals also have a seven-game week, and while it’s not as favorable as the Yankees’, it’s still a really solid schedule. They start with four games against the Phillies and while they will face Aaron Nola, I’m not worried about the rest of the staff (feel free to sit your Cardinals hitters in daily leagues against Nola). Then, the Cardinals finish out the week with three games against the Pirates where they’ll get to see J.T. Brubaker, Trevor Cahill, and Tyler Anderson (terrifying, I know). Over the past two weeks, Dylan Carlson is slashing .294/.429/.471 and warrants a start. And while his average hasn’t been great, Paul DeJong owns a .250 ISO over the past two weeks and could be worth a look.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox get six games this week, starting with a two-game series against the Mets where they get to dodge the Mets’ best pitchers and instead face off against David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi. Then, they’ll head to Texas for a four-game series against the Rangers where the scariest pitcher they’ll face is Kyle Gibson. Enrique Hernandez has been really solid over the past two weeks, slashing .269/.309/.481, and might be available in your league if you need a fill-in.
Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels also have six games this week, starting with a three-game series on the road against the aforementioned Rangers where they’ll see Jordan Lyles, Mike Foltynewicz, and Dane Dunning, all of whom should be solid matchups for hitters. Then, they’ll close the week out with a three-game series against the Mariners where they get Chris Flexen, Nick Margevicius, and Justus Sheffield. So this should be a good week for your Angels hitters, including Justin Upton, who’s slashing .296/.367/.667 over the past two weeks.
Franmil Reyes – Cleveland has six games this week, three of which are slated to be against left-handed pitchers, which is good news for Franmil Reyes. On his career, Reyes is a .298/.378/.518 hitter against left-handed pitchers, so make sure he’s in your lineups.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – Normally I’d be excited about a seven-game week for the Brewers, but this week is shaping up to be a tough one. They start with three games against the Marlins, a series in which they’ll face Trevor Rogers who has looked awesome. They’ll also get Daniel Castano and Sandy Alcantara, which are matchups worth taking advantage of in daily leagues. But then they close the week out with four games against the Dodgers where they’ll face Trevor Bauer, Dustin May, Julio Urias, and Walker Buehler, which should be an overall tough slate. In weekly leagues, I’m only seeing two games out of seven that look good, and that makes me hesitant to start my Brewers.
Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers also have a seven-game week, starting with three games against the Angels, a team that owns the seventh-best team FIP in baseball so far, where they’ll (hopefully) get to see Shohei Ohtani pitch. Then, they’ll face the Red Sox, a team that owns the fourth-best FIP in baseball. All in all, there aren’t a ton of Rangers hitters I think you were looking to start anyways, but if you were, I’d dodge them this week.
San Francisco Giants hitters -The Giants spend their first three games at home in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park against the Rockies, a series that includes a game against German Marquez who is notoriously much better away from Coors Field than in it. On his career, Marquez owns a 3.53 ERA away from home and had a 2.06 ERA on the road last year. Then, the Giants will close the week with a three-game series in another pitcher-friendly park, Petco, against the Padres where they’ll see Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove, meaning this week should be a relatively tough one for Giants hitters.
Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers get seven games this week, but quite a few tough ones, starting with a three-game series against the White Sox, who own the fifth-best team FIP in baseball, and games against Carlos Rodon and Lance Lynn. Then, they close the week with three games against the Yankees, who own the sixth-best team FIP in baseball, and a matchup against Jameson Taillon. There are a few matchups worth taking advantage of in daily leagues (like the one against Domingo German), but otherwise, I’m avoiding my Tigers hitters.
Josh Bell – The Nationals only have five games this week and four of them are slated to be against lefties, which means I’d be dodging Josh Bell this week. On his career, Bell is a .230/.313/.407 hitter against lefties, including a .180/.290/.300 line against them last year.
Photo by Erik Drost | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)