Championships are won by making the right little decisions through the season and micromanaging your lineup well can be the difference maker. Each week, I’ll be taking a look at five hitting matchups you should take advantage of this week, and five hitting matchups you should avoid this week. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 4 (4/24 – 4/30) of the fantasy baseball season.
Note: 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.
Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – Start just about every Arizona Diamondback you have, because they get seven games at home this week, and they’ll likely be having the dome open the whole time. Chase Field is the second-best hitters park in baseball, and the Diamondbacks face a bunch of pitchers that don’t scare you at all, with four games against San Diego and three games against Colorado. You’ll be starting your studs anyways, but even people like Chris Owings, Yasmany Tomas, and Brandon Drury are worth a look.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies open the week with a four-game series at Coors against the Washington Nationals, and then head to Chase Field to take on the Diamondbacks. They spend all week in the two most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, which means you need to start your Rockies. Granted, the matchup against Stephen Strasburg and Zach Greinke will be difficult, but in general, your Rockies should be solid this week.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Coors Field advantage works both ways, and the Nationals get to enjoy that for four games to start off the week, and they don’t face any challenging pitchers while in Coors. Not to mention, the Nationals have been destroying the ball lately, leading the league in runs per game (5.33) and wOBA (.359), as well as well-hit average (.180). They’ll have a tough matchup against Jacob DeGrom as they start a series against the New York Mets but then will likely get Zach Wheeler and Robert Gsellman who don’t totally scare you, so start your Nationals with confidence this week.
Kansas City Royals hitters – It’s been rough to own Royals hitters so far this year, but this is a prime week to take advantage of them, as they have a three-game series on the road against the Chicago White Sox and then one against the Minnesota Twins, all against pitchers that pose positive matchups for the Royals hitters (except for maybe their matchup against Jose Quintana). These matchups make some of the lesser-owned Royals hitters, like Brandon Moss and Alex Gordon worth looking at.
Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs start off with a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with relatively favorable matchups for the whole series. Then, they get to have some interleague play in Boston as they head to Fenway to take on the Red Sox. Lucky for the Cubs, they get to face Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Rick Porcello, none of whom are scary right now. Wright and Porcello have been getting shelled especially, and in Fenway, a hitter’s park, you should feel very comfortable starting your Cubs.
New York Yankees lefties – The Yankees have some pretty rough matchups for their lefties this week. Facing Chris Sale is never fun for anyone, but especially lefties, and they’ll likely get Jayson Acquino, a lefty for the Orioles who just had a nice game against the Red Sox. Plus, they’ll likely be facing Kevin Gausman in Baltimore who has good numbers against lefties. Overall, it’s a rough week for your Yankees lefties, so you may want to think twice before starting Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. Also worth noting, this week grades poorly for stolen bases for Yankees, which makes Gardner and Ellsbury even less appealing.
Houston Astros lefties – This week grades a little rough for Astros lefties. They match up against Corey Kluber on Thursday, which isn’t a good matchup for anyone, but generally, aside from their matchup against Trevor Bauer on Wednesday and against Kendall Graveman on Sunday, I’d try to avoid Astros lefties if you can. Josh Reddick has been hitting the ball well, as has Brian McCann, but I’d perhaps look elsewhere this week if possible.
Miami Marlins righties – The Marlins get all righties this week as they face the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates and it doesn’t grade out well this week for their right-handed hitters. I’m not overly-scared about their matchups against Jeremy Hellickson, but otherwise, things will be relatively tough for your Marlins righties. Obviously start your studs, but perhaps think twice before starting Martin Prado or Marcell Ozuna.
San Francisco Giants hitters against the Dodgers – The first game the Giants have against the Dodgers isn’t too bad, as they’ll be facing Hyun-Jin Ryu, but after that, they draw Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, and Kenta Maeda, all difficult matchups for a lineup that’s been pretty light-hitting anyways. Again, you’ll start the studs, but if you have other options and can avoid Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, or Eduardo Nunez during that series, it might be a good idea.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets have two matchups this week that are fine to take advantage of, as they get R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, but other than that, it’s a rough week for the Mets. They’ll be facing Julio Teheran, Max Scherzer, Joe Ross, and Stephen Strasburg. Needless to say, that’s not exactly a whole bunch of hitter-friendly matchups, so maybe think twice if you’re considering Neil Walker, or Curtis Granderson.