What’s up, everyone!
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.
If you’d like to learn more about when it becomes less risky to stream hitters (and pitchers), and when certain team stats start to stabilize during the year, check out this article.
So here’s who you should start and avoid in Week 4 (5/2-5/8) 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.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies have six games this week, the first three of which will not only be in Coors Field, but will also be against the Nationals, a team that owns the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball. Then they’ll close the week with three games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, a team that owns the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball. So it’s a pretty sweet week for your Rockies. Randal Grichuk has been hot, slashing .341/.362/.523 over the past two weeks, and is worth a look.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins have themselves a full seven-game week this week, starting with four games against the Orioles in Camden Yards. So far this year, the Orioles own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball. Then the Twins close out the week with three games against the A’s, where they’ll face Cole Irvin, James Kaprielian, and Daulton Jefferies, none of whom are particularly scary. Max Kepler has been hitting well lately, slashing .325/.426/.650 over the past two weeks, and is also definitely worth a look.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – Speaking of the Orioles, they’ve also got a seven-game week this week, starting with the aforementioned four-game series against the Twins. They will see Joe Ryan in that series, who’s been looking really good lately, but other than him, they’ll see Josh Winder, Dylan Bundy, and Chris Archer, none of whom are particularly fearsome. Then they’ll have three games against the Royals, who have the 10th-worst team FIP in baseball. Austin Hays has been hitting great lately, slashing .333/.388/.578 over the past two weeks, and warrants a start.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates have six games this week, thanks to a doubleheader on Saturday against the Reds, and those six games should be pretty favorable matchups. They start with two games against the Tigers, where they’ll see Michael Pineda and Tarik Skubal. Both can be tough, but, all in all, I’m not super worried. Then they’ll have four games against the Reds, who own the second-worst team FIP in the league. Tommy Pham has been slashing .326/.396/.628 over the past two weeks and is worth a look.
Tom Murphy – I want to be very clear, this is a deep league play. Tom Murphy is a lot better against lefties than righties, slashing .262/.354/.491 against lefties on his career, and this week, the Mariners are slated to face four lefties in their seven games. I’d bet Murphy ends up getting a good bit of playing time this week in those matchups, and he could be productive. So if you’re looking for a catcher to stream this week in a deep league (or even worse, a shudders two-catcher league), Murphy could be useful.
Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs have just five games this week and they’re slated to be five tough games. Here’s who they’re going to face this week: Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Tyler Anderson, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler. Those are a lot of tough matchups, and I’d dodge my Cubs hitters this week.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals start their week off with two games against the Royals, which doesn’t scare me all that much. But then they close the week with four games against the Giants, who own the best team FIP in baseball, in San Francisco, one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league. In daily leagues, I’d be fine starting my Cardinals hitters against the Royals, but that’s about it.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres have six games this week, starting with two against the Guardians, where they’ll see Zach Plesac and Cal Quantrill. Quantrill has looked good, but not enough that I’m worried about starting my hitters against him. But after that, the Padres will have four games against the Marlins, who own the eighth-best team FIP in the league. In that series, they’ll see Jesús Luzardo, Sandy Alcántara, Pablo López, and Trevor Rogers. That’s a whole lot of “no thanks.”
Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers have just five games this week, which already makes it a tough week for Rangers hitters. On top of that, they’ll face Ranger Suarez, Zack Wheeler, Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, and Jordan Montgomery. So yeah, I wouldn’t be starting my Rangers hitters this week.
Jesse Winker – I am a very firm believer that Jesse Winker is going to be just fine this year and that his struggles will stop at some point. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to be this week, given the four lefties the Mariners will face in their seven games this week, and Winker is a career .187/.311/.291 hitter against lefties. After the week Winker is likely to have, if you want to buy low on him (and I think you should), the owner of his team might be ready to sell.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)