Welcome! 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. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 5 (4/30 – 5/6) of the fantasy baseball season.
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.
Cleveland Indians hitters – If you’ve owned Indians hitters, things have been rough without a doubt, but this could be the week that things get right for them. The Indians benefit from eight games this week thanks to a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays. They’ll start off the week with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers‘ poor pitching staff, followed by their Blue Jays doubleheader where they’ll see Jaime Garcia, and then a series at home against the New York Yankees where they’ll get to miss Luis Severino’s turn in the rotation. This might be your last chance to buy low on Francisco Lindor, as I could easily see him heating up this week, along with the rest of the Cleveland lineup.
Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers get a nice schedule this week, starting off with a three-game series in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark against the Cincinnati Reds where they’ll see three pitchers that don’t scare you at all. One of them will be Luis Castillo, who should be better sometime soon, but for now, he’s been pretty bad and should be a hitter-friendly matchup. They then head back home to hitter-friendly Miller Park to face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates where the scariest pitcher they’ll see is Jameson Taillon. Otherwise, it’s all hitter-friendly matchups this week. Not only that, but it should be a good week for steals from your Brewers, as both Devin Mesoraco and Francisco Cervelli are bad at throwing out runners. That’s especially advantageous to Jonathan Villar this week, who’s worth a look.
Detroit Tigers hitters – I know, the Tigers kind of suck, but they’re worth a look this week, especially given how some of their players have been hitting lately. The Tigers benefit from a seven-game week this week, starting off against the Tampa Bay Rays. They do face Chris Archer, but that’s about all that scares you. Then they get a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals where the only pitcher they’ll see that scares you is Jakob Junis. Guys like Jeimer Candelario, who’s slashing .370/.420/.761 over the past two weeks, JaCoby Jones, who’s got a .512 slugging over the past two weeks, Leonys Martin, who’s slashing .275/.333/.495 on the year so far, and James McCann, who’s slashing .314/.333/.571 over the past two weeks, are all worth a look and are pretty available.
Boston Red Sox hitters – It’s hard to imagine you’re not already starting most of your Red Sox hitters already, but I want to especially emphasize to start them this week. The Redsox get a seven-game week this week starting off with a three-game series against the Royals and their mediocre rotation, followed by a four-game series in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park against the Rangers. You’re already starting Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and all, but I would even make sure you’re starting Eduardo Nunez, Rafael Devers, and Jackie Bradley Jr./strong>. this week.
Jorge Soler – Jorge Soler has quietly been having a really good season, slashing .292/.427/.462 on the year so far. This week, the Royals will likely get to see five lefties this week, and Soler is slashing .429/.500/.714 against lefties this year. He’s available in about 97% of ESPN leagues and warrants a look this week for a streaming hitting option.
Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – The Diamondbacks have a pretty tough week this week, starting off with a four-game series at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers where they’ll have the fortune of seeing Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been pretty good lately. Then they get to see the Houston Astros for three games and Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. That’s a lot of very good pitchers, which means that unless your player’s name is Paul Goldschmidt or A.J. Pollock, I’m avoiding.
Houston Astros hitters – Speaking of the Astros, they have a fairly tough schedule this week too. They start off with a four-game series against the Yankees where they’ll get to see Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, then they head to Arizona for the aforementioned series against the Diamondbacks, where they’ll see Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke. Obviously you’re startin your Astros studs, but otherwise, I’d avoid guys like Yuli Gurriel and the ice-cold Evan Gattis if you can.
Colorado Rockies hitters – Sadly, the Rockies spend all week on the road, which means no Coors Field advantage this week. Not only are they on the road this week, but they’re facing some tough matchups, including Yu Darvish during their series against the Chicago Cubs, and Noah Syndergaard during their series against the New York Mets. Generally speaking, the Rockies are often worse on the road than they are at home (when your home is Coors, it’s hard not to be), but this could prove to be an especially hard week.
Texas Rangers hitters – Here’s a list of the pitchers the Rangers will likely see this week: Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Corey Kluber, David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Chris Sale. Aside from E-Rod, I’m not starting my Rangers hitters against any of those guys. I’ll be honest, I don’t know that there’s a single Rangers hitter I’m starting. Maybe Joey Gallo and possibly Nomar Mazara given how hot the latter has been lately. But that’s it.
Los Angeles Dodgers hitters – The Dodgers start their week against the Diamondbacks, like I said earlier, and they’ll get the pleasure of seeing Zack Greinke, Zack Godley, and Patrick Corbin while they’re there. Then they head to pitcher-friendly Petco Park to face off against the San Diego Padres where they’ll see Joey Lucchesi, who’s had a 2.70 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a 9.79 K/9 on the year so far. I’m fine starting your Dodgers in their matchups against Bryan Mitchell and Eric Lauer, they’re nothing special, and the matchup against Matt Koch in Arizona isn’t bad either, but otherwise, I might avoid your fringe Dodgers hitters.
Amazing stats and information, really appreciate your take on baseball
Thanks! I appreciate it!
Any reason why you didn’t mention the yankees in hitters to avoid? They play houston for 4 games then 3 games against Indians. I couldn’t see them facing two tougher pitching staffs in all of MLB.
I actually almost included them, but here’s why I didn’t.
The Houston matchups do look a bit tricky, they’ll see Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton, who are a bit scary, but they’ll also see Lance McCullers (who’s been off and on), and Dallas Keuchel (who hasn’t been great).
Then, against the Indians, they get to miss both Kluber and Carrasco, and instead see Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger. Certainly Bauer and Clev aren’t great, but Tomlin isn’t a bad matchup at all. Had the Yankees drawn Kluber or Carrasco on top of those Houston matchups, I more than likely would’ve included them.
Either way, I would probably still sparingly start my Yankees this week.