Each week, we’ve been 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 7 (5/13-5/19) 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 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.
Minnesota Twins hitters – I think as long as the Twins are as hot as they have been, you’ve pretty much gotta start most of their hitters, and this week they should stay hot. They start the week with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, who own the seventh-worst team ERA in baseball, and then they’ll have a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners, who own the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball. The matchup against Yusei Kikuchi may be a bit tricky, as he’s been good lately (1.23 ERA over the past two weeks) but overall, I’m not too worried, especially considering how good this Twins offense has been. Over the past two weeks, C.J. Cron has been slashing .298/.375/.638 and is available in 75% of leagues. He’s worth a look, as is Marwin Gonzalez, who’s slashing .318/.423/.477 over the past two weeks and is available in 70% of leagues.
New York Yankees hitters – If there’s a time for Miguel Andujar to shake off the IL dust that’s been keeping him down lately, it might be this week, as the Yankees are slated to get a nice schedule for their hitters, starting with a three-game matchup against the worst pitching team in baseball, my beloved Baltimore Orioles. Seriously, as a team, the Orioles have a 5.62 ERA. You can’t ask for a better set of matchups than that. Then, the Yankees will see the Tampa Bay Rays, and while they will see Blake Snell (so in a daily league, I’d avoid that), they’ll miss Tyler Glasnow with his entry to the IL, and they’ll likely miss Charlie Morton, unless the Rays toy around with their rotation some. And all of these games are going to be in Yankee Stadium, a pretty hitter-friendly environment. Aaron Hicks is supposed to be back on Monday, so this schedule could be a great one to ease him back into baseball.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s start off their week with a two-game series against the Mariners, who, as I mentioned, have the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers who own the 10th-worst team ERA in baseball. They will see Matt Boyd, who’s been really solid this year, so that could prove a tough matchup, as potentially could Spencer Turnbull, but overall I think it’s a solid week to start your A’s. It’s especially a good week to start Chad Pinder, as the A’s will see four lefties this week, and in his career, Pinder is slashing .280/.348/.458 against lefties. He’s available in 88% of leagues.
San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants start off their week with a two-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, where they’ll see Trent Thornton, who owns a 5.06 ERA on the year so far, and most likely miss both Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez‘s turns in the rotation. Then, they’ll get a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and while they will see Robbie Ray, who’s been great lately, they’ll miss Luke Weaver and Zack Greinke, and will get to see Merrill Kelly, who’s got a 6.06 ERA over the past two weeks. Over the past two weeks, Steven Duggar is slashing .375/.409/.450 and is available in 98% of leagues.
Yuli Gurriel – This week, the Houston Astros will get to see three left-handed starters, and that’s good news for Yuli Gurriel, who slashed .331/.371/.519 against lefties last year, and is slashing .300/.417/.500 against them this year. He’s available in 41% of leagues.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates start their week off with a three-game series against the Diamondbacks, and while that was a good thing for the Giants, it’s a bad thing for the Pirates. Why? Because the Pirates get to see nothing but good D’Backs pitchers in Robbie Ray (0.79 ERA over the past two weeks), Luke Weaver (2.45 ERA over the past two weeks) and Zack Greinke (2.18 ERA over the past two weeks). Then, they’ll head to pitcher-friendly Petco Park where they’ll get to see Nick Margevicius, who owns a 3.18 ERA over the past two weeks, and Chris Paddack, who has been pretty much lights out all year.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins have just a five-game week this week, which limits their value, and they’ve got some tough matchups. They’ll start with a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays where they’ll see Charlie Morton, and then they’ll have a three-game series against the New York Mets where they’ll see Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard. And all of these games will be in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.
Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds start their week off with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs who, as a team, have the third-best ERA in baseball. There, they’ll see Kyle Hendricks, who hasn’t given up a run in his past 17 innings. They’ll then face the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kenta Maeda, Walker Buehler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, all three of whom have ERAs under 3.00 over the past two weeks.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats will also get to face the Cubs and the aforementioned Kyle Hendricks this week, as well as Jon Lester, who has only given up one run since his return from a hamstring injury. They’ll also face off against the Mets this week and Zack Wheeler, who’s coming off of two-straight seven-inning, two-run starts with at least 10 strikeouts.
Eric Hosmer – Eric Hosmer hasn’t been awesome, but he’s definitely been usable so far this year. However, this week, I think it would be best to bench him, as the San Diego Padres are expected to see three left-handed pitchers, and Hosmer has had some stark splits this year, slashing .222/.282/.306 against lefties so far. That’s somewhat in line with his career numbers, as he’s slashed .252/.300/.367 against lefties on his career.
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