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.
So here’s who you should start and avoid in Week 7 (5/17-5/23) 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.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres have six games this week, all against very beatable pitching staffs. They start with a three-game series against the Rockies (at home in Petco, not in Coors, sadly) who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball and they close with a three-game series against the Mariners who own the ninth-worst team FIP in the league. Over the past two weeks, Jake Cronenworth has been hitting well, slashing .310/.370/.429, so make sure he’s in your lineups.
Detroit Tigers hitters – It’s not often I recommend Tigers hitters, but this week they’ve got a pretty favorable schedule. They start the week with a series against the aforementioned Mariners and close with a three-game series against the Royals where they’ll dodge Danny Duffy (though they will face Brady Singer who’s been pretty good). Jeimer Candelario has been hitting pretty well the past two weeks, slashing .294/.400/.412 and is still fairly available in leagues. And Robbie Grossman has been very hot, slashing .325/.417/.625 over the past two weeks and is also very available. Oh yea, and so has Niko Goodrum (as long as you don’t need power) who’s been hitting .306/.419/.333 with four steals over the past two weeks.
Washington Nationals hitters – The Nats get a seven-game week this week, starting with four games against the Cubs, who own the fourth-worst team FIP in baseball right now. Then, they’ll close the week with three games against the Orioles, and while one of those games will be against John Means, who has been awesome so far this year, the rest of the week warrants a start of just about all your Nationals. If you’re looking for a catcher to stream this week, Yan Gomes has been hitting .361/.378/.639 over the past two weeks.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – Normally I’d hesitate to recommend a team with just five games in a week, but the five games the Cardinals will have should be good for their hitters, with two games against a bad Pirates pitching staff and three games against the aforementioned Cubs. Harrison Bader is still available in a number of leagues and has been slashing .289/.364/.553 over the past two weeks.
Randal Grichuk – This week the Blue Jays are slated to face four lefties. So far this year, Grichuk is slashing .364/.364/.636 against left-handed pitchers and slashed .328/.359/.590 against them last year. After a fairly strong start to the year, Grichuk has slowed down a bit lately, but I’m hopeful he’ll pick it back up this week. Check and see if someone in your league dropped him because of his struggles the past couple of weeks.
One extra note before you go: I think it’s important to mention that the Angels and Twins both have an eight-game week this week, which is rare. Normally I’d recommend them with that volume of games, but both teams are slated to face tough pitching staffs all week (save for each others’ in the doubleheader they’ll play). For the Angels, they’ll get Cleveland and Oakland, and for the Twins they’ll get the White Sox and also Cleveland. If you want to go for the volume play of an eight-game week, I wouldn’t blame you (and certainly make sure your Angels and Twins studs are in), but I’m not seeing a ton of streaming value given their opponents.
Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies have a tough week this week, starting with three games against the Marlins that includes a matchup against Trevor Rogers and Sandy Alcantara, both of whom have been lights out this year. Then, they close the week with three games against the Red Sox, who own the second-best team FIP in baseball. While I think the game against Martin Perez is workable in daily leagues, generally I’d avoid my Phillies this week.
Texas Rangers hitters – While the Rangers get seven games this week, it’ll be seven games against some tough pitching staffs, starting with four games against the Yankees who own the third-best team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Astros where they’ll see Lance McCullers. There’s not a ton of offensive value on the Rangers as it is, and this week should be a tough one.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals only get five games this week and given the matchups, there’s not a ton of value to be had. They get two games against the Brewers where they’ll see Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, and then three games against the Tigers where they’ll see Matthew Boyd, who’s been very good so far this year. Given there are really only two games worth taking advantage of for the Royals this week, I’d dodge them in weekly leagues.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have six games this week, starting with three against the Rays where they’ll see Tyler Glasnow, and closing with three games against the Nationals where they’ll see Patrick Corbin who seems to have gotten his groove back. And on top of that, the Orioles will lose the DH as they’ll be playing in D.C. for that series.
Teoscar Hernandez – As I mentioned, the Blue Jays are slated to face four left-handed pitchers this week, and that’s not great for Hernandez, who is a career .238/.315/.493 hitter against lefties and is hitting .231/.375/.462 against them so far this year.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)