Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 8 (5/20 – 5/26)
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 8 (5/20-5/26) 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.
New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees probably have the best slate of matchups of any team this week. They start off with a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles in hitter-friendly Camden Yards where they’ll face the worst pitching staff in baseball. Then, they’ll travel to face the Kansas City Royals, who own the second-worst team ERA in all of baseball. If you’ve got a Yankee, I’d start them, even a player like Gio Urshela, who’s slashing .361/.395/.500 over the past two weeks and is available in 88% of leagues.
Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies start off their week in Pittsburgh for a three-game series against the Pirates, and while that’s not a super-awesome matchup, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad one either. But where it gets really good is later in the week when they head home to Coors Field to host the Orioles who, again, have the worst team ERA in all of baseball. Even if the Pirates matchups are somewhat mediocre, I think there’s going to be plenty of value to extract out of their three-game homestand against the Orioles.
Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers start their week off with a three-game series at home in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park against the Seattle Mariners, who own the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball. Then, they’ll head to Los Angeles to see the Angels, who own the ninth-worst team ERA in baseball, so six really solid sets of matchups for your Rangers hitters this week. Guys like Shin-Soo Choo, who’s been great this year, slashing .293/.394/.513 and is available in 47% of leagues, Hunter Pence, who’s on fire, slashing .306/.381/.806 over the past two weeks and is available in 66% of leagues, and Willie Calhoun, who’s off to a hot start since being promoted and is available in 85% of leagues, all warrant starts this week.
Minnesota Twins hitters – I feel like I’m recommending the Twins every week, and that’s in part due to their crazy hot start, but also due to the fact that they’ve been getting some nice matchups over the past few weeks, and this week is no different. They start off with a three-game series against the Angels who, as I mentioned earlier, have the ninth-worst team ERA in baseball, and close out the week with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, who own the fourth-worst team ERA in baseball. Marwin Gonzalez has been heating up lately, slashing .347/.429/.490 over the past two weeks, and is available in 62% of leagues, as has C.J. Cron, who’s slashing .333/.413/.630 over the past two weeks and is available in 68% of leagues. Go grab them.
Nick Ahmed – The Arizona Diamondbacks will get to see four left-handed pitchers this week, which is good news for Nick Ahmed, as he’s a career .284/.326/.467 hitter against lefties and is hitting .400/.404/.711 (albeit in 24 games) against them this year. He’s available in 92% of leagues.
New York Mets hitters – It’s a pretty tough week for the Mets this week, as they start off with a four-game series against the Washington Nationals where they’ll face Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, and while that’s not normally something you’d worry about for your hitters, they’ll be facing the two best pitchers in that rotation in Matt Boyd (who owns a 3.18 ERA over the past two weeks) and Spencer Turnbull (who owns a 2.16 ERA over the past two weeks).
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals have just a five-game week this week, and that’s going to be hard to extract value out of in a weekly league. They’ll have a two-game series against he St. Louis Cardinals where they’ll see Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha, neither of whom scare me (though the series is in a pitcher-friendly park in Busch Stadium), but then they’ll see the New York Yankees, who own the seventh-best team ERA in baseball. I think some of the guys who have been hot like Alex Gordon and Hunter Dozier alongside your usual Royals studs are generally fine to start, but with a combination of some tough matchups and few games, I think it’s going to be hard to get a ton of value out of your Royals this week. However, in a daily league, I think you should still generally be okay.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox start with a tough four-game series against the Houston Astros who own the third-best team ERA in baseball. In that series, they’ll see Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, as well as Corbin Martin, who’s looked pretty solid to this point. Then, they’ll face off against the Minnesota Twins, who own the eighth-best team ERA in baseball. In that series, they’ll see Jose Berrios, who owns a 3.05 ERA over the past two weeks, and Jake Odorizzi, who’s been surprisingly good this year and owns a 2.63 ERA over the past two weeks.
Detroit Tigers hitters – This feels kind of like a cheap one since you probably read this and said “Pfft I’m not starting any Tigers anyways,” but regardless, the Tigers have a difficult slate this week, starting with a three-game series against the Miami Marlins where they’ll see Caleb Smith, who has been killing it this year. Then, they’ll face off against the Mets and Noah Syndergaard, as well as Zack Wheeler who, while somewhat inconsistent, can be pretty dominant.
David Peralta – I mentioned earlier that the Diamondbacks will get to see four left-handed hitters this week, and while that’s good news for Nick Ahmed, that’s bad news for David Peralta, as he’s a .244/.307/.373 career hitter against lefties, including an awful .237/.294/.399 slash line against them last year.
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire.