Championships are won by making the right little decisions through the season and micromanaging your lineup well can be the difference maker. 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 this week. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 8 (5/22 – 5/28) of the fantasy baseball season.
Note: 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.
Victor Martinez and Alex Avila – The Tigers get eight games this week thanks to a double-header against the White Sox, which makes their team in general pretty appealing, but I’m going to focus on two guys here. First: Victor Martinez has been killing the ball lately. I was worried early on with his slow start, it seemed like age was catching up with him, but he’s righted the ship and has been hitting .307 with three home runs and 17 RBIs over the past month, and I don’t see any reason he can’t keep it going. Keep plugging him in there. As for Alex Avila, my recommendation for him only sticks if Miguel Cabrera is out with his injury. As of now, he’s expected to be ok, but if he’s in and out as they manage his injury, Avila looks intriguing, as the Tigers will face six righties this week. Avila’s splits are stark, and he’s batting .379 against righties so far this year. If Cabrera is out, Avila could see some first base starts along with some starts at catcher.
Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox get a nice slate of games this week, spending the week in hitter-friendly Fenway facing the Rangers and then the Mariners. And even better, the Red Sox don’t face a single intimidating pitcher, especially against Seattle. Have you been frustrated with Jackie Bradley Jr.? We all have, but he’s been heating up a bit lately and this week would be the perfect time for him to go on one of his awesome JBJ hot streaks. Mitch Moreland is also worthy of consideration this week given the matchups.
Jedd Gyorko – In general, the St. Louis Cardinals are worth a look this week, but especially Jedd Gyorko, as the Cardinals get to face four lefties this week (and have three games in Coors). Gyorko has been crushing the ball so far this year, but he especially hits well against lefties. Plus, his position flexibility makes him pretty easy to fit into your lineup, so I’d consider it. I’d also take a good look at Tommy Pham, who’s been on fire lately. He’s due to cool off, but this would be a good week to ride the streak.
New York Mets hitters – The Mets get six games this week and every single one of them comes against a right-hander, which is good considering how many lefties are on the Mets offense. You’re likely already starting Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce every week already, but consider some of the other lefties like perhaps Curtis Granderson if you need power. The Mets also get a great week of matchups for stolen bases, as they go up against Austin Hedges and Francisco Cervelli, two of the worst catchers at stopping the running game. So Jose Reyes definitely warrants a look. And if maybe, juuuuuust maybe, the Mets call up Amed Rosario, who’s been crushing it in the minors, he’d be worth an immediate add and play, as he has pretty good speed.
Arizona Diamondbacks hitters– The Diamondbacks get seven games this week, with six against righties (whom they hit very very well) and all in hitter-friendly parks, with three at home and four in Milwaukee. Jake Lamb, David Peralta, and even Chris Herrmann (if you need a catcher) are all worthy of consideration as they al hit righties very well.
Miami Marlins hitters – The Marlins only get five games this week, all in pitchers parks, with two in Oakland and two at home. Plus, they get two matchups against pitchers who are performing better than their stats indicate, which would be Sonny Gray and Matt Shoemaker. You’re obviously starting your studs, and maybe even Justin Bour who’s been hot lately, but I’d look elsewhere for other Marlins hitters.
Jarrod Dyson – If you own Jarrod Dyson, you own him for one reason: steals. Well if you need those steals, this week isn’t the week to expect them, not from any of your Seattle Mariners hitters. Now, you’re starting Jean Segura regardless of the steals, but I’m singling out Dyson because his entire value is tied to steals. The Mariners will be facing Matt Wieters and Christian Vasquez this week, two catchers who are quite good at throwing out runners (especially Wieters). If you need steals, look elsewhere than Dyson.
Los Angeles Dodgers righties – The Dodgers are projected to get all six of their games against righties, and there’s a few good ones in there, including Lance Lynn, Jake Arrieta, and John Lackey. Plus, they’ll be in pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium and generally neutral-slightly-pitcher-friendly Wrigley Field. If Yasiel Puig is playing (and with his injury, he might not be), you might want to consider another option.
San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres have a pretty rough stretch this week, facing the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. They’ll get to see Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg, which doesn’t bode well. You’re still starting Wil Myers, but if you were consider Yangervis Solarte or Ryan Schimpf this week, I’d look elsewhere.
San Francisco Giants hitters in Chicago – During their four-game stretch in Wrigley Field, the Giants will get to face John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks, and Jon Lester. Not a great stretch for a team that’s been pretty light-hitting as it is.You’re starting Buster Posey, but I’d consider someone other than Brandon Crawford or Eduardo Nunez.