Each week, I’ll be 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 (9/14-9/20) 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.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – This week in the MLB features a lot of doubleheaders, and the Cardinals get the most, playing an absurd 10 games this week. That’s right, ten games. In seven days. At that point, I don’t really care what pitchers the Cardinals are facing, the volume is just too enticing to ignore. They’ll get five games against the Brewers (whose pitching can be a bit tough) and five games against the Pirates (who own the 10th-worst team ERA in baseball). I’ll be honest, if I’ve got a member of the Cardinals on my team in a weekly league, I’m throwing them in my lineup because 10 games are just too much potential production to ignore.
Miami Marlins hitters – While the Marlins don’t get 10 games like the Cardinals do, they get nine games this week, which is still pretty nuts. They start with a game against the Phillies, who own the sixth-worst team ERA in baseball, then three games against the Red Sox, who own the worst team ERA in baseball, and they close with five games against the Nationals. Now, in that series of course they will face both Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, who could be tricky matchups, but with nine games this week against mostly weak pitching staffs? I’m all about getting my Marlins in my lineups. Corey Dickerson, who owns a .261 ISO over the past two weeks, is worth a look, as is Brian Anderson, who’s slashing .357/.451/.476 over the past two weeks, and Garrett Cooper, who’s slashing .295/.367/.568 over the past two weeks.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – This is purely a volume play here. The Pirates also get nine games this week, but they’re going to come against two potentially tough pitching staffs in the Reds and the Cardinals. That being said, nine games is hard to ignore, and not every matchup is going to be tough. In daily leagues, I might dodge the Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray games, but in weekly leagues, I think you’ve gotta get your Pirates in your lineup regardless of who they’re going against. If you haven’t snagged Ke’Bryan Hayes yet, this wouldn’t be a bad week to do it, as he’s slashing .357/.419/.643 over the past two weeks.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s get just seven games this week (just seven games) and they’ll come against some pretty beatable pitching staffs. First up is a doubleheader against the Mariners, who own the fourth-worst team ERA in baseball, followed by two games in Coors Field against the Rockies, who own the third-worst team ERA in baseball, and closing with a three-game series against the Giants, who have the 11th-worst team ERA in baseball. A bunch of good hitter matchups and two games at Coors? Sign me up. If you’re looking for some batting average, Tommy La Stella has been leading off for the A’s and is slashing .306/.366/.417 over the past two weeks. And if you’re looking for a catcher to stream, Sean Murphy is slashing .375/.545/.938 over the past two weeks and warrants a look.
Pat Valaika and Hanser Alberto – The Orioles get to spend their whole week at home, which is nice for their hitters, and they’re slated to face three lefties, which is especially good for both Valaika and Alberto. So far this year, Valaika has been hitting lefties well, slashing .286/.375/.714 against them, and Alberto has always hit lefties well, slashing .353/.370/.468 against them on his career and hitting a ridiculous .429/.452/.607 against them so far this year.
Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers get six games this week, starting with two against the Royals which, in daily leagues, I’m fine starting my Tigers hitters in. Then, they’ll have a four-game series against the Indians where they’ll see Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, Triston McKenzie, and Carlos Carrasco, and I will take the hardest of passes on that. In weekly leagues, I just don’t think there’s enough value here to warrant starting your Tigers.
San Francisco Giants hitters – In a week where we’re seeing teams with eight, nine, and even 10 games, a team that’s getting just five games feels really lame. That’s the Giants this week, starting with two games against the Mariners (who I’d be fine starting my Giants hitters against in a daily league), and closing with a three-game series against the A’s, who own the third-best team ERA in baseball. All in all, a pretty uninteresting week for your Giants hitters.
Minnesota Twins hitters – The Twins get seven games this week, which is exciting! Not as exciting is the fact that they’re going against two pretty solid pitching staffs, starting with a four-game series against the White Sox, who have the fourth-best team ERA in baseball, and closing with a three-game series against the Cubs, who own the 10th-best team ERA in baseball. Seven games is enticing, and there are some individual matchups here that shouldn’t be all that bad, but overall, not great for weekly leagues.
Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners start their week off with a doubleheader against the A’s who, as I mentioned before, have the third-best team ERA in baseball. They’ll then face the Giants for two games, which is matchup I’m fine exploiting in daily leagues, and they’ll close with three games against the Padres, who own the eighth-best team ERA in baseball. The Mariners are also slated to face three lefties, which is especially bad news for Kyle Lewis and Kyle Seager, who are slashing .210/.375/.368 and .192/.264/.425 against lefties this year, respectively.
Mitch Moreland – The Padres are slated to face three left-handed pitchers this week, which could prove troublesome for Moreland, who’s a career .238/.300/.368 hitter against lefties and has been slashing .200/.294/.200 against them so far this year.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)