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 9 (5/29 – 6/4) 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.
Toronto Blue Jays hitters – The Blue Jays get a nice week this week, with seven straight games in their hitter-friendly home park. They get to see the not-so-threatening Cincinnati Reds pitching rotation for three games, and then four games against the New York Yankees, with only Luis Severino making you pause. Otherwise, they get a bunch of pitchers that should make for good matchups, including four matchups against righties. It’s a good week for Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki to be coming back, and don’t forget to toss in Jose Bautista, Russell Martin, Kevin Pillar, and the red-hot Justin Smoak.
Tampa Bay Rays hitters – The Rays start off their week in Globe Life Park against the Rangers and manage to miss out on facing Yu Darvish, which means they get three games of fairly favorable matchups. Then, they head to a three-game series in Seattle against the Mariners, where they get to face the sparse, injured Mariners rotation. So needless to say, it’s a good week to start your Rays. You’ve obviously been starting Corey Dickerson because of how insanely hot he’s been, and likely Logan Morrison as well (though if not, it’s a good week to start them), but it’s also not a bad idea to give Steven Souza a look. Yes, he’s been awful over the past month as his hot streak to start the year caught up to him, but consider this: over the last week, he’s been hitting .308 with three home runs. It’s not a bad week to give him a go.
New York Mets hitters – It’s a good week for the Mets, as they get a nice seven-game homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers and then the Pittsburgh Pirates. Looking at the projected pitching matchups, Gerrit Cole is the only player who gives you pause, otherwise every single pitcher is a favorable matchup for the Mets hitters. So start Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, and even Lucas Duda with confidence. It’s also a good week for the speedy Mets, as they face two of the worst catchers at throwing out baserunners in Jonathan Lucroy and Francisco Cervelli, so if you need steals, take a look at Jose Reyes.
Colorado Rockies hitters – I know, I’m recommending Rockies hitters in a seven-game week where they only have two games at home. But aside from a likely matchup against James Paxton returning from the DL, every other matchup the Rockies have looks really nice. Yes, they’ll have three games in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, but the matchups are worth it. Carlos Gonzalez has really been heating up lately, batting .346 over the past 15 games, so starting him would be wise, as well as Mark Reynolds, Trevor Story, and obviously Ian Desmond.
Jake Lamb and David Peralta – While the Diamondbacks will have a seven-game road trip in relatively pitcher-friendly venues, Lamb and Peralta have been hitting the ball well, especially against righties, and they’ll get to see five righties this week. Lamb is slashing .328/.416/.668 against righties and Peralta is slashing .323/.365/.488 against them. Lamb is obviously the stronger play (as he has been all season) but Peralta certainly isn’t going to hurt you in these favorable matchups.
St. Louis Cardinals hitters – It’s a rough rough week for Cardinals hitters. They get seven games this week, four at home against the Dodgers and three in Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Here are the pitchers they’ll get to face: Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Brandon McCarthy, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks. Yea, that looks like a blast, so owners of Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, Dexter Fowler, and Aledmys Diaz, stay far away.
Miami Marlins lefties against Arizona – During the Diamondbacks four-game visit to Miami, the Marlins lefites are going to have a rough go. They’ll be facing two lefties in Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray and they’ll get a matchup against Zach Greinke, which no one likes from either side of the plate. Justin Bour has been on fire lately, and maybe that four-game stretch will be where the fire cools down. Plus, it might be a rough stretch to own Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich. As a side note: If Yelich struggles during that stretch, as he’s been struggling so far this year, the end of that stretch might be a great time to buy low on him. I believe he’ll turn it around, and while I think you can buy low right now, you might be able to buy even lower at the end of that series.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have a seven-game week against the Yankees and Red Sox, all in Camden Yards, but it’s gonna be a rough stretch. They’ll get to face Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello, David Price, and Chris Sale. Talk about a rough week, especially for Chris Davis, the only Oriole lefty that isn’t in a platoon (Seth Smith will sit against the lefties). So if you’ve got Trey Mancini or Jonathan Schoop, I might look elsewhere. As an additional side note, Manny Machado is a great buy low right now, and this week might bring his value down even more, so keep an eye on him and maybe start talking to the Machado owner at the end of the week.
Chicago White Sox hitters – The last two games of the week for the White Sox aren’t too bad, as they’ll be facing Jordan Zimmeran and Daniel Norris in Detroit. But starting the week is a three-game series at home against the Red Sox where they’ll get to see Chris Sale, the return of David Price, and Drew Pomeranz, and then in their first game in Detroit, they’ll get to see Michael Fulmer. So needless to say, it’s a rough week for White Sox hitters. You’re still starting Jose Abreu but if you’ve been riding the Avisail Garcia or Leury Garcia train, this might be a good week to hop off for a bit.
Oakland Athletics hitters – The Oakland A’s get the joy of seeing Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Stephen Strasburg, and Joe Ross this week, none of which are exactly appealing matchups. On the plus side, it’s all righties this week, so maybe Yonder Alonso won’t be as badly affected (as long as he’s healthy) but don’t expect to see any average rises from Khris Davis (though he’ll probably still hit some home runs), and I’d consider looking elsewhere than Jed Lowrie or Ryon Healy.