Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 15 (7/8-7/14)

The hitters you should start and avoid this week in fantasy.

What’s up everyone!

If you’re unfamiliar with this series, each week we 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. I’ll also be focusing on catchers you can stream each week since we all know that catcher can be an especially tricky position in fantasy.

If you’d like to learn more about when it becomes less risky to stream hitters (and pitchers) and when certain team stats start to stabilize during the year, check out this article.

So let’s take a look at the hitters to start and avoid in Week 15 (7/8-7/14) 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. 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.




Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – the Pirates, like many teams, have a full seven-game slate this week. They’ll face Christian Scott and the Mets to close out a wraparound series on Monday. Scott is a talented arm but shouldn’t deter you from starting your Pirates on the first day of the week.

Next, the Pirates will travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers, baseball’s seventh-worst team by FIP. They’ll see Colin Rea, Tobias Myers, and Aaron Civale in this series, none of whom should scare you from starting your Buccos. They’ll round out the week by traveling down I-94 to face the Chicago White Sox, baseball’s second-worst team by FIP. They will face Garrett Crochet on Saturday, which might be an avoid in daily leagues, but the other two matchups against Drew Thorpe and Chris Flexen are good matchups for the Pirates.

Rowdy Tellez isn’t quite an everyday player for the Pirates, but he’s the hottest Pirates hitter not named Bryan Reynolds and should be available on your wire. He’s slashing .293/.341/.659 with five homers over the past two weeks and should start most games this week with Crochet being the only lefty on the schedule. Oneil Cruz is also available in over 50% of ESPN leagues and has been swinging a hot bat over the past week (.350/.458/.550).


Cincinnati Reds hitters – the Reds also have seven games this week, all of which will be played at home in the hitter-friendly Great American Small Park. Their week begins with four games against the Colorado Rockies, baseball’s worst team by FIP. Matchups against Dakota HudsonCal QuantrillKyle Freeland, and Austin Gomber should have you excited to start your Reds hitters this week.

The Reds will host the Miami Marlins, baseball’s 12th-worst team by FIP, to close out the final week before the All-Star Break. Cincinnati will face Yonny ChirinosEdward Cabrera, and Trevor Rogers in this series, none of which are particularly challenging matchups, especially at home.

Jonathan India is only rostered in 35% of ESPN leagues despite being one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball over the past two weeks (.442/.525/.769). Make sure you add him to your roster if he’s still somehow floating around on the waiver wire. Noelvi Marte has struggled since being reinstated from his suspension, but the talent he displayed in 2023 warrants adding this week if you’re willing to deal with some rust.


Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – say it with me–the Diamondbacks have a full slate of seven games this week as well. Their first series will be tough, as they have four games against Atlanta, the second-best team by FIP. They’ll face Chris SaleCharlie MortonMax Fried, and Spencer Schwellenbach in these matchups. While Sale and Fried will be tough tests, Morton and Schwellenbach shouldn’t scare you. In daily leagues, you might consider moving your hitters around a bit, but I would still be confident starting your DBacks in weekly leagues.

Arizona’s second series comes against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have the third-worst FIP in the league. They should face Yariel Rodríguez, José Berríos, and Yusei Kikuchi in this series, all of which are exploitable matchups.

CATCHER TO STREAM: Gabriel Moreno has been swinging the bat well since returning from the IL, going 10/19 in his first few games back. He’s available in roughly 50% of ESPN leagues and could be a good stream for the week if he continues to see the ball well.

Joc Pederson is another Arizona player swinging a hot bat, with four homers over the past two weeks, but be cautioned that the DBacks face three lefties this week, so he might not play as much as other streaming options. Granted, two of those lefties (Sale and Fried) are tough matchups regardless, and Pederson has shown he can deliver with limited opportunities.


Texas Rangers hitters – unlike the other three teams on this list, the Rangers don’t have a full seven-game slate, but they do have some favorable matchups scattered across six games. Texas will have two three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (second-worst FIP) and Houston Astros (sixth-worst FIP).

Against Los Angeles, the Rangers will see Davis DanielRoansy Contreras, and Griffin Canning, all of which are solid matchups for your hitters. Things will be a little trickier against Houston, where the Rangers will face Hunter BrownSpencer Arrighetti, and Ronel Blanco. Brown has turned his season around over the past month, but he’s still been hit hard a few times this year.

Nathaniel Lowe is available in nearly 80% of ESPN leagues and has been playing good baseball over the past two weeks with a slash line of .340/.375/.604 during that period. Leody Taveras doesn’t hit the ball hard, but he could be a streaming source of speed this week if you’re chasing that category (four steals in the last two weeks with a .378 OBP).




Kansas City Royals hitters – Kansas City is one of two teams that gets the (dis)honor of only playing five games the week before the All-Star break. The matchups they do have aren’t extremely favorable, either, as they’ll have two games against the Cardinals (eighth-best FIP) before a three-game set against the Red Sox (third-best FIP).

In the Cardinals series, the Royals are slated to face Andre Pallante and Sonny Gray. The matchup against Pallante could be exploited in daily leagues, but Gray can stifle a lineup on any given day. Against the Red Sox, the Royals should face Josh WinckowskiKutter Crawford, and Brayan Bello. While they’ll likely avoid some of Boston’s stronger arms, the five-game schedule makes most Royals hitters a strong sit for this week.


San Diego Padres hitters – The Padres are baseball’s other team with only five games this week, and they’ll face an even tougher schedule than the Royals. They’ll start things off with two games against the Seattle Mariners, the team with the second-best FIP in the league. They’re currently in line to face Logan Gilbert and Bryce Miller in this series, both of whom are talented arms that can pose a challenge.

After another day off on Thursday, the Padres will have a three-game home series against Atlanta, baseball’s second-best team by FIP. They’ll face Reynaldo López, Chris Sale, and Charlie Morton before breaking for the Summer Classic. Morton is a potential stream in daily leagues, but Lopez and Sale have been two of the stingiest arms to face all season. This recipe means we recommend sitting most of your San Diego hitters.


Oakland Athletics hitters – the A’s have six games this week, but they will face some challenging pitching staffs with matchups against the Red Sox (third-best FIP) and Phillies (best FIP in the league). Against the Red Sox, the A’s will see Brayan BelloNick Pivetta, and Tanner Houck. Bello and Pivetta have seen varying degrees of success this season, but Pivetta is coming off his best game of the year and stymied the A’s in a matchup earlier this season.

Against the Phillies, the A’s will see Ranger SuárezMichael Mercado, and Zack Wheeler. Suarez hasn’t been at his best the past couple of weeks, but the A’s figure to be a get-right spot for the lefty. While Mercado could be a matchup worth monitoring in daily leagues, Wheeler is not an ideal arm to face in your last game before the All-Star Break. All of these factors point to sitting your Oakland hitters this week.

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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