Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 17 (7/30 – 8/5)

Ben Palmer takes a look at the hitters you should be starting and avoiding this week in fantasy baseball.

Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Welcome! 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. Here are the batters you should start and avoid for Week 17 (7/30 – 8/5) of the fantasy baseball season.

Notes: All pitching matchups mentioned here are based on projections as of this writing. 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.

Special note: These projections are all as of my writing this on Saturday. The MLB trade deadline is on Monday, so any trades that happen on Sunday or after obviously have the potential to affect these entries.


Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles start their week off with a two-game series against the New York Yankees, and fortunately for them, they’ll miss Luis Severino’s turn in the rotation. Instead, they’ll see Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray, both of whom can be tough matchups, but generally I’m fine starting your Orioles there (maybe sit them in the Tanaka matchup if you’re in a daily league). After that, though, the Orioles will face the Texas Rangers who have the third-worst ERA in the league. Now that Cole Hamels is in Chicago, that pitching staff is even worse, which is great news for hitters. Jonathan Schoop looks healthy and has been heating up, slashing .354/.357/.677 over the past month, and similarly, Adam Jones has been slashing .343/.378/.514 over the past two weeks, so be sure to start them.

Chicago White Sox hitters – The White Sox get a nice slate of matchups this week against some pretty bad pitching staffs. They start off with a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals and their league-worst ERA. Then, they’ll head to Tampa Bay to face off against the Rays where they’ll fortunately miss Chris Archer’s turn in the rotation. There’s no real telling exactly what the Rays are going to throw out there against the White Sox, but don’t be shocked if you see a couple bullpen days from them. With Blake Snell on the DL, Archer is the only pitcher that scares you on the Rays and they won’t see him. Leury Garcia (available in 99% of leagues) has been slashing .333/.324/.528 over the past two weeks, and Avisail Garcia (available in 50% of leagues) has been slashing .338/.347/.775 over the past month, so there’s some value to be had here.

Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs start off their week with a two-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and if you’re in a daily league, I might avoid the matchup with Jameson Taillon, who has a 3.03 ERA over the past month. Aside from that though, you should be able to start your Cubs hitters with confidence. After the Pirates series, the Cubs will get to see the San Diego Padres for four games and won’t see a single pitcher that scares you (the best pitcher they’ll see is likely Joey Lucchesi). You’re already starting your Cubs studs, but players like Jason Heyward (available in 63% of leagues), who’s been slashing .294/.362/.435 over the past month, and Ian Happ (available in 49% of leagues), who’s been slashing .286/.412/.486 over the past month, warrant a look this week.

Derek Dietrich – The Miami Marlins may be on the road all week, but they’ll see nothing but right-handed pitchers—seven to be exact—and that’s great news for Derek Dietrich. So far this season, Dietrich is slashing .296/.368/.456 against righties, and he’s available in 54% of leagues.

Ketel Marte – The Arizona Diamondbacks are slated to face at least three lefties this week, which makes Ketel Marte worth a look in most leagues. Over the past month, he’s been slashing .292/.407/.500, which is awesome, but he’s especially good against lefties, slashing .291/.366/.559 against them this year. He’s available in 76% of leagues.


Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers start their week off with a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers where they’ll get to see Kenta MaedaWalker BuehlerRich Hill, and Clayton Kershaw, all of whom should be difficult matchups. Then, they’ll host the Colorado Rockies, and while I’m not all that concerned about the matchup against German Marquez, they’ll also see Tyler Anderson, who’s got a 1.02 ERA over the past month, and Jon Gray, who’s given up just one run in three of his last four starts.

Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels get to see the Cleveland Indians this week, with a three-game series that will see them facing off against Mike ClevingerCorey Kluber, and Shane Bieber, all of which should prove to be tough (except maybe the Bieber matchup). They start off the week with a series against the Rays where they’ll get to see Chris Archer (assuming he’s still on the team), which should be difficult. The other two Rays games, it’s hard to say what the team will do, but they likely won’t be challenging. You can pick and choose your Angels hitters this week in daily leagues, but in weekly leagues, I’m not sure how much value you’ll be able to get.

Colorado Rockies hitters – The Rockies get to spend all week on the road, and you know what that means? It means they’re not going to hit as well. As a team, they’re slashing .286/.346/.477 at home in Coors Field, but on the road they’re slashing .232/.298/.396. On top of that, they’ll see some tricky matchups against Carlos Martinez and Jack Flaherty in Busch Stadium—a very pitcher-friendly park. You can still start your Rockies studs, but I’d avoid most of your other Rockies this week.

New York Yankees hitters – I’m not worried about the Yankees two-game series against the Orioles, in a daily league, go ahead and start your Yankees hitters there. But after that, they’ll have a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox where they’ll see Chris SaleRick PorcelloDavid Price, and Nathan Eovaldi, the latter of whom has given up two or fewer runs in four of his last five starts.

Brandon Belt – Of the six games the Giants have this week, four of them are set to be against left-handed pitchers. That’s bad news for Belt as he struggles against lefties, slashing just .236/.338/.327 against them so far this year.

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan, also a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music, watch way too many movies, and collect way too many records.

4 responses to “Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 17 (7/30 – 8/5)”

  1. ghost of ned yost says:

    I’d also avoid Belt since he is on the DL

  2. gfhyde says:

    I’ve gotta pick between Pollock (Home, 6 games, 3TEX, 3SF) and Cruz (Home, 7 games, 3HOU, 4TOR).

    Those Cruz matchups vs TOR are nice and he does get 1 extra game this week, but the HOU ones are pretty deadly. Cole, Morton and Keuchel. He’s had success against Keuch and tons against Estrada, but something is telling me to start Pollock.

    • Ben Palmer says:

      That’s tricky, but I think I’d lean Pollock. Now that Hamels is gone, that Rangers rotation looks like a dumpster fire, and those Houston matchups look tough for Cruz.

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