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Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 18 (7/31-8/6)

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

What’s up, everyone!

If you’re unfamiliar with this article series, each week I 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.

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 18 (7/31-8/6) 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.

Second note: Since the trade deadline is this week, it’s entirely possible the pitching matchups listed here could change, so keep a close eye on that.

 

START

 

San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants have six games this week, starting with four against the Diamondbacks who own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with two against the A’s who own the worst team FIP in the league. Joc Pederson has been slashing .276/.405/.690 over the past two weeks and is worth a start this week, especially since the Giants are only slated to see one lefty this week.

Milwaukee Brewers hitters – The Brewers have a full seven-game week this week, starting with three games against the Nationals, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with four games against the Pirates, who own the 10th-worst team FIP in the league. Sal Frelick has been hitting really well lately, slashing .438/.565/.688 over the past two weeks and is worth a look this week. And if you’re looking for a deep league play, Andruw Monasterio has been hitting well lately too, slashing .400/.455/.525 over the past two weeks.

Seattle Mariners hitters – The Mariners also get a full seven-game week this week, starting with three games against the Red Sox where they’ll see Brayan Bello, Chris Murphy, and Kutter Crawford. Bello can be tough sometimes, but otherwise, none of those matchups scare me all that much. Then, they’ll close the week with four games against the Angels, who own the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball. And even better, they’ll avoid Shohei Ohtani in that series. Cal Raleigh is worth a start this week, as he’s been red hot, hitting .323/.382/.710 over the past two weeks.

Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates have six games this week, starting with two against the Tigers, where they’ll see Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen. E-Rod has been really good, so that could prove a tricky matchup (assuming he stays on the Tigers), and Lorenzen is alright, but nothing that scares me too much (also assuming he stays on the Tigers). But after that, the Pirates get four games against the Brewers, who own the 11th-worst team FIP in the league, so all in all, a pretty solid week for your Pirates hitters.

 

AVOID

 

Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – The D’Backs have a full seven-game slate this week which would normally be pretty enticing. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have four games against the Giants, who own the fifth-best team FIP in baseball (and they’ll have that series in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park), and they’ll close the week with three games against the Twins, who own the best team FIP in the league, making it a tough week for your D’Backs hitters.

Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels also have a seven-game week but are also slated for some tough matchups. They start the week with three games against Atlanta, who owns the seventh-best team FIP in the league, and they’ll close with four games against the Mariners, who own the second-best team FIP in baseball. So unless it’s someone like Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani, I’d bench my Angels hitters.

Detroit Tigers hitters – The Tigers have just five games this week, which already puts them at a disadvantage. Worse, three of those games will be against the Rays, who own the third-best team FIP in the league. The other two games are against the Pirates, where they’ll face Johan Oviedo and Mitch Keller, both of whom have the potential to be tough matchups, so it’s a rough week for your Tigers hitters.

New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees have seven games this week, starting with three games against the Rays who, as I mentioned earlier, have the third-best team FIP in baseball. Then, they’ll close with four games against the Astros where they’ll see Hunter Brown, Brandon Bielak, J.P. France, and Framber Valdez, which all in all, makes for a tough series of matchups.

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan (which can be....painful at times) and a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music and watch way too many movies.

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