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Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 19 (8/12 – 8/18)

Ben Palmer takes a look at the hitters you should start and avoid this week in fantasy.

Each week, we’ve been 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 19 (8/12-8/18) 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 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.

 

START

 

New York Yankees hitters – The Yankees get an eight-game week thanks to a doubleheader on Monday, which is great news. Why? Because that double-header is part of a four-game series against the worst pitching staff in baseball, the Baltimore Orioles. Then, they’ll get a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians, and while I’m not thrilled about a matchup with Mike Clevinger, they do get to miss Shane Bieber’s turn in the rotation, so I think you should be good overall. Plus, they spend all eight games this week at home in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. If you haven’t picked Mike Tauchman up yet, what are you doing? Because he’s slashing .417/.468/.861 over the past month. Somehow, he’s still available in 57% of leagues, make sure you grab him. Also, Gio Urshela has been slashing .366/.395/.817 over the past month and is available in 53% of leagues. And don’t forget Brett Gardner, who’s available in 74% of leagues and has been slashing .315/.373/.574 over the past month. Basically just own the entire Yankees lineup at this point, because even Cameron Maybin in the limited time he’s been out there in the past couple weeks has been slashing .366/.435/.659.

Colorado Rockies hitters – Good news! The Rockies get to spend all week home at Coors Field, which almost always means you should start your Rockies. Even better, the pitching staffs they’re going up against aren’t exactly the scariest in the league, starting with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, where the only threatening pitcher they’ll see is Zac Gallen (and Robbie Ray, but he hasn’t been great lately, with a 4.08 ERA over the past month), and then a three-game series against the Miami Marlins, where they’ll miss Caleb Smith’s turn in the rotation. Over the past month, Raimel Tapia has been hitting well, slashing .324/.352/.471 and is available in 98% of leagues. Similarly, Ryan McMahon has been slashing .292/.360/.528 over the past month and is available in 75% of leagues.

Arizona Diamondbacks hitters – As I mentioned earlier, the D’Backs get to spend three games in Coors this week, which is great news for their hitters (as is the fact that the Rockies have the second-worst team ERA in baseball). Then, they’ll have a four-game series at home in hitter-friendly Chase Field against the San Francisco Giants. While they will see Madison Bumgarner, I’m overall not too worried about their matchups this week. In a daily league, I may consider benching my D’Backs against Bumgarner, but otherwise, start away. If you’re in need of a streaming catcher this week, Carson Kelly hasn’t been hitting for a super great average over the past month (just .241) but he’s got a great .370 ISO over that same timespan. He’s available in 89% of leagues.

Toronto Blue Jays hitters – The Blue Jays get to see two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball this week, all at home in hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. They start the week off with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, who own the eighth-worst team ERA in baseball, plus they get to miss Mike Minor’s turn in the rotation. Then, they’ll see the Seattle Mariners, who own the third-worst team ERA in baseball, so it’s a nice week of matchups for the Blue Jays. Bo Bichette is still available in 40% of leagues, and I don’t think you need me to tell you how great he’s been lately (but I will anyway), as he’s been slashing .385/.439/.788 since being promoted to the majors. Also, Randall Grichuk has been heating up lately, slashing .309/.345/.636 over the past two weeks, and he’s available in 78% of leagues, as has Freddy Galvis, who’s slashing .293/.305/.517 over the past two weeks and is available in 73% of leagues.

Leury Garcia – This week, the Chicago White Sox will get to see five left-handed pitchers, which is good news for Garcia, who’s been slashing .321/.354/.479 against lefties this year. He’s available in 82% of leagues.

 

AVOID

 

Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals only play five games this week, which is already not good, and to make matters worse, they’ll be facing some tough pitchers. They start the week with a two-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, who own the seventh-best team ERA in baseball, including a matchup against Jack Flaherty. Then, they’ll face the New York Mets and Noah SyndergaardJacob DeGrom, and Zack Wheeler.

Atlanta Braves hitters – The Braves start their week against the Mets, and while they’ll miss DeGrom’s turn in the rotation, they’ll still see Wheeler and Marcus Stroman, not to mention Steven Matz, who owns a 3.38 ERA over the past month. Then, they’ll have a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where they’ll get to see Kenta MaedaHyun-Jin Ryu, and Clayton Kershaw.

Oakland Athletics hitters – The A’s have a tough week this week, starting with a two-game series in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park against the Giants where they’ll see Madison Bumgarner. Then, they’ll face the Houston Astros, where they’ll face the murderer’s row of Justin VerlanderZack Greinke, and Gerrit Cole, not to mention Aaron Sanchez (though who knows what we’ll see from him).

Philadelphia Phillies hitters – The Phillies start their week with a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs, who own the fifth-best team ERA in baseball. Then, they close the week with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres where they’ll see Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet, the latter of whom has a 2.25 ERA over the past two weeks.

Brandon Dixon – Have you been riding the Brandon Dixon hot streak? I know I have. The guy has been batting cleanup and slashing .295/.367/.489 over the past month including a .241 ISO over the past two weeks. But this week, I’d stop riding the streak, because the Detroit Tigers are expected to face five left-handed pitchers, and that’s bad news for Dixon, who’s slashing .234/.286/.422 against lefties this year.

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

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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