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Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 20 (8/14-8/20)

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 20 (8/14-8/20) 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.

 

START

 

Colorado Rockies hitters – It’s one of those weeks everybody—a week where the Rockies have all their games at home. Six games to be precise, starting with three against the Diamondbacks, who own the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three against the White Sox, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in the league. So not only do the Rockies get to be in Coors Field all week, they’ll be up against two very beatable pitching staffs, meaning it’s a great week to start your Rockies. Nolan Jones is worth a look this week given the matchups and the fact that he’s been slashing .316/.400/.579 over the past two weeks.

St. Louis Cardinals hitters – The Cardinals have a full seven-game week this week, all with good pitching matchups. They start off with three games against the A’s, who own the second-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close with four games against the Mets, who have the seventh-worst team FIP in the league. If you’re looking for someone to stream in deeper leagues, Alec Burleson has been heating up lately, slashing .281/.324/.563 over the past two weeks, and could keep it going this week. Tommy Edman is also worth a start this week, as he’s been hitting .297/.350/.514 over the past two weeks.

Chicago White Sox hitters – Normally when a team has just five games in a week, I’m telling you to avoid them. But this week, the White Sox have five really solid matchups making it worth your time to start your White Sox hitters, even in weekly leagues. They start the week off with two games against the Cubs where they’ll face Kyle Hendricks and Javier Assad, neither of whom scare me much. Then, they’ll have the three games against the Rockies in Coors Field that I mentioned earlier. Not only is playing in Coors great for their hitters, the Rockies have the worst team FIP in all of baseball, so it’s a double win. Andrew Vaughn has been hitting well lately, slashing .300/.300/.475 over the past two weeks, and is worth a look this week, especially in Saturday’s matchup against Kyle Freeland, since Vaughn hits well against lefties. And in deeper leagues if you’re looking for a middle infielder, Elvis Andrus has been hitting .324/.324/.559 over the past two weeks and might be worth a stream this week.

Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers have six games this week, starting with three against the Angels, a team with the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Brewers, who own the 10th-worst team FIP in the league. Now, in the Angels series, they will face Shohei Ohtani, so I’d probably dodge that in daily leagues, but otherwise, you’re good to start your Rangers this week.

 

AVOID

 

Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds only have five games this week, which already puts them at a disadvantage. On top of that, they’ll face the Guardians for two games, a team with the 11th-best team FIP in the league, and then the Blue Jays for three games, a team with the eighth-best team FIP in baseball. All in all, it’s a tough week to start your Reds hitters in weekly leagues. In daily leagues, you can probably take advantage of their matchups against Noah Syndergaard and Hyun-Jin Ryu as neither of them is particularly scary matchup-wise, but in weekly leagues, I’d avoid my Reds hitters.

Los Angeles Angels hitters – The Angels get six games this week, starting with three against the Rangers, who own the 10th-best team FIP in baseball, and closing with three games against the Rays, who own the fourth-best team FIP in the league. With matchups this week against Max Scherzer, Tyler Glasnow, and Zach Eflin (among others), it’s a good week to avoid your middle-of-the-road Angels hitters.

San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants also have six games this week and will also get to face the Rays for three games, who as I mentioned have the fourth-best team FIP in the league. Then, the Giants will close their week out with three games against Atlanta, who own the seventh-best team FIP in baseball, making it a tough week to start your Giants hitters.

Houston Astros hitters – The Astros have a six-game week this week that starts off with three games against the Marlins, who own the sixth-best team FIP in baseball and closes with three games against the Mariners, who have the best team FIP in the league, meaning I’d avoid my middle-of-the-road Astros hitters this week.

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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