Welcome to the FINAL hitter matchups article of the season. This is the last week of championships in most leagues, though I know in some championships ended this past week. This article is for those of you who are looking for some matchups to take advantage of during your championship week.
It’s important to remember something this week: I’m going off of pitching projections as of this writing (which is Saturday). Being that this is the last week of the season, some of these starters might get moved around (i.e. if someone like Yu Darvish got his start skipped, that wouldn’t shock me). So pay close attention to who’s getting skipped and who isn’t this week when picking your hitters. And as always, this is for more middle-of-the-road players, always start your studs.
Colorado Rockies hitters – Lucky for those of you who own Rockies hitters this week, the Rockies play all six of their games at home in Coors Field. Unfortunately, however, they’ll be facing the Los Angeles Dodger and potentially both Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. Now, like I mentioned earlier, it’s entirely possible that Kershaw and Darvish’s starts get skipped to preserve them for the postseason, and that would be awesome news for your Rockies. Regardless, start them, and if you’re in a daily league, avoid the Kershaw and Darvish matchup if they happen. Since 2012, the Rockies have slashed .322/.372/.518 in the month of September at Coors.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hitters – The Angles have a nice schedule this week, with four games against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field and then three games at home against the Seattle Mariners. Fortunately, there’s not a single pitching matchup that scares you at all, and even better, they face seven righties this week. That’s good news for Andrelton Simmons who, even though he’s a righty himself, is a much better hitter against righties than lefties, slashing .290/.328/.444 against them this season.
Justin Bour – It’s actually not a bad week to start your Marlins in general, as they get three games in Coors Field and then four games at home against the Atlanta Braves without a single pitching matchup that scares you. But I’m going to highlight Justin Bour, a guy I’ve loved all year who unfortunately landed on the DL awhile back. Since returning from the DL, Bour has been slashing .341/.415/.614, picking up right where he left off. This guy is awesome and he’s available in around 59% of ESPN leagues. If you’re in the championship this week and he’s available, get him immediately.
Cleveland Indians hitters – It’s not all that bold to recommend starting your Indians hitters, but you really should start them this week. They get three games against the Minnesota Twins and three games against the Chicago White Sox, and they have nothing but good matchups. They’ll be seeing Bartolo Colon and James Shields, among others. So start your Indians with confidence.
Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals get the benefit of a seven-game week this week, starting off with one game against the New York Yankees where they’ll likely see C.C. Sabathia, and then three games against the Detroit Tigers and their terrible pitching staff, followed by three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks where they, fortunately, miss Zack Greinke’s turn in the rotation. That being said, they will still see Zack Godley, so in daily leagues I might avoid that. Otherwise, start your Royals.
San Diego Padres hitters – It projects to be a miserable week for Padres hitters. They’ll start off the week against the Dodgers where they are projected to see Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Rich Hill. Then they head to pitcher’s park heaven AT&T Park to face off against the Giants and, lucky them, they get to see Madison Bumgarner’s turn in the rotation. Given all of these factors, I’d avoid just about any and every Padre you’ve got.
Toronto Blue Jays hitters – Lucky for the Blue Jays, they get to start off the week against the Boston Red Sox where they’ll see Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello. Then, they head to New York to see the Yankees and Sonny Gray and Luis Severino. Now, I caution like I did earlier that it’s entirely possible that the Red Sox skip Sale’s start and even more possible that the Yankees skip Severino’s, so pay attention to that. But if everything plays out like it’s projected, it’s a bad week to own Blue Jays.
Baltimore Orioles hitters – The Orioles have the misfortune of being the only team with just five games this week, two of them in PNC Park against the Pirates (a pitcher’s park). They then head to Tampa for a three-game series against the Rays where they’ll get to see Chris Archer and Blake Snell (the Orioles don’t do well against lefties generally). Given the low number of games, there’s just not enough value here to justify starting your Orioles that aren’t named Manny Machado or Jonathan Schoop.
Chicago White Sox hitters – If you’re in a daily league and want to plug and play White Sox hitters during their series against the Angels, I’m not opposed to that. The matchup against Garrett Richards doesn’t project well, but otherwise, it’s not terrible. However, after that series, the White Sox head to Cleveland to face the Indians and the brunt of their rotation. They’ll get to see Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, and Mike Clevinger. If you’re in a weekly league, I just don’t see enough value here to justify it.
Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – The Pirates start off with a two-game series against the Orioles. The matchup against Kevin Gausman doesn’t project well for them, but the one against Wade Miley does, and if you’re in a daily league, I’m fine starting your Pirates there. But after that series, they get to see the Washington Nationals, who will be tossing Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Gio Gonzalez out at them. In a daily league, feel free to use your Pirates against Miley and Tanner Roark, but otherwise, stay away.