Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 5 (5/9-5/15)

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

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 here’s who you should start and avoid in Week 5 (5/9-5/15) 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.




Kansas City Royals hitters – The Royals probably have the best slate of the week this week with six games against pretty bad pitching staffs. They start off with three games against the Rangers, who own the second-worst team FIP in baseball, and they close the week with three games in Coors Field against the Rockies, who own the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball. Edward Olivares has been hot lately, slashing .379/.438/.483 over the past two weeks and mostly leading off for the Royals, so he’s worth a look.

Detroit Tigers hitters – It’s hard to figure out who has the more favorable schedule this week between the Royals and the Tigers, because this should be a good week for your Tigers hitters too, as the team is slated to have an eight-game week thanks to a doubleheader against the A’s on Tuesday. In addition to their five games against the A’s, who own the 12th-worst team FIP in baseball, they’ll have three games against the Orioles, who own the 10th-worst team FIP in baseball. While Jeimer Candelario hasn’t had much of a batting average lately, he does have a .228 ISO over the past two weeks and might warrant a look this week.

Texas Rangers hitters – The Rangers get seven games this week, starting with one game against the Yankees, where they’ll face Jordan Montgomery, which will finish out their weekend series. I don’t love that matchup, but the rest of the week should work out just fine, as the Rangers will then have their aforementioned three-game series against the Royals, who own the third-worst team FIP in baseball, and close with three games against the Red Sox, who own the ninth-worst team FIP in baseball. Similar to Candelario, Adolis Garcia hasn’t had a great batting average lately, but he does have a .257 ISO over the past two weeks, and that could be useful this week.

New York Mets hitters – The Mets get six games this week, starting with three against the Nationals, who own the sixth-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three against the Mariners, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in baseball. And luckily for the Mets, they’ll miss both Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert in that Mariners series, arguably the only two arms in Seattle’s rotation that might scare you. Jeff McNeil has been slashing .417/.462/.556 over the past two weeks and is definitely worth a look this week, as is Mark Canha, who’s been hitting .343/.385/.457 over the past two weeks.

Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers has been struggling a bit this year, but I’m hopeful this week might be a better one for him because half of the Rockies’ games this week are slated to be against lefties, and Rodgers does pretty well against lefties, slashing .281/.329/.516 against them on his career.



Philadelphia Phillies hitters – While the Phillies have seven games this week, which is generally really nice for fantasy production, they’ve got a tough slate. They start with three games against the Mariners, whom I mentioned don’t generally have a good pitching staff, but in that series, the Phillies will face both Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert, which could be tough. On top of that, the Phillies have four games against the Dodgers, who own the best team FIP in all of baseball, making this a pretty difficult week for Phillies hitters.

Toronto Blue Jays hitters – In a week of a couple doubleheaders and plenty of teams with seven-game weeks, the Blue Jays have just five games this week and five games that are likely to be tough. They start with two games against the Yankees, who own the fourth-best team FIP in baseball, and they close with three games against the Rays, who own the 10th-best team FIP in baseball. Given the light schedule and poor matchups, I’d avoid my Blue Jays hitters this week.

Atlanta hitters – Atlanta also has just five games this week, and while their first two games of the week are worth taking advantage of in daily leagues because they’ll be against the Red Sox (and more specifically, against Garrett Whitlock and Rich Hill), their last three games will be against the Padres. In that series, they’ll face Yu Darvish, Sean Manaea, and Joe Musgrove. With five games this week, only two (maybe three) of which are worth taking advantage of, I don’t see enough value to warrant starting my Atlanta hitters in weekly leagues.

Sheldon Neuse – If you’ve been riding the Sheldon Neuse train this year, I don’t blame you; he’s been pretty good. But this week might shape up to be a tough one. The A’s are slated to face four left-handed pitchers this week, and on his career, Neuse is a .163/.194/.214 hitter against lefties with a 35.9% strikeout rate. If you want to sell high on him, now might be the time to do it.


Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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.

3 responses to “Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 5 (5/9-5/15)”

  1. Ronny A., Jr. says:

    Was hoping you could give me a bit of advice on my 3B and corner IF starts for my weekly points league

    I’ve got to decide which two to start between Ryan Mountcastle (7 games: v. KC, @ STL, and @ DET), Rafael Devers (only 5 games: @ ATL and @ TEX), and Alec Bohm (tough slate of matchups, like you mentioned above). Who would you say is the odd man out?

  2. Whatthefrick Merrifield says:

    I’m sitting Whit this week. I’m sure that means he’ll go off, but I can’t keep doing this.

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