Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 7 (5/15-5/21)

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 7 (5/15-5/21) 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.




Cincinnati Reds hitters – The Reds get six games this week, starting with three in Coors Field against the Rockies. Playing in Coors Field is already cause for celebration for your Reds hitters, and going up against a team with the fourth-worst FIP in baseball is even better. Then, they’ll have three games against the Yankees where they’ll face Clarke Schmidt, Jhony Brito, and Domingo Germán, none of whom scare me at all, so it’s a good week for your Reds. Jake Fraley has been slashing .308/.400/.577 over the past two weeks and is definitely worth a look.

Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – Normally I wouldn’t recommend starting players on a team with just five games in a week in weekly leagues, but I make an exception when that team is facing nothing but bad pitching, and that’s what the Pirates are doing this week. They have two games against the Tigers, who own the fifth-worst team FIP in the league, and three games against the Diamondbacks, who have the eighth-worst team FIP in baseball, so I think there’s some value to be had here.

Detroit Tigers hitters – Again, I wouldn’t normally recommend a team with just five games in a week in this article, but similar to the Pirates, the Tigers are slated to have pretty much nothing but good matchups for their hitters this week. They’ve got the two games I mentioned earlier against the Pirates to start the week, where they’ll face Luis Ortiz and Rich Hill, and then they’ll end with three games against the Nationals, who own the sixth-worst team FIP in all of baseball.

Cleveland Guardians hitters – The Guardians have six games this week, starting with three against the White Sox who own the second-worst team FIP in baseball, and closing with three against the Mets, who own the third-worst team FIP in the league. Cleveland’s lineup has been struggling lately, so I’m hopeful that these matchups this week help some of your Guardians hitters start to bounce back some.

A bunch of Astros hitters – I’m not recommending you start all of your Astros here, but I basically might as well be. The Astros have six games this week, four of which will be against lefties, and there are a few lefty-mashers on the Astros. Mauricio Dubón is a career .287/.338/.457 against lefties, Jeremy Peña is a career .290/.339/.517 hitter against them, and Chas McCormick has a career .299/.370/.546 line against lefties, so any of those three guys might be worth a look this week.




Boston Red Sox hitters – The Red Sox have six games this week, starting with three against the Mariners who own the best team FIP in all of baseball and closing with three games against the Padres where they’ll see both Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. With the Red Sox slated to also see George Kirby and Luis Castillo in the Seattle series, there’s basically like two games I feel okay starting my Red Sox hitters, and that’s not enough in weekly leagues to warrant a start.

Chicago Cubs hitters – The Cubs also have six games this week, starting with three against the Astros who own the fifth-best team FIP in all of baseball and closing with three against the Phillies, who own the eighth-best team FIP in the league. In those six games, the Cubs are slated to face Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, J.P. France, Ranger Suárez, Aaron Nola, and Bailey Falter. By my count, that’s two (maybe three) games that don’t worry me all that much for my hitters, and for me, that’s not enough value to warrant a start in a weekly league.

St. Louis Cardinals hitters – A seven-game week is usually pretty enticing, but the Cardinals have a tough one this week. They start the week off with three games against the Brewers, a series in which they’ll face Corbin Burnes. Then, they close the week with four games against the Dodgers, a team that owns the ninth-best team FIP in baseball. In that Dodgers series, they’ll face Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin, Noah Syndergaard, and Clayton Kershaw, a slate of matchups that range from potentially tough to very tough. All in all, I’m not seeing a ton of value in my Cardinals hitters this week.

San Francisco Giants hitters – The Giants have six games this week and all six will be at home in one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in all of baseball, Oracle Park. On top of that, they’re slated to have a few tough matchups, starting with three games against the Phillies, a series in which they’ll see Zack Wheeler, and closing with three games against the Marlins where they’ll see both Sandy Alcantara and Jesús Luzardo (as well as Braxton Garrett, who’s certainly shown some flashes this year). Given the fact they’re playing all week in Oracle Park and they’re slated for a good handful of tough matchups, I’d be avoiding my middle-of-the-road Giants hitters this week.


Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Leslie Plaza Johnson / Icon Sportswire

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan, also a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music, watch way too many movies, and collect way too many records.

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