Hitters to Start and Avoid: Week 13 (6/24-6/30)

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

What’s up everyone!

If you’re unfamiliar with this series, each week we 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. I’ll also be focusing on catchers you can stream each week since we all know that catcher can be an especially tricky position in fantasy.

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 12 (6/24-6/30) 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.




Atlanta hitters – Atlanta has a full seven-game slate this week, with three games against the Cardinals, a make-up game against the White Sox, and a three-game set against the Pirates to wrap up the week. While the Cardinals have the 11th-best FIP in the majors, Atlanta avoids a date with Sonny Gray and will instead face the likes of Lance LynnKyle Gibson, and Andre Pallante, none of whom pose a strong challenge to this lineup.

After the set in St. Louis, Atlanta will travel to the South Side of Chicago for one game against the White Sox, where they are slated to face Drew Thorpe. A three-game set at home against the Pirates, a middling team with the 14th-worst FIP in the league isn’t too scary on paper, but it’s worth noting Atlanta is currently slated to face both Paul Skenes and Jared Jones in this series before wrapping up against Bailey Falter. Skenes and Jones are formidable but not unhittable, meaning you should be starting your Atlanta hitters with confidence this week.

Jarred Kelenic has been getting more regular playing time in the absence of Ronald Acuña Jr. and is slashing .283/.327/.500 over the past two weeks, and he’s more than worth starting for your team this week.


Baltimore Orioles hitters – like Atlanta, Baltimore also has a full week of seven games. They will have two series, starting with three games against the Cleveland Guardians, a team that does have the eighth-best FIP in the league, but the O’s should still get some good matchups in this series. Monday’s matchup against a surging Tanner Bibee could prove tricky, but the next two games against Logan Allen and Carlos Carrasco should have you excited to start your Orioles bats.

The four-game set against the Texas Rangers, MLB’s ninth-worst team by FIP, also has some enticing matchups. The Orioles should face Nathan EovaldiJon GrayDane Dunning, and Max Scherzer in this series, meaning there are at least a few chances for your Baltimore hitters to make some noise, especially if Scherzer still looks rusty coming off the IL.

Ryan O’Hearn isn’t an everyday player but is still playing well as of late, with a .311/.347/.467 slash line over the past two weeks. Cedric Mullins is also playing better as of late, with a .286/.327/.449 slash line and four steals in the same period.


Kansas City Royals hitters – hey, it’s another team with seven games this week! You’ll notice a common theme in this week’s recommendations, as the Royals have a full slate with some favorable matchups. The Royals begin with three games at home against the Miami Marlins, who have the tenth-worst FIP in baseball. Kansas City will face Yonny ChirinosRoddery Muñoz, and Trevor Rogers in this series, none of whom should pose a challenge to the Royals.

The Royals will then face the Cleveland Guardians in a four-game series. The Guardians do have the league’s eighth-best FIP, as listed above, but there should be some favorable matchups against Ben LivelyTriston McKenzieTanner Bibee, and Logan Allen. Start your Royals with confidence in this divisional showdown.

MJ Melendez is swinging a hot bat lately, with three home runs and an .890 OPS over the past two weeks. He probably won’t play all seven games but can always make an impact when he’s seeing the ball well.

CATCHER TO STREAM: Freddy Fermin is also red-hot over the past two weeks with three home runs and a .294 average during that span. It’s more of a desperation play, but there’s a chance Fermin could come through for you next week.


Chicago Cubs hitters – to round things out, we’ve got another team with seven games and some decent matchups this week with the Chicago Cubs. A four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, baseball’s tenth-best team by FIP, seems formidable at first, but the Cubs will avoid facing staff ace Logan Webb. Instead, the Cubs will face Spencer Howard, Keaton Winn, Jordan Hicks, and a Mystery Starter, potentially a bullpen game.

The Cubs will then wrap up the week with three games in Milwaukee. The Brewers have the league’s 11th-worst FIP this year, and the Cubs will get matchups against Carlos Rodríguez and Tobias Myers before facing Freddy Peralta on Sunday. A week with seven games and mostly-favorable matchups make your Cubs hitters good streams this week, even though the offense as a whole has struggled lately.

Michael Busch should be added in most leagues once again, as he’s slashing .400/.488/.600 over the past two weeks. Busch should maintain more regular playing time while Mike Tauchman is sidelined with an injury, so make sure the red-hot first baseman is in your lineups this week.




New York Mets hitters – the Power of Grimace is difficult to contain, but one such way to do so is by giving the Mets only five games to play this week. The Mets start with a two-game Subway Series against the Yankees, baseball’s thirteenth-best team by FIP. While not impressive on the surface, once you see Gerrit Cole and Luis Gil as the projected starters in that series, it’s difficult to trust your Mets hitters in that short set. Sure, Cole is only making his second start, and Gil got rocked his last time out, but these are two talented arms that stymie most of the hitters they face.

After a day off on Thursday, the Mets will face the Houston Astros, the sixth-worst team by FIP in the league. The Jake Bloss matchup on Friday could be enticing in daily leagues, but facing Ronel Blanco and Framber Valdez over the weekend makes this a tough series in a matchup that is often exploitable. Based on game volume and pitcher matchups, we recommend sitting most of your Mets bats this week.


Colorado Rockies hitters – the Rockies only have five games this week, and they’re all on the road away from the safety of Coors Field. That alone should be enough to persuade most of you to avoid Rockies hitters this week, but let’s break things down just a little more.

The Rockies begin with two games in Houston (sixth-worst in FIP) against Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti. Brown has been solid as of late, but Arrighetti has been gettable and is a possible stream in daily leagues.

Next, the Rockies get three games against the White Sox, who have the third-worst FIP in the league. The Rockies will face Mike Clevinger, Garrett Crochet, and Chris Flexen in this series. Crochet is an obvious avoid, but the other two matchups could be favorable. Still, with only five games on deck this week and all of them on the road, it’s tough recommending Rockies hitters, even with some favorable spots.


Pittsburgh Pirates hitters – the Pirates have six games this week, but they do have some tougher matchups throughout the week. Their first series is against the Reds, who are middle-of-the-pack in FIP. The Pirates will face Carson SpiersHunter Greene, and Andrew Abbott in this series. While Spiers is a decent matchup, Greene and Abbott could cause issues if they are pitching well.

Next, the Pirates will travel to Atlanta for a three-game series. Atlanta has the third-best FIP in the league, and this series carries matchups against Max FriedSpencer Schwellenbach, and Reynaldo López. Only the middle game in that series poses a favorable matchup for your Bucs.


Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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