WEEK AHEAD: Hitter Matchups, August 3-9

Our Week Ahead Matchup Tool (Teams > Week Ahead from the top menu bar) is a team-level look at the coming week... from a hitter's perspective. It combines daily matchup ratings from the 8-day view of our Starting Pitcher Matchup Tool with Park Factors to give general guidance when planning your weekly lineups.

NOTE: Start/sit decisions and weekly FAAB pickups should be limited to the last few spots on your active roster. Skills trump everything else, so don't sit one of your studs for a fringe hitter just because of a better matchup.

Definitions for the tool below:

  • Opponents: Opposing teams and home/away for the week, in chronological order.
  • Games: Total number of games played for the upcoming week.
  • Rating: Average SP matchup rating for all starters against each team for the upcoming week.
    • NOTE: Remember: the lower the matchup rating for hitters the better, so the lowest scores are shaded green (target) while the highest are red (avoid).

Left/Right Splits

  • Games vL/R: Total games played against left/right-handed starting pitchers (LHP/RHP) for the upcoming week.
  • Rating vLR: Average SP matchup rating for LHP/RHP against each team for the upcoming week.

Park Factors

  • LHB/RHB HR: The average HR Park Factor for left (or right)-handed hitters for the upcoming week.
    • For example, if LA right-handed hitters have three games at Coors Field (which boosts RHB HR by +19%) and three at home (+6%), their RHB HR average is +12.5%. The higher the percentage, the better.

Take this week's entire schedule with the largest grain of salt you can find, but as of Sunday morning, here are our takeaways:

The Baltimore Orioles currently have a bizarre schedule with off-days through Thursday. The latest (still unofficial, per MLB) news is that they'll face MIA for four games during the week before a tougher weekend tilt at WAS (vs. Strasburg, Sanchez, Voth). Much more to come, but as it stands, BAL hitters should get some pretty good matchups against a depleted MIA team. And speaking of those Marlins...

...the Miami Marlins situation is also extremely fluid, as we still don't really know: 1) which of their 17 players have tested positive for COVID-19, and 2) how many of their scheduled games will actually be played. The risk of taking a zero means it's best to look elsewhere from a fantasy perspective—but much more importantly, our thoughts are with those affected and their families.

A couple of teams with light slates (5 games) are the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox. WAS hitter's -0.74 rating against a deGrom-less NYM staff (Matz, Porcello) and weekend tilt vs. BAL suggests their hitters should be a full-go despite two off-days, while BOS gets Morton and Yarbrough before a juicy weekend vs. TOR (Thornton, Roark). Also worth noting—WAS is set to face three LHP, so platoon bats like Eric Thames might only get a couple starts all week.

If your league rules allow, the plan for San Francisco Giants hitters is pretty straightforward: stock up during the week for their sweet four-game set at Coors Field (Gonzalez, Márquez, Gray, Freeland), then have 'em ride the pine next weekend at LA (Urías, Kershaw, Buehler).

And same goes for the Colorado Rockies, though their weekend matchups are much friendlier at SEA (Kikuchi, Graveman, Sheffield). Even if your league doesn't allow mid-week changes, COL hitters should be locked, loaded, and ready to go for the four-game set against SF pitchers at Coors.

The New York Mets get a brutal draw early in the week at ATL (Soroka) and WAS (Scherzer, Corbin) before an off-day on Thursday. Their relief comes next weekend against MIA (Alcantara, Smith, TBD). If you don't have mid-week changes, NYM's +0.93 rating is tough enough to consider benching their fringe bats.

The Chicago White Sox get one of the tougher draws with a +0.84 rating, most of which can be attributed to their weekend slate vs. CLE's knockout rotation (Bieber, Civale, Plesac) after a mid-week tango with MIL. You aren't benching your top CHW bats (Jimenez, Robert, Moncada, etc.), but look at Plan Bs for that next tier heading into the weekend. Also of note, all seven of CHW's games are against right-handed pitching. 

Some of the Kansas City Royals' +0.80 rating is due to their own weak lineup, but their seven games are in tough hitting parks (-15%/-13% LHB/RHB HR). Mid-week against CHC (Hendricks, Darvish, ... Chatwood?) add to the degree of difficulty before some relief next weekend against MIN, as they'll skip staff ace José Berríos.

Turning the tables a bit, the Los Angeles Angels' -0.70 rating over six games looks like a great way to stream some matchups. They start with three games at SEA (Dunn, Gonzales, Walker) and then miss Lance Lynn and Mike Minor next week at TEX (Lyles, Allard, Gibson). All six games are on the road with fairly neutral HR park factors.

A few teams have LHP-leaning schedules this week: OAK, TAM, COL, MIL, WAS, PIT, and SF all face three lefties. Take a look at hitters with wide platoon splits over the last few years and decide accordingly. A few names off the top: Chad Pinder, Jose Martinez, Howie Kendrick, and Hunter Renfroe should get ample PT against southpaws, while the previously-mentioned Thames, Raimel Tapia, and Ji-Man Choi might see an extra game or two on the pine.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.