THE WEEK AHEAD: Hitter Matchups, September 16-22

***NEW***: The Hitter Matchup Tool is now LIVE! It's an automated, live-updated version of the table below with sortable columns, custom date ranges (full week, Monday-Thursday, and Friday-Sunday), AL/NL views, and more. You can access it from the "The Week Ahead" link on the TEAMS tab above, or by clicking here: https://www.baseballhq.com/members/tools/weekly/weeklyhit

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Our Hitter Matchup Tool is a team-level look at the week ahead... 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 Hitter Matchup Tool are 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: Ratings are in bold red type if the average matchup rating is greater than +0.50. They're green if less than zero. Remember: the lower the matchup rating for hitters, the better.

Left/Right Splits

  • Games vs. LHP/RHP: Total games played against left/right-handed starting pitchers (LHP/RHP) for the upcoming week.
  • Rating vs. LHP/RHP: Average SP matchup rating for LHP/RHP against each team for the upcoming week.
    • NOTE: For LHP/RHP matchup ratings, red type signifies the total matchup score (Games * Rating) is greater than +1.50. Green type means a rating less than -1.50.

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 +22%) and three at home (-7%), their RHB HR average is +8%. The higher the percentage, the better.

(Click here to download the above table as an Excel file.)

Several things to consider when constructing your weekly lineups, some of which include:

Four teams play just five games this week: the Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Note the disclaimer at the top of this piece—don't bench Cody Bellinger, Alex Bregman, etc.—but for your coin-flip start/sit decisions, you never know when an extra game or two will make all the difference.

The Oakland Athletics get one of the friendlier draws this week, particularly Monday through Wednesday as KC (Sparkman, Lopez, Duffy) comes to town. They're also the only team to get four lefties this week, so their right-handed hitters (Phegley, Profar (switch), Canha, etc.) are all excellent short-term plays.

For daily/semi-weekly leagues, see if you can stream some New York Mets hitters early on. They get three games in Coors Field (average -1.62 matchup rating), but then head to CIN (DeSclafani, Bauer, Gray) in a tougher test next weekend. They also face all right-handed pitchers, so righties like Todd Frazier (.696 OPS vs. RHP this season), Wilson Ramos (.728), and Amed Rosario (.712) might struggle in the back half.

A few other teams with favorable matchups and potentially available hitters this week: the Washington Nationals (-0.78 rating at STL, at MIA), Pittsburgh Pirates (-0.39 vs. SEA, at MIL), and Arizona Diamondbacks (-0.26 vs. MIA, at SD).

Now for the bad news. It'll be a brutal week for the Texas Rangers, who not only get five games, but do so with the hardest matchup rating (+1.98) of any team. A two-game slate vs. HOU (Verlander, Cole) and two off-days should have you looking for alternatives.

Ditto for Cincinnati Reds hitters, who head to Wrigley Field (Hamels, Darvish, Lester) followed by a three-game set vs. NYM (deGrom, Wheeler, Matz). It all adds up to a +1.33 rating without a major platoon advantage (three games vs. LHP/RHP) to take advantage of.

Another note leagues with daily/mid-week lineup changes: the Colorado Rockies are auto-starts through Thursday at Coors Field, but things change on a dime with their weekend tilt at LA (Kershaw, Ryu, Buehler). 

 


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