Fantasy Forecaster updated Sunday, July 5, at 10:57 a.m. ET.
On tap: With the mathematical midpoint of the 2015 regular season about to pass -- scheduled to occur on July 4 -- baseball's traditional midpoint arrives at the conclusion of Week 14, which takes us into the four-day All-Star break (July 13-16). That means teams will play this week with the knowledge that a four-day rest period follows, and that increases the odds of creative weekend player usage, roster finagling or conservative decisions on injured players.
For example, consider that, on the Sunday preceding the All-Star break last season, Yordano Ventura made his only relief appearance of 2014; Francisco Liriano was activated from the disabled list by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who then started him both on Sunday and in their first game following the All-Star break; and Kevin Gausman and Carlos Martinez were limited to only 78 and 69 pitches, respectively. In other words, brace for the unexpected, especially the closer we get to the All-Star break.
The final weekend preceding the All-Star break also has some compelling matchups: The annual "Crosstown Classic" between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox and the "Beltway Series" between the competitive Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals.
Earlier in the week, we'll have a compelling pitching matchup between the past winter's top free-agent pitcher, Max Scherzer, and one of the upcoming winter's top free-agent pitchers, Johnny Cueto. We'll also see a sneaky-good matchup between two of the hotter pitchers in the game, Carlos Carrasco and Dallas Keuchel, on Monday.
Quickly jump to any section, if you want specific intel
Monday's slate takes place entirely in the evening, so fantasy owners in weekly leagues have until 7:05 p.m. ET to set their lineups.
Remember that game times have tremendous influence upon #DFS planning, so be aware of every day's first scheduled pitch. This week, they are: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET (Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres at Pittsburgh Pirates); Tuesday, 1:20 p.m. ET (St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs, the day's only day game); Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. ET (Baltimore Orioles at Minnesota Twins, one of four day games); Thursday, 1:05 p.m. ET (Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees, one of three day games); Friday, 4:05 p.m. ET (Chicago White Sox at Cubs, the day's only day game); Saturday, 2:10 p.m. ET (Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals, one of seven day games); and Sunday, 1:10 p.m. ET (four of 14 day games begin at that time).
This week's interleague series:
Miami Marlins at Boston Red Sox (2 games, Tuesday-Wednesday)
Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles (3 games, Friday-Sunday)
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs (3 games, Friday-Sunday)
San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers (3 games, Friday-Sunday)
Marlins' probable DH(s): It might be Ichiro Suzuki. The additional plate appearances will presumably be scattered among Jeff Baker, Cole Gillespie and Miguel Rojas. This isn't a team to exploit when gaining the DH, even in NL-only formats.
Angels' traditional DH: C.J. Cron, if there is one. His 23 starts there represents the lowest total by any American League team's leader, and the Angels have made it clear that, when the DH is unavailable to them, Albert Pujols (17 DH starts) plays first base and Matt Joyce gets the left field starts against right-handers. Efren Navarro, the left fielder against righties when Joyce DHs, and Cron are the only players to suffer lost plate appearances, but you shouldn't have been considering them anyway. It's a five-game week, and their lost games will be the Coors Field contests.
Diamondbacks' probable DH(s): Yasmany Tomas, but that merely clears up an extra spot for the team's crowded outfield. Ender Inciarte (DL, hamstring) could be back in time for the series in Texas. Gaining the DH is especially good news for fantasy owners of Tomas, Inciarte and David Peralta, as the trio could stand to find as many places for PAs as possible in a five-game week.
Nationals' probable DH(s): Yunel Escobar, though that has the effect of opening up a field position for an additional member of the team's righty/lefty platoon options Danny Espinosa, Tyler Moore, Clint Robinson and Michael Taylor, who have been duking it out for at-bats at first base, second base and left field. As the Orioles will start two right-handers during the series, it's the Nationals' lefties -- Espinosa and Robinson, and to a lesser degree backup outfielder Matt den Dekker -- who benefit more. Robinson is well worth activating even in deeper mixed.
White Sox's traditional DH: Adam LaRoche, though the White Sox have somewhat rotated Jose Abreu and LaRoche between first base and DH, the two responsible for 140 of the team's 145 total starts at either position. LaRoche started only one of the team's previous seven games in National League parks at first base ahead of Abreu, and he's at best 50/50 to get in either Friday's or Saturday's games against the right-handed Jason Hammel or Kyle Hendricks.
Padres' probable DH(s): A mix and match, though Matt Kemp and/or Justin Upton should really be the choice. The Padres have tended to rotate those two as well as their infielders, freeing up an extra few PAs for Will Middlebrooks, Yangervis Solarte and Melvin Upton Jr., though Brett Wallace could also be a candidate.
The chart below lists each of the 30 MLB teams' schedules and projected starting pitchers, and provides a projected Bill James Game Score for each day's starter.
Projected starting pitchers, July 6-12
P: The starting pitcher's projected Bill James Game Score, accounting for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A "50" is typically deemed a "quality start" by this measure, while a "70" is considered a dominant start.
The Boston Red Sox could skip a starter due to Monday's and Thursday's off days, with rookie Eduardo Rodriguez a possibility to keep his innings in check.
The Chicago White Sox pushed Chris Sale back to Monday to give him an additional day of rest, resulting in the rotation listed above.
Dan Straily is expected to make another start for the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
Yordano Ventura (DL, ulnar nerve) will make another rehabilitation stint for Triple-A Omaha on Monday, giving him an outside chance at being ready to rejoin the Kansas City Royals' rotation on Saturday or Sunday. It is unclear who he would replace, however.
Sonny Gray (bacterial gastroenteritis) is scheduled to rejoin the Oakland Athletics' rotation on Tuesday, setting him up for a two-start Week 14.
Jake Odorizzi (DL, oblique) will make a final rehabilitation start for Class A Charlotte on Monday, and he should rejoin the Tampa Bay Rays' rotation on Saturday, after the one turn. He's lined up with Alex Colome's spot, which hints that Colome, who is out of options, might be moved to the bullpen.
Matt Harrison (DL, back) made his final rehabilitation start for Triple-A Round Rock on July 1 and will rejoin the Texas Rangers' rotation on Wednesday. The Rangers will also use only four starters this week after demoting Chi Chi Gonzalez to Round Rock, meaning Yovani Gallardo will get two starts.
The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to use Felix Doubront as their fifth starter on Tuesday, and presumably again on Sunday, after promoting him from Triple-A Buffalo on July 3. That assumed, however, that Doubront wasn't needed in relief on July 5 or Monday, in which case the team might need to instead call upon Daniel Norris.
The Chicago Cubs will need a spot starter for one of the games of their Tuesday doubleheader, but Tsuyoshi Wada (DL, deltoid) won't be eligible to return before Wednesday. Dallas Beeler, who pitched June 30 for Triple-A Iowa, is their only member of their 40-man roster currently in Iowa's rotation.
The Miami Marlins swapped Tom Koehler and Jose Fernandez in their rotation, so Fernandez will get six days' rest and start a home game on Thursday, and demoted Jarred Cosart to Triple-A New Orleans on July 4. They'll need a spot starter on Saturday, with David Phelps a leading candidate, as neither Justin Nicolino nor Jose Urena will be eligible to be promoted by Saturday.
Jaime Garcia (groin) has been pushed back in the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation, but he hopes to avoid the DL and pitch in one of the games of their Tuesday doubleheader. Tim Cooney, who filled in for Garcia on July 2, might be a candidate to pitch the other game, or the team could hold back Tyler Lyons, scheduled for July 5 for Triple-A Memphis, to make one of those starts.
It is unclear whether Stephen Strasburg (side), who left his July 4 start early, will be ready to make his next start for the Washington Nationals on Friday. The team could use Thursday's off day to skip his turn, in which case Max Scherzer would pick up a second start.
These rankings include the entire slate of projected starters; in order to provide a more organized approach to favorable matchups, #DFS tidbits and the "Streamer's Delight" picks. Notes for relevant pitchers are included below.
Chris Sale (CWS) -- Mon-TOR (Buehrle), Sat-@CHC (Lester)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -- Wed-PHI (Morgan)
Max Scherzer (WSH) -- Tue-CIN (Cueto)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) -- Mon-HOU (Keuchel), Sat-OAK (Graveman)
Madison Bumgarner (SF) -- Fri-PHI (Hamels)
Corey Kluber (CLE) -- Tue-HOU (Velasquez), Sun-OAK (Gray)
Johnny Cueto (CIN) -- Tue-@WSH (Scherzer), Sun-@MIA (Haren): The Reds have on multiple occasions pushed him back in their rotation to give him additional rest, so I wouldn't be surprised by the same with his Sunday matchup, which is easily his more favorable one. Lose that matchup and he'd drop seven spots.
Felix Hernandez (SEA) -- Thu-LAA (Richards)
Matt Harvey (NYM) -- Sat-ARI (Corbin)
Jake Arrieta (CHC) -- Tue-STL, Gm. 1 (Garcia), Sun-CWS (Quintana): The second start is the toughie. He's an All-Star candidate, but if he pitches Sunday then he's ineligible. Would the Cubs skip that turn to afford his participation? It's my projection, so you know my leaning...
Francisco Liriano (PIT) -- Tue-SD (Ross), Sun-STL (Garcia)
Jacob deGrom (NYM) -- Wed-@SF (Peavy)
Zack Greinke (LAD) -- Thu-PHI (Correia)
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) -- Mon-@CLE (Carrasco), Sat-@TB (Odorizzi)
Sonny Gray (OAK) -- Tue-@NYY (Eovaldi), Sun-@CLE (Kluber)
David Price (DET) -- Thu-@MIN (Pelfrey)
Gerrit Cole (PIT) -- Fri-STL (Lynn)
Cole Hamels (PHI) -- Fri-@SF (Bumgarner)
Stephen Strasburg (WSH) -- Fri-@BAL (Tillman)
Danny Salazar (CLE) -- Fri-OAK (Chavez)
Chris Archer (TB) -- Wed-@KC (Guthrie): Splice the stats whatever way you like; the Royals simply do not strike out. That's the only thing keeping Archer from a top-15 ranking this week.
Taijuan Walker (SEA) -- Tue-DET (Ryan), Sun-LAA (Heaney): His career average Game Score in home games is 63.
Tyson Ross (SD) -- Tue-@PIT (Liriano)
A.J. Burnett (PIT) -- Mon-SD (Shields), Sat-STL (Lackey)
Jon Lester (CHC) -- Mon-STL (Lackey), Sat-CWS (Sale)
Steven Matz (NYM) -- Sun-ARI (De La Rosa): I do wonder whether the Mets use their six-man rotation coupled with the impending All-Star break to skip one of their younger starters. Great matchup, but tread carefully, being that he's the one aligned on Sunday.
Mike Fiers (MIL) -- Wed-ATL (Teheran): The Braves' K rate has experienced a small uptick since Freddie Freeman got hurt, and Fiers' strength in fantasy is the K's.
Brett Anderson (LAD) -- Tue-PHI (Billingsley), Sun-MIL (Lohse)
Garrett Richards (LAA) -- Thu-@SEA (Hernandez)
Jaime Garcia (STL) -- Tue-@CHC, Gm. 1 (Arrieta), Sun-@PIT (Liriano): Some risk here of him being A) pushed back again, B) scratched entirely or C) having his second start skipped to give him some additional rest during the All-Star break. In Garcia's defense, the matchups would be favorable and there's no gain with a DL move to spend some of those days during the All-Star break; a retroactive DL move could still have him eligible on Friday.
Carlos Martinez (STL) -- Thu-@PIT (Locke)
Jose Fernandez (MIA) -- Thu-CIN (Simon): Fernandez's velocity was good in his 2015 debut, and I'd imagine he'll only gain a bit more strength with each passing outing. It's another home matchup, which is good.
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) -- Thu-OAK (Kazmir)
Jesse Chavez (OAK) -- Fri-@CLE (Salazar)
Michael Wacha (STL) -- Wed-@CHC (Hammel)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) -- Fri-ARI (Anderson)
Yovani Gallardo (TEX) -- Tue-ARI (Ray), Sun-SD (Shields)
Lance McCullers (HOU) -- Fri-@TB (Ramirez): K pitcher facing a K-prone, righty-heavy offense. The only question here is length; he has averaged 5.9 innings per start thus far.
Scott Kazmir (OAK) -- Thu-@NYY (Tanaka)
Jose Quintana (CWS) -- Tue-TOR (Doubront), Sun-@CHC (Arrieta): He has seven consecutive quality starts and a 2.78 ERA overall during that span, and the ice-cold Cubs represents a possible dream matchup. That Blue Jays matchup, well... how about I just cross my fingers really hard?
Alex Wood (ATL) -- Thu-@COL (Kendrick): Good pitcher -- seven quality starts in his past nine games -- bad venue. It's all about how risk-averse you are. Skills drive my valuations more, just how I play.
Chris Heston (SF) -- Mon-NYM (Niese), Sun-PHI (Billingsley): They're more polarized matchups than you'd think, because with Heston, you want to avoid lineups filled with lefties, as he lacks an elite "out" pitch against them. The Mets, since June 1, have tallied the seventh-fewest PAs from lefties, so that's the great matchup (see: Heston's no-hitter, same opponent). The Phillies, by comparison, have the second-most. It's not a bad matchup, but it's a potential trap in a shallow league/#DFS.
Jason Hammel (CHC) -- Wed-STL (Wacha)
Vincent Velasquez (HOU) -- Tue-@CLE (Kluber), Sun-@TB (Moore)
Anibal Sanchez (DET) -- Wed-@SEA (Happ)
Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) -- Wed-@MIN (Milone)
Clay Buchholz (BOS) -- Sat-NYY (Nova)
Michael Pineda (NYY) -- Fri-@BOS (Masterson)
Jake Odorizzi (TB) -- Sat-HOU (Keuchel): It's a favorable matchup from the strikeout department, but he'll also pitch it fresh off a 35-day DL absence, which presents some risk.
Mike Montgomery (SEA) -- Fri-LAA (Santiago)
Collin McHugh (HOU) -- Thu-@CLE (Anderson)
C.J. Wilson (LAA) -- Sat-@SEA (Iwakuma)
Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) -- Mon-DET (Simon), Sat-LAA (Wilson)
Cody Anderson (CLE) -- Thu-HOU (McHugh)
Andrew Heaney (LAA) -- Tue-@COL (Bettis), Sun-@SEA (Walker): That Mariners matchup is fueling the rank, as Heaney is a bit too fly ball-oriented and affords too much contact to be a trusted option at Coors. He could hang in there with just beneath a quality start-minimum line in that game, but it's the Mariners matchup which drives the week.
John Lackey (STL) -- Mon-@CHC (Lester), Sat-@PIT (Burnett)
Hector Santiago (LAA) -- Fri-@SEA (Montgomery)
Jeff Samardzija (CWS) -- Thu-TOR (Dickey)
Lance Lynn (STL) -- Fri-@PIT (Cole)
Dan Haren (MIA) -- Tue-@BOS (Porcello), Sun-CIN (Cueto)
Julio Teheran (ATL) -- Wed-@MIL (Fiers)
Patrick Corbin (ARI) -- Sat-@NYM (Harvey): Four pitchers have returned from Tommy John surgery since June 24 - Ivan Nova, Jose Fernandez, Matt Moore and now Corbin - and none of them has had a matchup yet that's as favorable as this. If you typically play conservatively with all of these types, this is the one time to take the risk.
Drew Hutchison (TOR) -- Wed-@CWS (Danks)
Kyle Ryan (DET) -- Tue-@SEA (Walker), Sun-@MIN (Gibson)
Trevor Bauer (CLE) -- Wed-HOU (Straily): Fun matchup, because the Astros are patient but they strike out a lot, while Bauer is a strikeout artist who doesn't always throw strikes. I remind: April 9, Bauer tossed six no-hit innings against these Astros, whiffing 11 with five walks.
Mike Bolsinger (LAD) -- Fri-MIL (Nelson)
James Shields (SD) -- Mon-@PIT (Burnett), Sun-@TEX (Gallardo): Here's where we reach the "one terrifying matchup" portion of the two-start pitchers in the rankings. In his past five starts, Shields has afforded left-handed hitters .385/.484/.692 rates; the Rangers tend to use six lefties a game against righties; and the Rangers have .295/.354/.470 rates against righties since June 1, for a major league-leading .359 wOBA. Oh, and the game's in Globe Life Park, not Petco Park.
Carlos Rodon (CWS) -- Fri-@CHC (Hendricks)
Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) -- Mon-@MIN (Hughes), Sun-WSH (Fister)
Matt Moore (TB) -- Tue-@KC (Young), Sun-HOU (Velasquez): Why this low for Moore? Simple: K's fuel his fantasy value, the Royals don't whiff, and while the Astros do, they also have a good amount of righty power.
Jordan Zimmermann (WSH) -- Sat-@BAL (Gonzalez)
Edinson Volquez (KC) -- Mon-TB (Colome), Sat-TOR (Buehrle): He couldn't have much more polarizing matchups, and in his past seven starts, Volquez has afforded .270/.333/.434 rates and the majors' 11th-highest .189 hard-hit average (that's out of 116 qualifiers during that time span). That Blue Jays matchup is awfully scary.
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) -- Fri-CWS (Rodon)
Phil Hughes (MIN) -- Mon-BAL (Chen), Sat-DET (Simon): He's an extreme fly-baller and both the Orioles and Tigers rank among the 10 teams most likely to put the ball in the air (via line drive or fly ball). Tread carefully.
Marco Estrada (TOR) -- Fri-@KC (Duffy)
Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) -- Tue-OAK (Gray), Sun-@BOS (Rodriguez)
Carlos Frias (LAD) -- Mon-PHI (O'Sullivan), Sat-MIL (Jungmann)
Andrew Cashner (SD) -- Wed-@PIT (Morton)
Matt Wisler (ATL) -- Mon-@MIL (Lohse), Sat-@COL (De La Rosa)
Ian Kennedy (SD) -- Sat-@TEX (Lewis)
Doug Fister (WSH) -- Mon-CIN (DeSclafani), Sun-@BAL (Chen)
Gio Gonzalez (WSH) -- Wed-CIN (Lorenzen)
Kevin Gausman (BAL) -- Tue-@MIN (Gibson)
Matt Cain (SF) -- Tue-NYM (Colon)
Wade Miley (BOS) -- Wed-MIA (Koehler)
Kyle Lohse (MIL) -- Mon-ATL (Wisler), Sun-@LAD (Anderson)
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) -- Sun-NYY (Eovaldi)
Nathan Karns (TB) -- Thu-@KC (Blanton)
Ervin Santana (MIN) -- Fri-DET (Verlander)
Kendall Graveman (OAK) -- Sat-@CLE (Carrasco)
Mat Latos (MIA) -- Fri-CIN (Leake)
Jesse Hahn (OAK) -- Wed-@NYY (Sabathia)
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) -- Mon-@WSH (Fister), Sat-@MIA (TBD)
Matt Garza (MIL) -- Tue-ATL (Banuelos)
Matt Shoemaker (LAA) -- Wed-@COL (Rusin)
Charlie Morton (PIT) -- Wed-SD (Cashner)
Joe Blanton (KC) -- Thu-TB (Karns)
Rubby De La Rosa (ARI) -- Sun-@NYM (Matz)
Jonathon Niese (NYM) -- Mon-@SF (Heston)
CC Sabathia (NYY) -- Wed-OAK (Hahn)
R.A. Dickey (TOR) -- Thu-@CWS (Samardzija)
Bartolo Colon (NYM) -- Tue-@SF (Cain)
Ivan Nova (NYY) -- Sat-@BOS (Buchholz)
Shelby Miller (ATL) -- Fri-@COL (Hale)
Jake Peavy (SF) -- Wed-NYM (deGrom)
Alfredo Simon (DET) -- Mon-@SEA (Iwakuma), Sat-@MIN (Hughes)
Erasmo Ramirez (TB) -- Fri-HOU (McCullers)
Jimmy Nelson (MIL) -- Fri-@LAD (Bolsinger)
Chad Billingsley (PHI) -- Tue-@LAD (Anderson), Sun-@SF (Heston)
J.A. Happ (SEA) -- Wed-DET (Sanchez)
Danny Duffy (KC) -- Fri-TOR (Estrada)
David Hale (COL) -- Fri-ATL (Miller)
Mark Buehrle (TOR) -- Mon-@CWS (Sale), Sat-@KC (Volquez)
Chase Anderson (ARI) -- Fri-@NYM (Syndergaard)
Kyle Gibson (MIN) -- Tue-BAL (Gausman), Sun-DET (Ryan)
Manny Banuelos (ATL) -- Tue-@MIL (Garza), Sun-@COL (Bettis)
Tom Koehler (MIA) -- Wed-@BOS (Miley)
Mike Leake (CIN) -- Fri-@MIA (Latos)
Odrisamer Despaigne (SD) -- Fri-@TEX (Rodriguez)
Colby Lewis (TEX) -- Sat-SD (Kennedy)
Tommy Milone (MIN) -- Wed-BAL (Jimenez)
Justin Verlander (DET) -- Fri-@MIN (Santana)
Jeff Locke (PIT) -- Thu-STL (Martinez)
Robbie Ray (ARI) -- Tue-@TEX (Gallardo)
Rick Porcello (BOS) -- Tue-MIA (Haren)
Chris Young (KC) -- Tue-TB (Moore), Sun-TOR (Doubront)
Michael Lorenzen (CIN) -- Wed-@WSH (Gonzalez)
Taylor Jungmann (MIL) -- Sat-@LAD (Frias)
Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Fri-WSH (Strasburg)
Wandy Rodriguez (TEX) -- Fri-SD (Despaigne)
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) -- Sat-ATL (Wisler)
Alex Colome (TB) -- Mon-@KC (Volquez)
Adam Morgan (PHI) -- Wed-@LAD (Kershaw)
Dan Straily (HOU) -- Wed-@CLE (Bauer)
Jeremy Guthrie (KC) -- Wed-TB (Archer)
Chad Bettis (COL) -- Tue-LAA (Heaney), Sun-ATL (Banuelos)
Jeremy Hellickson (ARI) -- Wed-@TEX (Harrison)
Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) -- Sat-WSH (Zimmermann)
Chris Rusin (COL) -- Wed-LAA (Shoemaker)
Ryan Vogelsong (SF) -- Sat-PHI (O'Sullivan)
Mike Pelfrey (MIN) -- Thu-DET (Price)
Matt Harrison (TEX) -- Wed-ARI (Hellickson)
Felix Doubront (TOR) -- Tue-@CWS (Quintana), Sun-@KC (Young)
Josh Smith (CIN) -- Thu-@MIA (Fernandez)
Sean O'Sullivan (PHI) -- Mon-@LAD (Frias), Sat-@SF (Vogelsong)
Justin Masterson (BOS) -- Fri-NYY (Pineda)
Kyle Kendrick (COL) -- Thu-ATL (Wood)
John Danks (CWS) -- Wed-TOR (Hutchison)
Kevin Correia (PHI) -- Thu-@LAD (Greinke)
The chart below lists each of the 30 teams' total number of scheduled games, home games and games versus right- and left-handed pitchers, and provides a matchup rating for the week's games in terms of overall offense, offense for left- and right-handed hitters and base stealing. Matchup ratings for each individual game are listed under the corresponding date.
Hitting matchup chart, July 6-12
H: Hitters' matchup rating, which accounts for the opposing starting pitcher's past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days) as well as ballpark factors. L: Hitters' matchup rating accounting only for left-handed hitters. R: Hitters' matchup rating accounting for only right-handed hitters. S: Base stealing matchup rating, which accounts for the opponent's catchers' ability to gun down opposing base stealers. Ratings range from 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst.
Here are this week's "volume plays," defined as the teams that play the most home games, or games against right- or left-handed starters:
Total games: St. Louis Cardinals 8. Fifteen other teams play seven games, while the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks play five apiece.
Versus LH: Toronto Blue Jays 4, Mariners 4, Cubs 4, Chicago White Sox 3, Royals 3, Twins 3, Philadelphia Phillies 3, Cardinals 3, Colorado Rockies 3.
The Atlanta Braves might not sport as potent an offense since losing Freddie Freeman to the DL than before it, but this is one week when even their lesser-known stars make viable fantasy plug-ins. After all, both Milwaukee's Miller Park and Colorado's Coors Field rank among the five most hitting-friendly venues in baseball, and in their seven total games, the only starter they'll face who has a sub-four ERA is Chad Bettis (3.67), though frankly, Mike Fiers (4.14) is really the only one who represents a bad matchup for the Braves' bats.
A six-righty-starter week boosts the value of Nick Markakis, Jace Peterson and A.J. Pierzynski, all of whom should be on the mixed-league radar, and Kelly Johnson, who could be worth your while in mixed leagues greater than 12 teams and NL-only formats. Markakis, incidentally, is a .349/.417/.419 hitter against righties since June 1. As for the righties, Andrelton Simmons has batted .318 against righties since June 1, while Juan Uribe has .297/.350/.432 rates against righties during that same time span.
Not that you'd ever sit them, but the Dodgers' schedule couldn't stack up much more favorably for left-handed hitting Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson. Pederson especially should be in for a big week, considering that the Phillies' and Brewers' regular catchers, Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan Lucroy, respectively, rank among the worst in the game at throwing out opposing base stealers. Digging deeper on the roster, Yasmani Grandal, a .275/.387/.539 hitter against right-handers this season, and Andre Ethier, a .270/.361/.497 against righties, are also musts in all mixed formats.
In Miguel Sano's first full week as a big leaguer, his Twins enjoy a surprisingly favorable week of hitting matchups. Part of that is the seven home games at Target Field, a more hitter-friendly environment than people think -- it ranks 14th for runs scored and 13th for home runs this season and was third and 15th in 2014 -- but it also helps that this team has quite a few right-handed power hitters and will be facing three left-handed starters. Sano, Brian Dozier, Torii Hunter and Trevor Plouffe should all warrant a spot in your lineup, while Eduardo Nunez and Shane Robinson could be AL-only options.