<
>

Fantasy Forecaster: June 27 - July 3

Depending on how things line up late in the week against the Mets, Jake Arrieta could surpass Clayton Kershaw as the number one pitching option for the week. David Banks/Getty Images

Fantasy Forecaster updated Sunday, June 26, at 4:44 p.m. ET.

On tap: The New York Mets, still within two games of the Washington Nationals in the National League East race and in command in the wild-card race with a half-game lead for the first spot (entering play June 26), play a pair of crucial series this week. They visit the Nationals for three games June 27-29 before returning home to host the Chicago Cubs, owners of baseball's best record, for four games June 30-July 3. The team's health will surely influence these series, as Noah Syndergaard (elbow), Yoenis Cespedes (wrist, ankle) and Steven Matz (elbow) had injuries that called their Week 13 status into question; they all appear OK to play. Assuming full health, the Mets could engage in a high volume of pitchers' duels through the week, but their offense grades among the worst; the Cincinnati Reds, who face the same two opponents, are the other team that'll struggle to score runs, as the Mets and Reds grade by far the two worst from a hitting matchups perspective.

The mathematical midpoint of the 2016 fantasy baseball season -- and Major League Baseball regular season -- arrives late in Week 13. Assuming no postponements before then, precisely 50 percent of all games scheduled will be in the books upon the conclusion of play July 2. Remember, quarter-points of the season are good opportunities to take a step back and evaluate your team's standing: its strengths, weaknesses and needs.

Among Week 13's scheduling oddities: The Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates weekend wrap-around series concludes with a June 27 day game. From there, the Pirates take a more than 2,100-mile flight to Seattle to play a game 33.5 hours later and wrap a stretch of games on 16 consecutive days (they're off June 30).

There's a greater volume of interleague play than usual, as 29 of the 97 scheduled games are interleague contests. Among these are two "traditional rivalry" home-and-home (that's two games at each ballpark) series: Kansas City Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants. Interleague play is also the reason the San Diego Padres have a five-game week -- the only team to play such few contests in Week 13. By comparison, half the 30 teams are scheduled to play all seven days, which puts the Padres at a significant volume disadvantage. Their pool of useful weekly shallow-mixed-league plays might be whittled to only Wil Myers.

Quickly jump to any section, if you want specific intel


ESPN leagues: Lineup deadlines

The Dodgers-Pirates weekend wrap-around series finale has an unusually early start: 12:35 p.m. ET, which results in an earlier than usual start to Week 13. That is Monday's only day game, but fantasy owners need get their lineups in earlier as a result.

Remember that game times have a tremendous influence upon daily planning, so be aware of every day's first scheduled pitch. This week, they are:

Monday, June 27: 12:35 p.m. ET (Dodgers at Pirates, the day's only day game)
Tuesday, June 28: 7:05 p.m. ET (two games begin at that time)
Wednesday, June 29: 12:10 p.m. ET (Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, one of seven day games)
Thursday, June 30: 1:05 p.m. ET (Texas Rangers at New York Yankees, one of three day games)
Friday, July 1: 1:07 p.m. ET (Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays, the day's only day game)
Saturday, July 2: 1:07 p.m. ET (Indians at Blue Jays, one of seven day games)
Sunday, July 3: 1:07 p.m. ET (Indians at Blue Jays, one of 14 day games)


Interleague impact

This week's interleague series:

Pirates' probable DH(s), 5 games in AL ballparks: The Pirates tend to use a straight platoon in their additional lineup spot during interleague play, and because they're lined up to face four right-handers in their five games in AL venues, Matt Joyce might DH four times. In the June 29 game, Jung Ho Kang could DH to free up third base for David Freese, or the team could DH one of its three catchers. Joyce appears lined up for enough Week 13 playing time to warrant NL-only consideration.

Royals' traditional DH, 5 games in NL ballparks: Kendrys Morales, who has been relegated to pinch-hitting duty in each of the Royals' past eight games in NL ballparks, including the most recent two June 21-22 in New York. In the past calendar year, Eric Hosmer (.304/.366/.479 triple-slash rates, .370 wOBA) has noticeably better numbers than Morales (.263/.339/.448, .346 wOBA), so expect a similar arrangement in Week 13. Morales could sneak in one start at first base, perhaps, but his owners shouldn't count on it.

Blue Jays' traditional DH, 3 games in NL ballparks: Edwin Encarnacion, who has started all five of Toronto's games in NL ballparks this season at first base, ahead of Justin Smoak. Expect the same arrangement in Colorado.

Indians' traditional DH, 3 games in NL ballparks: Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli have generally rotated between DH and first base, with Santana standing out as the one with more DH starts (48-15). During interleague play this season, the two have been used in a straight platoon at first base, and if the past is any indicator, Santana might start all three games at first against the Braves' entirely right-handed rotation.

Yankees' traditional DH, 3 games in NL ballparks: Alex Rodriguez, who hasn't played an inning in the field since May 23, 2015 -- a span of 153 games. Considering his defensive limitations, A-Rod isn't likely to end that streak in Week 13, so he'll be a pinch hitter for three of his seven games.

Cardinals' probable DH(s), 2 games in AL ballparks: Matt Holliday, who served as the DH for all three games at the Los Angeles Angels June 10-12 and the June 24-25 games at Seattle (June 26 was pending). That frees an additional field position for Matt Adams, Brandon Moss, Tommy Pham and Kolten Wong to squeeze in a handful of additional plate appearances in Week 13. Adams, Moss and Wong in particular are more attractive plays in a week the Cardinals will face six right-handed starters.

Athletics' traditional DH, 2 games in NL ballparks: Khris Davis (26 starts) and Billy Butler (16) have gotten the majority of the DH time. Davis will likely move to left field for both games at San Francisco, which would force Billy Burns and Coco Crisp to split the starts in center field. Butler and Yonder Alonso might split the first base starts, though Alonso could get both, considering the Giants' two scheduled starters are right-handed.

Orioles' traditional DH, 2 games in NL ballparks: Pedro Alvarez (37 starts) and Mark Trumbo (33) have almost evenly split the DH starts. Trumbo can move to right field, which forces Joey Rickard into the mix with Hyun Soo Kim and Nolan Reimold in left field and keeps them all off the mixed-league radar. Alvarez, meanwhile, could pick up a start at third base -- probably against right-hander Erik Johnson (June 28) -- though, more likely, he'll be a pinch hitter for two of his six games in Week 13.

Marlins' probable DH(s), 2 games in AL ballparks: Giancarlo Stanton is the most logical choice, which frees right field for Ichiro Suzuki, especially considering Stanton's injury absences thus far. Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich each have a DH start this season, however, so it's hardly a guarantee that Ichiro will benefit most. Still, in a week the Marlins face five right-handed starters, Ichiro is a worthwhile play in NL-only formats.

Giants' probable DH(s), 2 games in NL ballparks: Buster Posey (2 starts) and Jarrett Parker (1) have occupied the role thus far, but Posey might get both games at DH, which would leave catcher for Trevor Brown, considering the Athletics' two scheduled starters are left-handed.


Projected starting pitchers

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, June 27-July 3
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.


Pitching scuttlebutt

  • Orioles: Due to their June 25 doubleheader, the Orioles will need a fifth starter June 28; Ubaldo Jimenez will get that start. It is unclear whether Jimenez will pitch the next time that rotation spot arrives on July 3, as Jason Garcia, T.J. McFarland and Mike Wright could receive consideration.

  • Yankees: CC Sabathia (ankle) threw a bullpen session June 25 with no issues and will make his next scheduled start on June 28.

  • Indians: After Corey Kluber threw 115 pitches on June 21, the Indians pushed back his next start by one day, to June 28. Trevor Bauer will pitch on June 27, but both will still get two starts against the same opponents.

  • Tigers: The Tigers will skip Michael Fulmer's June 28 start to help keep his seasonal workload in check, with Mike Pelfrey set to fill in. The team hasn't yet announced its other Week 13 starters, but it appears likely that everyone else will remain on turn and Fulmer will return in his usual spot on July 3. The team currently has six members in its rotation, however, which puts the order in flux.

  • Royals: Yordano Ventura's eight-game suspension expires June 27, which bars any postponements before then, so he'll slide back into the Royals' rotation June 28 -- the next time they'll require a fifth starter. Kris Medlen (DL: rotator cuff) is on a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas and could be a candidate to rejoin the Royals' rotation, perhaps in Chris Young's place on June 30.

  • Los Angeles Angels: Nick Tropeano (shoulder) was activated from the DL and optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on June 24, making it unlikely that he'd be a candidate to rejoin the big-league rotation during Week 13.

  • Athletics: Sean Manaea (DL: forearm) made a rehabilitation start for Class A Stockton and will rejoin the Athletics' rotation on June 29. Rich Hill (DL: groin) will make a rehabilitation start for Class A Stockton on June 27 before being considered for a return to the Athletics' rotation, perhaps in Daniel Mengden's spot on July 2. Dillon Overton joined the rotation on June 25 and is expected to make another start on June 30.

  • Mariners: Wade Miley (DL: shoulder) tossed four perfect innings in a rehabilitation start for Class A Everett on June 24 and will rejoin the Mariners' rotation on June 29, replacing the injured Adrian Sampson (DL: elbow). Taijuan Walker (foot) missed his scheduled June 24 start, but if all goes well with a bullpen session during the June 25-26 weekend, he'd rejoin the Mariners' rotation June 30. Wade LeBlanc, who was expected to fill in for Walker on June 24, would probably once again be the fallback.

  • Rangers: With Yu Darvish (DL: shoulder), Derek Holland (DL: shoulder) and Colby Lewis (DL: back) sidelined, the Rangers slotted Nick Martinez into their rotation on June 24, A.J. Griffin (DL: shoulder) on June 25 and Chi Chi Gonzalez on June 27. Darvish is apparently not a consideration to return as soon as Week 13.

  • Mets: Bartolo Colon (thumb) made his scheduled June 26 start and Noah Syndergaard (elbow) was expected to make his scheduled June 27 turn.

  • Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (back) was scratched from both his June 20 and 26 starts, putting his status in question for Week 13 and leaving the Nationals searching a fill-in for June 27 -- Tanner Roark was moved up to June 26 -- and perhaps also July 2. A.J. Cole was scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Syracuse on June 26, but if he's scratched he could be a candidate. Meanwhile, despite his 0-5 record and 7.60 ERA in his past six starts, Gio Gonzalez will remain in the Nationals' rotation at least through his June 30 start.

  • Milwaukee Brewers: After the Brewers announced they would skip Chase Anderson in their Week 12 rotation, they indicated that he'd have nine days between starts, which works out to a June 28 return to their rotation. However, after the team subsequently announced Junior Guerra and Zach Davies as their June 28-29 starters, Anderson appeared more likely to be pushed back to July 2, the latest date the team would next need a fifth starter.

  • Pirates: With Gerrit Cole (DL: triceps) unavailable that soon, the Pirates will give Chad Kuhl a start on June 26. It is unclear whether Cole will be ready to return the next time that spot in the rotation arrives on July 2.

  • Rockies: Jon Gray (shoulder), who exited his June 22 start early due to fatigue, expects to make his next scheduled start June 27.

  • Dodgers: Nick Tepesch filled in as the Dodgers' fifth starter on June 24, but after a poor outing he was designated for assignment, leaving the team searching for another fill-in for June 29. Manager Dave Roberts said neither Brandon McCarthy (DL: elbow) nor Hyun-Jin Ryu (DL: shoulder) will be considered, making Carlos Frias the leading candidate.

  • Padres: Andrew Cashner (DL: neck) will make a rehabilitation start for Class A Lake Elsinore on June 28 before rejoining the Padres' rotation. That'd put him on schedule to return July 3, which is Luis Perdomo's scheduled turn, though manager Andy Green said he might go with a six-man rotation until the All-Star break after Cashner returns. It's possible that Cashner might instead be activated early in Week 14.


Tristan's Week 13 pitcher rankings

  • 1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -- Fri-COL (De La Rosa)

  • 2. Jake Arrieta (CHC) -- Mon-@CIN (Straily), Sat-@NYM (Syndergaard): Factoring in wins potential -- something that unfortunately matters in Rotisserie, points-based and daily scoring -- Noah Syndergaard's recent elbow issues cast at least a hint of doubt as Week 13 dawns, and if he suffers any setback and is scratched as Arrieta's Saturday opponent, Arrieta's win potential in these two starts would vault him to the top of the rankings.

  • 3. Noah Syndergaard (NYM) -- Mon-@WSH (TBD), Sat-CHC (Arrieta): He has been cleared to make his Monday start, and he's far, far too talented to bench with that knowledge.

  • 4. Jose Fernandez (MIA) -- Sat-@ATL (Gant)

  • 5. Max Scherzer (WSH) -- Wed-NYM (Matz)

  • 6. Jon Lester (CHC) -- Tue-@CIN (Lamb), Sun-@NYM (Harvey)

  • 7. Jacob deGrom (NYM) -- Thu-CHC (Lackey)

  • 8. Corey Kluber (CLE) -- Tue-@ATL (Wisler), Sun-@TOR (Happ)

  • 9. David Price (BOS) -- Wed-@TB (Moore): Pitcher-versus-opponent statistics are often too heavily weighted, but such extreme numbers at least warrant a cautionary mention. Price's stats against the Rays since he left them in 2014 aren't good, as he has a 10.43 ERA, .333 BAA and five home runs allowed in his past three starts against Tampa Bay -- all in the past calendar year. At least this one will be played at Tropicana Field, a much better pitchers' environment for him than Fenway Park.

  • 10. Chris Sale (CWS) -- Sat-@HOU (Fister)

  • 11. Chris Archer (TB) -- Tue-BOS (Porcello), Sun-DET (Fulmer)

  • 12. Francisco Liriano (PIT) -- Mon-LAD (Kazmir), Sun-@OAK (Graveman)

  • 13. Madison Bumgarner (SF) -- Thu-@OAK (Overton)

  • 14. Danny Salazar (CLE) -- Wed-@ATL (Blair)

  • 15. Matt Harvey (NYM) -- Tue-@WSH (Ross), Sun-CHC (Lester)

  • 16. Zack Greinke (ARI) -- Tue-PHI (Eickhoff)

  • 17. Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) -- Tue-PIT (Niese), Sun-BAL (Jimenez)

  • 18. Kenta Maeda (LAD) -- Thu-@MIL (Garza)

  • 19. Joe Ross (WSH) -- Tue-NYM (Harvey), Sun-CIN (Lamb): He is one of my favorite two-start values of Week 13, as he has top-10 upside with this much volume.

  • 20. Sonny Gray (OAK) -- Fri-PIT (Locke)

  • 21. Gio Gonzalez (WSH) -- Thu-CIN (Finnegan)

  • 22. Cole Hamels (TEX) -- Tue-@NYY (Sabathia), Sun-@MIN (Gibson)

  • 23. Drew Pomeranz (SD) -- Sat-NYY (Nova)

  • 24. Johnny Cueto (SF) -- Fri-@ARI (Miller)

  • 25. Drew Smyly (TB) -- Fri-DET (Sanchez)

  • 26. Justin Verlander (DET) -- Sat-@TB (Snell)

  • 27. Jaime Garcia (STL) -- Fri-MIL (Nelson)

  • 28. Scott Kazmir (LAD) -- Mon-@PIT (Liriano), Sat-COL (Bettis)

  • 29. Carlos Martinez (STL) -- Wed-KC (Volquez)

  • 30. Kyle Hendricks (CHC) -- Wed-@CIN (Reed)

  • 31. Danny Duffy (KC) -- Mon-STL (Wainwright), Sat-@PHI (Nola)

  • 32. Julio Urias (LAD) -- Tue-@MIL (Guerra), Sun-COL (Gray): On a batter-by-batter basis, Urias is pitching well enough to be a definite start in all formats. Still, he is promised only the Tuesday start, and he has averaged only 85 pitches per turn through six, so brace for the possibility that he gives you only five worthwhile innings all week. He's about as risk/reward as any pitcher in Week 13.

  • 33. Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) -- Tue-@ARI (Greinke): He's the one member of the Phillies' rotation who has been reliable the past month, so don't be so surprised by this generous projection.

  • 34. Steven Wright (BOS) -- Fri-LAA (Chacin)

  • 35. Dallas Keuchel (HOU) -- Wed-@LAA (Weaver)

  • 36. John Lackey (CHC) -- Thu-@NYM (deGrom)

  • 37. Michael Pineda (NYY) -- Thu-TEX (Griffin)

  • 38. Collin McHugh (HOU) -- Mon-@LAA (Shoemaker), Sun-CWS (Quintana)

  • 39. Carlos Carrasco (CLE) -- Thu-@TOR (Dickey)

  • 40. Julio Teheran (ATL) -- Thu-MIA (Koehler)

  • 41. Michael Wacha (STL) -- Tue-@KC (Ventura), Sun-MIL (Guerra)

  • 42. Lance McCullers (HOU) -- Tue-@LAA (Lincecum)

  • 43. Michael Fulmer (DET) -- Sun-@TB (Archer): It's entirely unclear when Fulmer will make his next start for the Tigers, but judging by the projection, root, root, root for a Rays matchup.

  • 44. Jason Hammel (CHC) -- Fri-@NYM (Colon)

  • 45. Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) -- Fri-@SD (Rea): The Padres have improved offensively, but they still bring a lot of K's (and a lot of PAs) from the right-handed side, and Petco significantly boosts Eovaldi's stock, compared to Yankee Stadium.

  • 46. Jordan Zimmermann (DET) -- Thu-@TB (Odorizzi)

  • 47. Daniel Mengden (OAK) -- Mon-@SF (Samardzija), Sat-PIT (Kuhl): He has pitched well enough to warrant making both these starts, but with a rehabbing Rich Hill on the way and aligned with his turn in the rotation, Mengden is surely being evaluated on a start-by-start basis. If you can afford to roll the dice on a possible two starts from Mengden while accepting the risk that it is only one, these matchups dictate, "Go for it."

  • 48. Carlos Rodon (CWS) -- Thu-MIN (Milone)

  • 49. Adam Wainwright (STL) -- Mon-@KC (Duffy), Sat-MIL (Anderson): The K's aren't there and might never return, but Wainwright appears to be back, so he's a definite start, albeit in a lower tier than a couple seasons back.

  • 50. Steven Matz (NYM) -- Wed-@WSH (Scherzer)

  • 51. Jeff Samardzija (SF) -- Mon-OAK (Mengden), Sat-@ARI (Corbin)

  • 52. Taijuan Walker (SEA) -- Thu-BAL (Tillman)

  • 53. Mike Fiers (HOU) -- Fri-CWS (Gonzalez)

  • 54. Jose Quintana (CWS) -- Tue-MIN (Gibson), Sun-@HOU (McHugh)

  • 55. Kevin Gausman (BAL) -- Fri-@SEA (Karns)

  • 56. Nathan Karns (SEA) -- Fri-BAL (Gausman)

  • 57. Jake Odorizzi (TB) -- Thu-DET (Zimmermann)

  • 58. Tanner Roark (WSH) -- Fri-CIN (DeSclafani)

  • 59. Ian Kennedy (KC) -- Fri-@PHI (Hellickson)

  • 60. Rick Porcello (BOS) -- Tue-@TB (Archer): Remember that comment about individual opponent (or ballpark) histories? Porcello has a 2.76 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in six career starts at Tropicana Field.

  • 61. CC Sabathia (NYY) -- Tue-TEX (Hamels), Sun-@SD (Perdomo): The Padres have an extreme righty/lefty split with a significantly better contact rate against left-handers the past month, so this is a much tougher matchup for Sabathia than perceived. He might've been steamrolling toward a 60-plus projection for that game, if not for that and his so-so last start.

  • 62. Yordano Ventura (KC) -- Tue-STL (Wacha), Sun-@PHI (Velasquez)

  • 63. Trevor Bauer (CLE) -- Mon-@ATL (Gant), Sat-@TOR (Estrada): The Toronto matchup is the tricky one, but I'd go for it with confidence; the computer doesn't like that singular matchup because Bauer's improved control still extends (roughly) only five starts back. It, and I, generally prefer more evidence before jumping right in.

  • 64. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) -- Wed-TEX (Martinez)

  • 65. Matt Shoemaker (LAA) -- Mon-HOU (McHugh), Sun-@BOS (Rodriguez)

  • 66. Junior Guerra (MIL) -- Tue-LAD (Urias), Sun-@STL (Wacha): It appears unlikely that Chase Anderson will pitch Tuesday, so expect Guerra to make two starts, which is the reason for his sizable jump in the rankings in the Sunday update.

  • 67. Adam Conley (MIA) -- Tue-@DET (Pelfrey), Sun-@ATL (Wisler)

  • 68. Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Thu-@SEA (Walker)

  • 69. Jorge De La Rosa (COL) -- Fri-@LAD (Kershaw)

  • 70. Zach Davies (MIL) -- Wed-LAD (Frias)

  • 71. Albert Suarez (SF) -- Tue-OAK (Graveman), Sun-@ARI (Ray): Like Urias and Mengden above him, Suarez is another pitcher with favorable enough matchups to exploit in a two-start week, but he has some risk of losing his rotation spot once Matt Cain heals. In Suarez's defense, though, Cain looks to be further away than Week 13, so Suarez's odds of two starts are greater than Urias' and Mengden's.

  • 72. Jon Gray (COL) -- Mon-TOR (Estrada), Sun-@LAD (Urias)

  • 73. James Shields (CWS) -- Wed-MIN (Nolasco)

  • 74. Jameson Taillon (PIT) -- Wed-@SEA (Miley)

  • 75. James Paxton (SEA) -- Sat-BAL (Wilson)

  • 76. Jake Peavy (SF) -- Wed-@OAK (Manaea): Righties against the A's. They have a .298 wOBA against them in the past month.

  • 77. Aaron Nola (PHI) -- Sat-KC (Duffy): If not for the Royals' offensive struggles, Nola would probably be ranked a good 25 spots lower and be a flat-out "no."

  • 78. Vince Velasquez (PHI) -- Mon-@ARI (Ray), Sun-KC (Ventura): He is ranked in the "start"-worthy tier mainly because of volume -- his two scheduled starts -- but there's a low, low floor for Velasquez this week. Ideally, I'd rather he prove his worth with a major league outing before I consider him a start, and there's no ironclad guarantee that he'll pitch Sunday (he could get pushed back for extra rest, and a setback is always possible). Make your decision based upon the importance of two-start pitching in your scoring system; I'm using him only in the leagues that weight that most heavily.

  • 79. Cody Reed (CIN) -- Wed-CHC (Hendricks): He's a play for K's, as the Cubs rank among the five most strikeout-prone teams in June. Mind that there is a steep floor here.

  • 80. Marco Estrada (TOR) -- Mon-@COL (Gray), Sat-CLE (Bauer)

  • 81. Carlos Frias (LAD) -- Wed-@MIL (Davies)

  • 82. Bud Norris (ATL) -- Fri-MIA (Clemens)

  • 83. Bartolo Colon (NYM) -- Fri-CHC (Hammel)

  • 84. Robbie Ray (ARI) -- Mon-PHI (Velasquez), Sun-SF (Suarez)

  • 85. Archie Bradley (ARI) -- Wed-PHI (Eflin): He's among the better upside plays of Week 13, despite the modest projection, which is driven by his limited big league experience.

  • 86. Tom Koehler (MIA) -- Thu-@ATL (Teheran)

  • 87. John Gant (ATL) -- Mon-CLE (Bauer), Sat-MIA (Fernandez)

  • 88. Dillon Overton (OAK) -- Thu-SF (Bumgarner)

  • 89. Paul Clemens (MIA) -- Fri-@ATL (Norris)

  • 90. Brandon Finnegan (CIN) -- Thu-@WSH (Gonzalez)

  • 91. Sean Manaea (OAK) -- Wed-SF (Peavy)

  • 92. Edinson Volquez (KC) -- Wed-@STL (Martinez)

  • 93. Clay Buchholz (BOS) -- Sat-LAA (Santiago)

  • 94. Wade Miley (SEA) -- Wed-PIT (Taillon)

  • 95. Chad Bettis (COL) -- Sat-@LAD (Kazmir)

  • 96. A.J. Griffin (TEX) -- Thu-@NYY (Pineda)

  • 97. Chad Kuhl (PIT) -- Sat-@OAK (Mengden)

  • 98. Mike Leake (STL) -- Thu-KC (Young)

  • 99. Aaron Sanchez (TOR) -- Wed-@COL (Anderson): The Blue Jays could sure do us a favor by skipping this Sanchez start to preserve his innings. As is, he's a "no" at Coors.

  • 100. Blake Snell (TB) -- Mon-BOS (Rodriguez), Sat-DET (Verlander)

  • 101. Luis Perdomo (SD) -- Sun-NYY (Sabathia)

  • 102. Daniel Norris (DET) -- Wed-MIA (Chen): He's a good stash, but keep in mind that the Marlins have made a lot more consistent contact against lefties (17.8 K percentage) than righties (22.4 K percentage) the past month.

  • 103. Matt Moore (TB) -- Wed-BOS (Price)

  • 104. Chase Anderson (MIL) -- Sat-@STL (Wainwright)

  • 105. Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) -- Wed-@DET (Norris)

  • 106. Dan Straily (CIN) -- Mon-CHC (Arrieta), Sat-@WSH (TBD)

  • 107. Zach Eflin (PHI) -- Wed-@ARI (Bradley)

  • 108. Yovani Gallardo (BAL) -- Wed-@SD (Friedrich)

  • 109. Marcus Stroman (TOR) -- Fri-CLE (Tomlin): At this point, because his strikeout rate is so low (16.3 percent), Stroman can't be trusted to face anything but below average teams and/or play in pitching-friendly ballparks.

  • 110. John Lamb (CIN) -- Tue-CHC (Lester), Sun-@WSH (Ross)

  • 111. Jimmy Nelson (MIL) -- Fri-@STL (Garcia)

  • 112. Jeremy Hellickson (PHI) -- Fri-KC (Kennedy)

  • 113. Doug Fister (HOU) -- Sat-CWS (Sale)

  • 114. Ricky Nolasco (MIN) -- Wed-@CWS (Shields)

  • 115. Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) -- Mon-@TB (Snell), Sun-LAA (Shoemaker)

  • 116. Ervin Santana (MIN) -- Fri-TEX (Perez)

  • 117. Tommy Milone (MIN) -- Thu-@CWS (Rodon)

  • 118. Chris Young (KC) -- Thu-@STL (Leake)

  • 119. Jonathon Niese (PIT) -- Tue-@SEA (Iwakuma)

  • 120. Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) -- Fri-@WSH (Roark)

  • 121. Christian Friedrich (SD) -- Wed-BAL (Gallardo)

  • 122. Colin Rea (SD) -- Fri-NYY (Eovaldi)

  • 123. Tyler Duffey (MIN) -- Sat-TEX (Gonzalez)

  • 124. Patrick Corbin (ARI) -- Sat-SF (Samardzija)

  • 125. J.A. Happ (TOR) -- Tue-@COL (Butler), Sun-CLE (Kluber)

  • 126. Shelby Miller (ARI) -- Fri-SF (Cueto)

  • 127. Kyle Gibson (MIN) -- Tue-@CWS (Quintana), Sun-TEX (Hamels)

  • 128. Chi Chi Gonzalez (TEX) -- Mon-@NYY (Nova), Sat-@MIN (Duffey)

  • 129. Kendall Graveman (OAK) -- Tue-@SF (Suarez), Sun-PIT (Liriano)

  • 130. Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) -- Tue-@SD (Johnson), Sun-@SEA (Iwakuma)

  • 131. Tyler Wilson (BAL) -- Sat-@SEA (Paxton)

  • 132. Josh Tomlin (CLE) -- Fri-@TOR (Stroman)

  • 133. Erik Johnson (SD) -- Tue-BAL (Jimenez)

  • 134. Hector Santiago (LAA) -- Sat-@BOS (Buchholz)

  • 135. Tyler Anderson (COL) -- Wed-TOR (Sanchez)

  • 136. Matt Garza (MIL) -- Thu-LAD (Maeda)

  • 137. Tim Lincecum (LAA) -- Tue-HOU (McCullers)

  • 138. R.A. Dickey (TOR) -- Thu-CLE (Carrasco)

  • 139. Jered Weaver (LAA) -- Wed-HOU (Keuchel)

  • 140. Martin Perez (TEX) -- Fri-@MIN (Santana)

  • 141. Jeff Locke (PIT) -- Fri-@OAK (Gray)

  • 142. Miguel Gonzalez (CWS) -- Fri-@HOU (Fiers)

  • 143. Ivan Nova (NYY) -- Mon-TEX (Gonzalez), Sat-@SD (Pomeranz)

  • 144. Aaron Blair (ATL) -- Wed-CLE (Salazar)

  • 145. Matt Wisler (ATL) -- Tue-CLE (Kluber), Sun-MIA (Conley)

  • 146. Jhoulys Chacin (LAA) -- Fri-@BOS (Wright)

  • 147. Mike Pelfrey (DET) -- Tue-MIA (Conley)

  • 148. Nick Martinez (TEX) -- Wed-@NYY (Tanaka)

  • 149. Eddie Butler (COL) -- Tue-TOR (Happ)


Hitting ratings

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 game are listed under the corresponding date.

Hitting matchup chart, June 27-July 3
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.


Hitting advantages

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: Yankees 7, Rays 7, Blue Jays 7, Indians 7, Royals 7, Athletics 7, Rangers 7, Braves 7, Mets 7, Nationals 7, Cubs 7, Reds 7, Cardinals 7, Dodgers 7, Giants 7.

  • Home games: Rays 7, Braves 7, Nationals 7, Mariners 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Athletics 5, Cardinals 5, Padres 5, Yankees 4, Blue Jays 4, Mets 4.

  • Versus LH: Tigers 4, Minnesota Twins 4, Rockies 4, Giants 4, Red Sox 3, Athletics 3, Nationals 3. Eleven teams face two left-handed starters.

  • Versus RH: Royals 7, Blue Jays 6, Indians 6, Rangers 6, Braves 6, Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 6. Eight teams face five right-handed starters.

Although they didn't grab the week's top hitting rating, the Rangers have an exceptional set of hitting matchups, partly due to the leaning of their roster; six of their 13 active hitters, including four of their eight who have better-than-league-average wOBA, bat from the left-handed side or are switch-hitters, and the Rangers will face six right-handed starters in Week 13. A seven-game week is advantageous for a team that has, effectively, six starting-caliber hitters for the five infield plus DH spots; it means enough starts for all of them to be worthwhile fantasy plays. Jurickson Profar, a .417/.435/.667 hitter (.469 wOBA) against righties this season, with nine starts in the team's 13 games against righty starters in American League parks in June, should get enough playing time to be a worthwhile start in all formats.

Shin-Soo Choo, a .235/.366/.441 hitter (.362 wOBA) in nine games since his return from the DL -- all while batting leadoff -- should benefit from such favorable matchups as well. Prince Fielder, who is struggling as a .209/.275/.352 hitter (.279 wOBA) in 25 games the past month, should benefit from the four games at Yankee Stadium, where he's a .354/.426/.646 hitter with four homers in 12 career games.

A week heavier in the number of opposing right- rather than left-handed starters would be better for the Giants, who have a team wOBA nine points greater against righties (.327) than lefties (.318) this season, as well as a roster on which seven of their 12 active hitters bat left-handed, but battling an injury-riddled Athletics rotation while avoiding Zack Greinke during a weekend series at hitter-friendly Arizona's Chase Field nevertheless represents an extremely favorable schedule. Brandon Belt has been one of the most productive left-handed hitters against lefties, with .266/.389/.519 rates and a .397 wOBA, but it's Mac Williamson, who has back-to-back starts against lefties and .240/.321/.480 rates against lefties in the majors (and .238/.310/.492 in the minors this season), who is the sneaky Giants hitting play for Week 13.

The Indians have one of the better across-the-board hitting schedules, as they play three games against the Braves' entirely right-handed rotation while missing a matchup with their ace Julio Teheran, followed by four at hitting-friendly Toronto's Rogers Centre. Six games against right-handed starters should benefit this fairly balanced offense, which features five right-handed, three left-handed and four switch-hitters; six of the team's usual starters nevertheless can bat from the left-handed side and therefore will spend almost all of the week with the platoon advantage. In particular, Tyler Naquin, who has 12 straight starts against a righty and .316/.369/.537 rates (.396 wOBA) against right-handers this season, and Lonnie Chisenhall, who traditionally starts in right field against righties and has a roughly league average .325 wOBA against righties, are worth plugging in for Week 13.