Week 15 Hitting Match-Ups

Week 15 is an extended week (July 14-24) due to the All-Star Break. Each team has at least nine games during these weeks, except for Oakland, who only has eight games during this stretch. This extended week will give fantasy owners, who are falling behind, a chance to gain some ground in the standings. Below is a list of the top 5 hitting match-ups for teams and the bottom 5 match-ups, based on who they are playing against this week.

 

 

 

Top Five Hitting Schedules:

  1. Boston Red Sox (3 @TB; 3 @BAL; 3 SEA)- The Red Sox head into the second half with a good outlook. It also helps that their schedule for these two weeks is extremely favorable. The best offense in baseball has three games against the Rays in Tampa, where they took two out of three earlier this year. They also have 6 more games against two of the worst teams in baseball, Baltimore and Seattle. This means that your Red Sox batters are must-starts (as they usually are during the week).
  2. Philadelphia Phillies (3 @NYM; 3 @CHC; 3 SD)- The Phillies come out of All-Star Break with a comfortable 3.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves. This favorable schedule gives the Phillies a chance to extend their lead in the division. The Phillies offense, now that it is starting to reach full strength, is going to hit a stride and score some more runs. The Phillies bats are must-starts, especially in starts made by Cole Hamels (28 runs scored in last two starts).
  3. Florida Marlins (4 @CHC; 1 @NYM; 3 SD; 3 NYM)- The Marlins are one of a few teams with 11+ games during this extended week, and these games provide the Marlins bats with less than formidable opponents. None of these teams have stellar pitching, which should give way for Florida’s top bats to have a solid week. The stars are a must start for Florida, and this should be a good week for Hanley Ramirez to get back in his groove. If you do not have a better option, give Ramirez a start this week.
  4. Detroit Tigers (3 CHW; 2 OAK; 4 @MIN)- The Tigers headed into All-Star Break as the new leader of the AL Central. They have a chance to extend their lead this week. They are much better at home, and their road series is against a Minnesota team that has been sub-par this season. The stars are obviously a must start, and Austin Jackson is worth starting this week. He has hit well against these three teams in his brief career, especially Minnesota.
  5. St. Louis Cardinals (3 @CIN; 3 @NYM; 3 @PIT)- The Cardinals play all nine of their games in week 15 on the road. However, the Cardinals have been a better hitting team on the road this season (.277/50 HR/241 R). Guys like Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, and Albert Pujols are must starts. Colby Rasmus is definitely worth starting, especially with the match-up against the Reds, who he has hit well against in his career.

Bottom 5 Hitting Schedules:

 

  1. Chicago White Sox (3 @DET; 3 @KC; 3 @CLE)- Three series on the road for Chicago, and they are all against divisional opponents. Both Detroit and Cleveland will be fighting to be the divisional leader, so the White Sox will have their hands full with them. There might be a break for the White Sox against Kansas City, but the Royals are a much better team at home. Outside of Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox are questionable starts. Look elsewhere for better options if you can.
  2. San Diego Padres (4 SF; 3 @FLA; 3 @PHI)- The Padres are already a team with limited offensive help, but now they face off against two of the best pitching staffs in baseball (SF and PHI). The Marlins pitching staff is much better at home, so the Padres are looking at a very tough stretch of games. Avoid starting any San Diego bats this fantasy week.
  3. Cincinnati Reds (3 STL; 3 @PIT; 3 ATL)- The Reds, who have faded in the divisional race, face a very tough schedule this week. The Cardinals would not be so unfavorable if they were not on the road. Pittsburgh seems like a easy task, but they have been on the rise and are a tougher opponent than people think. The Braves have a very excellent pitching staff, and will present another challenge for the bats of Cincinnati. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce should not be sat, but try to find replacements for any other Reds you have on your team.
  4. Minnesota Twins (4 KC; 4 CLE; 4 DET)- The Twins have slowly fallen out of the AL Central race. Injuries have not helped them, but they have still not played to their potential. 12 games in 11 days will also work against them, as they will play every day in week 15. Four games against Kansas City may be a good start to the week, but four games against the top two teams in the division could be tough for the Twins. Keep an eye on Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer to see how they do early in week 15. Any other Twins should be started at your own risk.
  5. Oakland Athletics (3 LAA; 2 @DET; 3 @NYY)- The Athletics do not have much to look forward to offensively for week 15. They only have eight games, all of which will be tough for them. Also, they do not have one offensive standout to help them through the week. I would avoid the Athletics offense all together in week 15.

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