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Mind your DHs, folks.
Five AL teams will spend at least two games in an NL park this week, which means they'll have fewer at-bats to go around.
Like the way Pedro Alvarez has been swinging the bat lately? He'll have to shelve it for three games at San Francisco. What about Justin Morneau finally rounding into form? Won't matter when the White Sox visit Miami for three games. Albert Pujols will probably slide over to first base for the Angels' two games at the Cubs, but both Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar might get left out at Colorado with Shin-Soo Choo recently returning to the lineup.
The Indians' situation is the most influential for Fantasy owners, though. They play two of their six games at Washington, where one of Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli will have to sit. Maybe the two will trade off, giving each a chance to start five games. That would make both must-starts still, but there are no guarantees. Napoli is the hotter of the two, having recently homered in five straight games, so he may get preferential treatment. I'm thinking whoever doesn't start is almost sure to pinch hit, though, so I'd need an awfully good alternative to sit either one.
And with that, on to the matchups ...
Best hitter matchups for Week 19
Other than losing a lineup spot for the two days they're there, a trip to Coors Field is great news for the Rangers and should help ensure Choo has a happy return. Provided his back holds up over weekend, you'll want to get him active. Clearly, Mazara and Profar are risky for mixed-league purposes. It's unclear how the playing time will shake out between them, and Mitch Moreland is probably in the same boat. The only other Ranger who isn't universally started in Fantasy is Elvis Andrus, and he has been hot, batting .313 (26 for 83) since the start of July.
The Rangers and Brewers are the clear standouts as far as hitter matchups go, so you'll want to give them preferential treatment where possible. The Brewers may not have any games at Coors Field, but they're home to face two patchwork pitching staffs for rebuilding clubs. Hernan Perez has been a trendy pickup of late, as much for his legs as his bat, and he should make ample use of both this week. As streaky as Chris Carter can be, now would be a good time to gamble on him if you need to make up ground in home runs. And Scooter Gennett isn't a bad play in deeper leagues because of the righty-loaded schedule.
Coors Field virtually negates the only high-end pitcher the Rockies are facing this week, Cole Hamels, so their hitters remain attractive plays even though they'll spend most of the week on the road. David Dahl is less than a slam-dunk start with Gerardo Parra nearing a return from a high ankle sprain, but he has been arguably the team's most productive hitter since arriving from Triple-A and is well worth the gamble unless we hear something more concrete. DJ LeMahieu is a borderline case since he's underwhelming on the road and has stopped hitting for extra bases, but the matchups probably win out.
The Mets lineup is such a mess right now that picking out a sleeper is like playing with fire. The righty-loaded schedule improves Curtis Granderson's and Michael Conforto's outlook, but who knows how much they'll cut into each other's at-bats with Jay Bruce in the picture? If nothing else, you'll want to give Neil Walker a look now that he's on the right side of streaky, batting .486 (18 for 37) with two homers in his past nine games.
Worst hitter matchups for Week 19
The Angels have far and away the worst matchups this week, facing arguably the best starting rotation in each league, but practically speaking, what does it mean for Fantasy owners? They have only three mixed league-relevant hitters, and you're obviously not sitting Mike Trout. Albert Pujols? Again, those two games in an NL park probably aren't going to cost him playing time, and he has been hot lately. Kole Calhoun? It'd be more defensible if the Angels weren't on the road this week, where he's batting .323 with an .888 OPS.
Nick Castellanos has been slumping lately, batting .224 (15 for 67) since the All-Star break, and since he's too undisciplined to provide anything when at less than at his best, he's a reasonable choice to sit with Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels on the schedule. Justin Upton, on the other hand, has picked it up a little since the break, but he's not so hot that you should feel obligated to stick with him, at least not in three-outfielder leagues.
For most of this season, we've considered Matt Kemp too valuable to sit, but with as little help as he has in the Braves lineup, it's not out of the question. The Braves are one of just 10 teams playing seven games this week, but you shouldn't expect their matchups against Zach Davies, Junior Guerra, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark or Max Scherzer to go well for them. Nick Markakis is clearly out in leagues where he's even a consideration. The one borderline case is Freddie Freeman, who's a more complete hitter and, thus, more deserving start than Kemp.
These days, the only untouchables in the Diamondbacks lineup are Paul Goldschmidt and, believe it or not, Jean Segura. Everyone else is fair game, and that includes Jake Lamb, at least with Arizona scheduled to face three lefties in their six games. Their matchups aren't so imposing that you should feel obligated to sit Yasmany Tomas, Welington Castillo or Lamb himself if you normally depend on them -- even some of their tougher opponents, like Steven Matz and David Price, have had their share of misfires -- but David Peralta seems like a clear sit until he regains his stroke, especially with all those lefties on tap.