Al Melchior's pitching advice for Week 7

Ranking two-start pitchers for Week 7

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Some weeks, finding five teams with definitively good matchups and five with definitively bad matchups is a challenge.

Week 7 (May 16-22) isn't one of those weeks.

In fact, there's even some overflow. The Twins are scheduled to face Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Verlander, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman in a seven-game slate, yet they don't make the cut for worst matchups. That Mike Pelfrey matchup drags down the whole thing.

You still may want to steer clear of your fringy Twins, though, like Byung Ho Park, Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer and maybe even a slumping Miguel Sano in shallower leagues. You know how it is.

No games in Colorado this week, so nothing to worry about there. The Mariners and Angels will each go without their DH spot for a couple games, but Seth Smith and C.J. Cron are more likely to lose out there than Nelson Cruz and Albert Pujols.

And with that, on to the matchups ...

Best hitter matchups for Week 7

1. Dodgers LAA2, @LAA2, @SD3
2. Pirates ATL4, COL3
3. Mariners @BAL3, @CIN3
4. Indians CIN2, @CIN2, @BOS3
5. Cubs @MIL3, @SF3

  • The Dodgers get the Angels' patchwork rotation for four games and miss both James Shields and Drew Pomeranz when they travel to San Diego, so they're sitting pretty this week. And with nothing but right-handers on the schedule, Joc Pederson and Chase Utley especially are. It's rare that they get to play a full week, but both have the splits to take advantage, posting an OPS over .900 against righties. Yasmani Grandal isn't as available in leagues, but he's a more likely play for Head-to-Head owners, with their smaller roster sizes, especially given his recent power surge.
  • Not a lot to fear in the Braves and Rockies rotations, which makes Pirates hitters like Jung Ho Kang and John Jaso especially interesting. Both have good percentages but playing-time concerns, Kang's health-related and Jaso's left-handedness-related. It's looking like a bunch of righties, though, which works in both players' favor. Being a shortstop, Kang is the clearer start even though he's more at risk, but in leagues where walks matter, Jaso has some low-end appeal at first base. The only other Pirate who isn't definitively must-start or must-sit is Josh Harrison, and seeing as he's eligible at three positions, you can probably find a spot for him this week.
  • Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli are two of the Indians' more prominent hitters, so it'll be interesting to see who gets preferential treatment when they travel to an NL park for the first time. It's only for two games, though, so chances are they'll split, making them both plenty startable still (Santana more in points leagues and Napoli more in categories) given the matchups. Right now, I'm leaning against playing Michael Brantley with his surgically repaired shoulder flaring up, but if he returns with big numbers this weekend, it changes everything. Rajai Davis is a decent sleeper on the lower end.
  • The Cubs have so many potential contributors in Fantasy that it makes for no shortage of sleepers in a week like this one, but then again, there's no telling how much any of them will play. Tommy La Stella has gotten pushed to the back burner after looking like he was taking on a more prominent role, but Javier Baez has been playing about three out of every four games and could take advantage of some homer-prone pitchers. You probably wouldn't start him outside of leagues that require a third infielder, though. On the shallower end, Addison Russell is undervalued with so many walks, and Miguel Montero's projected return from the DL adds some depth to a weak catcher position.

Worst hitter matchups for Week 7

1. Padres SF3, LAD3
2. Brewers CHC3, @NYM3
3. Marlins @PHI3, WAS3
4. Nationals @NYM3, @MIA3
5. Giants @SD3, CHC3

  • Here's how the Padres slate looks as of Friday afternoon: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Clayton Kershaw. Yee-ouch! Hopefully, you didn't have your heart set on Wil Myers or Melvin Upton this week. You probably couldn't justify sitting Matt Kemp, though. The Brewers face a string of aces as well, so it's a good thing Chris Carter cooled off. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy are obviously too productive to sit.
  • Who would I play from the Marlins? Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich -- that's it. NL-only formats are a different story, of course, but I can't imagine a scenario in a mixed league where I couldn't find a viable alternative to Martin Prado, Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich or even the red-hot Marcell Ozuna, who has tended to run hot and cold during his brief career. I suppose the sorry state of the catcher position might force me to stick it out with J.T. Realmuto.
  • Who's excited to start to Anthony Rendon? Well, good. Now you have an excuse to sit him, especially if you've been using him at the overloaded second base position. Jayson Werth has shown some life lately, but you can clearly do better in a three-outfielder league. I wouldn't count on this being the week Ben Revere bounces back, and let's not get too excited about Ryan Zimmerman's two-homer game considering what's ahead. What's ahead, you ask? How about Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley in a six-game week?
  • Joe Panik has been ice cold since returning from a groin injury, and as I said before, second base is deep. I feel like the Giants have been among the best or worst matchups so many times already that we know their fringies by heart now. You got it: Matt Duffy and Denard Span should both sit where possible. Brandon Belt has probably joined Buster Posey and Hunter Pence in must-start status, though.