Next week is the last week before the MLB All-Star game. It’s a somewhat unbalanced week. At the low end, three teams will play five games. Conversely, four teams are scheduled for eight games at the high end. Then, in the middle, 12 teams have six games on the docket, and 11 teams are scheduled for seven contests.
Baltimore Orioles at CHC (2), at TB (3)
A five-game week for the Orioles is a bummer for their bats. As a result, gamers in weekly leagues should consider benching their fringe fantasy options for alternatives. However, despite the five-game week, Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman are too good to sit.
Los Angeles Angels vs. HOU (3), vs. LAD (2)
The Angels are the second team with a week-low five games in the upcoming scoring period. As a result, Jared Walsh and Taylor Ward aren’t must-use players on teams with viable alternatives. Also, while the short week might seem like an opportunity to use Shohei Ohtani as a pitcher instead of a utility hitter, a matchup with the Astros is tricky. So, gamers are likely better off using the two-way star as a hitter in leagues with weekly lineup changes.
Los Angeles Dodgers at STL (3), at LAA (2)
Colorado Rockies vs. SD (4), vs. PIT (3)
The Rockies are home for their last seven games before the All-Star Break. Coors Field is the best offensive environment in The Show, and the Rockies love their home cooking. In fact, according to FanGraphs, the Rockies have had the highest wOBA (.349) in home games this season. Therefore, gamers are encouraged to start their Rockies. Additionally, Connor Joe is available in more than 60% of Yahoo! leagues and is a sweet streamer.
Chicago White Sox at CLE (4), at MIN (4)
The White Sox are the first featured team in a quartet playing eight next week. Unfortunately, at least six of their games will be against righties, and their best fantasy options are better against lefties. Nevertheless, Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, and Andrew Vaughn get a pick-me-up.
Cleveland Guardians vs. CWS (4), vs. DET (4)
The Guardians also get a volume boost in the upcoming scoring period. The pitching matchups are a mixed bag, but the volume trumps the matchups. They don’t have many widely-available hitters, but Steven Kwan is a viable deep league option for temporary batting-average help.
Detroit Tigers at KC (4), at CLE (4)
Even an eight-game week can’t make most of Detroit’s lineup useful in fantasy leagues. Still, Riley Green is on only 53% of Yahoo! rosters, and the rookie hasn’t been overwhelmed in the bigs. Jonathan Schoop is also a desperation option in 14-team mixed leagues using a middle infielder or larger formats.
Kansas City Royals vs. DET (4), at TOR (4)
The Royals are the fourth team with eight games next week, and they have a handful of fantasy options. Unfortunately, MJ Melendez has been cold. Nonetheless, his walk rate and batted-ball data have been good, and his strikeout rate has been acceptable. So, gamers should exercise patience with the rookie catcher. Vinnie Pasquantino hasn’t hit the ground running, but he’s in the same boat are Melendez and an intriguing streamer. Finally, boring veteran Hunter Dozier is also worth a look in the next scoring period.
Judge wasn’t in the Yankees’ lineup on Thursday night, sitting with soreness in his calves he’s been playing with for “about a week or so.” Meanwhile, Rizzo has missed three straight games with a lower back spasm. Neither injury sounds particularly worrisome, but gamers should double-check their availability for their weekend series and the upcoming scoring period.
Witt was held out of Kansas City’s lineup on Wednesday and Thursday after getting hit on the right hand by a fastball on Tuesday. Thankfully, “everything checked out.” So, he’s day to day.
Sale will probably toe the slab for the Red Sox on Tuesday. It’s probably wise to keep him in an IL spot or on the bench for his first start in the majors this year. Eovaldi might not be far behind Sale. He’s expected to pitch three innings on Sunday, and the organization will see how he feels before determining the next course of action, which could be activating him.
Gausman left his last start after getting struck on the ankle by a comebacker. Fortunately, he was diagnosed with a bone bruise and hopes to make his next start early next week.
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