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The Coors Advantage: Week 10 Start/Sit Hitting Decisions

Week 10 is a busy week in baseball. The majority of the league has at least six games on their schedules, while a significant portion have as many as seven and the Pittsburgh Pirates are doing extra duty with an eight-game slate on their plate. Then there are the Atlanta Braves with a five-game week. This kind of robust week of games creates a lot of home/road and left/splits to consider when making those difficult Start/Sit hitting decisions. I will examine who to Start/Sit due to the good’s and the bad’s of the schedule for the Braves, the Colorado Rockies who have seven games in Coors field, as well as the New York Yankees who have the fluke of all flukes, possibly six lefties on their bump in the Bronx. And, I’ll look at who to target in Daily Fantasy and Scrubs on the Radar.

Scheduling Flukes and Oddities

The Atlanta Braves

It would appear that the schedulers decided to cram a bushel full of the games into Week 10 and among all the commotion they forget about the Braves. Five-game slates have been the meat of many of my articles, but this week, it’s the anomaly. It’s Atlanta and only Atlanta.

Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. are Must-Starts, five games or 25 in Week 10, but Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson are not. At least not yet. Swanson is in the early stages of a breakout year with 10 home runs and five stolen bases while making a case that he is a Must-Start “Dude.” But, he is batting .262, he is owned in 88, not 100, percent of leagues and he had an Average Draft Position of 342 on this year. It’s easy to see how owners aren’t rushing to love the once top prospect and if Fantasy owners lack confidence in them, it’s difficult to label them a Must-Start. Albies, while flashing dual-category power and speed, has had a respectable while somewhat disappointing season with seven home runs and four stolen bases and a .264 batting average.

Dansby Swanson, SS

Swanson ranks 10th in standard points leagues amongst shortstops, but high profile names like Carlos Correa, Gleyber Torres, and Manny Machado are all outside that top 10, knocking at the door, screaming to be started ahead of him. Then you have legitimate considerations like Tim Anderson (one of my personal favorites), Jonathan Villar, Jean Segura, and Elvis Andrus, also outside the top 10 providing home runs and stolen bases in both points and category leagues. In deeper leagues or ones with a Mi slot, it’s easier to see how Swanson is a no-brainer, but in shallower leagues it’s not such an easy Start/Sit decision. He only has five games in a week loaded with six and seven game slates for most alternatives. Add to the confusion that one of those five games is against Stephen Strasburg and I have to lean Sit for owners that have a legitimate alternative. He should be a Must-Start based on his great start, but I can see how many owners don’t see it that way and the oddity of the Braves schedule is working against him this week.

Ozzie Albies, 2B

Second base is loaded with legitimate contributors this year, making Albies seven home runs and four steals look pedestrian rather than appealing. The fact that he is hitting .262 only makes it easier to see him as a Sit rather than a Start this week. When Jurickson Profar has seven home runs and three stolen bases it’s difficult to make the argument that Ozzie Albies is a Must-Start and that’s before a five-game schedule with Stephen Strasburg is thrown in the mix. I like that Albies does a little bit of both power and speed, but second base is a deep position these days and the schedule knocks him out of the box when making the tough Start/Sit decisions in most leagues.

The New York Yankees

Pitching Matchups:

Matt Strahm/Eric Lauer/Joey Lucchesi/David Price/Eduardo Rodriguez/Rick Porcello/TBA

The Yankees have seven home games and will face five left-handed pitchers in a row, with a chance for a sixth against the Red Sox on Sunday. That’s the trifecta of flukey and it has to matter to Fantasy owners when making their Start/Sit hitting decisions this week.

Seven starts is great. The Yankees playing at home with the short right field porch, typically great. Five, possibly six lefties? Not so great. The Yankees have only seven home runs against left-handed pitching all season.

Gleyber Torres, SS

14-Day Sample Size

12/41 – Seven HRs – 10 Runs Scored – Nine RBI’s – .293 Batting Average

Torres is on his way to having a 30-HR, .280 season and he has been tearing the cover off the ball recently. That makes him a Must-Start, but it’s worth noting that he has zero home runs, a .226 batting average, and a .573 OPS in only 31 at-bats against lefties in 2019. To be fair, sample size matters, and in 2018, he hit 11 home runs with an OPS of .912 in 118 at-bats. His ugly 2019 numbers could be due to the small sample or just a fluke, but it’s something to consider when making difficult Start/Sit decisions this week.

Brett Gardner, OF

2019 Season Stats:

7 HRs – 6 SBs – .238 BA

Gardner isn’t a Must-Start player any more and if not for an onslaught of injuries to key Yankee outfielders he wouldn’t even be an every day one. But, he is on pace for a 20 home run, 20 stolen base season, again, and he has done almost all of that damage at Yankee stadium (six of his home runs and four of his stolen bases), of which he has seven games in Week 10. Another but. He has done all of that damage against right handed pitching. He has only five base hits, zero home runs, a .152 batting average and .412 OPS against the odder armed guys from the left side.

I have enjoyed the bargain basement juice that Gardner has provided my Fantasy teams this year and if I hadn’t looked closer I probably would have trotted him out there this week without a second thought, even with some excitement about the benefit of his schedule this week. But (there’s that word again), these 2019 splits have me thinking Must-Sit, not Must-Start, when making my Start/Sit hitting decisions this week. Who faces five lefties in a row? If not for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge Aaron Boone may have booked him a vacation to the Bahamas and said see you in Week 11 buddy. That’s the oddity of Gardner’s Week 11 reality.

The Colorado Rockies

Seven Home Games –

The Rockies have seven starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays in Coors field in Week 10. They will face Zack Greinke and Aaron Sanchez who have both allowed six home runs this season, Merrill Kelly who has served up eight and Edwin Jackson who has allowed five home runs in only 14 innings pitched. The Rockies are a roster that Fantasy owners should be picking through for any player they can get their hands on to start this week. The Must-Starts in yearly leagues are also Daily Fantasy considerations – even though they will be overpriced due to Coors – while the lesser knowns have to be serious Start/Sit hitting considerations.

Here are some Home Stats to salivate over from a few of their lesser players.

Ian Desmond

2019 Stats vs. Righties:

1 HR – .202 BA – .613 OPS

2019 Stats at Coors:

19/53 – 1 HR – .667 OPS


Raimel Tapia

2019 Stats At Coors:

4 HR – .333 BA – 1.049 OPS


Mark Reynolds

2019 Stats at Coors:

7/39 – 3 HR –   .179 BA – .788 OPS

I have been holding out hopes for a revival from Ian Desmond and I always look at Matt Reynolds when trying to find bargains benefitting from the Coors field advantage. Against Robbie Ray, I will be considering Reynolds in DFS, but neither of them are serious Start/Sit considerations in yearly leagues. Raimel Tapia, on the other hand, is a start. He is third behind only Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado in at-bats in the last seven days and fifth on the team over the prior 30. The Rockies are loaded with options, but it looks like Tapia is a full-time guy until further notice and he is having an unexpected, under-realized 2019 season. Seven games at Coors and home prone matchups too boot. Start him.

Start/Sit Decisions: DFS Targets in Week 10

Season splits and favorable or detrimental matchups aren’t necessarily the best way to make Start/Sit hitting decisions in yearly leagues and especially in weekly lineup leagues, but all data needs to be considered. And, in Daily Fantasy sports, they matter more. We are trying to analyze very specific circumstances and figure out the odds that a group of players are going to produce and often times the information we have to make those decisions for those very specific circumstances is going to be smaller samples. That’s DFS.

Here are some DFS targets based on Matchups and Splits for Week 10:

The Chicago Cubs

They face five right-handed pitchers this week, making two already Must-Start players that much more intriguing in DFS.

Wilson Contreras, CA Chicago Cubs

2019 Season Stats vs. Right-Handed Pitching:

8 HR – .1050 OPS


Anthony Rizzo, 1B Chicago Cubs

2019 Season Stats vs. Right-Handed Pitching:

11 HR – 1.025 OPS


Adam Wainwright has allowed five home runs in 27.1 innings pitched and is scheduled to face the Cubs on 6/2. Rizzo and Contreras will also face Corbin Martin who has served up three home runs in 12.2 innings pitched and Gerrit Cole who has allowed five gopher balls in 29.1 innings of work. They are legitimate looks in all of these matchups and could be discounted when Cole is on the bump on Monday.

The Oakland A’s – A Cheap Stack

The A’s are scheduled to face six right-handed pitchers in Week 10. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman

Mark Canha, OF

2019 Season Stats vs. Right-Handed Pitchers:

5 HR – 1.036 OPS

Canha is on a bit of a roll as of late, with six home runs, 11 RBIs and a .273 batting average in his last 33 at-bats and he has done most of that damage against right-handed pitching. I can’t strongly advocate in Start/Sit hitting decisions for Canha in yearly leagues, but if it’s an extremely deep or AL-Only league, he has a matchup to possibly exploit. In DFS, tournaments especially, he will be a bargain that could pay off and will provide owners additional budget dollars to spend elsewhere.

Matt Olson, 1B

2018 Season Stats vs. Right-Handed Pitching:

25 HR – .830 OPS

Matt Chapman, 3B

2018 Season Stats vs Right-Handed Pitching:

20 HR – .886 OPS

Olson and Chapman are both legitimate power options and viable Start/Sit hitting decision alternatives in yearly leagues. They are also affordable DFS options and create a cheap, contrarian, stack in tournaments.

Cole and Justin Verlander are aces who sacrifice more home runs than many probably realize while Matt Harvey (six home run allowed in 23.1 innings pitched), Trevor Cahill (five home runs allowed in 18.2 innings pitched) and Griffin Canning (five home runs in 26.1 innings pitched) are good for a couple of bombs per outing. The A’s are the contrarian plays for the week and could all have big weeks in all formats. Canha is a safer Sit, but they all could have two or three home run weeks.

The Pittsburgh Pirates

Simply put. Josh Bell kills right-handed pitching and Gregory Polanco does more than his fair share of mashing against them as well.

Josh Bell, 1B

2019 Season Stats vs. Right Handed Pitching:

12 HR – 36 RBI – .366 BA – 1.223 OPS


Gregory Polanco, OF

Career Stats vs. Right Handed Pitching:

.292 BA – .891 OPS  – Career 62 HRs vs 15 against Left Handers

Focusing on individual matchups is a no-no if you talk to many DFS specialists and especially sabermetric warriors, but Polanco has hit well against Jhoulys Chacin and killed Chase Anderson, so I had to flash the numbers.

.364 batting average in 11 at-bats vs. Chacin

Five HRs in 33 at-bats vs Chase Anderson


The Kansas City Royals

Like the Pirates and the A’s, the Royals have a few players that have done more than their fair share of mashing right-handed pitching. And, like the A’s, they could be an extremely affordable, contrarian stack for DFS participants.


Hunter Dozier, 1B

2019 Season Stats vs. Right Handed Pitching:

9 HR – .336 BA – 1.099 OPS


Alex Gordon, OF

2019 Season Stats vs. Right Handed Pitching:

7 HR – .303 BA – .957 OPS


Jorge Soler, OF

2019 Season Stats vs. Right Handed Pitching:

9 HR – .244 BA – .820 OPS


Dozier is closer to a Must-Start than a viable alternative for owners making Start/Sit hitting decisions in weekly leagues, while Alex Gordon should be starting in most leagues. Jorge Soler is a bargain-basement pick in DFS and the intriguing player in this bunch. I can’t imagine too many stacks of Royals even though they love the righties and will get more than their fill in Week 10.

These right-handed mashers will face Reynaldo Lopez (14 home runs allowed in 59.2 innings pitched) and Ivan Nova (11 home runs allowed in 54.1 innings pitched) in Chicago where home runs fly out of that place.

Scrubs on The Radar

Before I get out of this place, here are a couple “Scrubs” that have been anything but in recent weeks. It hurts me, as a Red Sox fan, to positively highlight The Panda, but the guy has been getting it done recently.

C.J. Cron, 1B Minnesota Twins

14-Day Sample

20/55 – 6 HR – .364 BA


Pablo Sandoval, 3B San Francisco Giants

14-Day Sample

10/28 – 4 HR – .357


You can follow me on Twitter @CJMitch73 or on Facebook in the Fantasy Sports group “A Podcast To Be Named Later” and we will have a Podcast coming in the not-too-distant future, so keep an eye-out.

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