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Week 9 Hitter Matchups – Smokin’ Hot Giants & Phillies

With one week left in fantasy baseball, a lot or a little can change based on matchups and hitters on hot streaks. Thus, here is the week 9 hitter matchups. At this point, your roster has likely changed dramatically since the start of the 2020 season. We have several underrated hitters and veteran hitters to provide a needed boost in the final week of the fantasy baseball season. Let’s take a look at the final installment of the weekly hitter matchups.

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Week 9 Hitter Matchups

Easier Week 9 Hitter Matchups

  • Milwaukee Brewers – 3 at CIN, 5 at STL (one doubleheader)
  • San Francisco Giants – 4 vs. COL, 4 vs. SD (one doubleheader)
  • Washington Nationals – 4 vs. PHI (one doubleheader), 4 vs. NYM
  • Atlanta Braves – 4 vs. MIA, 3 vs. BOS
  • Houston Astros – 3 at SEA, 4 at TEX

Honorable Mention

  • Colorado Rockies – 4 at SF, 4 at ARI (one doubleheader)
  • Baltimore Orioles – 3 at BOS, 3 at TOR
  • St. Louis Cardinals – 3 at KC, 5 vs. MIL (one doubleheader)
  • Philadelphia Phillies – 4 at WSH (one doubleheader), 3 at TB

Five teams play eight games this week with the Brewers, Giants, Nationals, Rockies, and Cardinals. Although the Rockies play all eight games on the road, the Diamondbacks pitchers rank as the fourth-worst and Giants rank in the bottom 12 in wOBA allowed. Thus, Rockies hitters fall in the honorable mention group. The rest of the teams playing eight games have easier week 9 hitter matchups, mostly due to volume. 

A friendly reminder that the Phillies and Red Sox pitchers rank as the two worst in wOBA allowed. However, ride the hot hand with certain hitters with only one week left. Over the last 14 days, the Braves, Giants, and Brewers rank top-15 in wRC+. On the flip side, the Astros, Nationals, and Cardinals rank in the bottom-12 in wRC+ over the last 14 days. Several Phillies hitters have hit well recently, and they face the Nationals who rank in the bottom five in wOBA allowed.

Tougher Week 9 Hitter Matchups

  • Minnesota Twins – 2 vs. DET, 3 vs. CIN
  • Chicago White Sox – 4 at CLE, 3 vs. CHC

It was hard to find tough week 9 hitter matchups since all teams except the Twins play six games or more. With the White Sox, the Indians pitchers rank second in wOBA allowed and team ERA. Cubs pitchers present tough matchups since they rank in the top nine in ERA and wOBA allowed.

Last Week’s Matchups

Week 8 Record: 4-4 

Record Through 8 Weeks: 36-31-6

D.J. Stewart – Loss | Ryan Mountcastle – Win | Adam Duvall – Loss | Jesus Aguilar – Loss | Garrett Cooper – Win | Miguel Rojas – Win | Jeimer Candelario – Win | Dylan Moore – Loss

Start Them in Week 9

Jared Walsh, 1B, Los Angeles Angels

Don’t look now, but Jared Walsh has a ten-game hit streak with a hit in 13 out of 14 games in September. During that stretch, Walsh totaled seven home runs, 15 runs, and 18 RBI with a .420 batting average. Eric Cross mentioned Walsh in his weekly waiver wire article, so add him and plug him into your lineup this week. The Angels face tough week 9 hitter matchups against the Padres and Dodgers, but ride the hot hand with Walsh. 

Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers

Let’s go back to well with Jeimer Candelario since he continues to hit well. In September, he hit three home runs, 13 runs, 13 RBI, and one steal with a .349 batting average. He’s still rocking a career-high 27.2% line drive rate with a career-high 46.8% hard-hit rate and 11.1% barrel rate. Most of his Statcast data ranks in the top 25th percentile of the league, and ride Candelario’s hot bat in the final week.

Week 9 Hitter Matchups - Jeimer Candelario

The Tigers face the Twins for two and the Royals for four games, and he should take advantage of the Royals pitchers in the week 9 hitter matchups. Also, fellow Fantrax writer Rhys White wrote about Candelario and make sure to take a look at that piece.

Miguel Rojas, SS, Miami Marlins

We recommend Miguel Rojas once again in the week 9 hitter matchups after a productive week eight. Over the past 14 days, Rojas has a 184 wRC+ with one home run, eight runs, five RBI, and one steal with a .372 batting average. Like Candelario, Rojas is logging career highs with a 27.6% line drive rate and a 32.5% hard-hit rate. Although the hard-hit rate and Statcast data don’t jump off the page, his .322 xBA (94th percentile) and .385 xwOBA (82nd percentile) looks solid. If you’re looking for batting average, then add and start Rojas in the week 9 hitter matchups.

Donovan Solano, 2B/3B, San Francisco Giants

Throughout the 2020 season, Donovan Solano looks like the Giants version of Miguel Rojas. On the season, Solano has three home runs, 21 runs, and 28 RBI with a .333 batting average. In September, he’s blazing hot with five doubles, one triple, one home run, six runs, and ten RBI with a .346 batting average. Solano’s season-long numbers fall right in line with his 2019 numbers, with 81 games played in 2019 and 45 games played in 2020. 

Since he isn’t known for his power, it’s not surprising to see the below-average hard-hit rate (31st percentile) and average exit velocity (46th percentile). However, Solano’s skill set lies with the healthy 27.7% line drive rate, .299 xBA (85th percentile), and 45.8% sweet-spot percentage (No. 3). Although they face a tough slate against the Padres, look for Solano to provide a high batting average and sneaky runs and RBI with their week 9 hitter matchups. 

Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS/OF, San Francisco Giants

Similar to Solano, Mauricio Dubon displays a batting average and sneaky counting stats. Over the last 14 days, Dubon hit one home run, three runs, and five RBI with a .300 batting average. Many hoped, including me, that Dubon would breakout in 2020, and he has picked up the pace over the last month after initial struggles to start the season in July and the first half of August. In the past 30 days, Dubon totaled one home run, nine runs, and eight RBI with a .306 batting average. 

Again like Solano, Dubon rocks a wonderful 29.2% line drive rate, and his above-average hit tool is his best skill. Although his Statcast numbers don’t jump off the page, Dubon improved across the board from 2019. The most substantial improvements are a 33% hard-hit rate up from 19.8% and an 87 mph average exit velocity up from 84.8 mph in 2019. Since Dubon and Solano provide similar skill sets, I prefer Solano with the better Statcast data, but both are safe bets this week.

Travis d’Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves

The Braves face the juiciest week 9 hitter matchups this week facing the Marlins, who rank in the bottom third, and the Red Sox pitchers, who rank last in wOBA allowed. Over the past 14 days, one of the hottest Braves hitters is catcher Travis d’Arnaud. During that stretch, he has three home runs, five runs, and ten RBI with a .353 batting average. He’s crushing the ball as well with a 57.4% hard-hit rate (98th percentile), 93.5 mph average exit velocity (96th percentile), and .409 xwOBA (88th percentile). Hot Braves hitters, including d’Arnaud + juicy week 9 hitter matchups = fantasy goodness.

Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Over the last 14 days, Ryan Braun is filling up the box scores with four home runs, six runs, and 13 RBI with a .367 batting average. After an awful July and August in which Braun hit .182 with two home runs, four runs, nine RBI, and one steal, he exploded in September. Although the Brewers face tough pitching in the Reds and Cardinals this week, look for Braun to continue smashing this week. 

Avisail Garcia, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers teammate, Avisail Garcia, is also hitting well with a .406 batting average with zero home runs, six runs, four RBI, and one steal. We haven’t seen the power from Garcia that he typically displayed in the past with only two home runs on the season. However, he has provided a consistent source of runs, RBI, and a .282 batting average over the last 30 days. In the shortened season, Garcia increased his walk rate to a career-high 10.7%, which boosted his OBP to .369. 

Week 9 Hitter Matchups - Avisail Garcia Statcast

Garcia’s Statcast data is slightly concerning with a 38.3% hard-hit rate, 4.7% barrel rate, and 87.2 mph average exit velocity, all of which are lower than his 2019 numbers. The unusual Statcast data could be due to the small sample of games or data to dig into for another time. His 26.2% line drive is also up from 22.3% in 2019. As mentioned earlier, the Brewers face the Reds and Cardinals that rank in the top-8 in wOBA allowed. With only one week left, Garcia’s hot streak outweighs the tough week 9 hitter matchups.

Phlaming Hot Phillies (Not Cheetos)

Jean Segura, 2B/3B/SS & Didi Gregorius, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Both Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius have been two of the best Phillies hitters over the last 14 days. In some leagues, Segura added positional flexibility with games spent at second and third base. During the past 14 days, Segura has two home runs, nine runs, and ten RBI with a .365 batting average. In that same span, Gregorius logged four home runs, ten runs, 11 RBI, and one steal with a .321 batting average. 

Segura’s Statcast data backs up his hot stretch and productive season more so than the Statcast data for Gregorius. Let’s take a look at a few notable stats for each player. 

  • Jean Segura
    • 42.9% hard-hit rate (63rd percentile)
    • 93.4 mph average exit velocity on FB/LD (No. 117)
    • .355 xwOBA (64th percentile)
  • Didi Gregorius
    • 28.3% hard-hit rate (8th percentile) 
    • 90 mph average exit velocity on FB/LD (No. 220)
    • .330 xwOBA (35th percentile)

Again similar to Garcia, digging deeper into Segura and Gregorius will be a task for another day. For Gregorius, I’m excusing the Statcast data since he battled injuries in the last year or so. Also, the hard-hit rate and average exit velocity both dropped when looking at the last two years, and it’s likely an outlier with the shortened season. On the flip side, Gregorius’ .279 xBA, .429 xSLG, and .355 xwOBA all rank as career highs in 2020. Start both of the Phillies infielders with confidence this week.

Alec Bohm, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

Another Phillies hitter Alec Bohm continues to impress since the call up with four home runs, 20 runs, 21 RBI, and one steal while slashing .326/.382/.496 on the season. In September, Bohm is destroying baseballs with six doubles, three home runs, 13 runs, 14 RBI, and one steal with a .359 batting average. His Statcast data ranks in the top 25th percentile across the board with the most notable, including a 50.5% hard-hit rate (92nd percentile) and a 94.7 mph average exit velocity on FB/LD (No. 71) tied with Luis Robert. Bohm is a must-start, but I wanted to highlight his skills and production as a player I love.

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