Weekly Hitter Rankings: Royals Rule the Week

Weekly Hitter Rankings: Royals Rule the Week

This article is part of our Weekly Hitter Rankings series.

The Hitter Value Meter is a companion piece to the weekly Pitching Value Meter. While in many leagues offensive roster slots are set 'em and forget 'em, in deeper formats where every at-bat counts, knowing which teams have friendly schedules for hitters, and which platoon bats will be getting more action than usual, can be valuable information, especially in head-to-head formats and leagues with weekly moves instead of daily. The Hitter Value Meter will summarize all that info in one spot, for your roster juggling convenience.

For the week August 10-16

7 GAMES

1. Kansas City (vs. DET 3, vs. LAA 4) - It's really a 1A and 1B situation this week, as both the Royals and Dodgers have solid seven-game homestands this period. Facing the struggling Anibal Sanchez in between two rookie left-handers in Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris tips the scales slightly in KC's favor, however. The Angels' series is a little tougher with Matt Shoemaker dealing once again, but Jered Weaver and his empty tank are set to rejoin the rotation this week and help soften the blow. Hector Santiago joins the two Tiger cubs to make it a three-lefty week for the Royals.

2. L.A. Dodgers (vs. WAS 3, vs. CIN 4) -
The Dodgers don't have it too bad either, as they manage to avoid Max Scherzer in the Nats series, although Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and rookie Joe Ross aren't exactly easy marks. Like the Tigers, the Reds' rotation was gutted at

The Hitter Value Meter is a companion piece to the weekly Pitching Value Meter. While in many leagues offensive roster slots are set 'em and forget 'em, in deeper formats where every at-bat counts, knowing which teams have friendly schedules for hitters, and which platoon bats will be getting more action than usual, can be valuable information, especially in head-to-head formats and leagues with weekly moves instead of daily. The Hitter Value Meter will summarize all that info in one spot, for your roster juggling convenience.

For the week August 10-16

7 GAMES

1. Kansas City (vs. DET 3, vs. LAA 4) - It's really a 1A and 1B situation this week, as both the Royals and Dodgers have solid seven-game homestands this period. Facing the struggling Anibal Sanchez in between two rookie left-handers in Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris tips the scales slightly in KC's favor, however. The Angels' series is a little tougher with Matt Shoemaker dealing once again, but Jered Weaver and his empty tank are set to rejoin the rotation this week and help soften the blow. Hector Santiago joins the two Tiger cubs to make it a three-lefty week for the Royals.

2. L.A. Dodgers (vs. WAS 3, vs. CIN 4) -
The Dodgers don't have it too bad either, as they manage to avoid Max Scherzer in the Nats series, although Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and rookie Joe Ross aren't exactly easy marks. Like the Tigers, the Reds' rotation was gutted at the trade deadline leaving Anthony DeSclafani as the defacto (desclafacto?) ace, but neither Keyvius Sampson nor David Holmberg have pitched terribly since getting called up. Gio and Holmberg give the Dodgers two lefties this period.

3. N.Y. Mets (vs. COL 4, vs. PIT 3) -
The Mets are red hot, they have overall better pitching matchups than the two teams above them ... and they still play their home games in Citi Field. The Rockies bookend the series with a couple of erratic young guns (Jon Gray and Eddie Butler) with a couple of lefties (Chris Rusin and Jorge De La Rosa) in the middle, while the Pirates counter with no Gerrit Cole and no Francisco Liriano. It's still a four-lefty week though, with Jeff Locke and J.A. Happ taking the bump for the Bucs, which should help ease Michael Cuddyer back into the lineup.

4. Colorado (at NYM 4, vs. SD 3) -
Ah, the eternal dilemma of having Rockies on your roster. Will the pinball numbers they put up in home games compensate for the offensive flatline they offer on the road? This period there aren't a whole lot of better options available, so you may as well hope for the former. Don't expect many runs against the Mets, as they have to face all three of their young aces, and surprisingly both Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy have decent career numbers at Coors Field, so it might be up to Andrew Cashner, making his Coors debut, to cough up a 10-spot or so. Jon Niese is the only lefty the Rockies should see.

6 GAMES

5. Toronto (vs. OAK 3, vs. NYY 3) - Until the Jays stop averaging better than five and a half runs a game at the Rogers Centre, their six-game periods will continue to rank above most teams' seven-gamers. The A's do send out Sonny Gray to close their set, but former Toronto farmhand Kendall Graveman has fallen back to earth and Aaron Brooks could see a major correction in his numbers after Wednesday's start. The Yankees also send out the best healthy arm they have in Masahiro Tanaka, but after juggling their schedule last week to avoid having young Luis Severino face the Jays' artillery right after his promotion, they may not be able to skirt that matchup a second time. No lefties this week for the bluebirds though, which should provide them with a good preview of what they can expect to see should they make the postseason.

7 GAMES

6. LA Angels (at CHW 3, at KC 4) - The Angels have been productive on the road this year, ranking in the top five in runs per game away away from the friendly confines. The White Sox send out their usual parade of portsiders headlined by Chris Sale, while the Royals counter with Johnny Cueto and a bunch of guys who aren't Johnny Cueto. Sale, John Danks, Carlos Rodon and Danny Duffy make this a four-lefty period for the Angels, which is good news for C.J. Cron and Shane Victorino.

7. Cincinnati (at SD 3, at LAD 4) -
The Reds get a tough California road swing that takes them through a couple of brutal pitcher's parks, but at least they don't have to face their opponents' most brutal pitchers. The Padres trio features no one on any particular roll at the moment plus the struggling Odrisamer Despaigne, while the Dodgers respond with everyone except Clayton Kershaw, although their deadline heist with the Marlins and Braves left them with no real weak links in the rotation. Alex Wood and Brett Anderson fill the Reds' lefty quota.

8. Washington (at LAD 3, at SF 4) -
The Nationals' slate is similar to the Reds, only they do have to face their opponents' most brutal pitchers. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner ... if the others guys have an ace, he shows up on the Nats' schedule. Ryan Volgelsong and the stumbling Matt Cain do give Washington a bit of a breather in between though. Brett Anderson makes it a three-lefty period.

6 GAMES

9. San Diego (vs. CIN 3, at COL 3) - It's a good week to be a Padre hitter. You kick things off by taking advantage of the tattered remnants of the Reds rotation, and then you head up to Denver to launch some moonshots. Yes, life is a pretty sweet fruit. David Holmberg, Yohan Flande and Chris Rusin give San Diego three lefties on their slate, so Melvin Upton Jr. should remain busy.

10. Minnesota (vs. TEX 3, vs. CLE 3) -
Target Field has a reputation as something of a pitcher's park, but the reeling Twins have had few problems scoring runs there this season so this could be a good opportunity for them to get back in the wild card hunt. Cole Hamels (the only lefty they'll see this week) may put that to the test Thursday, but otherwise it seems like smooth sailing for the Twinkies, as even Corey Kluber has a 4.14 ERA in six career starts in the park.

11. Texas (at MIN 3, vs. TB 3) -
This lines up to be a solid slate for the Rangers. Minnesota could be forced to turn to the mediocre J.R. Graham on Wednesday as a fill-in fifth starter, and regularly-scheduled arms Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey have both been awful lately. Back home they do face Chris Archer, but Erasmo Ramirez could help make up for that. Unless the Twins find a left-handed to call up instead of using Graham, this will be an all-right-handed period for the Rangers, so leave the newly-repatriated Mike Napoli on your bench.

12. NY Yankees (at CLE 3, at TOR 3) -
Things are getting interesting at the top of the AL East, so expect those veteran Yankees bats to step up even if they are on the road all week. Cody Anderson's luck seems to be running out and both Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar have been firing bullets lately, so at least one of them should be due for a meltdown. The weekend showdown with the Blue Jays does begin with a tough matchup in David Price, the only lefty the Yanks will see, but Drew Hutchison is very vulnerable Sunday.

13. Detroit (at KC 3, at HOU 3) -
Another strong offense on a road swing, the Tigers face Johnny Cueto to kick things off but then get the under-performing duo of Yordano Ventura and Edinson Volquez. The Astros series follows a similar pattern, as Dallas Keuchel leads things off only to be followed by inconsistent righties Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers. It's a bit of a roller coaster slate, but the fun downslopes should outnumber the boring inclines.

14. Arizona (vs. PHI 3, at ATL 3) -
There can be no better feeling for an offense than looking at the calendar and seeing the Phillies are coming to town. Other rebuilding teams have young arms in their rotation that can occasionally surprise you with their talent. Not the Phils! No, they decided to surround actual prospect Aaron Nola with retreads like Aaron Harang and pitchers like David Buchanan who would have a hard time sticking as the long man on most other teams. The series in Atlanta features a more typical rebuilding rotation, headlined by Shelby Miller, but the D-backs will still be able to savor the memory of that Phillies set. There are no lefties on the slate for Arizona, so A.J. Pollock could lose a start or two.

15. St. Louis (vs. PIT 3, vs. MIA 3) -
It's a nice home slate for the Cardinals, but don't get too cocky. The Pirates will send both Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano to the mound, while the Marlins counter with ... well, never mind. Maybe the Cards can get a bit cocky. Liriano, Jeff Locke and Brad Hand make it a three-lefty week, which bodes well for Stephen Piscotty.

16. Oakland (at TOR 3, at BAL 3) -
The A's are another team spending the whole period on the road, but it's not so bad. The Rogers Centre and Camden Yards are both nice places to hit, they do avoid David Price in Toronto, and Chris Tillman (the one Orioles starter who's been sharp recently) will be coming back from an ankle sprain. Mark Buerhle figures to be the only lefty the A's will see.

17. Chicago Cubs (vs. MIL 3, at CHW 3) -
This could be a big week for Cubs hitters, despite their middle-of-the-pack ranking. The Brewers' rotation shouldn't pose much of a threat (what is a Tyler Cravy, anyway?), while the Red Line Series heads to the south side, which means Kyle Schwarber can DH and focus on crushing every ball in his path. They do see the best the White Sox have to offer though, with Jeff Samardzija joining lefties Jose Quintana and Chris Sale, which keeps me from bumping them higher this period.

18. Baltimore (at SEA 3, vs. OAK 3) -
A series in Seattle is never a good way to start a week, but at least the Orioles duck Felix Hernandez, instead getting the inconsistent Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma as well as a mystery fifth starter. Roenis Elias would have been the most likely suspect, but he's given up 19 runs in his last 12.2 innings at Triple-A, so I think the Mariners can be forgiven if they look elsewhere for rotation help. Back home against the A's they also avoid Sonny Gray, and while Chris Bassitt's green and yellow pixie dust hasn't worn off yet, Jesse Chavez and Kendall Graveman have both plummeted back to earth.

19. Milwaukee (at CHC 3, vs. PHI 3) -
The Brewers head to Chicago to take on the back end of a rotation that still looks like it could use some beefing up if the Cubs are serious about this postseason thing. Jon Lester is still good but Dan Haren is, well, Dan Haren, while Jason Hammel has had trouble lately lasting long enough in a game to even qualify for a win. Back home, business should pick up even more thanks to what the Phillies laughingly refer to as their rotation. Lester and Adam Morgan make it a two-lefty week.

20. Chicago White Sox (vs. LAA 3, vs. CHC 3) -
For whatever reason the White Sox have had real trouble producing any offense at home this season, so it's tough to rank them any higher despite what looks like a favorable schedule. The opposition doesn't help matters either. Jered Weaver seems to be on his last legs and Dan Haren is, well, Dan Haren, but the rest of the Angels and Cubs starters look solid at worst. Hector Santiago and Andrew Heaney make it a two-lefty week.

21. Cleveland (vs. NYY 3, at MIN 3) -
The Yankees' rotation really doesn't look much like the kind of thing you'd expect from a division leader. Luis Severino is a top prospect just cutting his teeth in the majors, but CC Sabathia gives you two blowups for every nostalgic throwback to when he was effective and Nathan Eovaldi has a look of slight shock on his face every time he makes it to the sixth inning. The Twins at least send out a rotation in keeping with their place in the standings, as Ervin Santana and Phil Hughes will likely be joined by the returning Tommy Milone.

22. Seattle (vs. BAL 3, at BOS 3) -
The Mariners have some solid matchups this week. Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen are coming off rough months, while Kevin Gausman still hasn't quite figured things out yet, while in Boston the latest kid they're trotting out as a rotation savior is Henry Owens. Chen, Owens and Wade Miley make it a three-lefty slate, which aside from making Nelson Cruz salivate gives Jesus Montero and Ketel Marte a chance at some value.

23. Pittsburgh (at STL 3, at NYM 3) -
A slight twist of the schedule, and the Pirates might even rank below some of the five-game slates this week. The Cardinals rotation is pretty nasty top to bottom, but the Bucs get the nastiest end with Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn set to pitch. Up in New York though, Matt Harvey gets joined by the much more generous Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon, so there's a bit of hope that Pittsburgh hitters can salvage something out of this.

24. San Francisco (vs. HOU 2, vs. WAS 4) -
It's weird to see a team with a six-game homestand ranked this low, until you remember where the Giants play. There's also the little matter of their opposition, as Scott Kazmir takes the hill Tuesday while the Nats have in theory purged their rotation of its weakest member with Stephen Strasburg replacing Doug Fister. A healthy Strasburg joins Max Scherzer to start the series, so the Giants' bats could have their work cut out for them. Scott Feldman might represent their best chance at a big day. Kazmir and Gio Gonzalez make it a two-lefty week.

25. Philadelphia (at ARI 3, at MIL 3) -
Sure, it's a road swing through two good hitters parks against two iffy rotations, but you need good hitters to take advantage of that, and aside from Maikel Franco and the slightly-resurgent Domonic Brown the Phillies don't really have any. There are no lefties on the slate this week, so put down Darin Ruf and Jeff Francoeur and back away slowly.

5 GAMES

26. Tampa Bay (vs. ATL 2, at TEX 3) - There are three mini-interleague series this week, and while the Giants avoid getting completely shafted by following their two-game set up with a four-gamer, that still leaves five teams whose hitters you'll want to leave on your bench this period if at all possible. As the ugly five-game periods go this week though, the Rays don't have it so bad. They get three games in a hitter's park in Arlington, and neither the Braves nor the Rangers can muster up much in the way of pitching these days, with the "hottest" hurler they'll see being Colby Lewis and his 5.03 ERA over the last two weeks. Martin Perez is also the lone lefty on their sked.

27. Houston (at SF 2, vs. DET 3) -
Tuesday's duel between Scott Kazmir and Madison Bumgarner could be a corker, but it's probably not going to either team's hitters any favors. The Tigers don't have any aces left, but Justin Verlander has shown glimpses of his own form once in a while. Matt Boyd joins Bumgarner to make it a two-lefty period for the 'Stros.

28. Boston (at MIA 2, vs. SEA 3) -
In addition to having a short slate, the Red Sox also get the privilege of facing Jose Fernandez and Felix Hernandez. DO NOT WANT. Mike Montgomery is probably the only lefty they'll see, depending on what the Mariners do with their fifth starter spot.

29. Atlanta (at TB 2, vs. ARI 3) -
While the Braves duck Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi is their consolation prize. The D-backs rotation has also clawed its way back up to mediocre and isn't the toxic waste dump it was earlier in the year. Robbie Ray and Patrick Corbin make it a two-lefty week.

30. Miami (vs. BOS 2, at STL 3) -
The Marlins are the bottom-feeders this period, seeing Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright just as he seems to be getting the hang of the pitch, followed by Eduardo Rodriguez, Jaime Garcia, John Lackey and Carlos Martinez. Not that Miami has any auto-start hitters anyway with Giancarlo Stanton still on the shelf, but this week they should be considered must-avoid.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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