The SI.com Fantasy Baseball Table Setter gets you ready for the week ahead with a focus on the hitters and pitchers who deserve extra attention in the coming days, and all the schedule details you need to get your lineups set for this week’s games.
Pitchers to Watch
German Marquez, Rockies
Marquez got lit up by the Cubs in his last start, allowing eight runs on seven hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. He’s had a rough go of it recently, surrendering at least four runs in four of his last seven starts. In that time, his ERA and WHIP have climbed to 4.07 and 1.16 from 2.93 and 1.02, respectively. Marquez is scheduled for a couple of tough turns this week, facing the Cubs on Monday and Padres on Saturday, with both games at Coors Field.
Jimmy Nelson, Brewers
Nelson’s long, arduous return from a significant shoulder injury finally ended last week after 17 months away from the Brewers. He tossed three innings in his return, surrendering four earned runs on four hits and three walks. He had good velocity, with his four-seamer and sinker both sitting at 92-93 mph. It wasn’t much of a surprise to see Nelson struggle a bit, but he’ll remain in the team’s rotation for the time being. If he can come close to being the pitcher he was before his injury, the Brewers’ rotation will get a much-needed lift. He’s slated for one start this week, taking on the Astros on Tuesday.
James Paxton, Yankees
Paxton has made two starts since returning from his knee injury, allowing three runs on four hits with 11 strikeouts and five walks across 8 2/3 innings. He threw 66 pitches in his first start back from the IL and 83 in his second, so there’s good reason to think he’ll take the mound without any restrictions this week. Paxton is scheduled to face the Mets on Monday and White Sox on Sunday.
Chris Sale, Red Sox
Sale was absolutely dominant in his last start, tossing a shutout while striking out 12 Royals and allowing just three hits. Over his last nine starts, he has a 2.43 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 96 strikeouts against 14 walks in 59 1/3 innings. He has at least at least 10 strikeouts in seven of those nine starts, including a 17-strikeout effort against the Rockies back on May 14. Remember when everyone was worried about him back in April? That was silly, huh? Sale is in line for a couple of starts this week, going up against the Rangers on Monday and Orioles on Saturday.
Luis Castillo, Reds
Castillo has gotten over the first hump of ace development. After pitching well only in fits and starts over his first two seasons, he has been consistently great this year. Castillo has allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his 13 starts, pitching to a 2.38 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 90 strikeouts against 36 walks in 75 2/3 innings. The next step is for him to start pitching deep into games. As great as Castillo has been this year, he has yet to pitch in the eighth inning, and has finished seven frames just three times. He’ll make just one start this week, opposing the Indians on Tuesday.
Hitters to Watch
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
Arenado has been on fire over his last 18 games, going 28-for-70 with five homers and 20 RBI in 79 plate appearances. That translates to a .400/.456/.671 slash line. The perennial MVP candidate is now hitting .332/.383/.604 with 16 homers and 55 RBI this season, and will get seven straight days of games at Coors Field this week.
Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves
Swanson put together a modest seven-game hitting streak at the end of May, going 11-for-32 with three homers and six RBI in that span. He’s back at it again after one hitless game, going 10-for-31 with three homers and seven RBI in his last seven games, raising his slash line to .264/.314/.490 across 265 plate appearances.
Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
Marte has kicked into gear after a terrible first six weeks of the season, going 25-for-66 with three homers, five doubles, three steals and nine RBI in his last 16 games. Before starting the tear, he was hitting a paltry .238/.265/.388 in 167 plate appearances. He goes into play Sunday carrying a .279/.331/.447 slash line in 241 trips to the plate.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
Lindor hasn’t stopped hitting since shaking off the rust after missing the first three weeks of the season because of calf and ankle injuries. The superstar shortstop is hitting .307/.375/.551 with 11 homers, seven steals and 24 RBI, putting on his back a Cleveland offense that would be totally listless without him. He’s been even better recently, going 16-for-40 with four homers and three doubles in his last 10 games.
Trea Turner, SS, Nationals
Turner has been back for a little more than three weeks after missing six with a broken finger. He has hit just .250/.296/.391 in 98 plate appearances since returning, but deserves a bit of slack considering his injury happened in the fourth game of the season. He's had a decent weekend thus far, going 3-for-8 with two doubles and two RBI against the Padres, and is a strong bet to turn things around sooner rather than later.
Pitchers scheduled to make two starts this week (alphabetical order by team)
Taylor Clarke, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jon Duplantier, Arizona Diamondbacks
Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves
Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves
John Means, Baltimore Orioles
Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs
Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs
Dylan Covey, Chicago White Sox
Spencer Turnbull, Detroit Tigers
Jakob Junis, Kansas City Royals
Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels
Hyun-jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins
Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
Jason Vargas, New York Mets
Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
Jerad Eickhoff, Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Musgrove, Pittsburgh Pirates
Chris Archer, Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Leake, Seattle Mariners
Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals
Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays
Mike Minor, Texas Rangers
Ariel Jurado, Texas Rangers
Trent Thornton, Toronto Blue Jays
Anibal Sanchez, Washington Nationals
Teams playing seven games: Diamondbacks, Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Rockies, Pirates, Cardinals, Rays, Rangers
Teams playing six games: Orioles, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Angels, Dodgers, Marlins, Twins, Mets, Yankees, A’s, Phillies, Padres, Mariners, Blue Jays, Nationals
Teams playing five games: Reds, Indians, Astros, Brewers, Giants