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The 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

Lucas Giolito, White Sox

Giolito is coming off his first truly bad start since returning from the IL the first week of May. He surrendered six runs on seven hits, including three homers, in a 7-3 loss to the Cubs last week. He did strike out nine batters in the start, though, so it wasn’t totally devoid of value. Given that he was on such a charmed run—before the start against the Cubs, Giolito had a 0.94 ERA and 0.75 ERA in his previous eight starts—it will be interesting to see how he rebounds. Giolito is slated for two tough starts this week, drawing the Red Sox on Monday and Twins on Sunday.


Gerrit Cole, Astros

Cole has allowed two or fewer runs in five straight starts after getting tattooed for six runs on seven hits by the White Sox on May 22. He hasn’t pitched all that deep in any of his last five, going longer than six innings just once, but he has had the Astros in position to win all five games, with the team putting up a 4-1 record in those games. All told, he has a 2.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 48 strikeouts against eight walks in the five starts, getting back on track after a bad start to the season. He’s slated to face the Pirates and Mariners this week.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

It’s fascinating to watch a less electric version of Kershaw than we grew accustomed to earlier in the decade still dominate hitters. He shut out the Giants across seven innings in his lone start of last week, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six. He now sports a 2.85 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 73 strikeouts against 14 walks in 79 innings this season, still a pillar on one of the two or three best teams in the majors. Kershaw is scheduled to take the ball twice this week, squaring off with the Diamondbacks on Monday and Rockies in Colorado on Saturday.

Zac Gallen, Marlins

Gallen made his MLB debut on Thursday, allowing the Cardinals one run on five hits in five innings, striking out six and walking two. He was absolutely dominant at Triple-A New Orleans before his promotion, pitching to a 1.77 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with 112 strikeouts against 17 walks in 91 1/3 innings. New Orleans plays in the Pacific Coast League this season, which has had an offensive spike equivalent to the effect of sending major leaguers back to high school. Considering Gallen’s success there this season, he’s someone to watch not only this week, but for the rest of the year.

Dallas Keuchel, Braves

Keuchel made his Atlanta and 2019 debut on Friday. Keuchel was a victim of the new reality for MLB free agents, and while they’re getting the shortest possible end of the stick, it’s good to see him back in the bigs. He’ll make his second start of the year on Wednesday against the Cubs.

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Hitters to Watch

Max Kepler, OF, Twins

Kepler is on an absolute tear over his last 16 games, going 20-for-59 with seven homers and 15 RBI. That translates to a .339/.443/.763 slash line. The 26-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .271/.351/.550 with 19 homers and 51 RBI in 308 plate appearances.

Christian Yelich, OF, Brewers

What more do we even say about Yelich at this point? The reigning NL MVP is hitting .345/.439/.751 with 29 homers, 17 steals and 62 RBI in 310 plate appearances. His 29 homers lead the majors, while his 17 steals are tops in the NL. The only players to lead their league in homers and steals in the same season were Ty Cobb in 1909 and Chuck Klein in 1932. Cobb did it with nine homers and 76 steals, while Klein had 38 dingers and 20 swipes. Yelich, meanwhile, is on pace for 64 homers and 38 steals, rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox

In this offensive bonanza of a season, players like Bogaerts, who would be drawing MVP consideration in other years, are being completely ignored. Bogaerts is slashing a robust .298/.389/.533 with 14 homers, 26 doubles and 51 RBI in 339 plate appearances this year. He’s on track to set career-highs across the board, and has been the most consistent hitter in Boston this season.

Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets

Alonso isn’t too far off Yelich’s homer pace, belting 26 roundtrippers in 318 plate appearances. Aaron Judge set the record for homers by a rookie just two years ago with 52, which is certainly within reach for Alonso. He goes into Sunday on pace for 55 homers this season. Eight of the 12 hitters ranked in the top 10 for most homers by a rookie (Ron Kittle, Rudy York and Hal Trosky are tied for 10th) won the Rookie of the Year. Two of those who didn’t, Trosky and Wally Berger, played their first seasons before the Rookie of the Year Award existed.

Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox

Jimenez has turned a corner over the last three weeks, going 19-for-62 with six homers and 15 RBI in 68 plate appearances, complete with a game-winning homer against the Cubs, his original franchise, in his first career game at Wrigley Field. That comes out to a line of .306/.368/.645. Before the run, he was hitting .220/.273/.390. He’ll take a .249/.305/.476 slash line into play on Sunday.

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Pitchers scheduled to make two starts this week (alphabetical order by team)

Zach Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks
Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
Adam Plutko, Cleveland Indians
Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies
Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies
Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers
Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
Brad Keller, Kansas City Royals
Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers
Trevor Richards, Miami Marlins
Zach Davies, Milwaukee Brewers
Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins
Steven Matz, New York Mets
Walker Lockett, New York Mets
Chris Bassitt, Oakland A’s
Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies
Zach Eflin, Philadelphia Phillies
Trevor Williams, Pittsburgh Pirates
Marco Gonzales, Seattle Mariners
Drew Pomeranz, San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
Jesse Chavez, Texas Rangers
Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays
Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals

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Teams playing seven games: Diamondbacks, Braves, Cubs, Rockies, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Giants
Teams playing six games: White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Astros, Royals, Angels, Marlins, Brewers, Twins, A’s, Pirates, Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Nationals
Teams playing five games: Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Yankees, Padres, Cardinals