Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 11
There are zero scheduled doubleheaders next week, yet there are a whopping nine teams with the full complement of seven games. At the other end of the games-played spectrum are five teams. The remaining clubs play a six-game week in fantasy Week 11. Now that we’ve reached the summer, warmer weather in parts of the country that were cold during the spring will start to see the ball carry farther. Be careful about inflating park factors due to warmer weather. The park factors provided here use the last three year’s worth of data, and that data accounts for the cold and warm months. A common mistake is overestimating a park factor such as one for homers when the weather gets warmer. That’s already baked into the 3-year average park factors. Of course, I’m not saying that warmer weather won’t help the ball carry more. Again, it will help the ball carry farther, however, be careful about how you use weather and park factors together in assessing the value boost to hitters.
Reds @ Royals (2), @ Pirates (3)
The Reds are one of the quintet of clubs playing only five games next week. They won’t enjoy any home cooking with both series on the road, but on the plus side, they’ll have the services of a designated hitter for the short two-game set in Kansas City. Deep-league gamers — especially those in leagues that use OBP — should note that the Royals are projected to start two right-handed pitchers in the series, so Jesse Winker is a viable streaming option despite his recent ousting from the four-man outfield rotation. The Reds will face at least two right-handed starters in Pittsburgh, so Winker could snag a couple more starts, too. Scooter Gennett is the more universally useful fantasy option who is the primary beneficiary from the righty-heavy lean in pitching matchups.
Royals vs. Reds (2), vs. Astros (3)
Next up in the five-game week squads is the Royals. They’re home for all five games next week, and they’re scheduled to face four right-handed pitchers and one southpaw. They’ll avoid Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, and it’s worth noting the duo of Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers have a track record of pitching much better in Houston than on the road. In short, it could be worse for the Royals next week.
Dodgers vs. Rangers (2), vs. Giants (3)
The Dodgers are at home for all five of their games next week, but that might not be good. They’ve been much better on the road than at home, and they have just a .293 wOBA as a club at home this season. They’ll face three lefties, Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, and Madison Bumgarner next week. In shallower leagues with weekly lineup moves, gamers could be forgiven if they opted to bench Cody Bellinger as a result of the three southpaws on tap.
Rangers @ Dodgers (2), vs. Rockies (3)
The Rangers will lose the services of the designated hitter in their two-game set in Los Angeles to open next week. They’ve been a below-average offense this year, but they’ve been considerably better in their hitter-friendly home park than on the road, so they’ll cap the week favorably with three home games against the visiting Rockies. Overall, there are more checks in the cons column than the pros column for using Rangers hitters in leagues with weekly lineup changes.
Nationals @ Yankees (2), @ Blue Jays (3)
The Nationals are easily my favorite of the five-game week teams next week. Their hitters get dinged for the small number of games relative to the majority of the rest of the Majors, but their lineup gets a sizable uptick from playing all five games in American League parks, thus, being able to use a designated hitter all next week. They face just one left-handed starter next week, and they get a big uptick in homer potential at Yankee Stadium in their first two games next week. Don’t be fooled, though, Rogers Centre actually has a slightly lower park factor for runs and homers than Nationals Park.
Rockies @ Phillies (3), @ Rangers (3)
The weekly check-in on the Rockies reveals they’re on the road for a pair of three-game series. Not all is doom and gloom as a result of a Coors-free week. Citizens Bank Park actually ranks ahead of Coors in park factor for homers, and Globe Life Park in Arlington is one of the best hitters venues in the game — not to mention the Rockies will be able to deploy a designated hitter for three games in Texas.
Yankees vs. Nationals (2), vs. Rays (4)
The Yankees are the other six-game week team that made the cut for inclusion in this week’s Notable Matchups section, and that’s due to the fact all six of their games are at home. The Bronx Bombers are one of the best road offenses this year, but they’ve still been better at home, where they’ve recorded a gaudy .349 wOBA. Not everything comes up roses for them since they’ll open the week against Max Scherzer, but otherwise, it’s a favorable layout for Yankees’ boppers.
Diamondbacks vs. Pirates (3), vs. Mets (4)
On the plus side for The Snakes next week, they play the full complement of seven games. On the negative side of the ledger, they’re at their now pitcher-friendly home digs for all seven. The humidor has taken a massive bite out of the offense, and, according to ESPN’s park factors, Chase Field has a park factor of 0.974 for runs and 0.930 for homers.
Red Sox @ Orioles (3), @ Mariners (4)
The Red Sox are MLB’s best home offense, but they’ll be playing zero games at home next week. Have no fear gamers who are rostering Red Sox players, they’re no slouches on the road, either. Boston’s rattled off a .318 wOBA on the road, and their top bats are must-start players regardless of where the game is played anyway. With five right-handed probable starters on the horizon next week, Mitch Moreland stands to gain the most value from the handedness layout of starters.
White Sox vs. Indians (4), vs. Tigers (3)
The Pale Hose are home for all seven games next week, and they’ll face at least five right-handed starters. Bump up switch-hitting Yoan Moncada’s value next week with at least five matchups against righties. The 23-year-old has been lost against lefties in “The Show,” but he’s been well above average against righties.
Indians @ White Sox (4), vs. Twins (3)
Only one of the seven probable starters the Tribe are facing next week is a southpaw. Yonder Alonso gets a massive value boost from the handedness of pitching foes next week, and recently activated from the DL outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall is a viable deep-league option due to the heavy righty lean next week, too.
Marlins vs. Giants (4), @ Orioles (3)
The rebuilding Marlins have a wretched offense, but they get a double whammy of help next week. First, they’ll be able to use a designated hitter for the three-game series in Baltimore. Second, Camden Yards offers a monstrous park factor upgrade from their home digs in Miami.
Padres @ Cardinals (3), @ Braves (4)
A week away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park seems like it would be a boon for the fantasy value of San Diego’s bats, right? Not so fast. Busch Stadium in St. Louis actually has a lower park factor for both runs and homers than Petco Park. Furthermore, SunTrust Park’s park factor for homers of 0.951 last year ranked just 19th, and it’s down to 0.737 this year, the second lowest in MLB.
Giants @ Marlins (4), @ Dodgers (3)
Strange. That’s the word that comes to mind when constructing a write-up for the road-bound Giants after doing so for their NL West rival Padres. Like the Friars, the Giants play in a pitcher-friendly home park. In fact, AT&T Park has the third lowest park factor for runs. One spot higher on the list for park factor for runs is Dodger Stadium, so that’s hardly a needle mover in that particular category for their three-game series in Los Angeles. One spot below AT&T Park for runs you ask? Well, that’d be Marlins Park in Miami. Unlike the Padres, the Giants hitters will get a notable boost to their home run potential escaping the hardest park to hit homers in for all seven of their games next week.
Mariners vs. Angels (3), vs. Red Sox (4)
The M’s host both the Angels and Red Sox next week, but their offense hasn’t gotten fat on home cooking this year. The Mariners have totaled just a .305 wOBA at home compared to a .335 wOBA on the road.
Rays vs. Blue Jays (3), @ Yankees (4)
Rays hitters are treated to a big park factor bump in value for their four-game road series at Yankee Stadium. Having said that, one of those games is against ace Luis Severino, so it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
Carlos Correa (HOU)
Gamers who are rostering Correa had to be holding their breath after he left Wednesday night’s contest with, “right side discomfort.” He received an MRI yesterday, and the results were clean. He’s considered day to day, and the injury doesn’t appear to be serious at all.
Jung Ho Kang (PIT)
Kang is quickly shaking off the rust of his lengthy layoff from competitive baseball (for which he has no one to blame but himself). He’s ripping the cover off the of the ball at the High-A level. Gamers will get a better indication of how close to MLB ready he is once he’s promoted to Triple-A to continue to get up to speed, but in deeper and specialized leagues, gamers might be wise to scoop him now and avoid a potential hefty FAAB investment once he gets closer to returning to the parent club.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA)
Uh oh. Ohtani exited his last start after four innings with another blister on his throwing hand. It was then announced Friday that Ohtani is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain in his right (throwing) elbow. The Angels will re-evaluate his status in three weeks but early indications are that they will be extremely cautious with their young star. Therefore, a longer shutdown is not out of the question.
Alex Reyes (STL)
It’s a rough year for Reyes, as he’ll lose more development time. He underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon, and he’ll miss the remainder of the season. He should obviously be dumped in standard re-draft leagues, but this also has to be considered a blow to his keeper/dynasty league value, too. In addition to more time on the shelf this year, he’ll almost certainly be on an innings limit again next year. Depending on your team’s placement on the winning curve in keeper and dynasty leagues, gamers wouldn’t be crazy to take 50 cents on the dollar for the injured flame-throwing youngster.