Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 3 (2021)
Four teams are tied for the fewest games played next week with five, while four teams are at the other end of the spectrum with a full seven-game week. All eight clubs are included in the notable matchups, and one team traveling to Coors Field for a two-game set is also included — make sure to check out the hitter notes section for more information on that team.
Braves at NYY (2), vs. ARI (3)
The Braves are the first of four teams under the spotlight with a five-game week. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Their lineup will be bolstered by the addition of a designated hitter for two at Yankee Stadium. Additionally, the pitching matchups aren’t imposing.
Orioles at MIA (2), vs. OAK (3)
Not all five-game weeks are equal, and Baltimore’s is ugly. They’ll be without the designated hitter for two games in a National League Park. Further, it’s not just any NL Park; it’s Marlins Park. It is responsible for the fourth-lowest park factor for runs (0.895) and lowest park factor for homers (0.753), per our MLB park factors. The ballpark renovations before 2020 did nothing to increase scoring, as you can see on the ESPN single-season MLB Park Factors page.
Rockies vs. HOU (2), vs. PHI (3)
The Rockies have a short week, but all five of their games are home at Coors Field. The park factors outweigh the game total.
Houston Astros at COL (2), vs. LAA (4)
The Astros don’t fall at either end of the spectrum for games scheduled next week. They’re in this section because they’ll play a two-game series at Coors Field. They’ll be without the designated hitter, but the park factors offer a sizable boost to whoever’s in the lineup. There’s also the possibility for deep-league streaming options, depending on how things shake out for some of their top hitters — more on that to come.
Red Sox vs. CWS (1), vs. TOR (2), vs. SEA (4)
The Red Sox play seven games next week, and they’re all at home, which is a boon for their offense’s upside. Fenway Park has the third-highest park factor for runs. Also of note, they’re tabbed to face at least five southpaws.
Angels vs. TEX (3), at HOU (4)
The Angels have seven games on the docket next week, all against right-handed probable starters. Overall, the pitchers are a below-average lot, too. Left-handed hitters Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh get sizable value bumps.
Padres vs. MIL (3), at LAD (4)
Volume is king, so seven games enhance the value of the Friars’ batters next week. Having said that, they have a remarkably challenging collection of starters on tap, including Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and Dustin May. Yikes.
Giants at PHI (3), vs. MIA (4)
The Giants round out the teams playing seven games next week, and at least six games project to come against righties, with one spot in Miami’s rotation in question for the remaining contest. The club utilizes platoons at numerous positions, and the left-handed hitters on the heavy side of those platoons get a short-term value boost.
Alex Bregman (HOU), Yordan Alvarez (HOU), and Jose Altuve (HOU)
I foreshadowed this news above. Bregman, Alvarez, and Altuve are all on the COVID-19 injured list. It’s unclear if any of them tested positive, and there’s no minimum duration for a COVID-19 injured list stint. All three players’ situations are fluid, and any or all of them could be ready to return to the active roster this weekend.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)
Baseball fans, rejoice. Manager Jayce Tingler is “optimistic” that Tatis will be ready to rejoin the team tonight. Get him back in fantasy starting lineups immediately, and cross your fingers that his shoulder holds up the rest of the year.
Kyle Lewis (SEA)
General manager Jerry Dipoto revealed he’s “very optimistic” that Lewis will be activated from the injured list during Seattle’s two-game series against the Dodgers at the beginning of next week. Since he’s been out since near the end of spring training, he may have some rust to shake off. Gamers in leagues with weekly lineup changes shouldn’t feel compelled to start him next week. Those in leagues with daily lineup changes can also keep him on their bench for a few games if they have alternatives.
Anthony Rendon (LAA)
Rendon was placed on the injured list Monday with a groin strain, but the move is retroactive to Saturday. As Rhett Bollinger notes, he’s first eligible to return on April 19 if it’s a minimum 10-day stay. Gamers in leagues with weekly changes should keep him glued to the pine, but those in leagues with daily changes could get him back during the week.
Jordan Romano (TOR) and Julian Merryweather (TOR)
Injuries now ravage Toronto’s bullpen. The Blue Jays placed Merryweather on the injured list on Wednesday with a strained oblique, and Romano joined him one day later with ulnar neuritis. Saves are now up for grabs again. This could be a full-blown committee situation, but save-needy gamers should scoop up Rafael Dolis and/or Ryan Borucki, in that order, in the hopes of one of them claiming the job for themselves.
Sonny Gray (CIN)
Gray is scheduled to make his season debut on Saturday. He threw 84 pitches in a simulated game last Saturday, so he’ll reportedly face no pitch-count limitations. Visiting Cleveland offers him a plus matchup that’s even easier if they opt to sit designated hitter Franmil Reyes rather than put his below-average glove in the outfield. Usually, I like to take a wait-and-see approach with pitchers returning from injury, but I’d take the chance using him in many leagues.
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