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Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 5 (2021)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Apr 30, 2021

Gamers who spent a first-round pick for Christian Yelich’s services could have him back by the weekend.

Only two teams are saddled with a week-low five games next week, and both are included in the notable matchups section. A whopping dozen teams are at the other end of the spectrum with seven games. A few of the most noteworthy seven-game-week teams find themselves in the notable matchups section. Three teams sandwiched in the middle with six games proved worthy of inclusion, too. The hitter notes section is once again bursting at the seams, while the pitching notes section is on the lighter side.

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Notable Matchups

Chicago White Sox @ CIN (2), @ KC (3)
The White Sox are one of the two teams playing only five games next week, and they’ll be without the services of a designated hitter for two contests in Cincinnati. According to FanGraphs, Yermin Mercedes has played just four innings in the field this year at first base. Gamers should plan on Mercedes being limited to pinch-hitter duties for two games this week, making him a player to bench in leagues with weekly lineup changes. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Pale Hose’s hitters. Great American Ball Park leads the way in park factor for homers (1.347) and ranks second in park factor for runs (1.106), per our park factors.

Cincinnati Reds vs. CWS (2), @ CLE (3)
The Reds are the other team with five games on the docket next week. They’ll enjoy the same park factors cited above for two games to start the week, and then they’ll pick up the services of a designated hitter for three games in hitter-friendly Progressive Field. The five games aren’t ideal, but the park factors help offset the low number of games.

Colorado Rockies vs. SF (3), @ STL (3)
It’s a split home/road week for the Rockies. Three games at Coors Field is great, but three at pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium isn’t ideal. Sticking with the theme of mixed-bag news, it’s a six-game week, smack dab in the middle of the week-low and week-high marks. Further, their pitching matchups are middle of the pack.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ CHC (3), @ LAA (3)
The Dodgers’ lineup gets a boost for three games in an American League ballpark to end the week, utilizing a designated hitter instead of the pitcher spot. All six of their games are scheduled against right-handed pitchers, so Corey Seager, Max Muncy, and Gavin Lux get a value boost with the platoon advantage for all six games next week.

San Francisco Giants @ COL (3), vs. SD (3)
The Giants are the team visiting Coors Field for three games next week. Their hitters get the Coors Field-value bump. The pitching distribution projects to be five right-handed starters and only one southpaw. Tommy La Stella, Brandon Belt, and Alex Dickerson all get a lift from the handedness of probable pitchers.

Los Angeles Angels vs. TB (4), vs. LAD (3)
In weekly lineup change leagues at a provider where Shohei Ohtani has pitcher and hitter eligibility, it’s a good week to use him in a pitcher spot. The Angels have at least three southpaws on the docket, and the righties on the schedule are a tough lot, including Tyler Glasnow, Dustin May, and Walker Buehler. Ohtani’s considerably better against righties than lefties, and he has two starts scheduled. Keep that in mind when setting your lineup.

Minnesota Twins vs. TEX (4), @ DET (3)
The Twins play all seven of their games in American League ballparks next week, so there’s no imminent threat of Nelson Cruz sitting. They’re also scheduled to face at least six right-handed pitchers, enhancing the outlook for Luis Arraez. Also, Byron Buxton‘s breakout campaign includes hammering righties. He’s ripped six homers with a .390/.444/.927 slash in 45 plate appearances.

Tampa Bay Rays @ LAA (4), @ OAK (3)
The Rays are scheduled to face three righties and four lefties next week, creating a headache for gamers in deeper leagues with weekly changes because of Tampa Bay’s propensity to platoon numerous hitters.

Toronto Blue Jays @ OAK (4), @ HOU (3)
The good news for the Blue Jays is they’re playing seven games next week. Volume is king, so that’s not a small checkmark in the positives column. Unfortunately, they’re on the road for all seven games. The Oakland Coliseum suppresses run-scoring at the second-highest rate, and it depresses homers at the third-highest rate. Minute Maid Park inflates runs and homers. However, it doesn’t do so at the rate of Toronto’s temporary home in Dunedin, per ESPN’s park factors. The way Dunedin’s ballpark is playing thus far, it’s going to start getting the weekly Coors Field treatment in this piece.

Hitter Notes

Yordan Alvarez (HOU)
Alvarez is on the COVID-19 injured list as of writing this, but he could be activated as soon as Friday. Gamers will want to revisit his status before setting lineups for next week, but things are trending in the right direction.

Luke Voit (NYY)
Voit’s nearing a return, but given the fact the minor-league season starts next Tuesday and manager Aaron Boone said he’d play in numerous rehab games, “and not just a handful,” gamers shouldn’t count on having him available next week.

Mike Yastrzemski (SF)
The Giants waited a few days to determine if an injured list stint was necessary for Yastrzemski, and they ultimately decided it was needed. He’s dealing with an oblique strain, but the injury isn’t expected to sideline him long beyond when he’s first eligible for activation at the end of next week if it sidelines him beyond that at all.

Jazz Chisholm (MIA)
Chisholm’s been an early-season stud, but he’ll miss time with a hamstring injury. The Marlins placed him on the injured list. Hopefully, there will be a clearer picture of the length of his absence at this time next week.

Christian Yelich (MIL)
Gamers who spent a first-round pick for Yelich’s services could have him back by the weekend.

Check Milwaukee’s lineup cards this weekend, and when Yelich is back on the active roster, start him on fantasy baseball teams immediately.

Matt Olson (OAK)
Olson gave himself a shiner in batting practice, but he didn’t fracture any bones in his face. He was scratched from Thursday’s lineup, but he’ll presumably be back in the lineup before the end of the week.

Juan Soto (WAS)
The timetable for Soto’s return remains murky. He took batting practice on Tuesday without issue, but he’s yet to be cleared to throw. Stay vigilant, looking for updates in advance of setting weekly lineups.

Luis Robert (CWS)
Robert’s injured list stint with a non-COVID illness was a short one. He was activated on Thursday. Get him back in fantasy baseball lineups.

Pitcher Notes

Corbin Burnes (MIL)
Burnes is on the injured list, but the team hasn’t given a reason for his placement. The organization isn’t at liberty to reveal a player is on the COVID-19 injured list without the player’s consent, so that’s a possibility. Gamers who have him on their roster should plan to be without him next week unless new information is released in the coming days.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR)
A glute injury is low on the list for causing concern and consternation in the world of pitcher injuries. Sure, it’s a pain in the butt — bad pun intended — for fantasy gamers counting on Ryu for production, but he’s expected to miss only one start.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.