Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 8 (2021)
Three teams are scheduled for a week-low five games next week. A baker’s dozen (13 teams) are scheduled to play a week-high seven games next week. The remaining clubs play six contests.
Atlanta Braves @ BOS (2), @ NYM (3)
The Braves are one of three teams with a week-low five-game schedule next week. They’ll get a park-factor bump playing two at hitter-friendly Fenway Park, which ranks third for runs, per our MLB Park Factors tool. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. In addition to the short week, the pitching matchups aren’t pushovers.
Boston Red Sox vs. ATL (2), vs. MIA (3)
The Red Sox are the second of three squads with only five games on the schedule next week. They’ll enjoy the hitter-friendly conditions at Fenway Park I cited above for all five of their games. Predictably, they’ve enjoyed hitting at home this year, posting a 112 wRC+ at home in 2021, per FanGraphs. Even with that in mind, you’ll want to consider benching Boston’s fringe fantasy options if you have alternatives.
Houston Astros vs. LAD (2), vs. SD (3)
The Astros are the final team at the bottom of the scheduled games pecking order for next week. Making matters worse, the pitching matchups are brutal, including Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell.
Cincinnati Reds @ WSH (3), @ CHC (3)
The Reds are in the middle of the pack for games scheduled next week. Unfortunately, their hitters won’t be bolstered by Great American Ball Park’s dreamy hitting conditions, as the Reds are on the road for both three-game series. Having said that, Nationals Park ranks fifth in park factor for runs (1.066) and sixth for homers (1.135). Further, any of their three games at Wrigley Field could feature wind gusts blowing out, which would greatly enhance their offensive outlook on that given day.
Chicago White Sox vs. STL (3), vs. BAL (4)
The White Sox are home in their homer-friendly digs (1.131 for taters) for a full allotment of seven games next week. Their pitching matchups aren’t especially imposing, either.
Colorado Rockies @ NYM (4), @ PIT (3)
The Rockies play seven games next week. That’s ideal. Playing all seven on the road isn’t. Further, four games at Citi Field means playing at the polar opposite of Coors Field, as Citi Field is the most run-suppressing park in the majors. PNC Park is a pitcher-friendly park, too, with a park factor of 0.966 for runs and 0.878 for homers.
San Diego Padres @ MIL (4), @ HOU (3)
The inclusion of the Friars in this section is twofold. First, they play seven games. Second, it awards me the opportunity to point out Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer, and Jurickson Profar have all been reinstated from the COVID injured list. Matchups with Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes will be challenging, but the seven games offset the two tough turns.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. TB (1), @ NYY (3), @ CLE (3)
The Blue Jays will be playing their final game at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, to open next week. Gamers rostering Blue Jays can be forgiven if they shed a tear. It’s been MLB’s most hitter-friendly venue in 2021, and Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, isn’t in the same stratosphere with a park factor of 1.096 for runs and 0.760 for homers last year. They’ll play a couple more three-game series after exiting Florida. Gamers can take solace in the volume of games on next week’s schedule at least.
Mike Trout (LAA)
Oof. Trout suffered a strained calf on Monday. It’s been diagnosed as a Grade 2 strain. He’s estimated to miss six-to-eight weeks. It’s a damaging blow to the Angels and fantasy squads.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)
Stanton is on the injured list with a left quad strain. However, the move is retroactive to last Friday, so he’s eligible to be activated on Monday. Gamers will want to keep their eyes and ears open for news regarding his return before setting lineups in leagues with weekly lineup changes. The most recent update at the time of writing this came Thursday morning from manager Aaron Boone, via Randy Miller of NJ.com.
C.J. Cron (COL)
Cron returned from the injured list on Tuesday. As I noted above, the Rockies are on the road all next week. They play seven games, though, so Cron’s a viable starter in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers thanks to the volume of games scheduled.
Ketel Marte (ARI)
Marte was reinstated from the injured list on Wednesday. He didn’t start his first game back, but he did make a pinch-hit appearance. He came out of the gates hot to start his 2021 campaign, and gamers should get him back in their active lineups immediately.
Corey Seager (LAD)
Seager broke a bone in his right hand last week, and he’ll be out at least four weeks. He doesn’t require surgery, and a timetable for his return should become clearer in the coming weeks. As if the games missed aren’t bad enough for gamers counting on Seager, I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to harbor concerns about his power and shaking off the rust in general upon his return, given the injury is to his hand.
Jacob deGrom (NYM)
Taijuan Walker (NYM)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM)
It’s a mixed bag in regards to news on Mets’ injured pitchers. deGrom made a rehab start for St. Lucie Thursday night, so gamers will want to make sure he came out of that unscathed and stay tuned for updates.
Walker joins deGrom on the injured list with left-side tightness. As for Thor, he began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted he sat between 93 and 95 mph with his fastball in four shutout innings.
Noah Syndergaard pitched four shutout innings for St. Lucie in his first rehab start. Allowed one hit, struck out six, sat 93-95 mph with his fastball.
– Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) May 19, 2021
Assuming no setbacks, he should be back in June.
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