Week 8 Quick Grades (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Greetings, friends, and welcome to Week 8 of the Fantasy Baseball Quick Grades series. Despite the daily no-hitters, some batters are actually still making contact. Just like in Week 7, we have some new faces atop the Quick Grades this week.
I went over how the grades for this series are calculated in Week 1, and I’ll link to that breakdown every week rather than filling this space with a lengthy explanation every time. If you’re interested in knowing my process or just want to talk baseball, feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher. I reply to Tweets, and my DMs are open. Here’s a link to the Week 1 piece with the full Quick Grades breakdown:
Week 8 features four players with a grade above 90.0: Bo Bichette, Adolis Garcia, Joey Wendle, and Teoscar Hernandez. Bichette and Hernandez make the top of the list in part because of their favorable matchups and seven-game schedule for this week, though they earned their spots with their recent production, as well. Wendle is hitting everything right now and has at least three hits in three of his last five games. The Rays play six games this week but have some good matchups outside of having to face Zack Wheeler. As for Adolis Garcia, well, he might just be the hottest hitter in baseball and one of the most fun players to watch right now. I know I watched this bat flip from his walk-off home run on Friday night at least a dozen times. I took a look at Garcia and how pitchers might approach him going forward in this week’s Statcast Review.
Now, let’s get to the rest of the Week 8 grades and notes.
Note: This table is three pages (see the button on the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!
Week 8 Hitter Grades
While the Blue Jays are going to be playing on the road for most of the week, they do have some favorable matchups. They get three games in teeny tiny Yankee Stadium against Corey Kluber, Domingo German, and Jordan Montgomery and three games in Cleveland against Zach Plesac, Sam Hentges, and Aaron Civale after opening up with their lone home game against Ryan Yarbrough and the Rays. Unfortunately, most Blue Jays worth grabbing are already rostered unless Randal Grichuk or Lourdes Gurriel is available in your league. Rowdy Tellez is available almost everywhere after his slow start, but Toronto faces three left-handers this week.
As for other teams, the Orioles, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Marlins, Brewers, Mets, Athletics, Padres, Mariners, Cardinals, and Rockies are all also scheduled to play seven games this week. Worth noting for the Rockies: all seven of their games are on the road, but they do have some decent matchups outside of having to face Jacob deGrom early in the week.
Fades of the Week
The Astros only play five games this week, and their 8.0 might be one of the lowest Matchup grades I’ve given. In their five games, they get Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove. As always, you can start your studs but don’t go picking up any Astros from waivers this week.
The #Astros only play five games in Week 8 and are currently projected to face Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove.
— mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) May 22, 2021
Week 8 Pitcher Grades
Below, you’ll see a grid of probable starters, their matchups, and their grades. The grade is on a scale of 0-100, and here’s what those numbers mean.
These grades assume you are in 10 leagues of varying size and format, with a good mix of shallow, deeper, scoring, and roster/lineup sizes. The score for all of these players corresponds to how many leagues I would start a pitcher in if I had him in every league. So, a pitcher with a score of 100 means I would start him in all 10 leagues. A pitcher with a score of 50 means I would start him in five leagues. Zero, zero leagues. Got it? Great.
Note: The starters below are grouped alphabetically by team and schedule, and the table is two pages to keep the length manageable (you can click to see the second page on the top right).
- David Price only gets a 20 here because he is still getting stretched out, and we don’t know what his leash is going to look like after throwing just two innings in his last start. I’ll throw him in there in my daily lineup leagues, but he’s staying on the bench in weekly leagues. Those innings are too valuable to potentially only get 2-3 innings.
- Shohei Ohtani will probably never get more than a 40 or 50 for me unless he’s a guaranteed two-start pitcher with great matchups. And that’s nothing against Ohtani. He’s just a wild card in fantasy since every format handles him a little differently. I have the single version of Ohtani in most of my leagues, where you can put him in your lineup as a batter or as a pitcher. In daily leagues, I’ll throw him in as a pitcher for his start. But for weekly leagues, I don’t want his bat out of my lineup, so I miss those pitching statistics.
- Corey Kluber getting a 60 might seem a little low after he just threw a no-hitter, but a few things here. First, no-hitters no longer matter. We’re going to see that no-hitter record absolutely shattered in 2021. Second, one of his matchups is against the Blue Jays in Yankee Stadium. Kluber only threw 101 pitches in his no-hitter, but we’ve seen plenty of pitchers have a letdown outing after their dominant performance. The Blue Jays in that stadium in his first start is enough to make me at least a little nervous this week.
- Kyle Freeland is being activated right into a two-start week this week, and he gets a decimated Mets lineup and the Pirates in his two starts. Even better: neither start is at Coors Field. He threw six innings in his most recent rehab start and should be stretched out enough to at least qualify for wins. Freeland isn’t going to dominate or strike out a ton of guys and isn’t even a lock to be very good, but two-start weeks with good matchups aren’t usually cheap. Freeland is available in 98% of leagues right now.
- Spencer Howard is entering the Phillies rotation after a successful stint in Triple-A in which he struck out 13 batters and allowed just one earned run over nine innings across three appearances.
That’s it for this week. Again, if you have any questions, feedback, or requests, hit me up on Twitter!
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Mike Maher is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.