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Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 17 (2021)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Jul 23, 2021
Jose Ramirez

The scheduled games for teams next week are all over the map. Five teams are scheduled for a week-low five games, 12 are scheduled for six games, 11 have seven on the docket, and two have a week-high eight games.

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Notable Matchups

Cleveland vs. STL (2), at CWS (3)

Cleveland is one of the teams drawing the short straw next week. Making matters worse, their projected pitching matchups are challenging. In leagues with weekly lineup changes, Jose Ramirez is the only must-start player.

Texas Rangers vs. ARI (2), vs. SEA (3)

The Rangers also play only five games next week. Their pitching matchups are less daunting than Cleveland’s, though. They’ll face a mix of lefties and righties, with at least a pair of each on the docket. Regardless, power hitters Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia are startable, barring better alternatives.

Houston Astros at SEA (3), at SF (3)

The Astros play six games next week. The total number of games isn’t why they’re featured here, though. Rather, they’re under the spotlight because of a three-game trip to San Francisco. They won’t have the services of a designated hitter for those three contests. Yordan Alvarez has played 15 games in the outfield this year. Still, he’s at risk of riding the pine for some or all of the trip to San Francisco. Michael Brantley has been used as the designated hitter when Alvarez is in the field, creating some risk for him to sit as well.

Cincinnati Reds at CHC (4), at NYM (3)

Major League Baseball’s second-most hitter-friendly park, Great American Ball Park, won’t play host to any games next week, as the Reds are on the road for a pair of series. Although, it’s not all doom and gloom. They play a full complement of seven games, and their pitching matchups are run of the mill.

Colorado Rockies at LAA (3), at SD (4)

With the Rockies on the road, MLB’s most hitter-friendly park also isn’t hosting any games next week. The Rockies have a few challenging pitching matchups. Further, they’re horrendous on the road. According to FanGraphs, they’ve slashed .204/.279/.305. Not even seven games are reason enough to rely on Colorado’s hitters, save for Trevor Story in anything deeper than a 10-team mixer.

Atlanta Braves at NYM (5), vs. MIL (3)

The Braves are one of the two teams scheduled for a week-high eight games next week. They jumpstart their week with a doubleheader on Monday against the Mets. The volume of games offsets some potentially brutal pitching matchups.

New York Mets vs. ATL (5), vs. CIN (3)

The Mets are the other team at the top of the heap for games scheduled next week. Their pitching matchups are less daunting than Atlanta’s. However, that’s relatively speaking, as they aren’t exactly feasting on cupcakes. Once again, the volume makes up for a less-than-ideal layout of opposing hurlers.

Hitter Notes

Eloy Jimenez (CWS)

Luis Robert (CWS)

The White Sox have major reinforcements on the horizon. Jimenez is rehabbing at the Triple-A level, and Robert was cleared to begin a rehab assignment at the same minor-league level earlier this week. Both are available in roughly a quarter of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues, making them priority adds where they’re available.

Mike Trout (LAA)

Trout is inching closer to a rehab assignment and, subsequently, a return after that. He progressed to running the bases during a pregame workout earlier this week.

Byron Buxton (MIN)

There isn’t a clearer timetable for Buxton’s return from a fractured hand. Unfortunately, he’s been limited to lower body workouts. However, this hasn’t stopped his name from coming up in the trade rumor mill. La Velle E. Neal III reports in the linked piece that the Twins have reportedly offered Buxton a $70 million contract extension. The situation merits monitoring, namely in keeper and dynasty formats, as a trade could enhance his long-term value.

Alex Bregman (HOU)

Bregman’s progressed to more intense base running, and a rehab assignment is drawing near. Barring a setback, a return before the end of the month looks probable.

Nelson Cruz (TB)

Cruz adds a massive bat to the heart of Tampa Bay’s order, enhancing the run production outlook for all of the team’s key contributors.

Pitcher Notes

Corey Kluber (NYY)

Luis Severino (NYY)

Both Kluber and Severino are progressing through their rehab. Manager Aaron Boone indicated a late August return is possible for Severino, and a September return is the target for Kluber.

Chris Sale (BOS)

Sale carved up Double-A hitters across 3.2 scoreless innings on Tuesday night, reportedly throwing 34 of 49 pitches for strikes. The veteran lefty maxed 98 mph with his heater, mixing in his secondary pitches as well. The Red Sox are leading the American League East, so they have an incentive to reinstate him from the injured list once he’s ready to roll. Another rehab start to build his pitch count up is probable. After that, it doesn’t seem crazy to see him toeing the rubber for the Red Sox.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM)

Carrasco’s most recent rehab start was less than ideal. He needed 41 pitches to complete only 1.2 innings for Triple-A Syracuse. He coughed up three homers, allowed three hits, walked three, and yielded five runs. New York’s rotation is ravaged by injuries. However, they might want to see a sharper outing in which he throws more pitches before activating him from the injured list.

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

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