Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 20 (2021)
Next week, there are only three teams as outliers. Two teams play a week-low five games, and one is scheduled for a week-high eight. The other 27 teams play six or seven games, with 15 teams scheduled for six and 12 for seven contests.
Toronto Blue Jays at WSH (2), vs. DET (3)
The Blue Jays are one of the two teams with a week-low five games. Additionally, they’ll be without the services of a designated hitter for two in Washington to kick off next week. You’re still starting your studs. However, you might opt to sit fringe starters in leagues with weekly lineup changes.
Washington Nationals vs. TOR (2), at MIL (3)
The Nationals are the other team that drew the short straw next week. Further, their pitching matchups project to be brutal. Therefore, Juan Soto is the only player I advise starting in most leagues with weekly lineup changes.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. PHI (3), at COL (3)
The Diamondbacks are one of a handful of bad offenses featured in this section. However, they’ll get a value boost with three games at Coors Field. The hitting conditions are mouthwatering at Coors Field, as you can see on the MLB Park Factors page. In addition, because they’re not a vaunted offense, many of their regulars are widely available, offering gamers hitter-streaming options for their trip to Colorado. Gamers in leagues with daily lineup changes are especially well-positioned to take advantage of streaming.
Chicago Cubs at CIN (3), vs. KC (3)
The Cubs are basically in the same boat as the Diamondbacks. After their trade deadline firesale, their lineup was left gutted. Nevertheless, most of their starters are available in the majority of fantasy leagues. A trip to Great American Ball Park — aka Great American “Small” Park — creates a streaming opportunity.
Colorado Rockies vs. SD (3), vs. ARI (3)
The Rockies are home for a pair of three-game series. According to FanGraphs, they rank first in wOBA (.355) and third in ISO (.201) at home in 2021. So you know what to do.
San Diego Padres at COL (3), vs. PHI (3)
The Friars are visiting Coors Field, providing their hitters a nudge upward in value next week. Further, they should avoid superstar pitcher Zack Wheeler when the Phillies come to town.
Cincinnati Reds vs. CHC (3), vs. MIA (4)
It’s a double-dose of good news for the Reds. First, they’re home for two series next week. Second, they get a volume bump with a full complement of seven games.
Miami Marlins vs. ATL (3), at CIN (4)
I indicated in Arizona’s write-up there were be a handful of bad clubs in favorable situations featured in this space, and the Marlins fit the bill. Nonetheless, there’s potential for them helping fantasy squads next week as a source of streaming thanks to the volume of seven games and four games in Cincinnati. Their pitching matchups are potentially tricky, so everything doesn’t come up roses. Regardless, there’s more good than bad here for the Marlins next week. Keep them on your streaming radar.
New York Yankees vs. LAA (1), vs. BOS (3), vs. MIN (4)
The Yankees are the favorable outlier next week, playing a week-high eight games. Stock up for all of the Bronx Bombers’ bats during this scoring period.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)
Tatis is expected to be reinstated from the injured list before the end of the week or by Monday, and the Padres are working with him for a potential shift to the outfield to protect his shoulder. As soon as he’s back in San Diego’s lineup, he belongs back in fantasy baseball lineups. Still, picking up outfield eligibility would be gravy.
Akil Baddoo (DET)
Baddoo’s on the seven-day injured list with a concussion and body soreness. Gamers in leagues with weekly lineup changes should revisit his health before setting lineups for next week, and erring on the side of caution and keeping him on the bench or in an IL spot is reasonable.
Alex Bregman (HOU)
Bregman’s still on the injured list. The Astros recently had to bring him back after his 20-day rehab window, but he’ll be able to begin a second rehab stint before the end of the week, as Brian McTaggart reports. A hot weekend, when he demonstrates finding his timing and rhythm, could be enough to prove he’s worth activating. However, that’s not a lock, so gamers should monitor his status throughout the weekend before setting their lineup for next week.
Francisco Lindor (NYM)
Mets manager Luis Rojas recently described Lindor’s situation as “week-to-week” earlier this week. However, gamers should plan to be without his services for at least next week.
Rhys Hoskins (PHI)
Hoskins was placed on the injured list Tuesday because of a groin strain. However, the move is retroactive to Saturday, leaving the door open to a return next week if it’s a minimum 10-day stay. Stay tuned.
Jack Flaherty (STL)
Flaherty’s set to get the ball tonight. He reached 75 pitches in his last rehab start, so he won’t have any strict limitations in his first start back. It’s not crazy to take a wait-and-see approach after such a lengthy injured list stay. However, the Royals make for a soft opponent in his return, providing incentives to roll the dice.
Chris Sale (BOS)
Sale’s ready to go, and he’ll start for the Red Sox on Saturday. The lefty ace piled up strikeouts in bunches on his rehab assignment, which is a positive indicator that he’s ready to hit the ground running in his return to The Show.
Carlos Rodon (CWS)
Rodon landed on the injured list on Wednesday with what’s being described as left arm soreness. Manager Tony La Russa said when discussing the possibility of the stay being the minimum of 10 days, “we’re going to err on the side of caution so it seems to me that’s overly optimistic.”
Luis Severino (NYY)
Severino’s making another rehab start tonight. However, that might be his last rehab start before returning to the Bronx Bombers.
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