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Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 21 (2021)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 20, 2021
Mookie Betts

Next week features five teams playing a week-low five games. The remaining 25 teams play six or seven games, with 20 scheduled for six contests and five for a week-high seven games.

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Notable Matchups

Los Angeles Angels at BAL (3), vs. SD (2)
Here’s your weekly Shohei Ohtani look-in. The Angels are one of five teams scheduled for a week-low five games. However, all five are in American League ballparks, and the pitching matchups are favorable. Gamers in leagues with weekly lineup changes who have to decide between using him as a hitter or pitcher have a difficult decision, as he lines up for a dreamy draw with the Orioles.

San Diego Padres vs. LAD (3), at LAA (2)
The Padres are another squad with a week-low five games. On the plus side, they’ll gain the services of a designated hitter for a pair against the Angels. Presumably, they’ll give superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. a break from learning the outfield and slot him at designated hitter to protect him from any injury risk in the field.

Tampa Bay Rays at PHI (2), at BAL (3)
I offered Ohtani watch above, and here’s Nelson Cruz watch. Not only do the Rays have a short week, but two games will be without a designated hitter in Philadelphia. So gamers in all but deep weekly leagues bereft of alternatives should consider benching Cruz.

Cincinnati Reds at MIL (3), at MIA (3)
The Reds are road-bound all next week. Additionally, they square off with some challenging probable starters. So it’s not an ideal outlook for Cinci’s hitters.

Colorado Rockies at CHC (3), at LAD (3)
Like the Reds, the Rockies are on the road for six games next week. However, it’s even more damaging for Colorado’s hitters, as they’re completely inept on the road. According to FanGraphs, the Rockies rank dead last in wRC+ (65) by a margin of nine points. Yikes.

Arizona Diamondbacks at PIT (3), at PHI (4)
No one’s excited to roster hitters from the Diamondbacks. Although that means most of their hitters are widely available, putting them in the streaming mix for a seven-game week. Additionally, since MLB’s trade deadline, the Pirates have the fifth-highest ERA (5.69), and Phillies sit middle of the pack.

Chicago White Sox at TOR (4), vs. CHC (3)
The White Sox have four potentially tricky matchups on the docket for their trip north of the border. Still, that’s offset by playing more games than all but four other teams. Further, the Cubs are a great draw to end the week, as they have the second-highest team ERA (6.86) since the trade deadline.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. ARI (3), vs. STL (4)
Like the Diamondbacks, the Pirates are a source of streaming options as a bad team with seven games scheduled. Volume rules the roost, and they offer it.

Hitter Notes

Mookie Betts (LAD)
Betts is working his way back from the injured list. A short rehab assignment that results in a return next week is the expectation, barring a setback.

Javier Baez (NYM)
Francisco Lindor (NYM)
Baez is trending toward a return from the injured list when first eligible on Sunday. Lindor recently took swings against Noah Syndergaard in a simulated game. His timetable for return is unclear, but manager Luis Rojas indicated it’s possible he won’t need a rehab assignment.

Akil Baddoo (DET)
Baddoo began a rehab assignment for his concussion on Wednesday. So all systems should be a go soon, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

Jesse Winker (CIN)
The initial expectation was that Winker could return from the injured list after the minimum of 10 days. Unfortunately, it appears he’s at least a couple of weeks away from rejoining the Reds.

Pitcher Notes

Freddy Peralta (MIL)
Peralta exited his start Wednesday with shoulder discomfort that might have been the product of an awkward swing. The Brewers have since placed him on the injured list with shoulder inflammation.

Ian Anderson (ATL)
Anderson tossed 4.1 scoreless innings in his third rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett, likely signaling a return on the horizon.

Luis Severino (NYY)
Corey Kluber (NYY)
Domingo German (NYY)
Randy Miller of provided injury updates on the trio of Severino, Kluber, and German. Severino appears unlikely to help fantasy gamers this year. Kluber could return in September, and German’s the closest to returning, possibly bypassing a rehab start.

Carlos Rodon (CWS)
A timetable for Rodon’s return is unclear. However, nothing is reportedly structurally wrong with his shoulder. I often take a risk-averse approach of sitting a pitcher for his first start back from the injured list. In Rodon’s case, I’m comfortable suggesting starting him as soon as he’s back on the bump for the Pale Hose.

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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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