Week 20 Quick Grades (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Greetings, friends, and welcome to Week 20 of the Fantasy Baseball Quick Grades series. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already done 20 of these this season. Or maybe it’s hard to believe that we still have a handful more to go? Everything gets a little hazy in mid-August, with football starting up and baseball hitting the home stretch. And that’s exactly why now is the time to stay vigilant in your fantasy baseball leagues.
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:
Now, let’s get to the Week 20 grades and notes.
Week 20 Hitter Grades
Note: This table is three pages (see the button on the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!
- Most teams are playing six or seven games this week. The Yankees play eight.
- The Indians/Guardians play six games and have the second-best Matchups grade. Amed Rosario has a grade above 90 and is available in more than 50% of leagues.
- Other teams to consider: Red Sox, Angels, Astros.
Fades of the Week
- The Blue Jays have the best Matchups grade, but they only play five games.
- The Nationals are the other team to play just five games this week, and they also happen to have the lowest Matchups grade. Look elsewhere for streamers.
- The 90s: AJ Pollock, Amed Rosario, Rafael Ortega, Cedric Mullins II, Starling Marte. If you were predicting players before the season who might crack 90.0 for even one week in 2021, Marte is probably the only name from that group who would have been on your list. But here we are.
- Tyler Wade has been running wild for the Yankees and just missed the 90.0 mark.
- If you sort the grades by the Grade column, you'll see Trey Mancini all the way at the bottom, with only Garrett Hampson below him. Other notable names with particularly poor grades this week: Carlos Santana and Max Kepler.
Week 20 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).
- Chris Sale is making his 2021 debut on Saturday, and I gave him an 80 grade for next week. But that grade is probably closer to 100, as long as he doesn't get shelled or suffer some kind of a setback on Saturday. If you have been stashing Sale for this long, now isn't the time to be patient. Throw him in your lineups.
- I continue to surprise myself with Wade Miley grades this season, and he gets the coveted 100 this week. Two starts against the Cubs and Marlins made that an easy decision. He allowed five runs to the Braves in his last start but still has a 3.00 ERA on the season and had been pitching very well heading into that start.
- I mentioned Cal Quantrill last week as someone I was starting (and adding in leagues where he was still available), and he went out and threw his fifth consecutive quality start. He's currently scheduled for two starts this week, with one of them coming against the Twins. Ride the wave.
- This one is a wave you want to avoid. Jesus Luzardo got dealt to the Marlins at the trade deadline, and the early returns haven't been good. I'm still a long-term buyer here, but I'm out on Luzardo ROS. Miami is a good place for him to figure things out, but he's a mess right now and has allowed 15 runs in 14 2/3 innings since this trade.
Jesus Luzardo has allowed 15 runs over 14 2/3 innings since joining the Marlins#JuntosMiami
— mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) August 14, 2021
- Someone else I'm mostly avoiding this week is Blake Snell at Coors Field. He has three strong starts in a row now, with two of them coming on the road, but I'm not messing around with Snell in Colorado in mid-August unless I have to. I'm starting him in deeper leagues where I need the innings, but that's it.
- I continue to be intrigued by Ranger Suarez, but we need for him to continue to be stretched out. Four-inning starts don't help us a whole lot in fantasy.
- Elieser Hernandez looked great in his most recent rehab start, though he only threw 62 pitches. He's available in a ton of leagues and could be helpful down the stretch, but it might be best to grab him before his Reds start and keep him on your bench.
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.