Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 25 (2021)
Next week is the strangest layout for games played I’ve ever seen. First, two teams are scheduled for five games. Second, nine teams play six. Third, 15 teams have seven on the docket. Next, three teams play eight games. Finally, one team’s remarkably scheduled for nine games. As a result of the season winding down and fantasy championships nearing, I’ve opted to bump up the notable matchups section while whittling down the hitter and pitcher notes sections. I believe the matchups section is more helpful this time of year.
Boston Red Sox vs. NYM (2), vs. NYY (3)
It’s a double-whammy of bad news for the Red Sox next week. Not only are they one of two teams scheduled for a week-low five games. Also, their pitching matchups are challenging. I don’t suggest sitting your studs, but the fringe options can be benched for alternatives.
New York Mets at BOS (2), at MIL (3)
Colorado Rockies vs. LAD (3), vs. SF (3)
The Rockies are home for a pair of three-game series next week. As a reminder, according to FanGraphs, they rank tied for first in wOBA (.351) at home this year. Therefore, it’s a good week to fire up your Rockies.
Los Angeles Dodgers at COL (3), at ARI (3)
The Dodgers are one of the two teams visiting Coors Field. As you can see on our MLB Park Factors page, Coors Field ranks second in homers (1.257) and doubles (1.345), leading the way in runs (1.362), singles (1.230), and triples (2.177). But, amazingly, it gets better. The Rockies have the fifth-highest team ERA this year. Ranking a few spots below them with the second-highest ERA is the Diamondbacks, their opponent for the second three-game series of the week.
San Francisco Giants at SD (3), at COL (3)
The Giants are the other team visiting Coors Field for three games. As a result, San Francisco’s hitters get a similar value boost to Los Angeles’s, albeit without as dreamy of a second three-game set. Still, the Giants are a viable streaming source, especially in leagues with daily lineup changes where you can specifically hop on their trip to Colorado.
Cincinnati Reds vs. PIT (3), vs. WSH (4)
Cincinnati’s hitters have everything gamers are looking for at their disposal next week. First, they’re scheduled for a full complement of seven games. Second, their pitching matchups are Charmin-soft. Finally, they’re in their hitter-friendly home digs, where they’ve amassed the fourth-highest wOBA (.345) for a team at home in 2021.
Los Angeles Angels vs. HOU (4), vs. SEA (3)
Here’s your weekly Shohei Ohtani look-in. The Angels are home for seven games. He’ll be able to play designated hitter all week. Further, any questions about whether to use him as a hitter or pitcher in leagues with weekly changes are out the window with him possibly being shut down on the mound.
Atlanta Braves at ARI (4), at SD (4)
A Friday doubleheader helps push the Braves schedule out to eight games. The volume of games on the docket is the first checkmark in the pros column for using Atlanta’s hitters. Second, their pitching matchups are non-threatening.
Chicago White Sox at DET (3), at CLE (5)
The White Sox are in the same boat as the Braves. However, their hitters receive a pick-me-up from playing eight games, and their pitching matchups are a plus, too.
St. Louis Cardinals at MIL (4), at CHC (4)
The Cardinals are the third team with eight games on the agenda. Unfortunately, they’re dreadful against righties and project to face at least six of them. Further, they’re aligned with a brutal three-game run of Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff, and Corbin Burnes. Sure, the volume is nice. However, I caution against blindly starting Cardinals given their tricky pitching matchups.
Cleveland vs. KC (4), vs. CWS (5)
Here it is. Bask in all of its glory. A nine-game week. Cleveland’s scheduled to play a seven-inning doubleheader on Monday and another on Thursday. Sure, they have a few challenging pitching matchups. But, conversely, they face some below-average starters as well. Factor in their insane volume, and the positives far outweigh the negatives for using Cleveland’s fantasy-relevant hitters.
Brantley’s tending to a right knee issue. Thankfully, it’s not serious enough to result in an injured list trip. Also, manager Dusty Baker reportedly hopes he’ll be able to play designated hitter “by Friday at the earliest.”
Winker’s on a rehab assignment, recovering from an intercostal strain. If he doesn’t suffer any more setbacks, he could return Friday night.
Franco is on the injured list with a hamstring strain. However, there’s reportedly a chance he’ll do some on-field activity this weekend, which might provide more clarity on a timetable for his return.
#Rays Cash said Wander Franco (on IL with right hamstring strain) had a very good rehab day at Trop with Paul Harker and their hope is by this weekend he is doing some on-field activity
– Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 13, 2021
Sale is on the COVID-19 injured list. However, he’s expected to pitch this weekend against the Orioles.
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