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Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner: Week 26 (2021)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 24, 2021
Shane Bieber

First, congratulations to those who are playing for a championship next week. Second, let’s take a look at the final week of the regular season. There aren’t any outliers for games scheduled. As a result, there are 24 teams scheduled for six games and six scheduled for seven. Out of the six scheduled for seven games, two clubs reach that total by opposing one another in a doubleheader.

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Notable Matchups

Boston Red Sox at BAL (3), at WSH (3)

Unfortunately, the Red Sox don’t play any more regular-season games in their hitter-friendly home digs. In addition, they lose the services of the designated hitter for three games in Washington. Nevertheless, their outlook is bright. According to FanGraphs, since August 1, the Orioles have had the highest team ERA (6.84), and the Cubs sport the third-highest ERA (5.43).

Cincinnati Reds vs. PIT (1), at CWS (2), at PIT (3)

The Reds rank 29th in wRC+ (75) over the last 30 days. Woof. However, playing the Pirates for four games next week might be the cure to what ails them. Pittsburgh has had the fourth-highest ERA (5.23) since August 1. Also, a home game and adding the services of a designated hitter for two in Chicago likely won’t hurt, either.

Colorado Rockies vs. WSH (3), at ARI (3)

It’s a double-dose of good news for the Rockies. First, they’re home for three games, and Coors Field is MLB’s top-hitting venue. Second, their final series of the year is against the Diamondbacks. Taking the sting out of being on the road, Arizona has had the sixth-highest ERA (4.99) since August 1.

Los Angeles Angels at TEX (3), at SEA (3)

This is our last Shohei Ohtani watch of the year. He’ll close the season with six games in American League ballparks. Thus, he should play every day the rest of the way. Further, he could toe the slab in the regular-season finale against the Mariners if he comes out of Sunday’s start unscathed and the club opts to use him one more time.

San Diego Padres at LAD (3), at SF (3)

The Padres rank tied for 26th in wRC+ (82) over the last 30 days, and their outlook is bleak next week. The Dodgers and Giants are highly motivated to win as they vie for the NL West crown, and the former has the best team ERA (2.42) since August 1. Meanwhile, the Giants have the second-best ERA (3.16) during that stretch.

San Franciso Giants vs. ARI (3), vs. SD (3)

While the outlook is bleak for the Padres, it’s much better for their NL West-rival Giants. I’ve already mentioned the Diamondbacks have had a bottom-10 ERA since August 1, and the Friars are right behind them with the seventh-highest ERA (4.94).

Washington Nationals at COL (3), vs. BOS (3)

The Nationals are the lucky offense traveling to Coors Field next week. Therefore, gamers in leagues with daily lineup changes might want to stream some of their widely available hitters for the value bump to open next week.

Cleveland vs. KC (1), at KC (3), at TEX (3)

Cleveland’s one of the teams playing seven games next week. Also, many of their hitters are available in leagues. So if you’re desperate for counting stats, getting an extra game compared to most teams is a route to consider.

Pittsburgh Pirates at CIN (1), vs. CHC (3), vs. CIN (3)

I could copy and paste the write-up above, as it applies to Pittsburgh’s hitters as well. Further, the Cubs have the second-highest team ERA (6.42) since August 1, so the three games against them enhance the outlook for Pittsburgh’s hitters.

Hitter Notes

Wander Franco (TB)

Franco is rehabbing and barring a setback from Thursday’s game. He’s expected back Friday night. So gamers with the sensational rookie on their roster can rejoice and immediately reinsert him into their starting lineup.

Michael Brantley (HOU)

Gamers hoping to have Brantley back before the end of the regular season might be out of luck. Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports he’s “hit a lull” in the recovery from his knee soreness.

Pitcher Notes

Jack Flaherty (STL)

Don’t get too excited about seeing Flaherty listed as the probable starter on Friday night. He’s only expected to throw around 15 pitches.

Shane Bieber (CLE)

Bieber is slated to start Friday. Unfortunately, he’s also on a pitch count of roughly 50.

Carlos Rodon (CHW)

Rodon had to exit his last start early with arm soreness. Chicago intends to test his arm by starting him Wednesday. So I don’t advise gamers to use Rodon unless they’re desperate.

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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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