Week 25 Quick Grades (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Greetings, friends, and welcome to Week 25 of the Fantasy Baseball Quick Grades series. Can you believe we have been doing this for 25 weeks? I can, but only because I’m exhausted and my brain hurts. If you’re reading this, you’re probably doing OK in your fantasy league, and these grades may have worked for you. If that is the case, definitely reach out and let me know. That kind of feedback is what keeps me going in the middle of the night when my eyes are tired but I know I have to finalize these grades for the upcoming week. Think of it as the Tinkerbell Effect. The clapping (feedback) keeps me alive.
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 25 grades and notes.
Week 25 Hitter Grades
Note: This table is multiple pages (see the button on the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!
This week is SUPER weird. There are a bunch of teams playing seven, eight, and even nine games, and then two teams playing just five games. At this point in the season, especially in H2H playoffs/championships, that stuff absolutely matters. Here's the breakdown.
- A whopping 15 teams play SEVEN games this week. I'm not going to list them here. That's half of the league, and they're all listed above. Every team playing seven games has a grade of 25.
- Three teams, the Braves, White Sox, and Cardinals, play EIGHT games this week.
- The Indians/Guardians/Cleveland Baseball Team play NINE games this week. That isn't a typo. They play nine games in seven days in Week 25 thanks to two doubleheaders.
- The Marlins only play six games but have the top Matchups grade for the week. The Reds (seven games), Yankees (six games), Phillies (seven games), and Blue Jays (seven games) round out the Top 5 for best Matchups grades.
If you're in a H2H #FantasyBaseball championship next week, take a hard look at the schedule because it's going to be a wild week:
— mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) September 18, 2021
Fades of the Week
- The Red Sox and Mets play just five games this week. The Red Sox have a Matchups grade of 15.50, while the Mets have a grade of 16.50. Both of those numbers are about average, but the lack of games in a week PACKED with games makes them both fades.
- The Rockies play six games this week and have the lowest Matchups grade. The Pirates and Athletics each play seven games but are also near the bottom of the list in terms of Matchup grades.
Week 25 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 multiple pages to keep the length manageable (you can click to see the second page on the top right).
- Triston McKenzie posted a 1.93 ERA in August and a 1.50 ERA in September after struggling for much of the first half of the season. He has tossed an eye-popping seven consecutive quality starts since July 31.
- Tony Gonsolin intrigues me. He tossed five scoreless innings in his most recent start and gets the Rockies next week, though he does have to face them in Coors Field. Still, he has a 2.47 ERA and 51 strikeouts (but also 30 walks) over 43 2/3 innings with the Dodgers and is available in more than 50% of leagues. You could do worse for an emergency streamer in the playoffs...
- I was all over Trevor Rogers earlier this season and was able to grab him in a bunch of leagues, both redraft and keeper. But he was already trending in the wrong direction before his recent absence and has allowed seven earned runs over 16 2/3 innings since returning. He hasn't completed five innings in a game since July 20 and hasn't completed six innings since June 15. I'm bullish on Rogers long-term, but I'm not really counting on him next week against the Nationals.
- Eric Lauer is someone we have discussed on Leading Off, and he has been sneaky good for a while now. He has a 2.18 ERA in the second half and a 0.93 ERA through 19 1/3 innings in September. 0.93! He lines up to face the Cubs on Sunday and the Mets at home next week and is available in more than 60% of leagues despite a 3.10 ERA on the year and a ton of recent success.
- Michael Pineda is an intriguing add in leagues where you need starting pitching, and he gets the Cubs in Chicago next week. In three appearances since returning, he has allowed two earned runs over 13 2/3 innings. He gets the Cubs in Chicago.
- Shane Baz posted a 1.76 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 46 innings in Triple-A, but he is debuting against the Blue Jays and was recently scratched due to back spasms. His second start against the Marlins is more appealing in daily formats, but I gave him a zero here based on the assumption of weekly lineups leagues. You can start Baz if you are truly desperate, but you are probably better off avoiding at least that debut against Toronto.
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.