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Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Planner: Oscar Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Thairo Estrada (2022)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 16, 2022
Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson is an enticing starter in leagues as shallow as 10-team mixers.

After a week of vast discrepancies in scheduled games, it’s tighter next week. First, there are 16 teams with six games on the docket. Then, a dozen teams have seven games on the agenda. Finally, two teams are scheduled for a week-high eight games.

Notable Matchups

San Diego Padres vs. STL (3), at COL (3)

The Friars are the only highlighted team in this piece with a week-low six games. But, of course, a trip to MLB’s premier hitting venue (Coors Field) for three games to cap off the week is outstanding for the outlook of San Diego’s hitters. As a result, Wil Myers is an interesting streamer in 14-team leagues or larger. The bat-first veteran has hit his way into a mostly regular role for the Friars lately. According to FanGraphs, in 110 plate appearances since August 1, Myers has hit three homers with a stolen base and a .290 batting average.

Cleveland Guardians vs. MIN (1), at CWS (3), at TEX (3)

The pitching layout is a mixed bag for the Guardians next week. They have a few challenging matchups, such as squaring off with Sonny Gray, Dylan Cease and Lance Lynn. However, Lucas Giolito, Glenn Otto and Cole Ragans aren’t terrifying matchups. Andres Gimenez and Steven Kwan aren’t weekly starters in some shallower leagues, but they’re stellar options next week. Additionally, Oscar Gonzalez is an exciting streamer in leagues as shallow as 12-team formats that use five outfielders and a utility spot. In 158 plate appearances since August 2, he’s hit seven homers with one stolen base and a blistering .309 batting average.

Colorado Rockies vs. SF (4), vs. SD (3)

Next week is the end of the gravy train for Colorado’s hitters. They have seven games at Coors Field before closing the year with nine consecutive games on the road. As a result, this is the last chance to fire up hitters like C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon, Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon or Randal Grichuk before jettisoning them off your roster.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. NYM (3), at CIN (4)

The Brewers should face at least five right-handed pitchers next week. They also have four games in homer-friendly Great American Ball Park. So, power-needy gamers can roll the dice on Rowdy Tellez if they can stomach the batting-average risk.

Minnesota Twins at CLE (1), at KC (3), vs. LAA (3)

Sadly, the Twins have Shohei Ohtani on the schedule next week. Otherwise, the pitching layout isn’t terrifying. They’ll also likely see three lefties. The three lefties and the seven-game week enhance the appeal of starting Jose Miranda and streaming Gio Urshela in deeper formats. Both are batting-average helpers with a bit of pop.

San Francisco Giants at COL (4), at ARI (3)

The Giants are projected to face six righties next week, including three in the dreamy hitting conditions at Coors Field. Therefore, Joc Pederson is an enticing starter in leagues as shallow as 10-team mixers. In 328 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers, he’s mashed 20 taters with a .273 batting average. Thairo Estrada also gets a lift as one of the few Giants who routinely plays against lefties and righties. He’s chipped in across the board this year, with 13 homers, 18 stolen bases, 62 runs, 55 RBI and a .264 batting average.

Arizona Diamondbacks at LAD (5), vs. SF (3)

The Diamondbacks are the most interesting team of the two clubs that have a week-high eight games in the upcoming scoring period. Unfortunately for their exciting young left-handed hitters, they’re projected to face at least four lefties. However, with pinch-hitting opportunities and a few matchups against righties, gamers shouldn’t discount streaming or starting Corbin Carroll or Jake McCarthy. In addition, Daulton Varsho, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and Josh Rojas are rock-solid starters in many leagues next week.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. ARI (5), vs. STL (3)

Sadly, gamers shouldn’t get too excited about LA’s eight-game week. They’ve clinched the National League West and have a comfortable lead for first place in the National League. So, they’ll probably rest some of their regulars. Still, gamers should start the studs on the Dodgers.

Hitter Notes

Anthony Rizzo (NYY)

Rizzo might be back this weekend, but a return early next week is more likely.

Pitcher Notes

Max Scherzer (NYM)

Scherzer is working toward a return to New York’s rotation on Monday after a successful rehab start in which he threw 59 pitches. Gamers should confidently start him immediately.

Zack Wheeler (PHI)

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reported Wheeler is scheduled for an up-and-down bullpen session or a live batting practice on Friday and could start as soon as September 20. Wheeler hasn’t pitched in a game since August 20. So, there’s a risk to using him in his first start after a one-month absence. Gamers will have to weigh the pros and cons for their fantasy team. However, if it’s a close call, exercising caution and keeping him on the bench is probably the right choice.

 

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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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