It’s crazy to think that we’ve already come up on week 19 of the fantasy baseball season. It feels like the season just started. All that draft prep that was done, early season research and deep diving into undrafted players, and more. It feels like that was literally just last week.
While that wasn’t last week, there was still plenty of quality research that went on. Our week 18 weekly planner knocked it out of the park. I highlighted Orlando Arcia and Michael Harris II, who both put up big numbers heading into Friday. Justin Turner unfortunately missed much of the week due to injury, but Jarren Duran put together a solid Tuesday with an RBI double. Now the question is, can we find success once again this week?
Matchups To Target
Seattle Mariners: @KC (4), @HOU (3)
It’s no secret at this point that the Mariners are on an absolute roll right now. Winners of seven straight and nine of their last 10, the Mariners bats have come alive. Since July 16th, Seattle is sixth in HR (35), eighth in runs (111), and sixth in OPS (.787). They still strike out a lot, but they’re scoring runs in bunches and taking advantage of the weak pitching of their opponents. Houston’s pitching is tough, as the Mariners are set to face Verlander, but Hunter Brown and Framber Valdez have been hittable. Kansas City has been hittable all year.
Hitters To Target
Seattle’s switch-hitting backstop has had an interesting July. It’s been by far his lowest month in the batting average department (.185), but he’s showing he’s still got that power (3 HR). Big Dumper led all catchers in home runs in 2022 and could likely be on his way to the same outcome in 2023. He’s a switch hitter who generates a ton more power against right-handers, something he’s set to face in 6/7 games next week. This could be another three HR week for Dumper.
Cal Raleigh gets ALL of this one.
4⃣5⃣0⃣ feet. pic.twitter.com/ebw8cfiecJ
— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) August 10, 2023
Geno has been the epitome of “Good Vibes Only” over the last calendar month. Since July 6th, he’s hitting .257 with four doubles, seven home runs, and 23 RBI. That includes a stretch of 10 straight games where he drove in a run. Now he’s set to face the stretch of six right-handers who Suarez mashes. This season, 15 of his 16 home runs have come against righties, and his .723 OPS is 70 points higher than it is against lefties. He’s hitting regularly in the middle of the hot Mariners lineup and should continue to rake.
Cleveland Guardians: @CIN (2), vs DET (4)
The Guardians ended up having one of the more interesting trade deadlines. They brought in some top prospects while moving away from Josh Bell and Amed Rosario, who were both having productive seasons. Now they’re set to play two games on the road in the most hitter-friendly park in baseball. Oh, and they also face the Tigers for four games at home. A Tiger’s pitching staff that is just 26th in baseball in Stuff+ and struggling to prevent runs. The Guardians may be a relatively light-hitting team, but this looks like a week worth taking advantage of their lineup where you’re able.
Hitters To Target
Let’s be honest, it’s been a bit of an underwhelming year for Gimenez, but he’s still found ways to be productive. Especially lately. Since the beginning of July, he’s batting just .217 but has still managed to put up 13 XBH, score 17 runs, and steal 10 bases. He hits equally as well against righties as he does lefties and, outside of Eduardo Rodriguez, doesn’t face any difficult pitching matchups. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended next week with three XBH and three stolen bases to go with a handful of runs.
Andres Gimenez for the lead! pic.twitter.com/WvcAtIYJpb
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 5, 2023
Honestly never thought I’d be adding Calhoun to any of my articles this year, but…here we are. Brought over from the Dodgers on August 4th, Calhoun has shown he may still have a bit in the tank. He’s got hits in three of his five games with the team while also driving in and scoring a pair. He’s done a good job of hitting both righties and lefties in his career, but it looks like he’ll predominantly face righties for Cleveland. Something he does in four of the team’s six games this coming week. Should he continue to get a spot in the lineup, he has the power to take advantage of both Great American Ballpark and Detroit’s subpar pitching. A pair of home runs with a couple of extra runs sprinkled in is within his realm of possibility in week 19.
Matchup To Avoid
Kansas City Royals: vs SEA (4), @CHC (3)
Normally a seven-game week would be an advantage for teams. Unfortunately for the Royals, a seven-game week where you face two of the most complete pitching staffs in baseball is not. The Royals are set to face Logan Gilbert, Emerson Hancock, Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Justin Steele, and Jameson Taillon. A literal murderer’s row of pitching. They’ve been good in August, hitting .279 while stealing a league-leading 21 bases, just not good enough to really break down this type of pitching.
Hitters To Avoid
Melendez was one of my most sought-after draft picks coming into the season. With the numbers he put up in 2022…the expected stats looking so nice…the bad BABIP and shift luck…it all seemed like this was going to be his year. I was wrong, admittedly. He has been playing better as of late, though. In August, he’s hitting .286 with four home runs and eight runs scored already. The problem is he’s still chasing a bunch (30.4%) and not making great contact (65%). In a week where he’s set to face nothing but top-tier pitching, he’s going to be a popular choice to start but likely not give you much in return.
Massey has been garnering some buzz in the fantasy baseball world lately because of his uptick in power. And it’s been warranted. In his last 16 starts, he’s hitting .281 with 10 XBH, 14 RBI, and even stole a couple of bases. He lowered his strikeout rate to 13.7% and has been making quality contact, evident by his 9.1% barrel rate. The problem is those games have all come against inferior pitching. The Yankees (didn’t face Cole), Twins, Mets, Guardians, Red Sox & Phillies. The only real difficult matchups came in the Philadelphia series. Massey is a popular waiver wire pickup this week, but I’m not seeing it correlating to big success.