Welcome back to Hitting Planner, a matchup-focused look into the hitters and lineups you can Pick (start and trust given their schedule the upcoming week) or Fade (consider sitting, avoiding on the waiver wire due to a rough upcoming week of matchups). All players mentioned will generally be around the threshold of either ownership or starting/sitting for your fantasy team.
As usual, I’ll point out the teams and corresponding players with noticeably poor matchups (the Fades) and noticeably great matchups (the Picks).
Let’s get started with Week 12 (June 21 — June 27). For each team we evaluate, we will note their opponents in italics, including the number of times they play in the week. For this week, stats mentioned from the season until now will be up-to-date as of the end of Friday night games.
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Week 12 Hitting Planner
Fades: Stay Away
Opponents: HOU (3), TOR (4)
While I only have two ultimate-fade matchup teams to target on offense this week, they also happen to be no-brainers in bad offensive situations this week. The first—the shallow Baltimore Orioles that have again fallen back down to Earth and receiving offensive production mostly from their breakout powerhouse Cedric Mullens II and the well-known star Trey Mancini. In deeper leagues, you might have also stolen Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco, or Ryan Mountcastle on a budget. None of these players should see matchup-winning production next week.
Facing a full 7-game slate of elite starting pitching, the Orioles should have trouble producing runs against names such as Zack Greinke, Jose Urquidy, Robbie Ray, rookie stud Alek Manoah, and former Cy Young finalist Hyun-jin Ryu. Stay away from their bats.
Opponents: MIL (3), SDP (3)
The Diamondbacks are in an exciting quest for the #1 overall draft pick and they should get some help this week with the bats staying quiet. Depending on the depth of your league or format, it’s possible you’ve explored multiple Diamondbacks hitters this season, including catcher Carson Kelly who went down with a wrist fracture on Saturday night. With the lineup even more depleted, featuring fewer run-scoring opportunities, the matchups are the killer. Set to face two of the best pitching staffs in baseball, Arizona will have to face a stack of starters that includes Cy Young-caliber arms such as Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff, Dinelson Lamet, and Yu Darvish.
Every hitter in the Diamondbacks lineup, regardless of positional versatility, should be at the bottom of your priority lists this week—Eduardo Escobar, Pavin Smith, David Peralta, Josh Rojas, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Ketel Marte will all have to way a few days to be relevant again.
Picks: Buy In
Chicago White Sox
Opponents: PIT (2), SEA (3)
It’s rare that I include a slate of only 5 games among the situations to target and pick up for your fantasy team on the week. But the juice is worth the squeeze with these attractive matchups. The White Sox can straight-up rake and their ceiling against the abysmal pitching staffs in Pittsburgh and Seattle is sky-high. Every White Sox hitter is a go this week—Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, and even the ice-cold Yermin Mercedes; explore them all for the depth of your lineup.
Opponents: BAL (3), DET (4)
Baltimore and Detroit—two of our best friends when it comes to target practice for pitching staffs to include on the hitting planner! With both pitching staffs still ranking among the league’s worst in ERA, xFIP, SIERA, and strikeout rate, the Astros bats should stay hot in their deep lineup and produce runs and fantasy production in all formats. While Alex Bregman might be out of the Houston lineup for a while, there’s still plenty of routes to look into to target the soft matchups for the Astros offense this week.
The red-hot Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are obvious plays but don’t forget about good ol’ reliable Yulieski Gurriel, young stud Yordan Alvarez, veteran professional-AB Michael Brantley, and (if healthy) Kyle Tucker.
Opponents: ARI (3), COL (3)
On the season, the Diamondbacks and the Rockies both rank in the bottom 5 among all MLB pitching staffs in ERA, xFIP, and SIERA and they are the two lowest strikeout rate teams on the mound. To put it simply, the line of matchups cannot get much easier in a week for an offense. That’s what the Brewers get to pounce on for Week 12. With former MVP Christian Yelich back in the lineup, don’t just play him—also look into the guys around him in the lineup. Ride with the most consistent fantasy performer in the Milwaukee offense, Avisail Garcia. Ride with the positional value of Luis Urias and Willy Adames. Take Omar Narvaez’s help if you need that ever-so-demanded help at catcher. Green lights all around for the Brewers lineup.
St. Louis Cardinals
Opponents: DET (2), PIT (4)
Simple stuff just as above — Detroit is bad on the mound and Pittsburgh is even worse on the mound. Additionally, the Cardinals get to avoid any of the major concerns in the Tigers starting rotation as they do not have to face Matthew Boyd or Casey Mize. This is the week for the Cardinals offense to get back in a groove. Of course, take advantage of the dynamic duo of Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. But also show some love to utility man Tommy Edman, outfielders Dylan Carlson and Tyler O’Neill, the power upside of Paul DeJong, and the vintage Yadier Molina.
New York Mets
Opponents: ATL (4), PHI (4)
A rarity in baseball and a different route here on hitting planner; while the matchups of the Braves and Phillies may not be the lobs that our usual punching bags have been, both pitching staffs have been inconsistent and overall mediocre on the season. Their bullpens struggle and their starters have been high-variance all season long. As teams, both Atlanta and Philly rank middle-of-the-pack statistically. The reason you can’t dismiss the Mets’ week is that they get to take advantage of the rare 8-game week. Granted, some of those games will be set for 7 innings and there may be some wear and tear involved, you can’t argue with 8 games in 7 days and the value that schedule poses in leagues that rely on counting stats. Fire up Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Dominic Smith, the underrated hot streaks of Jonathan Villar and Billy McKinney, and the positional value of James McCann.
For more great Fantasy Baseball check out Mick Ciallela’s Rest of Season Rankings! Mick was the No. 1 Ranker on FantasyPros.com for the 2020 MLB season.
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