This is the fifth of a planned series of articles in 2022 that will take a general look ahead at the upcoming month. The goal is to look at good and bad matchups for both hitters and pitchers, schedule quirks, what to watch out for in FAAB, and any other tidbits that I can think of. If you have any suggestions for items that you’d like me to include here, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JennyButler830.
This preview covers four fantasy weeks, from 8/1 through 8/28. Pitching matchups are mostly set for the first week of August, so individual player stats were used for the matchup notes. Team pitching and batting statistics for the month of July will be used for the remaining 3 weeks of August.
- The Orioles play 17 straight days from 8/5 – 8/21.
- The Rays play 17 straight games from 8/12 – 8/28.
- The White Sox play 21 games in 20 days from 8/9 – 8/28.
- The Royals play 17 games in 16 days from 8/9 – 8/24.
- The A’s play 17 straight from 8/12 – 8/28.
- The Cubs play 20 games in 19 days from 8/13 – 8/31.
- The Cardinals play 17 games in 16 days from 8/16 – 8/31.
Week 1 (8/1 – 8/7):
- 5 games: OAK
- 8 games: NYM
- The Mariners and Angels play a doubleheader on Saturday giving both teams 4 games over the weekend. This gives 4 Mariners pitchers a good matchup against the struggling Angels offense.
- The Braves and Mets play a doubleheader on Saturday giving both teams 4 games over the weekend, and the Mets 8 games for the full week.
- The Rockies and Padres play a doubleheader on Tuesday, giving both teams 5 games for the first half of the week and 8 games for the full week.
- The A’s and the Giants play a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday, giving both teams a day off on Friday.
- The trade deadline falls on August 2nd. It is possible that players who are traded will miss games at the start of this week, either because their current teams want to prevent injury, or because of games missed while making the move.
- Favorable pitching matchups:
- Orioles (TEX/PIT). Spenser Watkins is scheduled for two starts.
- The Rays play 4 games at Detroit from Thursday through Sunday. Both the Tigers lineup and the ballpark are favorable for Rays pitchers.
- White Sox (KC/TEX). Kopech and Giolito are scheduled for two starts.
- The Royals and the Astros are facing the Red Sox, which has been a more favorable matchup recently.
- The A’s are facing the Angels and Giants, which is a favorable pitching matchup for all three teams. Jose Suarez is available in nearly all fantasy leagues.
- The Marlins have 6 games against the Reds and Cubs, who both may be selling offensive players at the deadline. Braxton Garrett is scheduled for two starts. The Reds and Cubs pitchers will also have good matchups against the Marlins offense and are widely available.
- The Mets and Phillies pitchers will be facing the Nationals, whose lineup may be even weaker after the trade deadline. The Mets pitchers are widely rostered, but the Phillies will be starting Bailey Falter, Ranger Suarez, and Kyle Gibson.
- Brewers (PIT/CIN). Corbin Burnes is scheduled for two starts.
- Favorable hitting matchups:
- The A’s base stealers will face Noah Syndergaard each of the next two weeks.
- Teams with matchups against pitching staffs that have struggled in July (based on xFIP): BAL (TEX/PIT), CWS (KC/TEX), MIA (CIN/CHC), MIL (PIT/CIN)
- The Diamondbacks face 6 righties. This is a favorable situation for the Arizona lefties, although they will be sellers at the deadline, so the lineup may look different.
- The Braves, White Sox, and Royals will face 6 of 7 righties. Robinson Cano, Gavin Sheets, and Nicky Lopez should see additional playing time.
- The Orioles, Cubs, Phillies, and Pirates will face 5 of 6 righties. Ortega and Rivas may see additional playing time for the Cubs, and currently, the Orioles aren’t using a platoon. Both lineups may change if they trade away some of their hitters. Hall, Stott, Madris, and VanMeter should get substantial playing time for the Phillies and Pirates.
- The Red Sox and Rangers face 7 righties. Cordero, Bradley Jr., Calhoun, and Smith may see additional playing time.
- The Reds face 4 of 6 lefties for the full week. Donovan Solano is currently on the weak side of a platoon. There may be additional changes to the lineup before the trade deadline.
- The Giants face 4 of 4 lefties in the first half of the week. The Giants platoon heavily in their lineup, which will open up playing time for their right-handed hitters, however, they will be facing the Dodgers pitching staff.
Week 2 (8/8 – 8/14):
- 5 game weeks: TB, MIN, MIL, LAD
- 8 game weeks: none
- The Cardinals and Diamondbacks each play 3 games at Coors Field, which also gives the Rockies a full week at home.
- The Braves and Marlins play a doubleheader on Saturday, giving them 4 games over the weekend. The Braves have 6 games for the full week, but only 2 games in the first half.
- The Reds and Cubs play a three-game series on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, giving both teams a day off on Friday.
- Tentative pitching matchups (especially tentative because of roster changes):
- The Red Sox and Reds, Tigers, Astros, Mets, Rangers, and Rockies will play 5 of 6 games vs righties.
- The Diamondbacks will play 6 of 7 games against righties.
- The Blue Jays will play all 6 games against righties.
- The Marlins will play 2 of 3 games in the first half of the week vs lefties.
- The Brewers will play 3 of 5 games against lefties.
- The Twins will play 4 of 5 games against lefties.
- Difficult matchups:
- The Orioles play 6 games against TOR and TB, with a one-game rest against the Red Sox in between.
- The Red Sox will play 6 games at home vs ATL, BAL, and NYY.
- The Rays play 5 games against MIL and BAL. Who would have guessed that the Orioles would be on the list of difficult matchups?
- The Blue Jays play 6 games against BAL and CLE.
- The Tigers play 6 games against CLE and CWS.
- The Royals play 7 games at home vs CWS and LAD.
- The Rangers play 6 games against HOU and SEA.
- Favorable matchups:
- The White Sox play 7 games against KC and DET. The Guardians will also face DET.
- The A’s and Twins will play LAA.
- The Astros play 6 games at home against TEX and OAK. The Angels will also face OAK.
- The Braves play 6 games against BOS and MIA.
- The Mets play 6 games against CIN and PHI. The Phillies pitchers are still tough, but the offense has struggled.
- The Reds, Cubs, Padres, and Nationals all play each other, which results in favorable matchups all around.
- The Diamondbacks play 7 games at home vs PIT, and at COL.
- The Giants play 6 games against SD and PIT.
Week 3 (8/15 – 8/21):
- 5 games: none
- 8 games: NYM
- The Giants play 3 games at Coors Field over the weekend.
- Difficult matchups:
- The Yankees and Blue Jays play a 4 game weekend series.
- The White Sox play 7 games against HOU and CLE.
- The Astros play 7 games on the road vs CWS and ATL.
- The Braves play 7 games at home against NYM and HOU.
- The Brewers and Marlins will face LAD.
- Favorable matchups:
- The Pirates and Orioles will each play at home against BOS. The matchup against PIT is also favorable for the Red Sox.
- The Angels and Guardians will face DET.
- The Twins play 6 games at home against KC and TEX.
- The Mariners play 6 games against LAA and OAK. The Rangers will also face OAK in the first half of the week.
- The Nationals face CHC and SD for the second week in a row.
- The Reds play 6 games against PHI and PIT.
- The Pirates play 6 games at home vs BOS and CIN.
- The Cardinals play COL at home and at ARI.
- The Padres play 6 games against MIA and WSH.
Week 4 (8/22 – 8/28):
- 5 game weeks: DET, WSH, ARI, SD, SF
- 8 game weeks: CHC, STL
- The Rangers will play 2 games at Coors Field early in the week.
- Difficult matchups:
- The Orioles and Twins will travel to HOU.
- The Red Sox play 6 games at home against TOR and TB. The Angels play 7 games on the road against the same two teams.
- The Cubs play 8 games against STL and MIL.
- Favorable matchups:
- The Marlins and Yankees will travel to OAK.
- The Rays will play 7 games against LAA and BOS. The Blue Jays play 6 games against the same two teams.
- The Tigers play 7 games against SF and TEX.
- The Rangers play 6 games against MIN, COL, and DET.
- The Phillies play 7 games at home against CIN and PIT.
- The Reds play 7 games on the road against the Phillies offense and WSH.
The Guardians, Orioles, and Angels will be traveling to Toronto. Players on visiting teams must be vaccinated 14 days prior to entering Canada. The Orioles have traveled to Toronto already this season. Anthony Santander and Keegan Akin were placed on the restricted list in June, but Santander may be traded away from the Orioles before they make the trip. We don’t know yet which players from the Guardians and Angels may be affected so pay attention to the news when the teams are getting ready to make the trip and when the lineups are announced. We may get some news that will allow us to make some quick roster moves.
This season the trade deadline falls on August 2. Keep an eye on MLB depth charts and usage patterns, especially in the bullpens. Read the trade rumors. Picking up potential trade replacements a week or two early could save valuable FAAB dollars. Many fantasy leagues also set their trade deadline around the same time. Take some time during the All-Star break to scour opposing rosters for some good deals. The best trades are the ones that benefit both teams.
It might also be time to start dropping players that are injured. A player that is supposed to be out for even 4 weeks might be droppable. Often those players are out for longer than anticipated or struggle when they return. Teams that are out of playoff contention may choose not to bring a player back at all, as we saw with Mike Trout last season. Trout may be in a similar situation this season, especially since his back condition is a chronic one.
As we move into the final third of the season, it’s easy to lose focus and be distracted by the upcoming football season. This late in the season gains and losses are made in small increments but can add up over time. It’s very important for fantasy managers to continue to put in the work every week setting lineups and in free agency. It’s also time to start making free agent and lineup decisions based on the league standings. Maximizing every HR, SB, or SV now can make the difference at the end of the season.
Note: Only players who have been officially placed on the IL as of 7/29 are included below. Players whose injuries are day-to-day and player on the Covid IL are not listed.
There are a few other players who are out for reasons other than injury. Emmanuel Rivera, David Peterson, Sheldon Neuse, Mitch White, Taylor Hearn, Luis Patino, Jose Siri, Jason Alexander, Devin Smeltzer, Sam Huff, Jack Suwinski, Keston Hiura, Gabriel Moreno, and Spencer Torkelson have all been recently demoted to AAA.
Good luck in August!