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Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner for Week 20

We’ve officially turned our calendars to August. Feeling the heat yet? Things will be cooking for a couple of AL East teams this week that sit atop the offensive rankings for Week 20’s hitting planner. And as a cruel joke from the baseball gods, we get two teams with eight games this week. Here’s the punchline, those teams happen to be the two worst offenses in baseball. Let’s take a look at each team’s matchups and what stands out to me. As usual, I rank every team’s offense for the week based on matchups, ballparks, and number of games.

For more help getting ready for Week 17 check out Eric Cross’ Waiver Wire Adds, Nathan Dokken’s Starting Pitcher Rankings, and Paul Mammino’s Two-Start Pitchers.

AL Hitting Planner

AL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
BAL2963(NYY) 3(HOU)042
BOS273(KC) 4(LAA)061
NYY1703(BAL) 4(TOR)52

The Baltimore Orioles get all six games at home this week. That’s good news for the Yankees and Astros bats. Both the Yankees and Astros pitchers are capable of shutting down the Orioles. The Astros have one of the best rotations in baseball. Their 3.57 ERA in July ranks fourth in MLB. Anthony Santander and Renato Nunez have been hitting third and fourth in the Oriole’s lineup and have been good sources of power and RBI since the All-Star break. Santander has hit .321 with four home runs and 16 RBI since the break. Meanwhile, Nunez has hit .303 with five home runs and 14 RBI in that time.

The Red Sox are among the top teams with the best matchups on the hitting planner this week. Boston plays seven games at home with three against the Kansas City Royals and four against the Los Angeles Angels. The Red Sox have hit significantly better at home with a .288 average at home versus a .267 average on the road. J.D. Martinez is starting to turn the power on with four home runs in his last seven games. If you haven’t already sold Martinez, I wouldn’t do so now. And if you’ve considered buying low, it might be too late.

With six games expected to come against right-handed pitching, Michael Chavis benefits with a .276 average against righties. Chavis has been lackluster since his hot start but he is someone that could help you this week in deeper leagues.

The number one rank on the hitting planner goes to the Yankees. New York has seven games on the schedule, all on the road with three in Baltimore and four in Toronto. The Orioles pitching staff has been one to target all season, especially in Camden Yards. The Blue Jays pitching staff just lost its ace and has been otherwise among the worst in the league. Gio Urshela is an interesting deeper league option as he should continue to play every day this week at third base. Urshela has hit four home runs with a .339 average since the All-Star break. Urshela’s .333 BABIP in that time along with his 12.3% strikeout rate tells me his average is sustainable. He could score plenty of runs in that offense this week.

The Tampa Bay Rays have favorable matchups this week against the Blue Jays and Mariners. Seattle is a team I am targeting as they have had a bottom seven ERA in the league over the last month. Jesus Aguilar was activated on Friday and was the designated hitter. The man he replaced, Nate Lowe, was sent down to AAA after hitting .346 since the All-Star break, go figure. Austin Meadows has been playing every game against left-handed pitchers so he looks to be safe from a platoon. Meadows has turned things around after a cold stretch with a .279 average and 5 home runs since the break. Travis d’Arnaud has hit .333 with seven home runs in that time but the addition of Aguilar could affect his playing time as he sat on Friday. D’Arnaud is making a case as a top 10 catcher and should be owned in all leagues at this point.

Toronto has another week with seven games as they’ve been hitting well of late, scoring at least seven runs in five of their last seven games. Much of that has come off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has a .324 average with five home runs and 22 RBI since the All-Star break. New Blue Jays leadoff man Bo Bichette is off to a hot start to his MLB career with a .444 average in the five games since his call-up. Teoscar Hernandez has been a popular deep league add as he has seven home runs since returning from the break. Although the addition of Derek Fisher could limit his playing time as Fisher played center field Friday while Hernandez was on the bench.

AL Central

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
DET584(CWS) 4(KC)051
KC15703(BOS) 4(DET)43
MIN1473(ATL) 4(CLE)061

The White Sox offense has been cold of late, scoring more than two runs only twice in their last nine games. Four games in Detroit could get them out of that funk. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez have both hit under .200 since the All-Star break, but if I own them, I’m starting them this week.

The Indians received a major boost to their offense acquiring Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes at the trade deadline. Reyes is a major win in my eyes. With consistent playing time in a better offense, he should be able to come closer to his expected statistics. Reyes is currently hitting .252 with a .526 SLG. Meanwhile, according to Statcast, his expected average and slugging are .273 and .551. If Reyes is available or could be acquired, I would be comfortable with him as my third outfielder for the rest of the season regardless of league size and format.

Oscar Mercado benefits from the offensive additions as well as he should be scoring more runs from the second spot in the order. Mercado has been a valuable piece of the offense, hitting .312 with four home runs and three steals since the all-star break. Cleveland has seven games this week with the Rangers and Twins on the schedule.

The Tigers get eight games this week. Too bad it’s the Tigers. They do get favorable matchups with four games against the White Sox and Royals each. Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, and Danny Duffy appear to be the only real challenges on the schedule. Niko Goodrum has played over his head with a .297 average since the All-Star break that comes with a 40.6% strikeout rate and .441 BABIP, but I would ride it out for one more week with the matchups on hand.

Kansas City has a full seven-game schedule that includes four games in Detroit. Aside from Matthew Boyd, the rest of that rotation has been one of the worst in baseball. The Royals have collectively struggled against left-handed pitching, and they are set to face three lefties this week. Jorge Soler has a one-to-one walk to strikeout ratio since the All-Star break with five home runs and a .277 average. Soler and Merrifield might be the only players worth considering in shallow leagues.

Nelson Cruz did his best to make up for not playing in an NL park on Friday with a home run, two doubles, and five RBI. Minnesota will get to keep its DH when the Braves visit for three games. The Indians also visit the Twins for four games. Cleveland has had the best ERA in the majors since July 1, but just traded a big component in Trevor Bauer. Miguel Sano is looking like his old self with a .270 average and five home runs since the All-Star break. The Twins get plenty of matchups for the remainder of the season against the Royals, Tigers, and White Sox. So, I would want any shares of the Twins top hitters I can get for the stretch run.

AL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
LAA25602(CIN) 4(BOS)42
OAK22603(CHC) 3(CWS)42
SEA3052(SD) 3(TB)041
TEX21603(CLE) 3(MIL)51

Houston is one of only two teams with five games on the schedule. The good thing is that three of those game will be in Baltimore. You’re still starting any Astros you own. There’s not much more to it when it comes to this offense. It’s one you want any shares of you can get. Although now may be a good time to sell high on Yordan Alvarez. His .313 average since the break does come with a .390 BABIP and 26% strikeout rate. According to his statcast data, his .336 average on the season is well above his .276 expected batting average. Aaron Judge comes to mind as a target worth trying to buy low on.

The Los Angeles Angels have six games on the schedule. Unfortunately, three of those games come against Luis Castillo, Chris Sale, and David Price. Matt Thaiss has emerged as an interesting deep league option with five home runs in twelve games.

Oakland goes to Chicago for a series against both the Cubs and White Sox. The A’s start the week against the Cubs for three games in which they will be without their DH. Sit Khris Davis. Mark Canha has been playing every day and has a .304 average with five home runs and two steals since the All-Star break.

The Mariners are the other team aside from the Astros that have only five games this week. All five games come at home against the Padres and Rays. You’re never sitting Mallex Smith in roto leagues, otherwise, I would find better options than any shares of the Mariners offense this week. Seattle sits last in my hitting planner offensive rankings.

Texas will be without their DH position when they visit the Rangers for three games. This could take away at-bats for the week from Shin-Soo Choo and Hunter Pence. Elvis Andrus is in a massive funk hitting .179 with no home runs since the All-Star break. He’s bound to turn it around with only a .200 BABIP in that time but I wouldn’t count on Andrus this week. Danny Santana meanwhile continues to get it done with a .403 average with seven home run and three steals since the break. His eligibility all over the diamond adds to his value as he should be added everywhere at this point with everyday playing time.

NL Hitting Planner

NL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
ATL3703(MIN) 4(MIA)52
NYM1374(MIA) 3(WSH)061
PHI4703(ARI) 4(SF)52
WAS11603(SF) 3(NYM)60

Atlanta gets seven games this week and outside of Jose Berrios, none of their matchups worry me for their offense. The Braves will have the DH position available for three games in Minnesota, so someone like Adam Duvall could stay in the lineup along with Ender Inciarte playing the field. Duvall is the new Austin Riley with five home runs in his six games since being called up. Duvall has yet to walk in those six games as he’s never really had a good plate approach. I would stream him in roto leagues for power this week if anything.

In what has to be a cruel joke of the baseball gods, the Marlins are the other team along with the Tigers to have eight games this week. Unfortunately, those games come against the Braves and Mets. New York put together one of the better pitching staffs in baseball with a league leading 3.15 ERA since July 1. Start Garrett Cooper this week in roto leagues for the volume.

The Mets have seven games this week thanks to a double-header against the Marlins on Monday. Michael Conforto has hit well since the All-Star break with a .292 average and five home runs. The Mets play six of the seven games against right-handed starters, benefitting someone like Conforto. The Mets finish the week hosting the Nationals as they face tough starters Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The four games against the Marlins are enough for me to want some shares of the Mets in my lineups, notably Conforto. Pete Alonso is too obvious.

Seven games on the schedule for the Phillies as they travel to Arizona for three and San Francisco for four. J.T. Realmuto is finally looking like himself with a .281 average and five home runs since the break. Arizona just traded its ace, Zack Greinke, while San Francisco has no real reliable options outside of Madison Bumgarner. While down as a whole, I think the Phillies bats could wake up this week.

The Nationals get six games on the road this week against the Giants and Mets. All six games are scheduled to come against right-handed starters. Matt Adams benefits from this side of the platoon but is only an option in deep leagues and NL only.

NL Central

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
CIN1962(LAA) 4(CHC)033

The Chicago Cubs have seven games on the schedule. In previous times, four games in Cincinnati looked like a dream scenario. Now, the Reds have put together one of the more formidable rotations in the game with the addition of Trevor Bauer. The Cubs will face Bauer along with Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Alex Wood. Nicholas Castellanos has taken over at right field and hit second in the lineup since being traded from the Tigers. Jason Heyward is on a hot streak since the break with a .324 average but not much else to show for it, making him a play in five outfielder leagues.

The Reds get all six games at home this week against the Angels and Cubs. Joey Votto has shown some signs of life recently with a .311 average, two doubles, and two home runs in his last 11 games. The Red face three lefties this week, making Jesse Winker a sit if you own him.

Milwaukee has some of the more favorable matchups on the hitting planner with three at home against the Rangers and three on the road in Pittsburgh. All six games will come against right-handed starters. Keston Hiura has hit 10 of his 11 home runs against righties. Lorenzo Cain has picked things up since the break with a .270 average, three home runs, and two steals.

Josh Bell has yet to hit a home run since participating in the home run derby. I expect things to eventually turn for Bell and that could be this week. Six games on tap for Pirates as they go to St. Louis and host the Brewers for three games each. All six games will come against right-handed starters. The Pirates have been one of the best teams against right-handed pitching.

The Cardinals get six games this week with three coming against the Dodgers, who have had one of the top pitching staffs in baseball. The other three games will come at home against the Pirates. The Pirates helped fuel Goldschmidt’s comeback as he hit a home run in every game of their previous series.

NL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
COL26602(HOU) 4(SD)51
LAD1263(STL) 3(ARI)051
SF2873(WSH) 4(PHI)061

The Diamondbacks will get lucky and avoid Aaron Nola in their home series against the Phillies. They won’t be so lucky to end the week against the Dodgers and their rotation. Eduardo Escobar has hit .200 since the All-Star break and could be a sit this week. Ketel Marte continues to hit well and would be the only Diamondback I start confidently this week. David Peralta benefits from a righty-heavy schedule with five of six games coming against right-handed starters.

The Rockies go away from their hitter-friendly Coors Field as they play all six games on the road. They start the week off with two games in Houston against Zack Greinke and Gerrit Cole, which doesn’t bode well for their offense. The Rockies will be coming off a week at home so I don’t expect them to do much against the Astros duo. David Dahl was injured on Friday and carted off the field with what looked like a serious injury. Raimel Tapia would benefit should Dahl miss an extended period of time.

Ryan McMahon has been excellent since the All-Star break with a .324 average and five home runs. I would look for a better option for this week but McMahon should be added in most leagues due to his home park and multi-positional eligibility.

The Dodgers spend a week at home with six games coming against the Cardinals and Diamondbacks. The only pitcher that worries me from either rotation right now is Jack Flaherty. Catcher Will Smith has a .400 average and three home runs since his call-up and should be added everywhere. Smith has the ability to be a top six or seven catcher from this point forward should he continue to receive the bulk of the playing time.

The Padres have six games on the schedule as they host the Rockies for four games after traveling to Seattle for two. Seattle is a team I want to pick on when it comes to my hitting matchups for the rest of the season. With the departure of Franmil Reyes, Wil Myers has picked up playing time and has taken advantage of it with a .308 average since the All-Star break. Manny Machado has a .316 average with six home runs in that time.

The Giants return to the bottom ranks of the hitting planner where they have spent most of the season. While San Francisco gets seven games this week, all seven are at home. They will miss Strasburg and Corbin but will face Aaron Nola. Scooter Gennett entered the lineup after going to San Francisco from the Reds and hit sixth in the order. The move to Oracle Park hurts Gennett’s value for this season and could be a drop in twelve teams leagues unless used at a middle infield position. Mike Yaztrzemski has looked great with a .329 average and five home runs since the All-Star break. Yaz, Gennett, and Posey are probably the only Giants you could start this week.

Hopefully, you’re finding Jorge’s Hitting Planner useful. For more great analysis check out all of our fantasy baseball content.

Jorge Montanez is a lifelong sports fan but new to the fantasy industry, joining Fantrax HQ as a writer in June of 2019. Jorge co-hosts the Bases Loaded Podcast, a fantasy baseball podcast covering everything fantasy baseball on a weekly basis. He was raised in Stockton, CA but now resides in Los Angeles, where you can find him at a ballpark playing catch with his two sons on the weekends. Follow Jorge @jmontanez90 on Twitter where he’ll be happy to give his take and answer questions on all things fantasy.

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