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Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner: Week 15

Welcome to the new FantraxHQ Hitting Planner. Starting with this Week 15 of fantasy baseball, I will be ranking each offense and highlighting matchups to take advantage of for every team. Division by division we’ll take look at who’s been swinging the bat well and who’s in store for good numbers ahead in preparation for the upcoming week. For a little help on the pitching side of things, check out Nathan Dokken’s Weekly Starting Pitcher Barometer and Paul Mammino’s Two-Start Pitchers.

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AL Hitting Planner

AL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
BAL20606 (TB, TOR)51
BOS1606 (TOR, DET)51
NYY24606 (NYM, TB)33
TB1777 (BAL, NYY)016
TOR1177 (KC,BOS, BAL)052

The Baltimore Orioles have a mixed bag this week as they get a tough road matchup in Tampa Bay where they’ll face Charlie Morton and Yonny Chirinos with a bullpen game in between. The week gets easier when they go to Toronto for a three-game set facing Aaron Sanchez, Clayton Richard, and Trent Thornton who combine for a 5.79 ERA. Jonathan Villar should continue to be a good play as he’s hit .310 with three home runs over his last eight games.

With six games on the schedule for the Red Sox in Toronto and Detroit, you’ll want to get your shares of this offense in this week as the Blue Jays and Tigers have the seventh and eighth worst team ERAs respectively. Boston gets the number one ranking on the hitting planner with these matchups. Rafael Devers has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball with a .477 average over the last two weeks, making him an excellent play this week.

The New York Yankees also spend a week on the road starting with two games against the Mets at Citi Field where they’ll avoid Jacob deGrom and instead face Jason Vargas and Zack Wheeler. The Yankees finish the week with four games against the Tampa Bay Rays. DJ LeMahieu in particular has hit a ridiculous .460 over the last two weeks. Hitting .349 on the season against left-handed pitching, look for him to remain one of the Yankee’s best hitters with three left-handed pitchers on the schedule.

This week’s hitting planner sees nine teams with a full seven-game schedule. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of them and spend the week at home with three games against the Baltimore Orioles before hosting the Yankees for a four-game set. Look for the Rays to start the week off right, as the Orioles own a league-worst 6.00 team ERA. With six left-handed pitchers on the schedule, this would be a great week to get Yandy Diaz in your lineups. Both Diaz and Tommy Pham own .329 averages against left-handed pitching. Not far behind is teammate Kevin Kiermaier with a .317 average. Austin Meadows takes a hit this week batting just .268 against lefties, moving from leadoff to cleanup, and sometimes taking a seat on the bench against left-handers.

Toronto also gets a seven-game week at home. Although as a team they own a league-worst .209 home batting average, getting three games against the Baltimore Orioles is to sure to help. With a .414 average and three home runs over the last week, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a good middle infield option. Teammate Cavan Biggio enjoyed a good week at the plate as well with a .381 average. Both are good options this week and we continue to target the Orioles pitching staff when possible.

AL Central

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
CWS766 (DET, CHC)033
CLE14505 (KC, CIN)41
DET673 (BOS)4 (CWS)52
KC2973 (CLE)4 (TOR, WSH)52
MIN863 (TEX)3 (OAK)51

The Chicago White Sox get six games at their hitter-friendly home park this week. Four of those games will come against the Detroit Tigers who have a 4.91 ERA as a team before getting the Chicago Cubs for two games to end the week. The White Sox are slated to face three left-handed pitchers. While already playing almost every day, James McCann has excelled against lefties hitting .333 on the year against them. One of those lefties, Jon Lester, has already fell victim to McCann as he took him deep on June 19 at Wrigley Field. With the catching landscape as barren as it is, McCann should be owned in all leagues at this point and is a good option this week.

There are only five teams this week with a short five-game schedule and the Cleveland Indians are one of them. All five games come on the road with three games in Kansas City followed by two games in Cincinnati. While it’s only five games, this week presents favorable matchups for a Cleveland team that’s been hitting well recently. Jose Ramirez should rejoin the team on Tuesday after taking paternity leave and hit .414 with two doubles and a triple while failing to record a strikeout over the last week, an encouraging sign for the struggling first round pick. Four of the Indian’s five games will come against right-handed pitchers, making Oscar Mercado a good option in deep or daily leagues as he’s hit .345 on the year against righties.

Not a lot of good has come out of the Detroit Tigers offense this season, as they are tied for the second worst team average in the league at .229. The good thing going for the Tigers this is they are one of the nine teams with seven games on the schedule and go to a good park in Guaranteed Rate Field. While mostly disappointing so far, Nicholas Castellanos has hit .359 over the last two weeks with four doubles and only five strikeouts to six walks. I could see some power coming this week with four games against the White Sox.

There’s good news and bad news for the Royals in this week’s hitting planner. The good news is they get seven games on the schedule. The bad news, the pitching they’ll see this week will present a tough challenge for a team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in most offensive categories. The Indians visit Kansas City where the Royals face Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and Mike Clevinger. Later in the week, they head to Washington to face off against Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. Don’t expect too much from anyone outside of the red hot Whit Merrifield.

The Minnesota Twins get six games this week with a three-game series on the road against the Oakland A’s followed by a home set against the Texas Rangers. Outside of Mike Minor, no other pitcher should present too much of a challenge for a Twins team leading the league in runs scored. Five of the six games on the schedule will come against right-handed pitching, boding well for Jorge Polanco in particular who owns a .329 average against right-handed pitching.

AL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
HOU1553 (LAA)2 (COL)41
LAA26707 (TEX, HOU)52
OAK1363 (MIN)3 (SEA)24
SEA466 (STL, OAK)051
TEX374 (LAA)3 (MIN)61

While they’d normally be higher on a hitting planner, the Houston Astros sit in the middle of the pack having a short five-game schedule this week. Fortunately, two of those games will come at Coors Field. Anytime you have a player not on the Rockies playing in Coors, you take advantage of it.

A full slate of seven games is on tap for the Los Angeles Angels. Although facing Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole in those seven games might not be very fun. In case you’ve forgotten about him, Justin Upton is hitting .306 with three home runs in 10 games since his return to action. All three of those home runs have come against right-handed pitchers, against whom Upton has a .393 average so far in only 28 plate appearances. The Angels play five of seven games against right-handed starters.

One of the better hitting teams against left-handed pitching this season with a .281 team average, the Oakland A’s get four lefty starters on their six-game schedule this week. Stephen Piscotty stands out with a .358 average against left-handed pitchers.

Daniel Vogelbach and Domingo Santana get treated to five right-handed starters this week as the Mariners have six games at home against the A’s and Cardinals. Both own a .283 average against right-handed pitching. Santana, one of the more streaky hitters in the league, has hit .293 over the last two weeks and should continue to hit well with good matchups this week.

The Texas Rangers have a full seven-game schedule in Week 15 with four at home against the Angels followed by three on the road in Minnesota. With six games coming against right-handers, Danny Santana could be a sneaky play in deep leagues as he’s been one of the Rangers best hitters against right-handed pitching with a .329 average and seven home runs. For shallower leagues, Shin-Soo Choo owns a .307 average with 11 home runs against right-handed pitchers and continues to hit atop the Rangers lineup.

NL Hitting Planner

NL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
ATL1266 (PHI, MIA)060
MIA30606 (WSH, ATL)33
NYM2755 (NYY, PHI)041
PHI28606 (ATL, NYM)42
WAS266 (MIA, KC)060

Atlanta, one of the best offenses in the league so far this season, gets six games at home against the Phillies and Marlins. Sun Trust Park has been one of the better offensive parks in the league. Expect plenty of runs from the Braves. All six games should come against right-handed starters. Ozzie Albies has hit .255 against righties and should be hitting at the bottom of the order. On the other hand, Josh Donaldson has hit .340 with six home runs over the last two weeks.

The Miami Marlins have been one of the worst offenses in baseball. A schedule full of tough competition against the Nationals and Braves pitching staffs makes them last on this week’s offensive ranking on the hitting planner. Only the Tigers have scored fewer runs than the Marlins, and Miami ranks in the bottom five of the league in team average. Jorge Alfaro makes his return to the team and has hit .313 against left-handed pitching. The Marlins face three left-handed starters this week. Garrett Cooper has continued to stay hot at the plate, but empty average might be all you can count on, making him a play in five-outfielder roto leagues.

A light schedule is on tap for the Mets with two games against the Yankees at home followed by a three-game series against the Phillies to end the week. I wouldn’t say there is anyone that is a must play this week outside of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, who has gone 11 for 27 with two home runs and three doubles over the last week.

The Philadelphia Phillies go on the road for six games; three games apiece against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. Not only are the Phillies hitting .239 on the road this season as a team, but they also get a tough schedule against the likes of Soroka, deGrom, and Syndergaard. Cesar Hernandez has been on a tear recently with a .447 average over his last 10 games.

In store for one of the better weeks and ranking high on this week’s hitting planner, the Nationals get six games at home against the Royals and Marlins. Kansas City owns a 4.93 team ERA, sixth worst in the league. The Nationals as a team have hit much better at home than on the road with a .262 average at home to .245 on the road. Juan Soto should stay hot while Anthony Rendon picks it back up with a .308 average against right-handed pitching. The Nationals are slated to play all six games against right-handed starters.

NL Central

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
CHC22606 (PIT, CWS)51
CIN2166 (MIL, CLE)060
MIL16707 (CIN, PIT)61
PIT1077 (CHC, MIL)052
STL5606 (SEA, SF)33

The Chicago Cubs spend the week on the road with four games in Pittsburgh before ending the week with two games visiting the crosstown rival White Sox. Five of six games will come against right-handed starters. Not only has Jason Heyward been one of the better hitters on the team against righties with a .291 average, but he’s also been one of the better hitters in the league over the last 10 days with a .412 average.

The Cincinnati Reds have a little good and bad this week as all six games are at home in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. On the other hand, all starters slated to face them are right-handed pitchers. The Reds have been one of the worst teams in baseball against right-handed pitching. Jesse Winker benefits from the righty-heavy schedule and has hit .333 over the last 10 days. The return of Scooter Gennett could provide a spark for the Reds.

The Milwaukee Brewers have a full slate of seven games this week, all on the road. Fortunately for them, four of those games are in Cincinnati. Six of seven games will come against right-handed starters, so Eric Thames should get plenty of at-bats this week and could be a good play in deeper leagues. Mike Moustakas has also fared better against righties with a .280 average and 15 home runs this year.

Another team with a full seven games, the Pittsburgh Pirates play all of their games this week at PNC Park, where they’ve actually been the sixth best home hitting team in the league. Kevin Newman has hit well of late with a .405 average and two home runs in the last 10 days. Bryan Reynolds continues to hit with a .348 average in the same span. Both should enjoy a slate of five right-handed starters with Newman and Reynolds hitting .347 and .353 against them respectively.

St. Louis gets six games on the schedule, all on the road against the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants. The Mariners currently hold the second-worst team ERA in the league at 5.27 while the Giants hold a still unimpressive 4.63 ERA. Half of the Cardinals games this week will come against left-handed starters. Jose Martinez has historically crushed left-handed pitchers and continues to do so this season with a .342 average.

NL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
ARI2553 (COL)2 (LAD)50
COL2352 (HOU)3 (ARI)32
LAA966 (ARI, SD)024
SD1873 (SF)4 (LAD)43
SF1963 (STL)3 (SD)33

One of five teams with a light five-game schedule, the Arizona Diamondbacks go to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for two before hosting the Rockies for three games to end the week. Tough matchups against Stripling and Buehler put them low in the hitter planner offensive rankings. All five games will come against right-handed starters. David Peralta and Ketel Marte have both hit an excellent .316 against right-handed pitchers this season.

Not only do the Rockies only have five games this week, but only two of them are at home. Luckily, they’ll miss Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander when the Astros visit Coors but will get Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray when the team goes to Arizona for three games. Good news for Trevor Story owners as he should be joining the team this week.

The Los Angeles Dodgers play all six games at Dodger Stadium this week, hosting the Diamondback and Padres. Both pitching staffs rank in the middle of the pack in ERA but the Dodgers will avoid Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke along with Robbie Ray. With four left-handed starters on the schedule, look for Joc Peterson to lose at-bats while the red hot Alex Verdugo keeps it going with a .347 average against lefties this season. Verdugo has been excellent of late and has been hitting in the top third of the Dodgers’ order.

The San Diego Padres get a full seven-game schedule with three at home against the Giants followed by four on the road against the Dodgers. The Dodgers own the second-best team ERA in the majors at 3.32, so scoring runs against the likes of Ryu, Kershaw, Maeda, and Stripling won’t be easy. On the other hand, they will miss Madison Bumgarner against the Giants. With three left-handed starters on the schedule, keep an eye on Manuel Margot, who’s now started four straight games in place of Wil Myers and is hitting .353 against left-handed pitching.

The San Francisco Giants have been one of the last offenses you’ve wanted to target this season with a league-worst .223 batting average and have only scored more runs than the Tigers and Marlins. The hottest hitter the Giants have going right now is Keven Pillar with a .282 batting average and two home runs in his last 10 games.

Hopefully, you found Jorge’s hitting planner useful. For more of his take make sure to follow him on Twitter @Jmontanez.

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