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Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner: Week 16

Each week Jorge Montanez breaks down the MLB schedule to build his hitting planner, identifying the teams and players lined up to get offensive that week.

Week 16 brings us a short week with the All-Star festivities taking place. Four teams play four games as the rest of the league plays three. Taking advantage of matchups and ballparks will be crucial in maximizing a short schedule. I’ll take you division by division with this week’s hitting planner as we take a look at who the best hitters have been for each team and who might be in store for a good week ahead. Take a look at the charts to find out which offenses I’m targeting most with the weekly offensive rankings. Taking into account total games, venues, and the opposing pitching staff, each team is ranked by how I think they’ll perform offensively for the week.

AL Hitting Planner

AL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
BAL1544 (TB)031

Some good and bad for Orioles this week. The good, they’re one of four teams with four games this week. The bad, they come against the Tampa Bay Rays rotation that currently has the second-best ERA in the majors at 3.39. You’re likely starting someone like Jonathan Villar, who’s hit .367 with two steals over the last ten days.

We get a World Series rematch this weekend with the Dodgers going into Boston for three games. The Dodgers have the best ERA as a team in the majors. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rafael Devers are all heating up at the plate with at least a .333 average over the last two weeks. Devers has a team-high four home runs and .465 average in that span.

The New York Yankees get a home series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Since June 1, no team has a worse team ERA than the Blue Jays at 5.78. Look for the Yankees to take advantage at home and score some runs. Brett Gardner has been hot of late with home runs in three straight games heading into the All-Star break. No one on the team has been hotter than DJ LeMahieu with a .451 average and three home runs in the last two weeks.

The Tampa Bay offense is the one I’m targeting most with the best matchups on the hitting planner. The Rays get four games this week with a Saturday doubleheader in Baltimore against an Orioles team that has struggled with pitching all year. The Orioles have a 6.03 ERA at home this season, better than only the Rockies.

Toronto has some exciting young bats coming around. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had been hitting .175 through three weeks into the season and was sent down to AAA to work on his swing. Since his recall on May 24, Gurriel Jr. is hitting .331 with 16 home runs. Danny Jansen has also turned things around in a major way recently with a .333 average and five home runs in the last 10 days. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a .200 average in that same span but with a .200 BABIP and a 1.75 BB/K ratio, pointing to better days ahead for Vladito.

AL Central

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The White Sox go to Oakland for three games where the Athletics have a 3.52 ERA at home over the last month, good for third-best in baseball during that span. Yoan Moncada has hit particularly well over the last 10 days with a .417 average and three home runs. Eloy Jimenez on the other hand, has four home runs in that span but very little else with a .192 average.

The Cleveland Indians have three games at home against the Twins. The Indians are a middle of the pack offense as a whole at home. While Jose Ramirez has struggled everywhere this year, he’s hit .257 at home and .180 on the road. Minnesota’s 3.98 ERA as a team is fifth best in baseball on the year.

The Tigers play three games on the road in Kansas City and are scheduled to face Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, and Homer Bailey. While none have particularly stood out this season, all three pitched quality starts the last time each pitcher faced the Tigers this season. The Tigers have been one of the worst offenses this season, often targeted for streaming pitchers. One bright spot in the lineup, Jaimer Candelario, has hit .378 with four home runs since his return to the lineup on June 26.

The Royals find themselves on the other end of that match-up, hosting the Tigers for three games. Detroit has the fifth worst ERA over the last month at 5.50 and have allowed the highest batting average in that time at .292. Two of the three starters the Royals face should be left-handed starters. While Nicky Lopez has struggled out of the gates as a whole in his first taste of MLB action, he is hitting .333 against left-handed pitching this season.

Perhaps the toughest matchups lined up in this week’s hitter planner, the Twins go to Cleveland to face the tough trio of righties Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber. If anyone is going to be able to do any damage against them, it might be Jorge Polanco. Polanco has hit a team-best .325 against right-handed pitchers this season. Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz will look to keep their hot streaks going as they’ve hit .385 and .375 respectively over the last 10 days.

AL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP

The Astros enjoy four games on the schedule this week when they go to Texas to face the Rangers. It’ll be a particularly good week to own Astros hitters as only four teams have four games this week. Yuli Gurriel must be channeling his little brother. Perhaps no one has hit better over the last 10 days as Yuli, with seven home runs, including one in five straight games heading into the All-Star break.

The Angels get three games at home against Seattle. Shohei Ohtani began the year late while he recovers from Tommy John surgery but still has a .303 average with 14 home runs and four stolen bases. Four of those home runs have come in the last ten days to go along with a .400 average.

The Oakland A’s get three games at home to the White Sox and their rotation sporting a 5.36 ERA over the last month, sixth worse in the league during that span. Matt Olson has five home runs in the team’s last nine games. Olson continues to flash the power he displayed in 2017 when he hit 24 home runs in 59 games as he has 18 in only 57 games this season after suffering a broken hamate bone injury early this season.

The Mariners go to the Los Angeles to face the Angels for a three-game series. Domingo Santana has been one of the streakiest players in baseball. A strikeout rate of over 30% will do that. He’ll look to keep riding his current hot streak as he’s hit .367 with a home run and a stolen base in the last 10 days.

The Rangers also benefit from a four-game series when they host the Astros this week. Elvis Andrus has enjoyed an excellent bounce-back season. He’ll look to keep it going after posting a .310 average with a home run and three steals over the last 10 days.

NL Hitting Planner

NL East

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP

The Braves go to San Diego for a three-game series with the Padres. At 5.57, the Padres have the fourth-worst ERA in the majors over the last month of the season. Ronald Acuna has flashed all the tools that made him a first-round pick recently with a .324 average, two steals, and two home runs over the last 10 days. Austin Riley, on the other hand, has hit .167 over the last two weeks. Even with four home runs in that span, a 40.4% strikeout rate doesn’t bode well for Riley. With Ender Inciarte on a rehab assignment, he could come back to take time away from Riley.

The Marlins get the Mets at home for three games this week. I wouldn’t expect much from the Marlins as they’ve been one of the league’s worst offenses. Although the Mets have allowed the eighth most runs in the league over the last month with 180.

On the other side of the matchup, the Mets get three right-handers on the schedule in Miami. All seven of Jeff McNeil’s home runs have come against right-handed pitchers and he’s hit .346 on the year against them. Pete Alonso has a .320 average over the last 10 days with a 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio and a .316 BABIP to go with three home runs. In other words, he’s locked in.

The Phillies get three games at home against the Nationals. The Nationals starters have been exceptional lately with a 3.49 ERA as a whole over the last month and have given up a league-low 32 home runs in that time.

While the offense might have a hard time scoring runs this week, the Phillies starting pitchers have had a hard time preventing runs. The Phillies have allowed a league-high 63 home runs since June 1 and their 5.62 ERA in that span is better than only the Blue Jays with a 5.78 ERA. If these trends continue, this week will be a great week to get your share of Nationals in your lineups. Adam Eaton has a .357 average and two steals in the last ten days and could be worth a look this week.

NL Central

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP

The Cubs are at home for three games against the Pirates. Let’s hope Kris Bryant doesn’t have to hold Joe Maddon back this time. The Cubs will avoid Joe Musgrove, who was pitching well last week against these Cubs before a rain delay knocked him out of the game. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant have been exceptional in the last two weeks with a .340 and .362 average respectively. Baez has four home runs in that span to Bryant’s two.

Each week the hitting planner will alert you to teams heading into Colorado. Well, guess what. It’s Coors time for the Reds this week as they head for the mountains for a three-game series. There should be plenty of runs scored in these three games, so get as many shares as you can in your lineups. Yasiel Puig owners have been particularly happy over the last couple weeks as he’s hit .389 with four home runs.

The Brewers get three games at home for a series against the Giants at hitter-friendly Miller Park. The Brewers bats have been cold of late. Although Ryan Braun leads the team with a .353 average over the last two weeks, it comes with no home runs or RBI. Meanwhile, Eric Thames has three home runs and six RBI in that span. Madison Bumgarner is the only left-handed pitcher they’ll face, and it’s possible he may not be there to make his start as the trade deadline nears.

The Pirates go the Chicago for three games against the Cubs, a series that could see some post-Fourth of July fireworks. While Kevin Newman has hit .358 with four home runs in the last two weeks, he’s struggled against left-handed starters of late with a .259 average and no home runs since June 1. Surprisingly, Josh Bell has been one of the team’s worst hitters against lefties in that same time with a .174 average. Two of the three Cubs starters will be left-handed pitchers.

The Cardinals host the Diamondbacks for three games this week. Jose Martinez has flashed some power lately with four home runs in the last two weeks. Paul Goldschmidt has shown some signs of life this week with two doubles and two home runs.

NL West

TeamOff. RnkGamesHomeAwayvs. RHPvs. LHP
SD1833 (ATL)021

The Diamondbacks go to St. Louis for three games. All three games will come against right-handed starters. Ketel Marte has been a terror to right-handers with a .309 average and 11 home runs. David Peralta and Christian Walker also benefit from the schedule as they are hitting .319 and .282 respectively against right-handed pitchers. Walker has hit 14 of his 17 home runs against righties.

The Rockies are at home this week as they host the Reds in what is sure to be the highest-scoring series on the hitting planner. Daniel Murphy has been turning this around at the plate with a .351 average over the last two weeks. All three starters will be right-handed. Trevor Story has hit 17 of his 19 home runs against right-handed pitchers.

The World Series rematch in Boston is sure to capture the attention of most baseball fans this week. The Dodgers visit the defending champs for three games. All three games will come against left-handers, so it’ll be time to sit Joc Pederson and start Alex Verdugo. Verdugo is hitting .354 on the season against left-handed pitching.

The Padres host the Braves for three games after the break and Fernando Tatis looks to continue his outstanding rookie season having hit .340 with four home runs and four steals in the last two weeks. Manuel Margot also has four home runs in that span and looks to be getting more playing time over Wil Myers in center field.

The Giants escape Oracle Park and visit the hitter-friendly Miller Park for three games against the Brewers. Evan Longoria has enjoyed a .282 batting average and four home runs in the last two weeks. Buster Posey has hit better with a .300 average in that same span but it continues to come without much of anything else. All three games will come against right-handed starters and Pablo Sandoval has been the Giants best hitter against righties with a .285 average and 10 home runs.

Hopefully, you found Jorge’s hitting planner useful. For more of his take make sure to follow him on Twitter @Jmontanez. For more great analysis check out our full slate of fantasy baseball content.

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