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Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner: Week 22

Fantasy baseball is getting into the final stretch as we approach Week 22. In this edition of the hitting planner, we look for hot streaks to stay hot, some interesting waiver wire adds to plug into your lineups and even a little Spanish lesson. Eleven teams play seven games while the Texas Rangers play eight. And only three teams get a light five-game schedule. Team-by-team let’s take a look at which hitters stand out along with the offensive rankings; taking into account the venue, total games, and matchups.

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. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
BAL1673(KC) 4(TB)043
BOS1062(PHI) 1(KC)3(SD)33
NYY18603(OAK) 3(LAD)42
TOR23603(LAD) 3(SEA)24

Baltimore is one of 11 teams with seven games this week. Hanser Alberto is hitting .367 in August. Going into Friday, Alberto had an extra-base hit in four straight games including three doubles, a triple, and a home run. At least three left-handed pitchers are set to start against the Orioles and Alberto has hit .404 against lefties. Jonathan Villar is hitting well in August with a .302 average, two home runs, and three steals.

Six games are on the slate for Boston. The six games are split with three righties and three lefties on the schedule. J.D. Martinez kills left-handed pitching with a .394 average and has hit .389 with five home runs in August.

After taking the top spot in the offensive rankings last week, the Yankees come down a bit as they take a trip out west. After a three-game series in Oakland, the Yankees go to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for three, where they will be without the designated hitter. Two of the games this week will come against Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw, two of the better pitchers in the game this season. Gio Urshela has been on a ridiculous tear as he’s hit .473 with seven home runs in August. Gleyber Torres also has seven home runs this month. Unfortunately, the Yankees do not play the Orioles again this season. I’m still waiting and expecting, Aaron Judge to heat up this season. While Judge excels against left-handed pitchers, Ryu and Kershaw are the only two lefties on the schedule.

I’m a big Tampa Bay Rays fan this week as they take the top spot in the hitting planner rankings. The Rays host the Mariners for three games before a four-game series in Baltimore. Only the Rockies have a worse team ERA than the Orioles since July 1. With four left-handed starters set to face the Rays, I like Tommy Pham and Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar has hit .394 in August. Willy Adames has had a hot month of August as well with a .350 average and two home runs. Adames has improved plated discipline in August with a 10.6% walk rate and a 12.8% strikeout rate.

Toronto gets six games this week and travels to Los Angeles for three games where they will be without the designated hitter. Two of the games are set to come against Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. The Dodgers have collectively had one of the best pitching staffs all season. With Rowdy Tellez back up, we could see Justin Smoak take a seat this week. Outside of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., I’m not rushing to enter any Blue Jays in my lineups this week. Although Danny Jansen has had a good month of August with a .323 average and three home runs. Jansen has been a catcher to stream during these hot streaks in 12-team leagues.

AL Central

TeamOff. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
DET30704(HOU) 3(MIN)52
KC4703(BAL) 1(BOS) 3(CLE)61
MIN963(CWS) 3(DET)042

Speaking of streaming hot catchers, James McCann is on a hot streak of his own for the White Sox with a .349 average and two home runs in August. Both home runs were grand slams. Chicago has some favorable match-ups as they face the Twins and Rangers for three and four games respectively. The White Sox will avoid both Jose Berrios and Mike Minor. Six of the seven games are expected to come against right-handed pitching. This is good news for McCann owners or if you need to stream a catcher as McCann has hit .284 against right-handed pitching. Also faring well against righties is Tim Anderson with a .325 average. Anderson has hit .400 in August and is a good bet to keep it up this week. Given the matchups, I’m likely giving Eloy Jimenez a shot in my lineups in shallow leagues as well.

The Indians will remain in New York after the weekend series with the Yankees to face the Mets for three games. Cleveland will be without the designated hitter. Franmil Reyes hit two home runs over the last few days and has a couple of multi-hit games as well. Reyes has been the designated hitter for the Indians since he joined the team, making him a risky play as he could sit out the first three games. As good as the Indians have been hitting of late, Noah Syndergaard presents the only tough challenge on the mound this week.

Despite having seven games on the schedule, I’m staying away from the Tigers offense. Detroit will face Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander with the Astros before a match-up with Jose Berrios and the Twins.

Kansas City also has seven games this week and only Mike Clevinger presents a true test. All seven games will come on the road, including a three-game series in Camden Yards to face the Orioles. Jorge Soler has hit .400 with seven home runs in August. Soler has shown great skill growth over the course of the season, including a one-to-one walk to strikeout ratio this month. Hunter Dozier could be started as well with a .300 average in August to go along with six home runs.

The Twins return home for six games against the White Sox and Tigers. While the White Sox’ pitching staff has been better as a whole over the last month, I don’t expect the success of Ivan Nova and Reynaldo Lopez to continue against Minnesota this week. Matthew Boyd has struggled against tougher opponents as well and would scare me off of his matchup with the Twins on Friday.

AL West

TeamOff. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
HOU274(DET) 3(LAA)043
LAA24704(TEX) 3(HOU)43
OAK2853(NYY) 2(SF)032

Another seven-game week is on tap for the Astros. The matchups are even better as they face the Tigers for four games before hosting the Angels for three. It was only a matter of time before Alex Bregman got it going in the batting average department. Bregman has hit .439 in August with an absurd 2.1% strikeout rate. Bregman has proved to be a bit of a second-half player in his first three seasons in the majors with .271 first half and .293 second-half career averages.

While the Angels have a full seven-game schedule, I don’t particularly like their matchups as they will face Mike Minor, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke. Three of the starters they will face this week are left-handed and the Angels are collectively the worst hitting team in the league against lefties with a .237 average. I’m avoiding this lineup outside of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

Oakland has it pretty rough again this week as they only have five games on the schedule. The Athletics are one of only three teams with five games this week. One of the games will come against Madison Bumgarner, who struck out nine giving up one run in seven innings against the Athletics on Tuesday. I’m looking for other options outside of Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.

It might be time to pay attention to Kyle Seager again. Seager has a .368 average and five home runs in August. Outside of Seager, the Seattle lineup has been abysmal. You’re starting Mallex Smith in all roto leagues for his steals and that’s about all I’m sure of. No team has struck out at a higher percentage than the Mariners in August, and it’s not particularly close. Good news if you’re starting Brendan McKay or Charlie Morton.

Thanks to a Tuesday doubleheader with the Angels, the Rangers get eight games this week. With four against the Angels and four against the White Sox, I like some bats in this lineup. Willie Calhoun, Danny Santana, and Elvis Andrus, in particular, are guys I’m fitting into my lineups. Andrus has bounced back after a rough July with a .306 average in August to go with a home run and three steals. Willie Calhoun leads the team in August with four home runs.

NL Hitting Planner

NL East

TeamOff. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
NYM2763(CLE) 3(ATL)042
PHI22502(BOS) 3(MIA)41
WSH5704(PIT) 3(CHC)34

One through four, I don’t know if there is any team outside of the Astros that can rival the Braves lineup. It’s been incredible watching what Ronald Acuna has done while he makes his case for the number one pick in fantasy drafts next season. Seventeen days into August and Acuna has 10 home runs with three steals. Ozzie Albies has been scorching in August as well with a .387 average, three home runs, and three steals. Jacob deGrom and Zach Wheeler will present a challenge as the Braves only play six games.

Miami gets six games this week as they go to Atlanta for three followed by a home series against the Phillies. Jon Berti and Brian Anderson are interesting pieces in the Marlins lineup. Berti has hit .340 and stolen five bases in July, making him an immediate add in all roto leagues. Anderson has hit .327 with four home runs since the beginning of the month. It would have to be a league deeper than 12 teams to consider Anderson but he’s swinging a hot bat at the moment.

The Mets get six games as well as they host Cleveland and Atlanta for three games each. I don’t particularly like the Mets lineup as they face Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale. Civale has started his season with three quality starts of six innings each with a 1.00 ERA and a strikeout per inning. With Jeff McNeil on the injured list with a strained hamstring, Amed Rosario is leading off and has hit well in August with a .383 average, one home run, and two steals. Rosario could offer more speed as he hits atop the order.

Philadelphia only has five games on the slate and one of those games will come in Boston to face Chris Sale. On the other hand, the remaining schedule of Rick Porcello, Hector Noesi, Jordan Yamamoto, and Elieser Hernandez might actually be bad enough to make up for the lack of games. Corey Dickerson has hit .324 in August with three home runs but has yet to draw a walk. His 28.6% strikeout rate is sure to bring a halt to his current streak.

The Nationals get seven games on the road as they go to Pittsburgh for four and Chicago for three. The Pirates have had the sixth-worst pitching staff as a whole since July 1 with a 5.37 ERA. The Nationals get four games against left-handed starters, good for those still holding on to Brian Dozier as he’s platooned with Asdrubal Cabrera at second base. Dozier has a .302 average on the year against lefties. Also benefiting is Trea Turner with a .310 average.

NL Central

TeamOff. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
CHC2163(SF) 3(WSH)060
PIT2073(CIN) 4(WSH)052
STL673(MIL) 4(COL)052

The Cubs have been quiet as an offense this week but will look to get things on track with six games at home. All six games will come against right-handed starters. This good news for Cubs leadoff man Jason Heyward, who has hit .289 against righties this season. Kyle Schwarber should get plenty of at-bats with 24 home runs against righties on the year. Ian Happ has been playing second base for the Cubs and could be an interesting add in deeper leagues right now. Happ has hit .297 with four home runs this month.

Six games are on the schedule for the Reds and the most interesting man in baseball right now, Aristides Aquino. “Aqui no” is Spanish for “not here”, something every catcher should be telling his pitcher when they throw in the zone to Aquino as he’s crushing everything right now. The Reds visit the Pirates for three games against one of the worst pitching staffs of late. Aquino is bound to come down to Earth at some point but I’m enjoying the ride for another week.

Milwaukee gets six games this week as they go to St. Louis for three before hosting the Diamondbacks to end the week. All six games are expected to come against right-handed starters. Eric Thames enjoys hitting right-handed pitching and is off to a hot start in August with a .323 average. Keston Hiura has a .329 average against righties. Yasmani Grandal is essentially an everyday player splitting his time between catcher and first base. Trent Grisham is an interesting player if he could get consistent playing time. Grisham has hit .314 this month with two home runs. Grisham had hit 26 home runs and stolen 12 bases across two minor league levels and even has a 37-steal season under his belt. Playing time for Grisham would come at the expense of Eric Thames or Ryan Braun, and at this point I’d rather see what he can do.

Amazing what a good week can do. Josh Bell had not hit a home run since the All-Star break before this week but has now hit four. The Pirates get seven games on the schedule. With how well Bryan Reynolds has hit, I like that volume for him. Reynolds has a .404 average and four home runs in August.

The Cardinals stay home for seven games as the Brewers come into St. Louis for three games followed by the Rockies for four. Marcell Ozuna has been slow to get on track since his return from the injured list. With five right-handed starters on the schedule, Ozuna will look to get it going as the Cardinals’ best hitter against righties. Outside of Kolten Wong’s .353 average, no one has hit above .250 for St. Louis since the beginning of August. That has to change. I think the Cardinals get it going this week.

NL West

TeamOff. RankingGamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
COL12703(ARI) 4(COL)61
LAD1363(TOR) 3(NYY)042
SF29503(CHC) 2(OAK)32

The Diamondbacks host Colorado for three games followed by a trip to Milwaukee for three. The matchups are pretty good and the Diamondbacks are swinging hot bats as a team. Only the Dodgers have hit more home runs over the last week. Josh Rojas is an interesting pickup in roto leagues as he platoons with Adam Jones in the outfield. Rojas had 15 home runs and 20 steals this season while hitting .338 in Triple-A.

The Rockies get seven games this week. Unfortunately, they’re all on the road as they go to Arizona for three and St. Louis for four games. Six of the games should come against right-handed starters. I like this for Raimel Tapia, who has been playing every day and hitting .415 in August. Tapia excels against righties with a .287 average.

The Dodgers host the Blue Jays and Yankees for three games each in Los Angeles. The Yankees’ pitching staff has been vulnerable with a 10th-worst 4.99 ERA since July 1. Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner are just about the only locks to play every day. With a .324 average and four home runs this month, Will Smith is establishing himself as one of the best hitting catchers in baseball.

Fernando Tatis Jr. may miss the remainder of the season with a stress reaction in his back. The stress reaction is said to be caused by all the fantasy teams he’s carried this season. In all seriousness, it’s a major blow. One interesting aspect is Luis Urias shifting over to shortstop, giving him dual eligibility that he will likely carry over into next season. Urias his been hitting better of late with a .355 average in August but no home runs. Ty France could be filling in at second base and hit .399 with 27 home runs in Triple-A. Manuel Margot has also hit well with a .289 average this month to go along with four home runs and a steal. These names would all be more interesting this week if not for some challenging matchups that include Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Chris Sale.

Mike Yastrzemski smashed three home runs in Friday’s win against the Diamondbacks. While that could send him up most-added lists over the weekend, I would not rush to set him in my lineups. San Francisco gets five games on the road with three against the Cubs and two against the Athletics. Kevin Pillar continues to be valuable in roto leagues as he’s put together a 15-home run and 10-steal season so far. He could realistically hit 20 home runs with 15 steals by year’s end, something you’ll take on any roto team.

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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