Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner: Week 26
We’re halfway through the final month of the season. Many of us are still plugging away at our lineups hoping to be successful in head-to-head playoffs or finish as high as possible in roto. There’s plenty to dissect in this week’s hitting planner. As we go through each team, the total number of games, matchups, and venue will determine where each team lands in the offensive rankings.
Like last week I’ve combined all the teams into one big table. Hopefully, this gives you more of an overall idea of which teams are dressed for success in the coming week.
Week 26 Hitting Planner
|Team||Off. Ranking||Total Games||Home||Away||VS RHP||VS LHP|
AL East Breakdown
The Baltimore Orioles have some of the better matchups on the week, ranking highly on the hitting planner. After starting the week with one game on the road in Detroit, the Orioles get the following six games at home. In Detroit, they’ll face Tyler Alexander and his 5.40 ERA. Meanwhile, the pitching staffs in Seattle and Toronto each own an ERA ranking in the bottom 11 in baseball over the last month. With four lefties on the schedule, Hanser Alberto is a good bet for batting average and Anthony Santander could break out of his slump.
The Red Sox have six games with three at home to San Francisco and three on the road in Tampa Bay. These are mostly neutral matchups as both teams have been near the middle of the pack in ERA over the last month. Much of the Boston lineup has been cold of late with only Mookie Betts and Brock Holt hitting over .250 in September.
The Yankees play six games, all at home with three games apiece against the Angels and Blue Jays. Not only do you like the Yankees in New York, but the Angels and Blue Jays have the sixth and eleventh highest ERA’s in the majors over the last month. Giancarlo Stanton could return to the lineup as early as Tuesday when the Yankees begin their homestand. Stanton should be playing regularly in left field for the remainder of the season. With three lefties on the schedule, Aaron Judge could be coming in clutch for playoff teams with a .347 average against left-handed pitching.
The Rays have enjoyed a couple of good weeks near the top of the hitting planner rankings, but this time they are one of four teams with only five games. Those five games come against the Dodgers and Red Sox pitching staffs that rank in the top five over the last month in ERA. On the plus side, they will avoid Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Walker Buehler along with Eduardo Rodriguez for Boston. So, the matchups might not be as bad as they seem. Austin Meadows will look to continue his scorching September in which he’s hit .439 with five home runs and a steal.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has yet to get going in September with no home runs and a .188 average. This week might be a good time for him to turn his month around with a road series in Baltimore. The Blue Jays go to New York to face the Yankees for three games after their series in Camden Yards. Bo Bichette is also in a cold stretch in September but has now hit safely in five straight games including a three-hit night with a home run on Friday.
AL Central Breakdown
The White Sox go to Minnesota and Detroit for three games each. They’ll, fortunately, miss Jose Berrios in Minnesota before facing the Tigers staff that has been among the worst all season. Eloy Jimenez could be coming through for teams when it matters most as he’s hit .289 with four home runs in September. Yoan Moncada will also be a great start with a .415 average in the month. Three left-handed starts means we can expect a good week from Jose Abreu.
We attack the Tigers staff once again with the Cleveland Indians as they host Detroit for three games to start the week. With three lefties on the schedule, Carlos Santana should be a good start. Franmil Reyes leads the team with 11 RBI in September and has better left-handed splits as well. Yasiel Puig has hit .324 since the beginning of the month.
Enough about the Tigers pitching staff. Despite having one of the worst offenses all season, the Tigers have hit well in the final month of the season. This week, they host the Orioles for one game, followed by a three-game series with the Indians, and finishing with three against the White Sox. Chicago has had the fifth worst team ERA over the last month. Christin Stewart has hit .303 with a team-high four home runs in September. There’s no replacing Christian Yelich, but if you lost him, Stewart could be a name to consider streaming.
Jorge Soler has been one of the best hitters in baseball this month with a .316 average and six home runs. If you own Soler, he’s an automatic start with seven games on the schedule for the Royals. Consider Hunter Dozier as well with a .444 average in the month.
It doesn’t get much better for the Twins. You’ll want to own some of this offense with seven games on the schedule against the White Sox and Royals pitching staffs that rank 26th and 27th in ERA over the last month.
AL West Breakdown
While the Astros are one of four teams with only five games, this lineup can do more damage in those five than most teams with six or seven games on the schedule. This especially true with the Angels and Rangers pitching staffs visiting Houston.
The Angels lineup took another hit this week with the loss of Shohei Ohtani. Mike Trout has missed a week of games dealing with a toe injury but should return in time for the beginning of the road trip that starts in New York to face the Yankees. After visiting the Yankees, the Angels go to Houston to face the Astros. Outside of Mike Trout, there won’t be many Angels helping fantasy teams win championships this week.
Oakland gets six games at home against the Royals and Rangers. Those matchups make Oakland one of the better offenses in the hitting planner. Marcus Semien has been fantastic all season and has hit .362 with three home runs and three steals in September. Four of the six games will come against left-handed starters. Semien has hit .290 against lefties this season. Matt Olson is on a power binge with five home runs and a .311 average in the month.
Seattle has six games on the week against the Pirates and Orioles on the road. One of the worst offenses in the league will look to take advantage of two of the worst pitching staffs over the last month. Rookie Kyle Lewis has played right field every day since being called up from Double-A, hitting .462 with three home runs in four games so far.
It would be a bad week to own Texas Rangers hitters. The Rangers are another one of four teams with only five games, and two of those will come against Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. The matchups and schedule take Texas to the bottom of the hitting planner offensive rankings. Of Rangers hitters you’d consider starting, Nick Solak has hit .400 with three home runs in September with Rougned Odor has hit .324 with five home runs.
NL East Breakdown
The Braves get six games at home against the Giants and Phillies. Look for Ronald Acuna to be as aggressive as ever as he approaches a 40 home run and 40 steal season. The Braves has collectively been one of the best offenses in baseball.
Miami has six games on the week against the Diamondbacks and Nationals. Garrett Cooper has a .349 average and three home runs in September. Most Marlins are owned in deeper roto leagues and probably won’t be starting on any standard 12-team head-to-head leagues.
The Mets go to Colorado for a three-game series in Coors. New York has hit well as a team in September and will look to put up big offensive number against the Rockies. Robinson Cano has been a popular waiver add as he’s come back strong from a torn hamstring. Cano is hitting .429 with three home runs since his reinstatement from the injured list.
Six games are on the schedule for the Phillies, and three are set to come against Mike Soroka, Shane Bieber, and Mike Clevinger. Aside from J.T. Realmuto, who’s hitting .325 with five home runs in September, the rest of the Phillies order has been relatively cold. Realmuto and Bryce Harper are the only Phillies hitters you’re starting without a doubt.
No team has had a worse ERA in the majors than the Miami Marlins over the last month of the season. The Nationals will look to exploit this as they get a three-game series in Miami to close out the week after three games in St. Louis. The top of the Nationals order consisting of Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto is going to win people some fantasy championships.
NL Central Breakdown
The Cubs get another week of seven games on the schedule. All seven games are set to come against right-handed pitchers. Nicholas Castellanos and Anthony Rizzo benefit from the righty-heavy schedule. Nico Hoerner was called up to take over at shortstop and has shown off his hit tool with a .333 average in five games so far.
The Reds get six games with three on the road against the Cubs and three at home hosting the Mets. Eugenio Suarez has been amazing in September with a .394 average and six home runs. Aristides Aquino has slowed down after a historical start. Aquino has hit .167 with only one home run in the month.
One of my favorite teams to target this week, the Brewers enjoy a seven-game week at home. Milwaukee will play host to the Padres and Pirates. Unfortunately, Christian Yelich suffered a major knee injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season. Keston Hiura has been activated from the injured list and will be relied upon to help the Brewers offense. Milwaukee plays six of the seven games against right-handed starters. Hiura has hit .328 against righties. Yasmani Grandal has had a great month of September with a .325 average and five home runs.
The Pirates get four of six games against left-handed starters this week and are among the worst teams in baseball against lefties as a team. Adam Frazier has been the hottest hitting Pirate in September with a .342 average and two home runs. Kevin Newman has hit .286 with two steals in the month and is up to 15 steals to go with 10 home runs and a .315 average on the season.
Paul Goldschmidt had been hitting well in September with a .303 average but no home runs until going deep twice on Friday. Goldschmidt performs well against lefties and will look to keep his bat hot despite matchups with Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, Kyle Hendricks, and Cole Hamels. That’s quite the tough schedule for the Cardinals.
NL West Breakdown
The Diamondbacks have six games on the schedule as they host Miami, then go to San Diego for a three-game series with the Padres. No team has performed worse as a pitching staff than the Marlins over the last month with a 5.95 ERA.
It’s a mixed bag for the Rockies as they start the week with three games at home against the Mets followed by three games at the Dodgers. The Rockies will have a stretch of games that includes matchups against Noah Syndergaard, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Walker Buehler. That’s going to be tough no matter where the game is played. Because of the way Colorado has played the matchups, there’s no one outside of Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, and Nolan Arenado that you can count on to play every day. Arenado has been the hottest hitter with a .355 average and five home runs in September, reminding everyone why he’s a perennial top-10 pick.
The Dodgers are the fourth and final team with only five games on the schedule this week. They’ll look to make them count against a Rockies rotation that has been second-worst only to the Marlins over the last month. Joc Pederson is hitting .458 with five home runs in September and Los Angels is set to face four of five right-handed starters. Pederson leads off against righties. Meanwhile, Max Muncy returned from the injured list and will start at second base against lefties. Gavin Lux has been playing second base but could sit against lefties.
San Diego has the benefit of a full seven-game schedule this week. Wil Myers has taken back an everyday role in the offense and is off to a great start in September with a .417 average, two home runs, and three solen bases.
The San Francisco Giants hit the road for a series in Boston and Philadelphia. Mauricio Dubon has been playing regularly between second base and shortstop. Dubon is hitting .303 with two home runs and two steals in September.
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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