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Week 23 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner: Mile High for the Playoffs

It’s Week 23 in fantasy baseball and many leagues have head-to-head playoffs starting. Making the right lineup decisions will be crucial in giving you the best chance to advance. In this new edition of the hitting planner, we see five teams get a short five-game schedule while nine get a full seven games. It’s this time of the year where owning Rockies bats comes in clutch in our fantasy playoffs as they get a full week at Coors. While the Rockies take the top spot in the offensive rankings, see what else stands out in the hitting planner as we go team-by-team for the week ahead, ranking each offense based on matchups, total games, and venues.

For more help getting ready for the coming of fantasy baseball, 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. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
BAL28502(WSH) 3(KC)32
BOS11502(COL) 3(LAA)32
TOR2952(ATL) 3(HOU)041

The Baltimore Orioles are one of five teams that play only five games. The first two games will come against Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer. The final three games will come against the Kansas City Royals, who as a team have the eighth-worst ERA in August. Jonathan Villar has hit well in August with a .333 average, five home runs, and five stolen bases.

The Red Sox also have five games this week, but two of those games will come in Colorado. J.D. Martinez has occasionally played the outfield but could be a risk to sit at least one of the games in Colorado. Regardless, Martinez has been fantastic in August with a .371 average and five home runs. Mitch Moreland has hit .300 in August and both games in Colorado will come against right-handed pitchers, making him a play in deeper daily leagues.

Gleyber Torres has been on a tear in August, hitting 11 home runs. Gio Urshela has been a big surprise breakout himself, hitting seven home runs with a .425 average in August. The Yankees get six games with a visit to Seattle for three then go home to host the Athletics. Four of the six games will come against left-handed starters. Mike Tauchman has a .423 average against lefties on the year. Aaron Judge will be looking to break out with a .333 average against left-handed pitchers.

The Tampa Bay Rays get some of the toughest matchups on the week, pushing them to the bottom of the offensive rankings in the hitting planner. The Rays go to Houston for three games and host the Indians for three. The lineup of pitchers set to face Tampa Bay includes Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber. That’s enough to have me looking elsewhere for my lineups.

Toronto gets a short five-game schedule that includes two against the Braves and three against Houston at home. In most 12-team leagues, I’m likely sitting most Blue Jays outside of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both have hit well in August with a .299 and .381 average respectively. Both hitters have excelled against right-handed pitching and Toronto is set to face four of five righties.

AL Central

TeamOff. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
CLE13603(DET) 3(TB)51
DET2363(CLE) 3(MIN)051
KC674(OAK) 3(BAL)052
MIN12603(CWS) 3(DET)42

The White Sox will go to Atlanta for three games and host the Twins for three more. Tim Anderson has continued to stay hot in August with a .400 average. Jose Abreu has a .341 average and six home runs in the month. Yoan Moncada made his return from the IL and homered in both games back in the lineup. The pitching matchups seem to be middle of the pack this week, so Abreu, Moncada, Anderson, and James McCann are bats that could continue their hot hitting.

Cleveland goes to Detroit to face the Tigers’ pitching staff that has been among the worst in baseball all season. The Indians will avoid their best pitcher in Matthew Boyd. Carlos Santana has been the best hitter for Cleveland in August, leading the team with a .347 average and seven home runs. Five of the six games will come against right-handed starters. Yasiel Puig is hitting .286 against righties.

The Tigers get all six games at home this week. They’ll miss Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber when the Indians visit for three games. Niko Goodrum has been one of the only Tigers worth rostering in most standard leagues this season but will miss the week on the injured list. The Tigers lead MLB in strikeouts in August and rank among the bottom in home runs and runs scored. Furthermore, five of the six games will come against right-handed starters and Detroit is the worst hitting team with a .229 average on the year against right-handed pitching.

Kansas City is one of nine teams with a full seven-game schedule. So, get Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier in your lineups. Soler has hit .327 with seven home runs in August while Dozier has a .310 average with six home runs on the month. Three games will come against the Baltimore Orioles, who rank last in team ERA for the month among their starters.

Minnesota goes on the road for six games as they visit the White Sox and Tigers for three games each. Five of those games will come against right-handed pitchers. The Twins are the sixth-best in baseball against right-handed pitching. Nelson Cruz has hit .303 against righties. Cruz made his return from the injured list and has picked up where he left off with five doubles and a home run in the last week. Jorge Polanco has also hit well against right-handers with a .309 average.

AL West

TeamOff. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
LAA2752(TEX) 3(BOS)041
OAK5704(KC) 3(NYY)43

There really isn’t much to say about the Houston lineup that has been maybe the best in baseball all season long. You’re starting everyone from leadoff down to sixth in the lineup. Kyle Tucker is expected to be called up when rosters expand in September and should be stashed as the 22-year-old has hit 32 home runs and stolen 29 bases in Triple-A this year.

The Los Angeles Angels get a short five-game schedule on the week. Outside of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, it’s hard to justify starting anyone. Ohtani has a .358 average with one home run and two steals in August. With four of five games against right-handed starters, Ohtani could have a good week as he leads the team against righties with a .309 average.

Oakland has a full slate of seven games on the schedule as they go on the road to face the Royals for four and the Yankees for three. Mark Canha has had a great month hitting .354 in August. Stephen Piscotty has hit well since his return from a knee injury with a .324 average and four home runs in the month.

Seattle gets seven games as well with three at home against the Yankees and four on the road in Texas to face the Rangers. The Mariners have five lefties on the schedule, good for someone like Tom Murphy. Murphy has platooned with Omar Narvaez, hitting .348 with 11 home runs against lefties.

The Rangers have six games on the schedule as they go to Los Angeles to face the Angels for two then host the Mariners for four games. Willie Calhoun will once again look to take advantage of a favorable schedule as he’s hit .274 with six home runs in the month. Danny Santana has come down to Earth a bit with a .229 average in August and has sat against two of the last three left-handed starters. The Rangers are set to face three lefties and three righties on the week.

NL Hitting Planner

NL East

TeamOff. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
ATL463(CWS)1(COL) 2(TOR)60
PHI1563(PIT) 3(NYM)042
WSH752(BAL) 3(MIA)041

The Braves get a makeup game in Coors to start the week then travel to Toronto for two games before hosting the White Sox for three. A schedule of all right-handed pitchers is good news for Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Josh Donaldson, but not so much for Ozzie Albies, who is hitting .257 against right-handed starters. Regardless, I want a piece of the Brave’s top four in my lineups this week.

While Miami gets seven games on the schedule, the Reds and Nationals have a couple of the better pitching staffs in the National League. Jon Berti has a .286 average in August with 2 home runs and 5 steals. Berti is someone I’ve added in roto leagues for those steals.

The Mets get three games against the Cubs and Phillies. Jeff McNeil will be eligible to return from the IL and could be activated before the start of the week. Joe Panik has been playing second base in McNeil’s absence and has at least one hit in 10 of his 12 games as a Met. J.D. Davis has hit .344 with five home runs in August and should be added in most standard leagues. Aside from Davis, Wilson Ramos and Amed Rosario are enjoying hot months at the plate with .380 and .372 averages respectively. Rosario has three stolen bases in the month.

Anther team with six games on the schedule, the Phillies host the Pirates and Mets for three games each. The Phillies will miss Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in the Mets rotation. Meanwhile, the Pirates have the fifth-worst team ERA in the majors during the month of August.

While the Nationals only get five games on the week, the five games will come against the bottom two teams in ERA for the month of August in the Orioles and Marlins. Adam Eaton has been great with a .353 average, four home runs, and three steals in the month. Victor Robles is turning around a mostly disappointing season by our new rookie standards with a .297 average, two home runs, and three steals in August.

NL Central

TeamOff. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
CIN2804(MIA) 4(STL)71
PIT3703(PHI) 4(COL)52

Nicolas Castellanos has been amazing since joining the Cubs with eight home runs and a .378 average. Jason Heyward has been hitting leadoff and will look to break out of his current slump as he’s hit .286 against righties on the year. Five of the Cubs’ six games will come against right-handed starters.

It’ll be a good week for the Reds as the only team with eight games. Four of those games will come against the Marlins pitching staff that has been better than only the Orioles in August with a 6.31 ERA among their starters. With Jesse Winker on the injured list, it’s been Josh VanMeter who has hit leadoff against right-handed starters with a .314 average against them. The Reds are set to face seven righties on the week.

Milwaukee gets six games on the week. Lorenzo Cain made his return to the lineup, moving Trent Grisham back to the bench. Ryan Braun has had a good month of August with a .365 average, three home runs, and two steals. The same can be said or Mike Moustakas, who’s hit .296 with five home runs in the month.

The Pirates get the best series you can get, four games in Coors. Aside from that, five of the seven games should come against right-handed starters. The Pirates rank among the top five teams in the league against right-handed pitching. Bryan Reynolds is a good play in all leagues this week with a .324 average and four home runs in August.

The Cardinals are among the nine teams on the schedule with seven games. Three of those games will come against Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer. Kolton Wong has had the best month among St. Louis hitters with a .339 average on the month. Marcell Ozuna has made his presence felt since his return with a .274 average, three home runs, and four steals in the month. Ozuna is the best hitter on the team against right-handed starters with a .279 average. The Cardinals are set to face six righties on the week.

NL West

TeamOff. RankingTotal GamesHomeAwayVS RHPVS LHP
COL171(ATL) 2(BOS) 4(PIT)052
LAD9703(SD) 4(ARI)52
SF2462(ARI) 4(SD)033

The Diamondbacks go to San Francisco for two games before hosting the Dodgers for four. With a righty-heavy schedule, Ketel Marte and David Peralta will look to take advantage. While Nick Ahmed will look to stay hot, it might be tough with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Kenta Maeda on the schedule to end the week.

You’ll want to get your Rockies in your lineups as they get a full seven-game schedule at home. Colorado takes the top spot in the hitting planner offensive rankings. Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, Ryan McMahon, and Charlie Blackmon have all had excellent months and will look to keep it going. Raimel Tapia has filled in for David Dahl hitting .357 in August and occasionally leads off.

The Dodgers get a full seven games as they spend the week on the road in San Diego and Arizona. Look for Cody Bellinger to turn around the .254 average in August with five right-handed starters set to face the Dodgers. This is also good news for Justin Turner, who’s hit .309 against righties. Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez made their returns from the injured list and have each played in three of four games since.

Fernando Tatis Jr. will likely be shut down for the remainder of the season. Luis Urias has filled in at shortstop and is hitting .288 in August. Francisco Mejia has been on a tear hitting .404 with four home runs. Mejia is now playing twice as much as Austin Hedges. Both will try to take advantage of the volume a seven-game schedule provides as the Padres host the Dodgers for three games and visit the Giants for four.

I think I’ve seen enough of “Baby Yaz” to make me a believer for this season at least. Mike Yastrzemski has hit .288 with eight home runs in August. The Giants get six games at home this week with two against the Diamondbacks and four against the Padres. Kevin Pillar is having a great month as well with six home runs, two steals, and a .377 average.

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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