We’ve reached the final weeks of the season and find ourselves in the heart of fantasy playoffs in head-to-head leagues. In this edition of the hitting planner, we look at which bats we can lean on to carry us to our championships. Based on matchups, total games, and venues, I form the weekly offensive rankings to help you determine which teams you want to target for the week ahead.
For more help getting ready for the coming of fantasy baseball, also check out Jorge’s Closer Rankings, Eric Cross’ Waiver Wire Adds, Nathan Dokken’s Starting Pitcher Rankings, and Paul Mammino’s Two-Start Pitchers.
Week 25 Hitting Planner
We changed things up this week. Instead of displaying a table for each division and spreading things out, we lumped the data altogether. This makes it easier to sort (click the column headers) by the criterion of your choice and hopefully makes it easier to see how the different offenses measure up in relation to each other. Of course, you can still get a little more depth below the table with my division by division breakdown.
|Team||Off. Ranking||Total Games||Home||Away||VS RHP||VS LHP|
|NYY||9||7||0||1(BOS) 3(DET) 3(TOR)||5||2|
AL Hitting Planner Analysis
The Baltimore Orioles play six games this week. Of those six, four of them should come against left-handed pitchers. Hanser Alberto could be a good middle infield option as he’s hit .417 on the year against lefties and .395 overall in the last two weeks. Anthony Santander has five home runs in that time and also benefits from the lefty-heavy schedule.
The Red Sox have a home game against the Yankees to start the week then travel to Toronto for three and Philadelphia for two. The Red Sox will be without the designated hitter for the two games in Philly. The last time Boston played two games in an NL park, Andrew Benintendi went to the bench for both games while J.D. Martinez played left field.
With the Monday game against Boston, the Yankees play seven games. They’ll travel to Detroit and Toronto for three games each. Aaron Judge is helping many fantasy teams in the playoffs right now with seven home runs and a .333 average over the last two weeks. Edwin Encarnacion made his return from the injured list and could be a good source of power.
The Rays get another favorable week as they go on the road for six games against the Rangers and Angels. The Angels have the fifth-worst ERA in baseball since August 1. Austin Meadows has hit .333 over the last three weeks with five home runs. Tommy Pham has a mild flexor strain but could be back in the lineup by Tuesday so keep on eye on Pham. With three lefties on the schedule, he could help fantasy teams this week with a .333 average against left-handed pitchers.
Toronto gets the Yankees and Red Sox at home for three games each. Bo Bichette has been the only Blue Jay hitting well with a .347 average, three home runs, and a stolen base in the last two weeks. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has only hit .247 in that same span but gets five right-handed pitchers. Guerrero has hit .308 against righties on the season.
Well here comes the Eloy Jimenez we’ve been waiting for all season. Jimenez has hit .347 with two home runs over the last two weeks. The White Sox have a good week of matchups with the Royals and Mariners on the schedule for three games each. Kansas City has the fourth-worst ERA in baseball over the last month while Seattle has the 12th worst. It should be a good week for Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu to continue their hot hitting as well.
Cleveland gets six games with three at home against the Twins and three at the Angels. Three lefties on the schedule spells good news for Carlos Santana. Santana has hit .329 against left-handed pitchers. Franmil Reyes has been among the league leaders in hard-hit balls all season, and the results are catching up. Reyes has five home runs and a .364 average over the last two weeks. I’d feel comfortable starting Reyes as my third outfielder in all leagues.
The Tigers get six games on the week as well. All six games will come at home with the Yankees and Orioles visiting. Baltimore has the worst ERA in baseball since the beginning of August. Leadoff hitter Victor Reyes has a .421 average and three steals over the last two week and could be considered for deeper roto leagues.
I’m not a fan of the Royals’ matchups this week as they have Lucas Giolito, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke on the schedule. Whit Merrifield has a .375 average over the last two weeks and is always an automatic start. Five of the games will come against right-handed pitchers. Hunter Dozier has a .284 average against righties while Jorge Soler has hit 32 of his 40 home runs against them.
The Twins have some of the worst matchups this week, taking them near the bottom of the hitting planner offensive rankings. Some of the pitchers they’ll face include Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Shane Bieber, and Mike Clevinger. Nelson Cruz is showing no signs of decline even coming back from an injured wrist. Crus has a .321 average and two home runs over the last couple weeks. Jorge Polanco has been one of Minnesota’s hottest hitters with a .367 average since August 23.
The Astros get a full seven games this week as they host the Oakland A’s for four then go to Kansas City for three. The Royals have had one of the worst pitching staffs over the last month. George Springer has missed the last couple games with a concussion but is hopeful to return early in the week. Kyle Tucker has been playing in his absence and hit his first home run and stole his first base of the season over the last few days.
Things will be tough for the Angels as they get the Indians and Rays. Both pitching staffs have been among the top five in ERA over the last month. It’s hard to justify recommending any Angels hitters not named Mike Trout.
Oakland has a full slate of seven games on the schedule with a Texas road trip to play the Astros and Rangers. Matt Olson has hit .319 with two home runs over the last two weeks. Mark Canha, Jurickson Profar, and Marcus Semien have all hit four home runs in that span. Profar has a .301 average against lefties and the Athletics have three games on the schedule against left-handed pitchers.
Seattle has six games once again for the week. Dylan Moore has been playing shortstop every day and hitting well with a .324 average, two home runs, and three steals over the last two weeks. Moore might stick in the leadoff spot going forward. Kyle Seager has a .306 average and four home runs over the last couple weeks.
The Rangers have six games at home on the week with the Athletics and Rays visiting. Nick Solak has been the hottest hitting Ranger with a .308 average over the last two weeks. The rest of the Texas regulars have been relatively cold at the plate, all hitting under .200 in that span.
NL Hitting Planner
The Braves get seven games on the week with a four-game series in Philadelphia before going to Washington for three. The only pitchers on the schedule that present a tough matchup are Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer. Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna have been cold of late in regards to average, although Donaldson has five home runs and Acuna five steals over the last two weeks.
Miami gets seven games as well with four at home to the Brewers and three on the road in San Francisco. Starlin Castro has been red hot with a .388 average and six home runs since August 23. Castro might be an option to stream at second base. Jon Berti has provided value with two home runs and four steals in the last couple of weeks.
The Mets stay at home for seven games. Brandon Nimmo made his return from the injured list. Since his return, Nimmo and Juan Lagares have alternated games in center field. J.D. Davis has lost regular playing time, alternating with Jeff McNeil at third base. I would be nervous about starting Davis in weekly leagues and might seek other options. Wilson Ramos has hit extremely well over the last two weeks with a .450 average.
Six games are on the schedule for the Phillies, and three are set to come against left-handed pitchers. Jean Segura and Scott Kingery benefit from the lefty matchups with a .304 and .314 average respectively.
Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto have been such an incredible duo atop the Nationals lineup. Rendon has hit .467 with four home runs over the last two weeks, making his case as the top third baseman in the game. Soto also has four home runs in that span with a .408 average. Washington goes to Minnesota for three games before hosting the Braves for three.
The Cubs get a good week with a full seven-game schedule as they go to San Diego for four games then host the Pirates for three. The Padres and Pirates pitching staffs both rank in the bottom 10 in all of baseball over the last month. Kyle Schwarber is red hot with a .368 average and five home runs in the last two weeks. All seven games will come against right-handed pitchers. Anthony Rizzo has hit significantly better against righties as opposed to left-handed pitchers.
The Reds go to Seattle and Arizona for three games each. Eugenio Suarez missed three games but returned to the lineup on Thursday. Suarez has hit .340 with seven home runs over the last two weeks and will look to exploit a bad Seattle pitching staff.
I like Milwaukee hitters this week with a four-game series on the road against the Marlins. Miami has gotten terrible pitching over the last month with a third-worst 6.15 ERA. The Brewers bats have been collectively cold of late but they’ll look to take advantage of the good matchups. Corey Spangenberg has replaces Keston Hiura since Hiura was placed on the injured list. Eric Thames has been the best hitter of late with a .333 average and three home runs in the last two weeks. Thames and the Brewers get six of seven games against right-handed starters.
The Pirates go to San Francisco for four games before going to Chicago for three against the Cubs. They’ll be looking to take advantage of a San Francisco pitching staff that’s had the eighth-worst pitching staff with a 5.01 ERA over the last month. Kevin Newman, Adam Frazier, and Bryan Reynolds have been hitting well over the last couple weeks. Although perhaps none better than Josh Bell, who’s hit .300 with five home runs since August 23.
It’ll be a good week to get Cardinals bats in your lineup for the playoffs as they’ll go to Colorado for a three-game series in Coors. Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina have had a good couple of weeks with a .410 and .435 average respectively. Molina has four home runs in that span and both hitters have been the best against right-handed pitchers on the team. St. Louis gets all six games against right-handed starters.
The Diamondbacks are one of twelve teams with seven games on the schedule. Ketel Marte has hit .429 over the last couple of weeks. Christian Walker has hit well in that span with a .341 average and three home runs. Josh Rojas has been playing every day, including the last start against a lefty. Six of the seven games on the week should come against right-handed starters.
Coors field is going to have an impact for plenty of fantasy teams as the Rockies have all six games at home. A full week in Coors takes the Rockies offense to the top of the hitting planner offensive rankings. Start your Colorado hitters. David Dahl could be back from the injured list soon and is someone to monitor.
The Dodgers go on the road for three games in Baltimore and three more in New York against the Mets. Start your Dodger hitter in Baltimore. The Orioles have had one of the worst pitching staffs all season long and you always want to target hitters in Camden Yards. Gavin Lux has started the last four games at second base and could pick up second base eligibility soon depending on your league settings. Joc Pederson has been on a tear with seven home runs in the last two weeks.
San Diego benefits this week from a three-game series in Colorado. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer have been the only Padres hitters to play every day over the last week. Josh Naylor has started five of the last six games in the outfield while hitting .300 over the last two weeks. Luis Urias has sat three of the last six games.
Another full slate of seven games is on the schedule for the Giants. It’ll be a good week for San Francisco as they face the Pirates for four games and the Marlins for three. Both teams rank in the bottom seven in team ERA since August 1. Kevin Pillar has been the only Giants hitter to play every day due to his defensive prowess. Pillar has a .298 average with two home runs and a steal over the last two weeks. Evan Longoria has a .333 average with two home runs as well in the same time span.
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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