Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner: Snake Bit

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Welcome to the Week 9 edition of the Hitting Planner! Hope that all my fellow Canadians had a great Victoria Day weekend and I wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day as well.

Any readers out there that saw the Orioles-White Sox game on Thursday can attest that Lucas Giolito had one of the worst pitching performances of the season. He gave up seven earned runs in 1 1/3 innings and let the Orioles bat around in back-to-back innings. It doesn’t seem like long ago that Giolito was one of the more promising young pitchers in the league. Now, he seems to have lost all confidence and may be close to being demoted to Triple-A.

With the suspensions of Welington Castillo and Robinson Cano, I’m waiting with baited breath to see who else on my team is going to test positive for PEDs. Enough salt from me, let’s move onto the Hitting Planner.

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2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner

Get customized Fantasy Baseball advice for your team using MyPlaybook from FantasyPros.

Offense To Target – Los Angeles Angels

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The Angels have a pretty easy schedule next week and owners can take full advantage.

They’ll start the week in Detroit against the Tigers for a four game set. Their rotation has been middle of the road so far, ranking 15th in ERA and opponents AVG. However, the Tigers’ pitchers rank 27th in K/9 so owners don’t have to worry about their Angels batters striking out too often. The matchup against Mike Fiers should have some fireworks, seeing that he’s given up eight home runs in his last five starts. They’ll also get plenty of men on base against Francisco Liriano and his 4.44 BB/9.

Los Angeles will finish the week against the 27th ranked Rangers staff. Over the weekend they’re scheduled to face Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

Notable Players

This week should be a boon for the lesser owned Angels players. Zack Cozart, Ian Kinsler, and Albert Pujols could have a better than average week. Kinsler is especially intriguing, as he’s been batting leadoff lately, which would provide a huge surge to his runs and steals numbers. Pujols could have a bounce back week, so long as he stops grounding into double plays.

Shohei Ohtani will be a must start over the weekend, as he absolutely mashes righties and should have no problems with Fister and Bibens-Dirkx.

Offense To Avoid – New York Mets

Normally, a team playing eight games would be a prime target for savvy weekly league owners. However, the Mets offense is struggling to the point where they felt the need to sign Jose Bautista to “re-invigorate” the offense. Beyond injuries and general ineffectiveness, the Mets will also be going up against lefties in half their games this week.

The Mets’ struggles against lefties are well documented, and it’s something I went over in my Week 7 Hitting Planner. Since then, New York has made marginal improvements against southpaws but still sit 29th in the league against them. In the Braves series, youngsters Luis Gohara and Sean Newcomb will present problems, while established veterans Jon Lester and Jose Quintana will take the hill for the Cubs.

Notable Players

Without Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup, the Mets have a hole in the middle of the order. Jay Bruce has been seeing the bench more often, and shouldn’t be in any lineups next week. Devin Mesoraco has looked like the 2014 version of himself, but – shocker!- he missed Tuesday’s game with an injury. Michael Conforto has turned it on lately but is still batting .143 against lefties this year.

As usual, your best bet with the Mets will be Asdrubal Cabrera, who’s batting .327 against lefties.

Offense To Target – Oakland Athletics

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The A’s are another team with a pretty solid schedule next week that owners can take advantage of. A four game home stand against the Rays should get their week off to a great start. Lord knows what the Rays are doing with their rotation. Seriously, what is this? The A’s won’t have to deal with that, as they’re scheduled to face four of the Rays’ actual starters. While Chris Archer and Blake Snell can strike out batters with the best of them, they’ve had problems with the long ball, each giving up around 1.24 HR per nine innings.

The weekend series against the Royals and their 29th ranked rotation should be another positive for the A’s bats. Going up against Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel, both of which have ERA’s over 5.00. Jakob Junis has pitched well lately but hasn’t gotten through six innings in his last three starts. Hopefully for A’s owners, they can chase him early and get to the Royals’ league-worst bullpen.

Notable Players

Dustin Fowler will get extended run with Khris Davis on the DL. Marcus Semien is somehow just 60% owned in ESPN leagues and makes for a widely available streamer for the week. Jed Lowrie will get the chance to face three straight lefties (he’s hitting .333 against them) and is an excellent bet to do some damage against the Rays.

Offense To Avoid – Arizona Diamondbacks

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What a fall it’s been for the Arizona offense since the start of the season. With Paul Goldschmidt in a slump and two starters (Jake Lamb and Steven Souza) on the DL, they managed to be an above average offense, ranking 12th with a 100 wRC+ in the first month of the season.

However, May has been a completely different story. The D’Backs are playing like the worst offenses in the league with a wRC+ of 51 (!!) in May. To put that in perspective, the next team on the list has a wRC+ of 74. Over the last 13 games, the team is hitting .178 and have scored just 24 runs. To say they’re cold would be an understatement.

Cincinnati and Miami aren’t difficult matchups at all. In fact, most other teams would be targets with matchups like these. But the D’Backs have been so bad lately that the Reds and Marlins pitchers might be targets for Tyler Thompson to write about in his Pitching Planner.

Notable Players

We would all like for Paul Goldschmidt to turn it around, but let’s face it, he’s been horrid outside of a five-game stretch in mid-April. He has seven hits in his last 13 games and has stopped walking enough to help owners in OBP leagues. He’s been a huge detriment to teams of late and should be on the bench until his bat heats up again.

David Peralta and Nick Ahmed have cooled after hot starts and should be avoided. Jake Lamb hit his first home run of the season on Monday, and owners needing power can slot him in their lineups. However, don’t expect too many counting stats with the way his teammates are performing.

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Platoon Targets

Chad Pinder, Oakland Athletics

The Athletics utility man will have the opportunity to be a very cheap source of power next week. As mentioned earlier, the A’s will be facing three straight lefties against the Rays. This season, Pinder is slashing .350/.435/.575 against southpaws this season. While he won’t play every game, he would make a solid early week option for owners who need an injury replacement or have a streaming spot.


Check out the rest of our great 2018 Fantasy Baseball content.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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