Here we are in Week 10 of the fantasy baseball season, and the big news stories are difficult to come by. The Stanley Cup Finals have swept Las Vegas off its feet and fans are happy to be out from under the reign of the evil Penguins regime.
Despite all the excitement of the NBA playoffs, we've ended up with LeBron vs. the Warriors for a fourth straight year. I don't have a problem with it, but I'm just a Raptors fan who's given up on ever experiencing basketball happiness. Although a great Game 1 made up for some of it.
We're not in the dog days of summer yet, but as the season moves forward, everyone needs to keep themselves involved, as the smallest of mid-season moves could alter the outcome of their league. Or you could do what I do and irrationally jump on the hype train for every single prospect that ever existed. If you keep adding them, one will be good eventually.
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 10 Hitting Planner
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Offense To Target - New York Yankees
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Next week, the Yankees already explosive offense will have a chance to absolutely tear the cover off the ball. Thanks to a doubleheader early in the week, the Evil Empire will play a full seven-game schedule.
The Yankees will face Mike Fiers and (likely) Ryan Carpenter in Monday's doubleheader. Fiers has given up four earned runs in each of his last two starts and at least one home run in six straight. Carpenter is a seldom-used lefty with an 8.31 ERA. Bombs away.
For the Yankees second series, the Jays will send Marco Estrada and Sam Gaviglio to the hill. Estrada has not been good lately, and Gaviglio is a journeyman starter who had home run problems last season and in the minors. Slightly tougher matchup than the Tigers, but still nothing to worry about.
The Yanks will finally face an elite starter against the Mets, with Jacob DeGrom pitching on Friday. Otherwise, the Mets rotation shouldn't strike fear in any Yankees owners.
With the cupcake matchups, this may be the week Giancarlo Stanton stops striking out so much. Or not. Didi Gregorius is starting to heat up again and should be in for a good week. Oft-injured Greg Bird is healthy and has already knocked a home run in his short time back.
Offense To Avoid - Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have two things going against them this week. First, only playing five games puts them at an immediate disadvantage. Second, their opponents in those five games won't be doing them any favors.
If you can call it fortunate, the Brewers only need to play the Indians twice. Unfortunately, they'll run right into Corey Kluber, and most of the Milwaukee offense should be benched that night. Who they'll face in the second game is up in the air, as prospect Shane Bieber is in line right now, but is expected to be sent down following his spot start. Unless Josh Tomlin makes a return to the rotation, the Indians will have a very solid pitcher on the hill
After an off day, the Brewers will travel to Philadelphia for a three-game set against the Phillies. They won't have to face Aaron Nola, but they will need to face the rest of the fourth-ranked Phillies pitching staff.
Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain might be able to get on-base at a decent rate, but may have trouble scoring runs as Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw, and Domingo Santana may struggle with the two tough pitching staffs ahead of them.
Offense To Target - St. Louis Cardinals
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Remember last week when I told you to avoid the Diamondbacks offense despite their good matchups against the Reds and Marlins? Well, that came back to bite me, as the D'Backs scored 21 runs in the three games against the Reds. Now, if that offense can come alive against these rotations, the Cardinals batters should also have a good week in store.
Miami has been better than a lot of people thought they would be, but it doesn't make them good. We know that Jose Urena and Wei-Yin Chen are prone to blowups and owners should take advantage. The unknown quantity here is Elieser Hernandez, who has looked pretty good in his three starts. It's very tough to evaluate with such a small sample size, so let's see how he does Friday against the D'Backs before making snap judgments.
The Cincinnati starters are dead last in the league with a 5.76 ERA and are fresh off a drubbing from the coldest offense in the league. Luis Castillo will take the hill Friday, but who knows which version of him is going to pitch this time around. The Saturday starter remains cloudy after Homer Bailey's demotion to the bullpen, but Sal Romano and his 6.00 are easy pickings for Sunday's game.
Jose Martinez has recorded one RBI in his last 10 games, but this is a good a week as any to pick it back up. Matt Carpenter has been very hot over the last week and I like his chances to keep it up against weaker competition. I've not been a fan this season, but if Marcell Ozuna (finger) gets back in the lineup, this might be the week he finally contributes something of use.
Offense To Avoid - Texas Rangers
The Rangers seem to end up here a lot, and a lot of it has to do with the teams in their division. This week, they'll have the unenviable task of facing the Astros four times.
The only positive thing you can say about this matchup is that the Rangers get to play it at home, but it's not much solace against the best rotation in the league. Seriously, do people realize how good the Astros have been? Take a look at this neat graph that plots K%-BB% against starting innings pitched. Gerrit, Cole, Justin Verlander, and Charlie Morton, who occupy three of the top four spots on the AL ERA leaderboard, will line up to face them. For good measure, they also get former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel. Have fun with that.
The Rangers "easier" series is at home against Oakland, where they'll draw Sean Manaea and Daniel Mengden. While Manaea has slowed from his hot start, Mengden has been on fire, giving up just four hits in his last 18 innings pitched.
Most of the Ranger lineup is going to be in deep trouble this week. Specifically, Joey Gallo is going to have a horrible time and will strike out even more than he normally does. Same goes for Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara.
Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Devers is a very solid player but he does struggle with lefties, as evidenced by his .213 average against left-handers. With the Red Sox facing three consecutive southpaws to start the week, Devers may struggle a bit.
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