Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner: The Return

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Welcome back, readers! I hope everyone enjoyed the All-Star festivities.

Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written one of these, and in the time off it feels like so much has changed. The Indians bullpen has improved dramatically with the additions of Brad Hand and Adam Cimber. Maybe now the bullpen can match the performance of the starters.

In return, the Padres acquired catching prospect Francisco Mejia. The former top prospect has had a hard time gaining his footing in the majors. However, he will have his chance in San Diego, who has one of the most loaded farm systems in the Majors.


With all the moving parts around the league, it’s nice to know that some things stay the same. The Orioles mismanagement of assets, and the Dodgers endless spending in pursuit of a World Series Title.

On to the Hitting Planner!

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner

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

Offense To Target – Oakland Athletics

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Coming out of the break, Oakland will find themselves in a very enviable position. After this weekend’s series against the Giants, the A’s will play two of the worst rotations in the league. First, they’ll visit Arlington to take on the Rangers. Texas ranks 24th in WAR, ERA, and 23rd in HR/9. The Rangers are even worse at home, ranking 29th in HR/9 and 28th in ERA. The Athletics’ batters will have a great time at Globe Life Park, as it has been the best HR park in the league this season.

Oakland will then travel to Colorado for a three-game series with the Rockies. I don’t think I need to go over the benefits of playing at Coors Field. The A’s power hitters will have a field day in the thin air and should be automatic starts over the weekend.

Notable Players

Every ownable Oakland player should be in the lineup for Week 17. Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson are excellent plays in the HR friendly environments. Stephen Piscotty has been on fire of late and should also be in all lineups next week. Marcus Semien is a widely available option for owners looking to take advantage of the soft schedule.

Offense To Avoid – Milwaukee Brewers

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Like Oakland, Milwaukee is making a second straight appearance on the Hitter’s list. Unlike Oakland, owners should be avoiding the Brewers’ hitters next week.

They will start the week at home with a three-game series against the Nationals. The Nats’ pitching hasn’t been as dominant as it was early in the season, but they are still a top-10 staff. Milwaukee will be lucky enough to miss Max Scherzer, but will still have to face Stephen Strasburg. Washington ranks in the top 10 in K-BB% and should give the Brewers plenty of trouble, even without their ace scheduled to pitch.

Over the weekend, Milwaukee will travel to San Francisco for a four-game series with the Giants. While the SF pitching staff has cooled off lately, AT&T Park is still one of the toughest hitters parks in the league, especially on left-handers. As it stands, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto will be on the hill during the series.

Notable Players

Owners with alternate options should avoid the Brewers’ left-handed batters this week. Travis Shaw will see the biggest dip in production as a lefty power hitter in AT&T Park. Christian Yelich should also see a dip in power numbers. Although he’s a righty, Jesus Aguilar will struggle with his power in the cavernous space of AT&T.

Offense To Target – Toronto Blue Jays

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The Jays offense hasn’t been nearly as potent as past seasons. However, their matchups next week will have owners thinking of the good old days.

Their first series will be three games at home against Minnesota. The Twins’ staff have been average at best this season, ranking 22nd in ERA and HR/9. The Twins’ staff is also allowing the sixth highest opponents batting average (.256) this season. The Jays normally struggle with their average (.238) so the Twins weakness will definitely be a welcome change.

After an off day, the Jays will benefit from a series in Chicago against the White Sox. The White Sox rotation has been one of the worst in the league. They rank 29th in WAR and 27th in ERA. Their 5.3% K-BB% is by far the worst mark in the majors. For reference, the 29th ranked Cubs carry a mark of 9.1%. No pitcher in the White Sox rotation should dissuade owners from starting their Blue Jays.

Notable Players

Owners in OBP leagues are going to love Justin Smoak this week. His ridiculous 15 percent walk rate should get a generous bump against the hapless Chicago rotation. Teoscar Hernandez should get a small bump in points leagues, as he might not strike out so much in Chicago. For anyone needing cheap power, Kendrys Morales and Randal Grichuk are widely available options for stream-happy owners.

Offense To Avoid  – Atlanta Braves

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In all fairness to the Braves, they’re not an offense to avoid for the entire week. Two games in Miami will keep daily league owners happy at first, but it’s all downhill from there.

For the rest of the week, the Braves will be dealing with the Dodgers elite rotation. Without Clayton Kershaw in the lineup for a chunk of the season, the pitching staff has still done a wonderful job. LA ranks fifth in WAR, third in ERA and fourth in both K% and BB%. The Braves are a good offense, but it’s tough to recommend any offense going against the meat of the Dodgers rotation.

Notable Players

I’m not going to tell you to bench Freddie Freeman. That would be ridiculous. Bad matchup or not that man should be in every lineup. Guys like Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte and, Ronald Acuna Jr. will be in tough to have a productive week. Weekly league owners need to decide if the two games in Miami are worth the headache against the Dodgers.

Platoon Targets

Mark Canha, OF, Oakland Athletics

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Canha is not someone owners think of when discussing the A’s. But for the reasons mentioned above, and the opposing probable pitchers, Canha has some sneaky value this week.

Canha is a southpaw specialist hitting .304 with 10 HR against lefties while hitting just .234 with two HR against righties. Fortunately for him, the Rangers have three consecutive lefties scheduled for their series against Oakland. Canha has hit second in the lineup five times in his last nine games. In his last two games against left-handers, he has batted second and cleanup.

 


Anyone looking to take advantage of a platoon matchup needs to look at Canha, who’s only owned in 5% of ESPN leagues.


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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