Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Hitting Planner: Be Your Halo

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Don’t give up on me now. Only a few more weeks to go and most of you reading this are in the thick of the playoff chase. This time of year can drag on an owner, but the payoff is so close! Every decision at this time of year could make or break your playoff chances. Good luck!

Before we get into the Hitting Planner I want to share one of the craziest stats I’ve ever seen. Thanks to Reddit user /u/JewishDoggy for sharing this one. In 1124 plate appearances, Joey Gallo has never hit a sacrifice fly. He is the only player ever to have over 1000 PA and no sacrifice hits. For someone who hits over 50 percent fly balls, it seems almost impossible that he hasn’t hit a sacrifice yet.

Then you remember he’s Joey Gallo, king of the three outcomes.


Anyways, onto the Hitting Planner!

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Hitting Planner

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

Offense To Target – Toronto Blue Jays

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The Toronto offense has been disappointing this season. The loss of Josh Donaldson for most of the year has had an impact throughout the lineup. However, over the last two weeks, the Jays’ bats have come to life, ranking 10th in the league over that span.

The Jays will start next week with a series against the Royals in Kansas City. As you all know, the Royals’ pitching has been horrible. They rank last in ERA, WAR and opponents average while ranking 28th in HR/9. Even a pitchers park like Kauffman Stadium hasn’t been able to help them keep the ball in the yard.

Their next series in New York features a much tougher opponent, but a much better hitting environment. Yankee Stadium remains one of the best hitters parks in the league, specifically for left-handed batters. Luis Severino has not been his dominant self lately, as his ERA over the last two weeks is 6.88. If there was any time to start someone against him, it would be now. Former Blue Jay JA Happ will also take the mound. He has had a bit of a home run problem this season (1.34 HR/9), so the Jays should be able to take advantage.

Notable Players

Is it too early to recommend Vlad Guerrero Jr? If your league doesn’t count massive Triple-A home runs, Justin Smoak will be a good alternative this week, especially in Yankee Stadium. He’s hit 14 of his 18 home runs form the left side of the plate, 10 of which have been to right field. With the short porch at Yankee Stadium, Smoak could have a great series.

Kevin Pillar and Teoscar Hernandez are good options for owners who are willing to look the other way on OBP. Randal Grichuk has been hot lately and is well worth a flier with some excellent matchups ahead.

Offense To Avoid – Milwaukee Brewers

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The Brewers normally potent offense could be stymied by a very tough schedule in Week 2o. Milwaukee will only play five games this week, against two relatively tough matchups.

Yes, the Cubs rotation has not been great this year. However, this particular matchup could present problems for the Brewers bats. Left-handers Mike Montgomery and Jose Quintana will be taking the hill for Chicago in their mini-series. While neither is a particularly threatening matchup on their own, they may give problems to the Brewers hitters that struggle against lefties. As a team, Milwaukee is hitting just .239 against left-handers, good for 23rd in the league.

Their second series against the Cardinals will get easier, thanks to three right-handed pitching matchups. However, Miles Mikolas has been a tough matchup all season, holding the Brewers to just two runs in their last meeting. The best time to play the players listed below would be against Austin Gomber and John Gant.

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Notable Players

Weekly league owners should be very careful playing their Brewers players with only five games, two of which are against left-handers. Eric Thames is unplayable against the Cubs, while Travis Shaw and Ryan Braun haven’t fared much better. All three are batting below .225 against lefties this season and should ride the pine early in the week.

Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain will be fine, but the light schedule hurts their weekly value.

Offense To Target – Los Angeles Angels

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The Angels have been one of the hottest offenses in the league over the last two weeks, ranking in the top five in HR, RBI, runs, AVG, OBP, SLG, and WAR. Kole Calhoun has emerged from a season-long slump and Shohei Ohtani has upped his power game over the last week.

Their first matchup in San Diego is a juicy one. The Padres scheduled starters will be Brett Kennedy, Robbie Erlin, and Walker Lockett. In their short rotations stints, both Erlin and Lockett have an ERA above 9.00, while Mitchell is the best of the bunch, carrying an ERA of 7.08. Petco Park has been a surprisingly good hitters park, ranking eighth in run production this season. Owners no longer have to worry about their hitters struggling when they visit San Diego.

Their second matchup is where the real fun begins. The Angels will have the fortune of a three-game series in Texas against the Rangers. Globe Life Park has been an absolute launching pad, ranking first in both HR and run production this year. The Rangers rotation also remains one of the worst in the league, ranking 26th in ERA, 25th in WAR, and 24th in K-BB%.

Notable Players

Calhoun’s ownership has skyrocketed in the last week, but he is only 61% owned in ESPN leagues and needs to be owned for Week 20. Owners streaming catchers can take a flier on Francisco Arcia. Owners okay with tanking their OBP can kick the tires on Albert Pujols for a power surge in the second half of the week.

Offense To Avoid – Houston Astros

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It seems weird to recommend avoiding the Astros offense, but they’re not the same offense they were early in the season. Injuries to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer have taken a lot of the bite out of their lineup. Over the last 14 days, the Astros have been the 21st ranked offense. Their slash line is a paltry .222/.293/.413 in that time and their strikeout rate sits at 22 percent. Prior to their slump, Houston had the lowest strikeout rate in the league, at 19.7 percent.

Houston doesn’t have the toughest matchups, but their light schedule is working against them. The Astro’s are only playing five games next week and three of those are in the second worst hitters park in the league. The Oakland Coliseum is second worst hitter park for run production and the worst overall for home runs. A struggling Astros lineup in a tough park is not something I would bet on until their injured come off the DL.

Notable Players

Until one of their wounded returns, Alex Bregman will be leading the charge for Houston. If you have him, you’re not going to bench him, but temper expectations. Marwin Gonzalez has been hot amidst the team-wide slump but will be a risky play in weekly lineups due to the light schedule. Yuli Gurriel isn’t providing much at the moment and should be benched this week.

Platoon Targets

Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Turner has endured a rough season thus far, but a slew of matchups against left-handers could act as a solid pick me up. Turner is slashing .327/.460/.469 against lefties this season, with half his season doubles coming against left-handers in nearly 1/3 of the at-bats. The Dodgers will face southpaws in five of their six games, giving Turner plenty of opportunities to rake.



Turner has been hitting behind Manny Machado, who is hitting .330 against lefties and should set the table nicely for Turner throughout the week. Despite his early-season struggles, Turner is a great play in Week 20.


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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