2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 26 Hitting Planner: Short & Sweet

by Jonathan Chan
2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 26 Hitting Planner

Welcome to the final week of the Hitting Planner for 2018! It's been a long season, but all your hard work has led to this! If you've made it this far and are still reading, I must have been doing something right. Thanks for your support this year and I'll see everyone for Spring Training 2019.

On to the Hitting Planner.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 26 Hitting Planner

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Offense To Target - Philadelphia Phillies

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The Phillies have two things working in their favor this week. First, they're one of the few teams that will play a full seven-game schedule. Second, they get to start the last week of their season with a four-game series in Coors Field.

The Rockies have a good group of starters, but Colorado starters tend to do worse in Coors. Their ace German Marquez has a sparkling 2.94 ERA on the road but carries an awful 5.14 ERA at Coors. Tyler Anderson and Antonio Senzatela also struggle at home, posting ERA's of 4.52 and 5.20 respectively. The one exception in their rotation is Kyle Freeland. The former eighth overall pick has been on a major roll of late, posting nine consecutive quality starts. He also loves pitching at home, as his ERA at Coors is an astounding 2.36. Despite his numbers at home, owners should roll with their Phillies in Coors.

To end the regular season, the Phillies will travel home to take on the Braves. The Atlanta pitching staff is the most average rotation in the league, ranking 15th in WAR, 12th in ERA, and 18th in K-BB%. It may not be the greatest matchup, but the friendly confines of Citizen's Bank Park (Fifth in HR park factor) should offset any damage the Atlanta rotation does.

Notable Players

Lesser owned Phillies like Odubel Herrera and Caesar Hernandez, are prime targets for streaming owners. Herrera has been struggling for some time but the home run he hit on Tuesday could be shake-up he needs to end his season on a strong note. Hernandez is a solid middle infield option for owners who need to build up their runs and stolen base numbers.

Offense To Avoid - Baltimore Orioles

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Yes, Baltimore has a full schedule this week, but owners don't want any part of their matchups for the upcoming week. I know some of you will be desperate for warm bodies to fill out lineups, but you should stay far away from the Orioles lineup.

They'll start with a three-game series in Boston against the Red Sox elite staff. Boston has the fourth-ranked rotation in the league and should rack up the strikeouts against the hapless Orioles lineup. David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be tuning up for the playoffs and will have their way.

Their next series doesn't get any easier, as they'll play a four-game set against the Astros. They avoid Gerrit Cole, but will still face Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton. The Astros' league-best pitching staff will have the Orioles hitters whiffing all week long.

Notable Players

If anyone was thinking about streaming Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo (why?) or Chris Davis (WHY??) for extra power next week, please reconsider. Jonathan Villar has been inconsistent but won't be much use this week. He already strikes out 26 percent of the time, and I bet his k-rate this week will be around 30 percent. Adam Jones is the Orioles best bat, and I wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole this week.

Offense To Target - Houston Astros

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For the last time this season, I'm going to go with the obvious and recommending one of the best offenses in the league. The Astros will also play a full schedule this week against two of the worst rotations in the league.

First, Houston will play a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays' poor pitching staff. The Jays staff ranks 23rd in the league and is quickly falling thanks to a mix of struggling veterans and young rookies. Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada have been unable to provide veteran leadership, posting ERAs of 4.89 and 5.75 respectively. Sanchez is walking nearly five batters per nine innings, while Estrada is giving up 1.76 HR per nine. Youngster Sam Gaviglio will close the series, but his 5.25 ERA will pose no threat to the Astros.

Next, Houston will travel to Baltimore to finish their season against the Orioles. We all know how bad the Orioles pitching staff is and the Astros should feast for all four games in this series. The starters don't matter for this series, if your Astros are starting, they should be in your lineup.

Notable Players

The Astros stars like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Carlos Correa will likely see rest days over the final week. Owners need to keep an eye on the schedule and have backups ready in case they sit out. Tyler White and Marwin Gonzalez are two of the higher owned players that should continue playing through most of the rest days. Josh Reddick and Martin Maldonado are lesser-owned options who could have surprising weeks against poor rotations.

Offense To Avoid - Cincinnati Reds

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The Reds being on this list has nothing to do with the degree of difficulty of their opponents. In fact, they have a decent week match-up wise, going up against the Royals. However, the Reds will only play five games, making them very risky plays for owners in weekly leagues.

The Royals rotation is bad. Everyone knows that by now. If you have any Cincinnati players on Tuesday or Wednesday, they should be in your lineup against KC.

For their second series, the Reds will run into the heart of the Pirates rotation. Joe Musgrove, Jameson Taillon, and Chris Archer are currently in line to start the final three games. Of course, anything can change but I'm doing the best I can with the information available.

Notable Players

There's not much working in the Reds' favor this week and owners with better options on the wire might want to opt for players with more volume for their championships.

Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez should be in all lineups when they play. However, owners need to have the roster flexibility to replace their lineup spots on Monday and Thursday.

Platoon Target

Daniel Palka, OF, Chicago White Sox

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The White Sox rookie has come on strong in his first season, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 61 runs on a poor White Sox offense. He struggles against lefties but hits right-handers pretty well. He is slugging .535 against right-handers this season and is scheduled to face righties in all seven of his games next week.

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Palka showcases more power on the road, slugging .573 on the road vs. .497 at home against righties. Palka's week will start against the Indians at home, so owners may want to deploy him cautiously. However, the four-game series (including a double-header on Friday) against the Twins is the perfect chance to take a shot on his power. Owners in desperate need of home runs over the weekend should take a shot on Palka, who is owned in just 4.6 percent of ESPN leagues.

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

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