2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Hitting Planner: Boston Tee Party

by Jonathan Chan
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Hitting Planner

Well that was a good run, wasn't it? After years of waiting for their rotation to be fully healthy, the Mets "Big Three" era comes to an end. Earlier this week, New York traded Matt Harvey to the Reds for Devin Mesoraco. The trade marks the end of a rough saga for Harvey. After a great comeback from Tommy John surgery, Harvey underwent surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and was never the same.

The peak of this rotation never came to fruition as Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard never got a chance to pitch together when healthy and, for me, is one of the biggest "what if" stories of the last few years. Harvey was loved in New York and was lauded as a perennial Cy Young candidate. After rumors of partying and a being a distraction in the locker room, he leaves New York with an incredibly tarnished reputation.

It really is too bad that The Dark Knight ended up becoming the villain. Enough with my terrible use of Batman quotes, let's move on to the Hitting Planner.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Hitting Planner

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Offense To Target - Boston Red Sox (vs. Oakland, vs. Baltimore)

The Red Sox are a high powered offense that most owners want a piece of anyways, but this will be a particularly good week for Boston's bats. They will play seven games at home, four of which will be against one of the worst rotations in the league. Before we get to that juicy matchup, the Red Sox will be looking for a little bit of revenge.

Boston will host Oakland to start the week, with Sean Manea taking the hill on Monday. You may recall the last time Manea faced Boston he tossed a no-hitter. The A's ace has struggled in his last two starts, giving up eight earned runs, so Boston has a chance to take advantage while Manea figures things out. The A's will also throw Daniel Mengden and an unknown pitcher who will replace the injured Trevor Cahill in the rotation.

Their late week series against the Orioles is when the Red Sox hitter will really take off. The Orioles rotation ranks 26th in the league, with a 0.3 WAR. Their combined ERA is 5.46 and they're giving up 1.86 HR/9 on the season. Baltimore's best starter, Dylan Bundy, has given up 19 earned runs and nine home runs (what?!) in his last three starts. The entire rotation has a home run problem and the Red Sox should have no problem with the Orioles.

Notable Players

Most of the Red Sox bats are heavily owned, but just in case you weren't sure, you should be starting Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Xander Boegaerts. Everyone's been worried about Andrew Benintendi's power output, but he got back on track with a home run on Wednesday and I bet he'll put another one into the seats this week.

Eduardo Nunez and Hanley Ramirez should also have a good week, especially against the Orioles all-righty rotation. Mitch Moreland is a very intriguing option this week thanks to the slew of right-handed starters. Scroll down to the Platoon Targets section for a more detailed breakdown.

Offense To Avoid - New York Mets (vs. Toronto, vs. Arizona)

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What a fall it's been for the Mets. After starting the season 12-2, New York has lost 15 of their last 21 games, most recently losing two of three games to the lowly Reds. It won't get much better this week as their offense will have a lot of trouble getting off the ground. This season, the Mets' bats are dead last in the league against lefties. In 324 plate appearances against southpaws, their slash line is .205/.286/.286.

Unfortunately for the Mets, they'll face three lefties in their fives game this week. They'll play the Blue Jays first, where lefties Jaime Garcia and JA Happ will take the hill. Granted, Garcia has a 6.00 ERA but he was serviceable before getting blown up by the Indians on May 3rd. Happ has been the Jays best starter this year, striking out 31% of batters en route to a 3.67 ERA.

As if the Mets needed to hear more bad news, thanks to the D'Backs moving up a Zack Greinke start, he'll now line up against them on Sunday. If not for the change, they would have faced Matt Koch instead. The Mets will also line up against lefty Patrick Corbin, who's carrying a 2.15 ERA with 34.7 percent K%. Not ideal.

Notable Players

Owners will want to avoid most of the Mets left-handed bats this week. Happ is holding lefties to a .121 average, while Corbin isn't far behind, checking in with a .147 average versus lefties. Yoenis Cespedes and Adrian Gonzalez are both batting below .150 against southpaws, while the struggling Michael Conforto is batting just .167 against them. Although he's the best of the bunch, Jay Bruce (and his .188 average) is also a bench candidate this week.

Offense To Target - Seattle Mariners (@ Minnesota, vs. Texas, vs. Detroit)

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The Mariners have a very good schedule this week, and they get the benefit of a bonus game on Monday, thanks to a rainout earlier in the season. The real great matchups come after the Twins game against the Rangers and Tigers.

Based on WAR, the Rangers have the third worst starting rotation in the league. For the mini-two game series, the M's will draw Mike Minor and Bartolo Colon. There are worse starters in the Rangers rotation, but Minor is an easily exploitable matchup. He has a HR problem (1.35 HR/9) and gives up WAY too much solid contact (just 18 percent soft contact) to hold anyone down for too long. The ageless Colon has somehow had the lowest ERA and xFIP of any starter on the team. However. his incredibly low .211 BABIP and 2.11 HR/9 point to some serious regression in his near future.

The Tigers rotation is better than the Rangers rotation but outside of Michael Fulmer, the Mariners will run into the weak end of the Detroit starters. Blaine Hardy, who hasn't started a major league game, will start for the injured Jordan Zimmermann. Mike Fiers and Francisco Liriano are veterans with control (Liriano) or gopher ball (Fiers) issues and the very good Seattle offense should have no issues with them.

Notable Players

Ryon Healy will be the main target this week. He's been on an absolute tear but is owned in just 31 percent of ESPN leagues. He has settled into the lineup right behind Mitch Haniger, which will give him plenty of RBI chances. Mike Zunino, for all his issues, might hit a dinger or two off of Fiers. With everyone clicking, it's also a nice opportunity for Kyle Seager to have a bounce-back week.

Offense To Avoid - Baltimore Orioles (vs. Philadelphia, @ Boston)

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On the flip side of the featured AL East matchup are the Orioles. A formerly feared lineup of power hitters, Baltimore has become nothing more than a lineup of strikeout machines without the power to match.

Their matchup against the Phillies isn't the most difficult, as they'll be up against Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez. Velasquez has yet to reach the heights he did in his first few starts with the Phillies, but he still manages to strike out more than a batter per inning, which is always bad news for Baltimore.

The Red Sox have the fifth-best rotation in the league, and although they lost David Price for a bit, the rotation is still very solid. The Orioles will get Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz, and Eduardo Rodriguez. Pomeranz and E-Rod struggle with walks, but the Orioles are one of the worst walking teams in the league.

This offense really doesn't have much going for it and it's only bright spot will be shipped off at the trade deadline.

Notable Players

Realistically, the only Orioles that should be started this week (or any week) are Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. The rest of the Orioles bombers can't seem to get on base enough to avoid making a massive dent in their owners' ratios.

Platoon Targets

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, New York Mets

While there are some Mets you'll want to avoid, Cabrera could be a shining beacon in Citi Field. Most of the Mets can't hit lefties, Cabrera has thrived against them, slashing .353/.385/.500 against left-handers. While the volume of a total game won't be there (the Mets play just five games) Cabrera will get three games against lefties to take advantage.

Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox will face six right-handed starters this week, which should afford Moreland some extra starts. In 54 at-bats against right-handers, Moreland is batting .351 with five home runs, six doubles, and 15 RBI. He's already on a tear, having hit four home runs in his last five starts. Look for Moreland to continue lighting things up in Week 7.

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

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