2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner: Riding High

by Jonathan Chan
2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner

Welcome to the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner! As we come into the home stretch of the season, matchups and key pickups become more and more important.

Another important thing to keep an eye on is the Marcus Stroman saga. With the deadline approaching a potentially game-changing pitcher could be on the move to a contender. There have been a lot of jabs thrown back and forth between Stroman and the Blue Jays organization but what happened on Twitter Friday afternoon just took the cake.

The fault lies with both Stroman and the front office, but the Jays haven't been making themselves look any better throughout this whole thing.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Hitting Planner

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Offense to Target - Los Angeles Dodgers

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The Dodgers will get the benefit of playing two inconsistent rotations stuck in a rut. First, they will travel to Colorado to take on the reeling Rockies. Over the last 14 days, Colorado has the highest ERA (8.04) in the majors.

Over that span, they are one of only five teams to strike out fewer than 8.00 batters per nine innings. The other four teams are Baltimore, Seattle, Oakland, and the White Sox. Not great company.

Los Angeles will then travel back home to take on the Padres. San Diego has not been as bad as Colorado but they have slowly fallen down the ranks over the last two weeks. They are the 22nd ranked staff over that span thanks in part to a spike in their BB% by a full two percent.

For context, a two percent difference in walk-rate separates the worst team (9.5%) and the third-best team (7.5%).

Notable Players

A.J. Pollock is a prime target this week because he is scheduled to face four left-handed pitchers. Pollock is batting .390 with two home runs and nine RBI against southpaws in 41 at-bats this season. Alex Verdugo is also batting very well against lefties. hitting .341  this season.

Offense to Avoid - Atlanta Braves

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The Braves have the unenviable task of taking on the hottest staff in the league next week on the road. The Nationals have come on very strong in July, pitching to the tune of a 3.16 ERA and a ridiculous 0.72 HR/9. They have become one of the hottest staffs in the league because of their ability to keep the ball in the ballpark.

Atlanta will then travel home to face the Reds in Sun Trust Park. Cincinnati has ramped up the strikeouts over the last month, carrying the fifth-highest strikeout percentage in the league. The Reds' staff has tailed off a bit of late but they have enough talent and a long-enough track record to push through.

Notable Players

Dansby Swanson is a risky play this week coming off an injury. He hasn't hit a home run or driven in a run since July 4th and might struggle after dealing with a heel injury. Ozzie Albies has not played well of late and is the 206th ranked player over the last 30 days.

Austin Riley is batting just .169 in July and should be benched against all right-handers this week.

Offense to Target - New York Mets

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The Mets are an all-around mess but a week against easy opponent could provide temporary relief from the pain. The first matchup for New York is against the aforementioned White Sox.

As mentioned earlier, the Chicago staff has struggled to miss bats striking out just 7.95 batters per nine innings. The lack of strikeouts has resulted in a 5.25 ERA over the last two weeks.

Next, the Mets will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the struggling Pirates rotation. Pittsburgh's staff has ben just as bad as the White Sox rotation over the last two weeks, posting a 5.32 ERA (25th) and 1.88 HR/9 (27th) in that time.

Just an idea of how much of a mess Pittsburgh has been.

In addition, Pittsburgh's PNC park has been a great hitters park this year, ranking second behind Coors Field for run-scoring.

Notable Players

Amed Rosario is slashing .349/.406/.556 in July and should have no problem building off his strong month. Robinson Cano has also come on strong of late and is only owned in 44% of leagues following his rough start to the season. Jeff McNeil and Wilson Ramos are owned in just 78% of leagues and are prime targets in shallower leagues next week.

Offense to Avoid - Miami Marlins

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Shocking. The 29th ranked offense in the league is not a good option against strong pitching teams. Miami won't have a chance to get comfortable next playing, playing three short series against strong pitching staffs.

First, the Marlins will be finishing off their weekend series against the Diamondbacks. Arizona has the 12th ranked rotation this season and has been even better over the last 30 days. In that time they've held opponents to a .226 batting average, second-lowest in the league.

The Marlins' next matchup is against the Twins, who have the fourth-ranked pitching staff (by WAR) in the league. Minnesota's pitchers don't strike out a ton of batters but have posted the seventh-lowest ERA and sixth-best walk rate in the league.

Miami will end their week with a mini two-game series against the Rays. Blake Snell won't play in their series but the rest of the Tampa Bay pitching staff is able to make up the difference. The Rays have been at the top of the pitching rankings all season long, posting a 3.50 ERA with a sterling 18.4% K-BB ratio.

Notable Players

Garrett Cooper has slowed down of late, smacking just six hits in his last eight games. Fringe players like Jorge Alfaro and Starlin Castro should not be used in three difficult matchups.

Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

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