Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner: After the Storm

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Welcome to a post-Trade Deadline edition of the 2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner!

The biggest deal of the day was Zack Greinke shockingly being moved to the Astros. Adding Greinke to Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole makes Houston the odds on favorite to win the World Series.

For a rundown of the prospect haul Arizona received for their former Ace, check out the Week 18 Prospect Report.


Trevor Bauer being sent to the Reds is another deal with big matchup implications, which will be covered below.

Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig being added to the Cleveland outfield gives that whole lineup a boost. They now have a very intriguing set of hitters and could surprise with their production moving forward.

The Blue Jays traded almost all the experience from their starting rotation and will be a consistent target for streamers and DFS players moving forward.

There were plenty of other moves made on Wednesday, but those are the few that stuck out as the biggest for Fantasy purposes.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner

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Offense to Target – Tampa Bay Rays

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The Rays start their week with an opportunity to take advantage of a depleted division rival. After trading Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez away the Blue Jays are left with a rotation that leaves much to be desired. Right now, Toronto’s starters are Trent Thornton, Jacob Waguespack, Wilmer Font, Sean Reid-Foley, and Thomas Pannone.

Rough.

Next, Tampa Bay will travel west to take on the lowly Mariners in Seattle. Long gone are the days when the Mariners were 11-2. These days, Seattle is in the AL West basement with the second-worst pitching staff in the league.

Mariners pitchers have allowed the second-most home runs (188) and their ERA stands at an unsightly 5.17.

Notable Players

Travis D’arnaud has been hitting out of his mind with the Rays. If he’s still unowned in any leagues he needs to be added immediately. He’s ranked as the 23rd best player in Yahoo! leagues over the last 14 days. While healthy (this is key) he’ll likely be one of the best hitting catchers in Fantasy.

Austin Meadows is only owned in 77% of Yahoo leagues and should be universally owned before Monday morning.

Ji-Man Choi is hitting leadoff and could be a decent option against right-handers in deeper leagues. Willy Adames has hit three home runs in his last five games and could be another sneaky add in deep leagues.

Offense to Avoid – Toronto Blue Jays

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There could not be a more perfect segue for continuing with the AL East and more specifically the Blue Jays. The heroics of the franchise-saving trio of Vladimir Gurerro Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio won’t be enough in tough matchups next week.

Although watching Vlad destroy this baseball was an absolute treat.

Back on topic. The Jays will start the week against the aforementioned Rays, who still lead the league in WAR. They have the second-best ERA in the Majors and own the fifth-best K/9 and BB/9. With or without Blake Snell, Tampa Bay has a very capable pitching staff.

Toronto will stay in the East for another division matchup against the Yankees. The Yankees didn’t make any big pitching acquisitions but their staff is still good enough to stifle the Jays. Despite their recent struggles, New York is top-10 in both strikeout rate and walk rate. That makes them a tough draw for the Jays, whose BB/K ratio is in the bottom third of the league.

Notable Players

After the week they just had, no one is going to bench any of the above three players. But anyone outside of those three guys should be benched.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was playing well before a knee injury but owners should wait to see how he does in the Jays weekend series before slotting him into the starting lineup.

Every other inexplicably owned Blue Jay should be benched or dropped.

Offense to Target – New York Yankees

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Another perfect transition into the next targetable offense, the Yankees.

It’s well known that Baltimore has the worst pitching staff in the league and are an easy target for streaming savvy owners. To reiterate, the Orioles currently have the highest team ERA in the majors (5.71) and have allowed a whopping 212 home runs in 108 games. That’s a 1.99 HR/9.

Of course, the Yankee second matchup is against the makeshift Toronto rotation. Most players in the New York lineup should be able to take full advantage of the inexperienced Jays rotation. Don’t let their performance over the last two weeks fool you. The team ERA is down because they’ve been playing the Royals and Orioles.

Notable Players

Lesser owned Yankees will be the target next week. If Didi Gregorius avoids the IL after suffering a strained knuckle he will be a great option for those in need of a middle infielder. If he’s out, Gio Urshela is still hitting above .300 and will fill in nicely.

Brett Gardner is back in the lineup and is hitting in front of D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge. Those in need of a catcher can add Austin Romine for a spot start or two before Gary Sanchez comes off the IL.

Offense to Avoid – Chicago Cubs

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The Cubs ruined the perfect run of AL East teams and they might just ruin their owner’s batting stats next week. Their matchups are a little unconventional but could be tough thanks to some deadline acquisitions from their opponents.

A three-game series at home against Oakland will open the week. Oakland’s pitching staff hasn’t missed a beat since Frankie Montas was suspended. Over the last 30 days, they have maintained an ERA under four, thanks to their solid walk rate and ability to limit the long ball.

The Cubs are a team that takes a lot of walks. If the A’s are able to limit the free-passes, it might disrupt their offense.



Chicago’s next matchup will be in Cincinnati against the Reds. The addition of Bauer to an already good pitching staff (7th in WAR and ERA) makes them a dangerous matchup. Bauer should have no problem staying healthy in Cincy. He’ll exert less force on his shoulder tossing the ball over the center-field wall that’s six feet closer in Great American Ballpark.

Notable Players

Willson Contreras hasn’t been lighting the world on fire since his return from the IL and owners shouldn’t expect a rebound next week. New Cub Nick Castellanos has been one of the biggest disappointments in Fantasy this season. Don’t expect it to turn around next week.

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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