Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner!
Now that the dust has settled on the trade deadline, we have a better idea of the team's identities for the remainder of the season! The trade deadline can always be an exciting time, especially for Fantasy Baseball. Players' values can change dramatically on players being traded or not being moved.
We see some players start playing more motivated after the trade deadline. I imagine hearing all the talk of being traded has to take a toll on the players. Look at Anthony Rizzo, he has been on a tear in his first few games with the Yankees, and one must wonder if he was not playing his best because of the uncertainty surrounding his situation in Chicago.
I bet the short porch in right field will help his value the rest of season as well.
Of course, Rizzo is not the only player who had his value change because of a trade. I suspect a few might appear in this week's hitting planner.
With that being said, we should get into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner!
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner
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2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner Schedule
Offenses To Target
Team wRC+: 99
The Atlanta Braves were one of the more active teams at the deadline, making several solid moves. They acquired Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Richard Rodriguez. They did not give up much to acquire these guys as well, and it looks like they will play a big part in a postseason push.
It could also help with a Fantasy Baseball postseason push because this will greatly improve the Braves' offense, and improve player values. Guys like Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, and Austin Riley will now not have to carry the entire offense.
This week, they take on the Cincinnati Reds for three games who rank 20th in team ERA (4.54). They then finish with a weekend set with the Washington Nationals' 17th ranked pitching staff (4.46), but the Nationals recently just had a fire sale and could be weaker than they appear.
I mentioned the big three in the Braves offense, but Dansby Swanson deserves some love as well. On the year, Swanson is hitting .254/.308/.473 with twenty home runs, fifty-three runs, fifty-eight RBIs, eight steals, 103 wRC+, and a 99 OPS+. That looks fine, especially at middle infield, but take a look at his numbers since the start of July, .305/.349/.568 .386 wOBA, seven home runs, twenty runs, twenty-four RBIs, four steals, and a 140 wRC+. Keep plugging him into the fantasy lineups.
I mentioned Soler in last week's Hitting Planner as a waiver target/buy low. Thankfully, the Braves read my work last week because Soler has been crushing the ball since the start of July, .244/.326/.598 nine home runs, eighteen runs, thirteen RBIs, .386 wOBA, and a 144 wRC+. I hope others bought low on him.
How about the first guy to come over to the Braves, Joc Pederson? Since arriving in Atlanta during the All-Star Break, Pederson is hitting .328/.375/.493 two home runs, six runs, thirteen RBIs, .375 wOBA, and a 133 wRC+. I know that is a smaller sample, but he seems to be enjoying his time with the Braves.
Team wRC+: 91
The Milwaukee Brewers have been on fire over the past few months. This is mostly due to their stellar pitching staff. However, their hitters are coming around.
They will take on the Cubs' 16th ranked pitching staff (4.25) for a four-game road series and the Cubs just sold everyone away. They will then travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game series against the 28th ranked staff (5.03).
Eduardo Escobar has been an interesting name to keep up with for Fantasy Baseball. Overall, Escobar is hitting .248/.306/.488 with twenty-four home runs, fifty-four runs, seventy-one RBIs, and a 109 wRC+. He has trended upwards since arriving in Milwaukee albeit in a small sample. Since being traded to the Brewers, he is hitting .286/.400/.667 .441 wOBA, two home runs, four runs, six RBIs, and a 177 wRC+. The move to a better team should see his value increase.
Willy Adames is another name that was moved to Milwaukee and having a great season. Adames is having a career year, hitting .292/.377/.546 with fourteen home runs, forty-three runs, forty-three RBIs, and a 146 OPS+.
Kolten Wong has been great for Fantasy Baseball managers that picked him up in deeper formats. He is hitting .295/.351/.464 eight home runs, forty-three runs, twenty-five RBIs, and a 118 OPS+.
Offenses to Avoid
Team wRC+: 91
This is not the same Chicago Cubs that we grew up with. This is not the Chicago Cubs we had last week. Most of the Cubs players are playing for different teams now.
So obviously there may not be much fantasy value remaining there. However, the little value left has a tough matchup.
They have four games against the Milwaukee Brewers who have the second-best pitching staff (3.33 ERA). After that series, they take on the Miami Marlins fourth-ranked pitching staff (3.52). Good luck to the Cubs replacements.
Willson Contreras has been solid this year at the catcher position, hitting .233/.342/.429 seventeen home runs, forty-six runs, thirty-eight RBIs, and a 110 OPS+. I think Contreras can still do fine individually, however, he may lose some value because there will be less opportunities for him to score or drive in runs.
Patrick Wisdom looks like he is ready to ride out the rebuild as a cornerstone for the Cubs. While he is having a tremendous breakout campaign with a 148 OPS+, I am worried about him long-term. He could struggle this week with the tough pitching.
If anyone is thinking of giving Jason Heyward another chance in fantasy leagues, they should look elsewhere. His 62 OPS+ shows how bad he has been at the plate. I think Heyward is a great fielder and probably a great guy, but do not try to justify him for Fantasy Baseball.
Team wRC+: 105
The Twins sold off a few players at the deadline for a retool but still kept some of their better hitters. The Twins have obviously been one of the more disappointing teams in the league, but their offense is not to blame for that.
However, it could be a tough week for the offense based on the schedule. They have a tough six-game stretch against the Chicago White Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. Two teams who not only have solid rotations but also have great bullpens.
The White Sox are seventh in the league in team ERA (3.66) and bolstered their bullpen by adding Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel. The Tampa Bay Rays are sixth in team ERA (3.55).
Trevor Larnach in his rookie season has a 91 OPS+. I think the reason for the struggles and below-average season for the rookie is due to pitchers figuring out he crushes fastballs but not much else right now. Check this out:
- Fastball: .302 BA, .274 xBA, .534 SLG, .538 xSLG, .395 wOBA, .388 xwOBA
- Breaking: .155 BA, .149 xBA, .197 SLG, .228 xSLG, .227 wOBA, .237 xwOBA
- Off-speed: .151 BA, .166 xBA, .189 SLG, .237 xSLG, .176 wOBA, .203 xwOBA
Max Kepler has been solid with a 102 OPS+ with fourteen home runs, forty runs, forty RBIs, and eight steals. I might consider looking for other options at times this week.
Good luck figuring out Miguel Sano this year. His 107 OPS+ suggests an above-average season but we all know he is a feast or famine hitter. If anyone is in a deeper league, I would consider looking elsewhere with the tough matchups this week.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner Sleeper/Waiver Wire Pickup
Abraham Toro, 3B, Seattle Mariners
Abraham Toro was a part of one of the more interesting trades of the trade season. The Mariners got Toro from the Astros during a series where the two teams played each other. Toro was actually on the field playing catch in a Mariners uniform before the trade was officially announced.
Toro has had a solid season, hitting .257/.331/.479 nine home runs, twenty-five runs, twenty-five RBIs, four steals, a .348 wOBA, and a 126 wRC+. A solid season, however, he was blocked in terms of consistent playing time in Houston.
It is a small sample, but in his week with the Mariners, he is hitting .429/.500/.857 with three home runs, eight runs, five RBIs, a .559 wOBA, and a 269 wRC+! While this is not sustainable by any means, Toro will more than likely be allowed to play almost every day in Seattle. This could lead to better results for Fantasy Baseball and possibly a league winner.
He is still on most waivers, meaning there is still time to grab him for the late season push. He could be worth using that waiver priority or a fair share of FAAB to grab in redraft leagues. Hopefully, he helps get our teams over the hump and helps us win a championship.
Thanks for reading the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Hitting Planner!
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