Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Hitting Planner!
Welcome in everyone! This could be a big week for those playing in Head-to-Head formats because the Fantasy Baseball playoffs start soon. Some will begin in week 21 meaning this week will be the last opportunity to sneak into the playoffs!
That means we have to win this week. It is now or never, and we will do what is needed to squeak in. I know it can be daunting when the team who we are fighting for that last playoff spot is playing the team whose manager has not set their lineup in three weeks.
Just keep grinding and do everything possible to get in the playoffs. We are off to a great start by reading the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 20 Hitting Planner. I bet it will all work out.
2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 20 HITTING PLANNER
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2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 20 HITTING PLANNER SCHEDULE
Offenses to Target
Team wRC+: 117
The Houston Astros have been great all season and in large part due to their great offense. Look for the Astros to keep it up in the next week.
The Astros will host the Kansas City Royals for three games. The Royals bring in the 27th ranked pitching staff by team ERA (4.89) and the Royals have been fading as of late.
They will take on instate rivals the Texas Rangers and the Rangers are also out of it much like the Royals. The currently rebuilding Rangers do not have much to play for, and currently have the 24th ranked pitching staff by team ERA (4.69). The Astros could have a big week offensively and for our Fantasy Baseball teams.
Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are both having excellent seasons, but there are three players who currently have better OPS+ than the two stars. Michael Brantley is probably a pretty common player on a bunch of teams near the top of fantasy standings. Brantley is hitting .325/378/.472 with eight home runs, sixty-one runs, forty RBIs, and a 135 OPS+. Sure, the low home run total may hurt those in home run leagues, but he has provided teams with great production in nearly every other category imaginable.
If Yordan Alvarez stays healthy, he is going to be a fantasy superstar for years to come. In 2021, he is hitting .286/.350/.522 with twenty-two home runs, sixty-eight runs, seventy-seven RBIs, and a 138 OPS+. Hopefully he has outfield eligibility in your leagues, but even without he is worthy of being placed in the utility spot.
Yuli Gurriel has struggled since coming back, recording only one hit in his first twenty-one plate appearances. Overall, though, he is hitting .311/.379/.470 with twelve home runs, fifty-six runs, sixty-six RBIs, and a 134 OPS+. He has been a great value in leagues this year, and I imagine he gets back to providing that value real soon.
Tampa Bay Rays
Team wRC+: 107
I know the Tampa Bay Rays have been the best team in the American League to this point, and I know they only play five games next week. They will still provide excellent value.
They travel to Philadelphia for a two-game series with the Phillies pitching staff that ranks 17th in ERA (4.43). Plus, as mentioned, they will be playing at one of the more hitter friendly parks.
Afterwards, they will travel to Baltimore for a three-game weekend series with the Orioles who have the worst ERA in baseball (5.83). The Rays are currently 15-1 when playing the Orioles in 2021.
Nelson Cruz has not been great since arriving in Tampa Bay. He is hitting .200/.250/.482 with seven home runs, fourteen runs, seventeen RBIs, .306 wOBA, and a 98 wRC+. Eventually Cruz will turn it around because I am convinced he will hit bombs until he is 50.
I think Randy Arozarena knows the playoffs are coming up, because he is rounding into form. Since July 19th, Arozarena is hitting .417/.473/.762 with six home runs, eight runs, thirteen RBIs, .515 wOBA, and a 240 wRC+. That will play.
Austin Meadows has been solid all year, hitting .234/.323/.460 with twenty-one home runs, sixty-five runs, eight-one RBIs, and a 122 OPS+. We would love to see the average and OBP be higher, but the power numbers and counting stats will play regardless.
Offenses to Avoid
Team wRC+: 99
The Washington Sotos Nationals sold off most of their team but still have a few fantasy relevant players. However, I might look elsewhere this upcoming week.
They will take on the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets on the road this upcoming week. The Marlins do not have much to play for, but still have a solid pitching staff (3.91 team ERA).
The Mets are in a tailspin and may have lost Jacob deGrom for the year. They still have the 10th ranked pitching staff by team ERA (3.77) so it could be a rough offensive week for the Nationals.
Juan Soto will be great this week.
However, I am worried about a guy like Josh Bell. He has a .241/.304/.459 line with twenty home runs, fifty-six runs, sixty-five RBIs, with a 109 OPS+ which is solid. We know Bell goes through ridiculous hot and cold stretches though and I have a feeling next week could be a cold stretch.
The Nationals continue to hit Victor Robles first for whatever reason. Hitting in front of someone like Soto should allow him to score runs in bunches, but he is not a good enough hitter to get on base as he currently has a 75 OPS+. If he ever figures out how to get on base more consistently, he could be an excellent source of steals.
Has Carter Keiboom finally arrived? He is hitting .270/.356/.419 with three home runs, eleven runs, eleven RBIS, a .338 wOBA, and a 108 wRC+ in twenty-four games this year. It has been a streaky twenty-four games, but so far it has been more good than bad so maybe he has arrived? This week should tell us more about Keiboom.
Team wRC+: 103
The Cincinnati Reds are trying to make a push for the Wild Card spot as the Padres hit a rough patch. A few tough pitching matchups next week could slow them down though.
They will start by taking on the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers for three games. The Brew Crew currently has the second-best team ERA in baseball (3.31).
Finally, they will travel to Miami to face the Marlins solid young pitching staff. Load Depot Park is arguably the best pitcher's park in baseball, so it could make for a tough week offensively for the Reds.
Tyler Naquin started off great but has come crashing back down to Earth. He is now at .257/.324/.440 with fifteen home runs, forty-two runs, sixty-three RBIs, and a 93 OPS+. Most of that damage was done earlier in the year.
Mike Moustakas has not had a good year, mostly due to injury. It has been a slow start since returning, hitting .138/.265/.241 with a .238 wOBA and a 43 wRC+. Maybe he can turn it around soon.
Eugenio Suarez is not turning it around this year, and it is time to cut bait if one has not already. He has a 58 OPS+ and his strikeouts (144) is getting close to exceeding his .172 batting average.
2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 20 HITTING PLANNER SLEEPER/WAIVER WIRE PICKUP
Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Josh Rojas needs to be rostered in more redraft leagues. He is hitting .286/.369/.468 with eleven home runs, fifty-four runs, thirty-three RBIs, seven steals, a .362 wOBA, and a 125 wRC+.
I know he missed some time due to injury, but since July 1st he is hitting .361/.465/.542 a .434 wOBA, and a 171 wRC+. He has added four steals in that time period and with his multi-positional flexibility, he can play easily be moved throughout fantasy lineups.
Playing for the Diamondbacks will limit his fantasy value somewhat, but it will also mean other Fantasy Baseball managers will not be paying attention to him. He can be picked up cheap and could be a sneaky value in the coming weeks as the Fantasy Baseball season winds to an end.
Thanks for reading the 2021 Fantasy Baseball week 20 Hitting Planner!