Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 21 Hitting Planner!
The time is upon us! The Fantasy Baseball playoffs are here! For some of us at least. A few leagues still have one more week to the playoffs. Those in roto leagues do not even have playoffs!
However, no matter the league, we are winding down our Fantasy Baseball seasons, and we are getting closer to crowning our Fantasy Baseball champions. Some of us are weeks away from bragging rights for a whole year, and a few of us are close to fantasy heartbreak.
We want to avoid that heartbreak, which means we must start the right matchups. Good thing we have the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 21 Hitting Planner to help. Let dive right in.
2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 21 HITTING PLANNER
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2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 21 HITTING PLANNER SCHEDULE
Offenses to Target
New York Yankees
Team wRC+: 102
The New York Yankees are hot and are making a run at the playoffs. They have won eleven games in a row (at the time of writing), and do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
They are led by a strong lineup that has carried this team as of late, and conveniently are carrying some Fantasy Baseball lineups to the playoffs. Will they keep up the good work next week?
The Yankees will take on the Angels who ranked 25th in team ERA (4.72) on the West Coast. Next, they return home to take on the lowly Baltimore Orioles with the worst team ERA (5.86) and a team that lost nearly twenty games in a row. I think the Yankees stay hot.
I know that Giancarlo Stanton is a frustrating player at times because of injury concerns, but when he plays, he can carry lineups. In August, he is hitting .320/.420/.613 with six home runs, fifteen runs, nineteen RBIs, including a .437 wOBA, and a 183 wRC+.
DJ LeMaheiu has been slightly disappointing for Fantasy owners this year and understandably so with his 103 wRC+ and .105 ISO. I think he is turning it around though for the home stretch, and maybe he is about to provide value for those who were patient. In August, he is now hitting .278/.369/.433 with two home runs, 15 runs, 12 RBIs, including a .348 wOBA, and 122 wRC+. With Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Stanton hitting behind him, there could be a lot of run-scoring opportunities for LeMaheiu.
Since he returned from injury, Luke Voit has been on an absolute tear. He is hitting .320/.393/.620 with four home runs, eight runs, seventeen RBIs, including a .427 wOBA, and a 176 wRC+. The only issue has been where he will play some nights as Anthony Rizzo blocks him, but when he plays it only makes a dangerous lineup even scarier for opposing pitching staffs.
Tampa Bay Rays
Team wRC+: 107
The team the Yankees are chasing down is also a team to target for Fantasy Baseball. It helps that the Rays are arguably one of the best, if not the best, teams in baseball.
Year after year, this franchise uses advanced analytics to find themselves deep into October, and they also provide us with production to carry our Fantasy Baseball teams deep into September. They have a big week ahead of them that can benefit not only their standing in the AL East, but also our standing in our Fantasy leagues.
The Rays will begin the week by taking on the Red Sox for four games, who have a middle-of-the-pack team ERA (4.29). They will end the week against the disappointing Twins who have a 5.00 team ERA.
Nelson Cruz got off to a slow start in Tampa but is now hitting .243/.288/.500 with five home runs, eleven runs, seventeen RBIs, a .321 wOBA, and a 108 wRC+. That may not seem great, but it is a start from where he was a few weeks ago. He also played first base the other day! That means he might become first base eligible in some leagues soon!
Wander Franco has looked good in his early run, hitting .274/.333/.457 with six home runs, thirty-eight runs, twenty-nine RBIs, a .340 wOBA, and a 120 wRC+. He has looked like the top prospect in August though. Since the turn of the calendar, he is hitting .307/.373/.507 with three home runs, 20 runs, 15 RBI, a .379 wOBA, and a 147 wRC+.
Joey Wendle has been great this year. His .272/.321/.421 line with seven home runs, 59 runs, 42 RBIs, a .318 wOBA, and a 106 wRC+ has been great for the MI or CI position in Fantasy lineups.
Teams to Avoid
San Francisco Giants
Team wRC+: 107
Yes, I know they have been one of the best teams in baseball this year. Fantasy managers should still start their top guys, however, the fringe guys that may have been streaming options might need to take a back seat this week.
They take on the Dodgers (3.06 team ERA) and the Brewers (3.38 team ERA). It will be playoff baseball out in the Bay Area next week. One that will feature some great pitching matchups.
I personally think we might see some lower-scoring games next week. There could be some tougher decisions on who to start/sit next week, and a few could come from the Giants.
Mike Yastrzemski is in the running for the most disappointing Fantasy player of the year. His .219/.306/.456 with 20 Home Runs, 61 runs, 50 RBIs, only three stolen bases, a .324 wOBA, and a 104 wRC+. There is not much to suggest he will turn it around, and with the tough pitching on the docket for this week, I would be worried about playing him.
Donovan Solano has been an interesting play in deeper leagues with his .275/.333/.394, .318 wOBA, and a 100 wRC+. The light-hitting middle infielder should not be in lineups this week, and I would argue should not be in lineups anyways.
Luckily, the bigger names are so good they should be fine to play regardless of matchup. However, be prepared for the pitching matchups that will be ahead of them this week.
St Louis Cardinals
Team wRC+: 91
The Cardinals have been scuffling in mediocrity this year. They held onto their assets but did not add much at the deadline, and that has led to "meh" results.
They will take on the Cincinnati Reds for three games and the formidable Brewers pitching staff for a weekend series. I just do not see the Cardinals doing much offensively over the next week and would avoid them if I possibly could.
Yadier Molina has not been playable, even at the catcher position. He is hitting .259/.304/.375 with eight home runs, 31 runs, 51 RBIs, a .295 wOBA, and an 86 wRC+. I know catcher is a fantasy wasteland, but there have to be better options in leagues.
Paul Dejong has hit 16 home runs, which is nice! That is about it though. His .199/.292/.382 .297 wOBA, and 87 wRC+ belongs on the waiver wire, not in Fantasy lineups.
Harrison Bader has hit a wall in August. His month looks like .173/.253/.200 zero home runs, four runs, three RBIs, zero steals, a .214 wOBA, and a 33 wRC+. He was a bright spot in weeks prior to August, but unfortunately, he has been unplayable this month.
2021 FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 21 HITTING PLANNER SLEEPER/WAIVER WIRE PICKUP
Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
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Varsho could be an interesting play because he has Catcher eligibility. His .232/.335/.458 with nine home runs, 27 runs, 25 RBIs, four steals, .338 wOBA, and a 109 wRC+ would be great at Catcher.
Since August, he has been even better. In the month of August, he is hitting .292/.370/.646 with four home runs, seven runs, nine RBIs, one stolen base, a .412 wOBA, and 157 wRC+. If he keeps up this level of play, he will continue to get consistent playing time for the Diamondbacks.
Another great thing to consider here, while he may have Catcher eligibility, he is not behind the plate most nights. Instead, he is playing the outfield most nights right now, which could help keep him fresh down the home stretch.
If he continues to play well, he could be a sneaky play at a thin position to get our teams over the home stretch. Hopefully, Varsho can help get our Fantasy teams to the promised land.
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