Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner (April 26 – May 2)

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Time for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner!

Once we get into week four of the Fantasy Baseball season, we can start to get a much better idea of what players are doing. I think it is still too early to truly gauge what a player will do over the full season, but we are starting to get larger samples of players and teams’ performances.

It also means we are starting to get a better idea of what our Fantasy Baseball teams are going to look like in 2021.

Fantasy owners could be sitting pretty after a few weeks and planning on moves that could push them over the top. There is also the possibility that owners have found themselves behind the rest of the league whether it be due to poor performance or injuries.

I know it can be easy to overreact to an early-season deficit in Fantasy Baseball, but even if a fantasy owner finds themselves behind early, there is still plenty of season to be played. I have seen teams start slow after a few weeks and make runs to the top of the league standings.

It can all start with just one good week. With that being said, I now present the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner

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Schedule

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Hitting Planner

Credit: Baseball Monster

OFFENSES TO TARGET

Boston Red Sox

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Team wRC+: 126

I am sticking with the hot hand here. I shocked our own Joe Bond last week when I told him that the Red Sox were third in all of baseball in team wRC+. What is he gonna think when he sees the Red Sox are first in team wRC+?

It honestly shocks me too. I think the Red Sox have the talent to be a good offense, but I would have never pegged them as the best offensive team.

Next week’s schedule shows two against the New York Mets and four against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers sit about middle of the pack in terms of pitching, but the Mets are currently a top eight pitching staff. So why am I not worried?

Well, if the pitching schedule holds, the Red Sox would see David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi. More importantly, they avoid Jacob deGrom.

Notable Players

J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers are leading the way for this team. Both players have been killing it at the plate all season. I cannot leave out Xander Bogaerts. A week ago, he was hitting .370 but only had a .457 SLG. The power showed up this past week to push his overall line to .385/.429/.585 two home runs, eight runs, and eight RBIs.

I think the slow start from Alex Verdugo is over. He is currently at .288/.347/.500 three home runs, 14 runs, and 13 RBI.

Enrique Hernandez is benefitting lineups as well. I know .250/.284/.434 is not the sexiest line, but he carries second base eligibility which we know is a thin position.

Atlanta Braves

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Team wRC+: 101

The Atlanta Braves offense looks like it is starting to arrive in 2021. I know if someone were to take out Ronald Acuna Jr. from the Braves, the wRC+ would be a lot worse. However, look at some of their stats over the last few games, they are starting to score.

Even the advanced metrics are showing the Braves hitting the ball hard. Further, the Braves wOBA is currently .327 but their xwOBA is .353 which is in the top 10% of the league. Look at some of their other offensive stats:

  • BA: .233 xBA: .259
  • SLG: .426 xSLG: .482
  • Hard Hit%: 43.1% (Top 3%)
  • Average Exit Velocity: 90.4 (Top 3%)

I think it is only a matter of time before the Braves offense finally breaks out in 2021. It could be this week when they play the Cubs for four games and travel to the Blue Jays for three.

Notable Players

Acuna Jr. has made a case for the best player in baseball. A minor injury scare can hopefully be overlooked as he should be back in the lineup by the time of this article.

Freddie Freeman‘s luck looks like it is finally turning around. He is currently batting .222/.388/.492 with five home runs, ten runs, ten RBIs, and a 133 wRC+. His BABIP is still .180 so his luck should be close to turning around. Looking at his baseball savant page, he is in the top ten percentile in average exit velocity, xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, K%, and BB% so I think he will be fine.

I know that Ozzie Albies has started slowly with a .155/.261/.328 slash line, but I think the breakthrough is coming. However, take a look at some of his advanced metrics:

  • xBA: .315
  • xSLG: .499
  • xwOBA: .385

I think Albies is close to breaking through. If there is a chance of buying low on Albies, do it now.

Austin Riley has been disappointing to start the season, but he has looked competent over the last week. I know it is a small sample, but in his last eighteen plate appearances (at the time of writing on Thursday), he is hitting .500 (10 ABs) with five walks, two HBP, and zero strikeouts! A 0.611 OBP is nice. He also hit his first homer of the season, even though it was only a home run because it was in Yankee stadium. I know it is not pretty, but maybe this will get Riley’s confidence up at the plate.

Either Guillermo Heredia or Ehire Adrianza will be playing until Cristian Pache gets back. If a fantasy owner is in a deeper league or desperate because of injuries, maybe they can look at Heredia or Adrianza. Heredia currently has a 204 wRC+ and Adrianza has a 140. I know it is not the best option but if fantasy owners find themselves in desperate times, maybe riding the hot hand(s) for a week is an option.

New York Yankees

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Team wRC+: 83


A bonus third team in the offenses to target section of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball week 4 hitting planner!

I know the Yankees have struggled early but I think this offense is too good and I think next week they could get on track. The main reason is their schedule. They play four at Baltimore and then three at home against the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees offensive seems to enjoy playing the Orioles, even though the O’s currently sit fourteenth in pitching ERA. Then come the Tigers with the worst pitching ERA (4.95) into hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. That could be a recipe for getting the bats going.

Notable Players

Aaron Judge has been solid with an .859 OPS and 144 wRC+. Fantasy Baseball players would probably like to see more power though.

Giancarlo Stanton has been an adventure this season. .158/.238/.333 three home runs, five runs, twelve RBIs, a whole lot of strikeouts, and a bunch of boo-birds is not what Yankee fans had in mind. A few days out of the Bronx may do him some good.

I know every year we wonder what to do with Gary Sanchez. He currently has a .676 OPS, but it does feel like it is time for him to hit a few home runs and get everyone excited for Sanchez again.

Clint Frazier is an interesting name because he was pegged as a potential breakout guy by many. Maybe he can improve upon his .492 OPS this week and start showing some promise? I mean, it can only go up from here.

OFFENSES TO AVOID

Washington Nationals

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Team wRC+: 90

The Nationals have a lot of problems. They only have two scary names in the lineup in Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Soto is now on the IL so that lineup becomes extremely thin.

They also only play five games next week, which may be good for the Nationals who hope to get Soto back without missing many games, but it is not good for those setting weekly lineups. Add in that the Nationals play two top nine pitching staffs next week with the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins and it becomes even more worrisome.

Notable Players

Trea Turner is hitting .302/.343/.540 with four home runs, seven runs, eight RBIs, five steals, and a 137 wRC+. Good as usual.

I was not sure what to think of Ryan Zimmerman coming back in 2021, but he has been impressive in a short sample. He has an .839 OPS and a 125 wRC+ so he has been pretty solid thus far. A high average is nice but only a 2.9% walk rate is cause for concern. He has been productive so far, but I am not sure how long he can keep it up over the full season. Tough matchups next week may give a better indication of what to expect from Zimmerman.

Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber have been disappointments in small samples. Both with an OPS under .600 and wRC+ under 60. I am not sure how much longer we can wait for Bell and Schwarber to turn it around, and I am not sure it gets better anytime soon.

Philadelphia Phillies

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Team wRC+: 92

The Phillies started hot but have been slumping as of late. I do not think this week gets easier for them.

The Cardinals are not the best pitching staff, they are actually in the bottom half of the league in pitching. However, the four-game series will be played in Busch which is more pitcher-friendly.

They then travel back home to Philly, which should be a good thing, but they face the eight best pitching staff according to ERA in the New York Mets. As we know from the Red Sox section earlier, the Sox will avoid deGrom. The Phillies will not.

Notable Players

Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto have been great! Nothing to worry about there.

Rhys Hoskins has been slumping. He started the year decently, but his OPS is now down to .735. He is striking out a decent bit as of late and not walking like normal. Last year his walk rate was 15.7% and in 2021 it is currently sitting at 4.1%. I find that a bit concerning for Hoskins, thankfully it is still early in the season, but he is hurting lineups right now.

I was extremely high on Alec Bohm coming into 2021. A .219/.274/.344 start with two home runs, seven runs, and ten RBIs is not the best start. I still believe in Bohm long-term, but it may be time to consider another option early on.

Shortstop is a deep position and Didi Gregorius sitting at a .748 OPS does not make me excited. There are better options right now if Gregorius does not start providing a little more power at the plate.

The old veteran Andrew McCutchen has been a reliable fantasy asset for years. He has not been a fantasy star but always consistent. Unfortunately, he has not gotten off to a great start, hitting .164/.313/.255 with only one home run, five runs, and five RBIs. I like Cutch, so I hope he turns it around, but I do not think it will be this next week.

2021 FANTASY BASEBALL HITTING PLANNER WEEK 4 SLEEPER/WAIVER OPTION

Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels

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I know this is not the sexiest option or even the deepest option. He is rostered in 62% of Fantrax leagues but only 25% of ESPN leagues. He may be an interesting option to take a look at.

Upton has always been a streaky hitter. At the time of writing, his last seven days include three home runs, four runs, six RBIs, and a .375 OBP. The Angels are also second in team wRC+ at 119 so there could be plenty of opportunities for Upton to pick up some counting stats.



I think Upton is getting hot and it may be time to ride him for a week or two. He could help a fantasy team sneak out a week four victory.


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Trent Dickeson

Trent joined the Fantasy Six Pack crew in 2020 to provide fantasy baseball information and analysis. He has been an avid fantasy baseball player for several years now and uses his knowledge of advanced metrics to predict fantasy baseball performances.

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