Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner (May 24 – May 30)

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Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner!

We have now played over a quarter of the season! How are everyone’s teams looking?

I know it is getting to the point of the season where we are either planning for the playoffs or potentially writing off the season due to a bad start. There is also the possibility that Fantasy Baseball players are sitting near .500 and not sure where to go from here.

No matter where one is at this point, remember that we still have a few months left, and if done correctly, can be turned around no matter the current record. Keep ya head up!

There will be some Fantasy Baseball owners that will start to give up, especially with a bad start. Do not be those owners, instead, look for hidden gems. Of course, take the easy wins against the absentee owners as well.

Another good idea is to keep reading over on Fantasy Six Pack and especially the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner!

With that being said, we can now jump into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner!

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner

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Schedule

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Hitting Planner

Source: Baseball Monster

Offenses To Target

Chicago Cubs

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Team wRC+: 102

The Cubs offense is slowly starting to heat up after a sluggish start. While I do not see the Cubbies as an elite offensive squad, I do realize they can get hot quickly.

I do like the idea of having to play three at the Pirates and then three more against the Reds next week. Two NL Central foes that they will be familiar with, and two clubs that do not have the best pitching staffs.

The Pirates rank 21st with a 4.45 team ERA and the Reds are 26th with a 4.79 ERA. It could be a lot of fun for the Cubs offense next week.

Notable Players

Kris Bryant bounce-back season? .308/.401/.615 with ten home runs, 31 runs, 26 RBIs, and a 174 wRC+. His wOBA is .429 with is in the top 2% of the league, and while his xwOBA sits at .380, that is not a big drop so any regression would not be significant. Kris Bryant bounce-back season.

Willson Contreras is providing fantasy value from the catcher position. An .810 OPS, 124 wRC+, and eight home runs on the year have helped every Fantasy Baseball owner.

Ian Happ does not have the prettiest line on the year, but over the last seven days (time of writing), Happ has an OBP of .375 with four home runs, five runs, and seven RBIs. He might be getting hot.

Anthony Rizzo has been solid, but nothing special with an OPS of .804. The good matchups should help increase Rizzo’s value this week.

Javier Baez has a nice OPS (.802) but it is mostly from his power (.511 SLG). His .291 OBP is killing fantasy owners in OBP leagues, but maybe he sees an uptick with the favorable matchup.

Texas Rangers

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Team wRC+: 96

I know they got no-hit this past week. The offense has still been pretty solid as a whole.

They also get a solid week of matchups, facing their division foes the Los Angeles Angeles and Seattle Mariners. They will play the Angels twice and the Mariners for a four-game weekend set.

The Angels have the worst team ERA at 5.22 and the Mariners are 18th with a 4.24.

Notable Players

Joey Gallo has been disappointing to start 2021, with a .728 OPS and only seven home runs. He is still an above-average hitter with a 112 wRC+, but it has not been the most fantasy relevant. Gallo is a feast or famine type of player, but it has been mostly famine in terms of fantasy value. His .355 OBP still makes him playable in OBP leagues, and one would figure the power surge comes soon.

Adolis Garcia has been one of the better stories in 2021. His 145 wRC+, .382 wOBA, and slash of .287/.329/.559 with eleven home runs, twenty runs, and thirty RBIs have made him the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire find of the year so far. His Baseball Savant page supports the type of player he currently is:

  • xBA- .269
  • xSLG- .528
  • xwOBA- .367
  • xwOBAcon- .493

He will strike out a decent bit, but if he makes contact, the ball is flying off his bat.

Nick Solak has a .794 OPS and eight home runs at second base. The position is pretty thin so he has been a welcome addition. He could add to those numbers this week.

Willie Calhoun has not been a superstar, but he has been really solid so far with a .274/.330/.462 with five home runs. It looks real as his wOBA and xwOBA are both .346 which suggests that Calhoun is who he is at this point in the season.

Offenses To Avoid

Arizona Diamondbacks

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Team wRC+: 92

The Diamondbacks are struggling. The losses are starting to pile up for the Diamondbacks after a somewhat surprising start.

It will not get much easier in week eight as they take on the Giants and the Cardinals. They will play two against the Giants and then welcome the Cardinals into town for a four-game weekend series.

The Giants are third with a 3.17 team ERA, and the Cardinals come in at 13th with a 3.85 ERA. The offense is struggling and the pitching will be tough this upcoming week.

Notable Players

Eduardo Escobar has 11 home runs, but the OPS sits at .734. The batting average (.224) and OBP (.269) are much lower than one would like. He is hitting the ball out of the park but if he does not hit a home run, he is really killing ratios.

Josh Rojas looks good with a .272/.341/.464 with five home runs, 23 runs, 11 RBIs, and a .351 wOBA. However, look at his baseball savant page and I see potential for regression.

  • xBA- .237
  • xSLG- .420
  • xwOBA- .318

David Peralta has been alright, but nothing special I suppose. .271/.331/.465 with four home runs, 18 runs, and 18 RBIs. I would be fine with Peralta in a larger league, but he really is not providing the most fantasy value.

Ah Pavin Smith, I really liked what he provided earlier in the year. A .689 OPS and only three home runs is not promising. However, some of the metrics still support him like a .273 xBA and and a .451 xSLG suggests that he can turn it around, but I would like to see it before I trusted him again.

Atlanta Braves

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Team wRC+: 97

As a Braves fan, this pains me to write, but I do not like the Braves odds next week.

They only play five games, so it may be best to look for other options next week. They play two in Boston and then a three-game series against the New York Mets in New York.

The Red Sox sit about the middle of the pack with 3.89 ERA and the Mets are currently fifth with a 3.29 ERA. Combine that with the Braves being extremely hit or miss on any given day and it may be best to give them a break for a week.

Notable Players

Ronald Acuna Jr.has been one of the best players in baseball. He is the one Braves player one should play.

Freddie Freeman has twelve home runs and a 122 wRC+. However, a .227 average is not Freeman-like, but a .303 xBA suggests he should turn it around soon.

Marcell Ozuna has a .261 xBA, .445 xSLG, and a .338 xwOBA seems promising. However, I need to see it because Ozuna has struggled early with a .201/.276/.322 with only six home runs.

Short stop is a fairly deep position, but I know a few people had Dansby Swanson with a big year coming off a strong 2020. However, his .676 OPS and a 31.4% strikeout rate have turned many against Swanson.

Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley started slow, but both guys are starting to turn it around. I think they could have good weeks, but if the team around them continues to struggle, it will hurt some of his counting stats.

WEEK 8 SLEEPER/WAIVER OPTION

Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves

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I know it looks weird to see Austin Riley here after I say to avoid the Braves, but Riley has been tearing the cover off the ball recently. He has also improved his plate discipline and he is becoming fantasy relevant across all leagues.

.298/.405/.447 with five home runs, 23 runs, and 12 RBIs is a solid line. However, the start of the year was a rough one for Riley, and he has really turned it around over the last three weeks. He has a .446 OBP over the last 30 days!

The home runs have started to show up as he hit two in the past week and sprinkled in a few doubles. Is Riley turning it around? If so, he may be a pick-up to hold for a few weeks. If the power that he has starts showing up in games, and he can hang on to the OBP numbers, Riley is going to provide amazing value across all Fantasy Baseball formats.

Week 8 Minor League Stash

Travis Swaggerty, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

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I started this section last week by saying pick up Vidal Brujan. I still like Brujan but I want to spread the love around, and I had a few people tell me that they think Swaggerty could be close.

Looking at Swaggerty, I think it is certainly possible. Swaggerty’s line is alright but nothing spectacular, .220/.333/.439 a .345 wOBA, and a 106 wRC+. The average may not be the best, but a walk rate over 12% and an ISO of .219 is promising.

Another factor to consider is, why not for the Pirates? If he is ready, he should probably come up so the Pirates can figure out what they have in the young outfielder. There is no reason to block him to the majors.



Swaggerty may never become a fantasy superstar, but in a deeper league, he could provide enough value to be a steal off the waiver wire.


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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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