Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner!
As the calendar turns to June this week, we continue to turn to the waiver wire to replace our injured players.
At this point, it feels like that every day we are getting news of another player going to the IL with another injury. This does not help most of us since we already have crowded IL on our fantasy team, or we have an overloaded bench with guys we just cannot drop.
Fantasy Baseball can sometimes be a war of attrition. Oftentimes, it is the one who navigates the year with the fewest injuries that get to hold the fantasy championship title up at the end of the year.
Depending on the league, we are somewhere between a third to halfway through this Fantasy Baseball season. With so many injuries to deal with, it may feel like a tall task to climb back or hold onto the lead.
However, I suggest going to look at the injured list, I promise it is not just one person that is dealing with the injuries. That means we can navigate this together, it probably means the waiver wire is a little more important this year than in years past, but that only enhances the experience!
With that being said, let us jump into the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner!
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner
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Offenses To Target
Team wRC+: 108
Anyone else remember when the Oakland Athletics started really slow, and we were wondering if we would see Billy Beane start the rebuild Moneyball style? Me either, I only remember the AL West-leading Oakland A’s.
Their top-five offense in all of baseball is to thank for that. An offense that should be exploited next week when they take on the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies.
The Mariners are currently 24th in team ERA with a 4.59 ERA and the Rockies are 25th with a 4.76. That three-game series is at Coors Field by the way, so that helps.
Matt Olson has been consistently great for Fantasy Baseball, hitting .262/.346/.561 with thirteen home runs, twenty-eight runs, and thirty RBIs.
I know Matt Chapman has been disappointing so far, .207/.312/.355 with only five home runs, but this could be the week for him to turn it around. I am still convinced he is a buy-low guy this year.
Ramon Laureano‘s .848 OPS with eleven home runs and eight stolen bases have been great for fantasy purposes. I think it could be a great week for the outfielder.
Mark Canha might be one of the more underrated players in all of baseball. .256/.389/.489 with ten home runs, forty runs, fifteen RBIs, .382 wOBA, and a 151 wRC+. The metrics support Canha as well:
- xBA- .255
- xSLG- .487
- xwOBA- .379
He is who he is. I like Canha and I am sure those who took a shot on him late or with a waiver claim do as well.
Team wRC+: 106
I know that 2021 has been a tough year so far for the Twins, but they have been solid at the plate despite the bad start.
I like them this upcoming week as well as they take on the Baltimore Orioles for three games and the Kansas City Royals for four games.
The Orioles are 28th in team ERA at 4.99 and the Royals are 20th with a team ERA of 4.42.
We miss you, Byron Buxton.
Nelson Cruz forever. An .873 OPS and 137 wRC+ tells me that Cruz is not slowing down. Cruz already has ten home runs, twenty-five runs, and twenty-four RBIs.
Mitch Garver is providing great value from the catcher position with an .800 OPS, seven home runs, fourteen runs, and sixteen RBIs. I have said it before, but catcher is so thin that Fantasy Baseball players have to temper expectations from that position.
Alex Kirilloff is starting to show more promise. His .271 OBP is not ideal, but a .500 SLG and .258 ISO is extremely promising for his fantasy value. He currently sits at four home runs, twelve runs, and fifteen RBIs, but I think there is a shot those numbers start to tick up over the next few weeks.
Offenses To Avoid
Team wRC+: 99
The Nationals are not having the best season, currently sitting last in the NL East at 21-25. I do not think they are a terrible team, but they are pretty mediocre and in a tough division.
They take on two division foes this week in the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves and Phillies are not the strongest pitching staff on paper (18th and 17th respectively), but the Nationals are having trouble within the division. It should also be noted that the Braves starting rotation has been really good as of the last two weeks, so it may be bad timing for the Nationals.
Trea Turner has been great. Ten home runs and ten steals combined with an .880 OPS is providing a great return on the draft value that Fantasy Baseball players used on Turner.
Juan Soto has started slow for his standards. A .286/.401/.413 line is not bad, but he is not hitting for power as evident by the .127 ISO and four home runs. I think the shoulder issue is to blame and he will eventually snap out of this funk, but it is definitely concerning for those that drafted him with a top-two pick.
Kyle Schwarber has been alright I suppose. He is taking his walks and hitting for power despite the low .224 average. Eight home runs are nice, but I imagine that Fantasy Baseball players, and the Nationals, were hoping for more.
There were some that thought Starlin Castro could be a great value play coming into the year, but that tone has quickly disappeared thanks to a .644 OPS. The value play has actually come from Josh Harrison and his .819 OPS
Team wRC+: 91
The Arizona Diamondbacks have lost eleven straight games at the time of writing this article. So maybe I am not going with the boldest prediction.
However, I think it is justified because it will not be getting any easier for the poor Diamondbacks.
They will play the New York Mets for three games and then travel to take on the Milwaukee Brewers for a four-game series. That will be a tough week against two pitching staffs that are in the top ten in all of baseball.
Eduardo Escobar has been interesting this year. His .732 OPS is not good, but he has twelve home runs on the season. He has been boom or bust for fantasy purposes in 2021.
David Peralta has been serviceable with a .777 OPS but he only has four home runs on the season. He is not the biggest power guy, but Fantasy Baseball players would like to see more from him to justify playing him.
Remember when Pavin Smith was looking like a breakout star this year? His OPS now sits at .722, but compared to where he was a month ago, he has really fallen off. Disappointing for a lot of Fantasy Baseball players that thought they had found a diamond in the rough.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner Sleeper/Waiver Option
Alex Kirilloff, OF, Minnesota Twins
Kirilloff was mentioned earlier in the article, but I also want to highlight him here as my waiver pickup of the week. Depending on the site being used for Fantasy Baseball, Kirilloff is still available in a lot of leagues. For example, he is still available in around 57% of leagues on ESPN.
His OBP is concerning, but the power numbers are intriguing. Chicks dig the long ball, and so does Fantasy Baseball. If his power starts translating to more home runs, he could help boost a fantasy lineup.
He is a rookie, so it is tough to project what his OBP numbers will look like at the major league level. His walk rate in Double-A in 2019 was 7.1%, while it currently sits at 4.3% in the majors in 2021. If he can start walking slightly more, and he gets a few more hits to fall in, he is going to be extremely valuable in all formats.
His .326 wOBA is solid, but his xwOBA is .442. Get ready for Kirilloff to take off, and make sure he is in the fantasy lineup before he does.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Minor League Stash
Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
It was not a pretty thirty-eight games for Adell in 2020. The young outfielder hit .161/.212/.266 a .212 wOBA, and a 29 wRC+. Adell was overmatched in the major leagues and this led to him starting the year in AAA.
This also caused a lot of people to sour on Adell. If one asks the right person, they will talk about Adell being a bust. However, I think that is crazy talk as the guy only has 132 plate appearances in the major leagues. Not every prospect arrives and hits the ground running, some take time and have to adjust to the game.
I like what Adell is doing in AAA right now with a line of .266/.326/.696 ten home runs, sixteen runs, twenty RBIs, two stolen bases, a .406 wOBA, and 135 wRC+. If the Angels continue to fall out of contention in the AL West, they may look to call Adell up over the course of the next few weeks and give him another shot.
I think when he gets that next shot in the majors, he is going to make sure he does not get sent back down. I really like Adell’s long-term outlook and think he could really benefit Fantasy Baseball teams in 2021 if he gets a callup soon.
Thanks for reading the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 9 Hitting Planner!