2023 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner (9/18 – 9/24)

by Mark Strausberg
2023 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner (9/18 - 9/24)

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner (9/18 - 9/24). You might notice that your usual Hitting Planner author is not here this week. But like some utility hitter, I'm happy to come off the bench and lead you to victory!

I will try not to do anything too dramatic. I'll look at this week's MLB schedule and try to find certain teams and players that are worth taking advantage of this week. I'll help you determine which teams and players you may want to consider sitting this week. For example, perhaps you roster Shohei Ohtani?

It's a strange situation and one I would stay away from. I know, not exactly a paradigm-shifting recommendation. But this late in the season, you need every potential at-bat. And given that he's actually cleared out his locker, I suspect at-bats might be hard to come by if you are an Ohtani manager.

And like Jason often does, I'll try to offer some deep league targets that may still be available on your waiver wire.

2023 Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner (9/18 - 9/24)

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MLB Schedule


Team to Target

Baltimore Orioles

After clinching a playoff berth over the weekend and seizing the lead back in the AL East, we have to assume that Baltimore is riding high on a wave of confidence.

Plus, their offense has been quite a bit better than average this season. The team's .749 OPS ranks as the ninth-best in the league. Despite some surprisingly low HR numbers, they are also ninth in slugging percentage. But they have the league's sixth most runs by sustaining rallies. They also get timely hitting as they did on Sunday when they won in extra innings.

But their schedule this week is very conducive for their hitters with a series in Houston and a series in Cleveland, two stadiums that lean on the side of hitters. They will have to take on Justin Verlander, but the Astros don't even know who they are starting on Wednesday as of yet. But for a playoff team, Houston issues a surprising number of walks--twelfth most in the league. Cleveland meanwhile has the 15th-highest WHIP in the league and their pitching staff has the sixth-fewest strikeouts in the league.

What I really like about this week for the Orioles is that I expect some of the fringe starters to see even more at-bats this week as the team gears up for the playoffs.

Team to Avoid

Arizona Diamondbacks

Things in the Arizona desert are starting to look very bleak. The playoff oasis is moving farther and farther away on the horizon. And this week is not going to help. Arizona does not play either Monday or Thursday. And they'll start the week by facing the San Francisco Giants, who have the third-lowest ERA in the NL. And they will also have to face off against two of the Giants' better pitchers, Alex Cobb and Logan Webb.

A series later in the week against the once-mighty Yankees might be easier, but you might be surprised to find out that the Yankees are in the top ten in both ERA and WHIP. Teams are hitting just .233 against the Yanks, the third-lowest average in the league.

Now add in the fact that over the last 15 days, Arizona is 19th in runs and a pathetically low 28th in HRs, I would avoid nearly any Arizona player not named Carroll.

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