The Smash and Grab: 6 Teams With Elite Hitting Opportunities in Week 8
One thing I have learned in my journey in fantasy baseball is that volume is key -- especially in hitting.
In standard rotisserie leagues, only one category is ratio based (batting average), which allows us to maximize at-bats and plate appearances to rack up those counting statistics in runs, home runs, runs batted in, and stolen bases. And as simplistic as the approach seems, the best fantasy players find ways to garner as many shots as possible -- via volume.
Each week, this report will analyze the matchups for the upcoming week to see if any teams in particular stand out from a volume perspective as we gear up for those Free Agent Budget (FAB) bids.
The seven-game teams? Those are obvious. But what about the other matchups? Let's dig in and find out.
Seven-Game Teams (11)
There are a bunch of seven-game teams this week: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels (eight games), Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins (eight games), New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.
With so much volume, who sticks out? In alphabetical order:
Atlanta Braves: Seven games in a park that has played very hitter-friendly so far is certainly enticing, and perhaps it can get Freddie Freeman back on track. Marcell Ozuna is starting to heat up. Austin Riley has been slotted into a premium spot in the lineup, and William Contreras has assumed catching duties. Start all Braves.
Cincinnati Reds: Don't overthink this -- start your Reds. Great American Smallpark, which is super hitter friendly, hosts seven contests this week. and, at the end of the week is a three-game series with the Brewers in which Cincy should manage to avoid Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes.
Los Angeles Angels: Of the two eight-game teams (yes, eight games!), the Angels have the better matchups. They will face Zach Plesac but not Shane Bieber, and they attack some average Oakland Athletics starters over the weekend. All of the games will be in their homer-friendly home digs.
Washington Nationals: The start of the week has some tricky steps with the Chicago Cubs and Adbert Alzolay, but the end of the week is a dream home series against the Baltimore Orioles. Josh Bell has really started swinging a hot bat as of late, and veteran Starlin Castro is now slotted in the middle of the order. After missing 2020 with a wrist injury, Castro makes for a fun waiver add with upside potential.
Six-Game Teams (18)
All of the remaining teams but three -- who we'll mention in a second -- hit the field for six games. Of these squads, here are some interesting notes:
Philadelphia Phillies: The beginning of the week against the Miami Marlins could be tough as they will be forced to deal with Trevor Rogers and Sandy Alcantara. But the Boston Red Sox loom at the end of the week. Roster Philly bats with confidence.
Tampa Bay Rays: Yes, I know this offense has struggled, and they swing and miss a lot. I get it. But if there's ever a week from them to get right, it's this week. They start with a three game set in Camden Yards, and they finish with three more in Dunedin, Florida. Robbie Ray, the newfound strike thrower, has been solid, and Hyun-jin Ryu waits in the series finale, but that's not enough to work me off of the Rays this week.