The Smash and Grab: 4 Teams With Elite Hitting Opportunities in Week 17
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 (14)
There is a lot of high-powered volume this week. In fact, it would nearly be simpler to say who isn't playing seven games, but here we are.
The following teams play (at least) seven games: Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins.
With so much volume, who sticks out?
Boston Red Sox: The matchups are quite delightful for Boston this week -- they start with three in Buffalo, but they will have to contend with Robbie Ray at the end of the series. They then get four games in Yankee Stadium -- and they start with Gerrit Cole, but the end of the series gets amazing with juicy opportunities against middling arms like Deivi Garcia, Jameson Taillon, and Domingo German.
Miami Marlins: If the Marlins are going to get right, now is the week. Miami opens with three in Washington -- and outside of Max Scherzer, this rotation is awful. Stephen Strasburg suffered another setback, and Jon Lester, Paolo Espino, and Erick Fedde just ain't cutting it. Then, it's four in San Diego. Blake Snell has been a ticking time bomb all season, and Yu Darvish is returning from an injury.
Six-Game Teams (14)
The majority of the remaining teams hit the field for six games. Of these squads, here are some interesting notes:
Cincinnati Reds: While they may only have a six-game week, it certainly won't provide a lack of excellent hitting opportunities for the Reds. First, they sadly begin the week facing the Jacob deGrom-less New York Mets, and then they finish the week with three more home games against the poor St. Louis Cardinals rotation. Adam Wainwright (3.71 ERA in 111 2/3 innings pitched) throws earlier in the week, meaning the Reds will tag the back end of this poor set of arms.
Philadelphia Phillies: The Mets have left the door wide open in the NL East, and with the Braves continuing to suffer massive injuries, is now the time for Philadelphia to ascend to the top of the division? This week could jump-start them towards the lead -- the Yankees will send Domingo German and Jordan Montgomery in the first two games, and then the Phillies will get to attack Drew Smyly and Touki Toussaint at the back end.
Five-Game Teams (3)
Seattle Mariners (2)