The Smash and Grab: 4 Teams With Elite Hitting Opportunities in Week 18
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 (13)
There is a lot of high-powered volume this week.
The following teams play (at least) seven games: Atlanta Braves (8), Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets (8), Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals.
With so much volume, who sticks out?
Chicago Cubs: The front of the week is actually going to be fairly difficult for the Cubs -- they don't get to travel to Cincinnati and will face Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley. But the back end gets far easier versus Jon Lester, Erick Fedde and Joe Ross. With the volume and those outstanding weekend matchups, that's a positive matchup we want to exploit.
Chicago White Sox: The South Siders have a great set of matchups. They start the week in Kansas City, and the Royals' pitching staff is both beleaguered and bad, and then the Sox get to host the Cleveland Indians with Zach Plesac, Jean Carlos Mejia and Triston McKenzie taking the bump on the weekend slate. It's time to fly.
Toronto Blue Jays: Alternating back and forth with Houston as the league's best offense, the Baby Jays are ready to rock, and they have a slate to die for. Well, not literally, but it's pretty darn tasty. They start the week with a four-game set, travelling to friendly Fenway Park and will avoid Nathan Eovaldi. They then return home (truly home, to Toronto) and will face the beaten up Royals. Expect the ball to be jumpin'.
Six-Game Teams (12)
The majority of the remaining teams hit the field for six games. Of these squads, here are some interesting notes:
Minnesota Twins: This is a total buyer beware caveat before we get started here -- I cannot forecast exactly what the Twins roster will look like. They already traded away ageless wonder Nelson Cruz, and there are rumors that other bats may go. But, if there isn't a whole lot of moving parts here -- this could be spicy. They begin the week attacking the Detroit Tigers' staff, and they follow up by avoiding Adam Wainwright (truly the only decent pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals) over the weekend.
Five-Game Teams (5)