The Smash and Grab: 4 Teams With Elite Hitting Opportunities in Week 26
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 (18)
The following teams play at least seven games: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians (9!), Chicago White Sox (8), Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals (8), Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals.
Who do I like most among these offenses:
Atlanta Braves: The Braves have been outstanding at the plate in the last month, clocking inside the top 12 in the league in most major statistical categories. And to make this even better, the matchups are a delight. They start the week with four games at Arizona against their poor staff and then travel to face the dwindling San Diego Padres for a three-game set to finish the week. The Padres are in an absolute free fall. Sneaky play: Eddie Rosario (right-handed pitching).
Baltimore Orioles: The O's may seem like they are in the midst of a perpetual rebuild, but they are starting to develop quite the solid lineup. Cedric Mullins is one jack away from a historic 30-30 season, but folks like Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander remain criminally underrated. That is especially true with Hays -- who is occupying a premium lineup spot for the Orioles and is up to 21 home runs this season, including 7 across the last two weeks.
Cincinnati Reds: The Reds play all seven games inside of their home park, wrapping up a 10-game homestand as they battle in the Wild Card chase. Facing poor pitching against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals surely won't hurt their offense -- and while the Reds have been very poor as of late (bottom-10 in team wOBA in the last 30 days), this is a get-right opportunity. Sneaky plays: Aristides Aquino, Kyle Farmer and Jose Barrero.
Houston Astros: For those who are intensely convicted about the Astros and their cheating scandal, I've got some bad news -- this team can really wallop the baseball, ranking in the top five of nearly all offensive categories. They will take their talents against division rivals in the Angels and the Athletics, both of whom have really struggled from the mound as of late. Sneaky plays: Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers.
Six-Game Teams (9)
Five-Game Teams (3)
Los Angeles Dodgers (3), San Francisco Giants (3)