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Fantasy Baseball Forecaster for Week 22 Sept

MLB - Fantasy Baseball Forecaster for Week 22 Sept. 4-10 Fantasy Baseball Forecaster for Week 2263dTristan H. CockcroftEarly 2018 fantasy baseball rankings39dTristan H. CockcroftDynasty 300: Top players for 2018 and beyond53dTristan H. CockcroftTop players whose fantasy value changed for 201852dJoe KaiserHow to keep your league fun and interesting all season70dAJ MassCueto declines opt-out, with Giants through '21San Francisco Giants17hThree more years: Tanaka to stick with YanksNew York Yankees2dAndrew MarchandPirates exercise 14.75M option on McCutchenPittsburgh Pirates2dMariners decline options for Gallardo, IwakumaSeattle Mariners4dPedroia out seven months after knee surgeryBoston Red Sox12dScott LauberNats' Murphy has surgery to repair cartilageWashington Nationals17dBoston's Rodriguez, Ramirez undergo surgeriesBoston Red Sox19dScott LauberFantasy Baseball Forecaster for Week 22: Sept. 4-10Lance McCullers Jr. is due back for the Astros in Week 22, but should he return to your fantasy baseball lineup?AP Photo/Charlie RiedelFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerEmailcommentSep 4, 2017Tristan H. CockcroftESPN Senior Writer CloseSenior writer for ESPNCo-host of the Fantasy Focus Baseball podcastTwo-time LABR, three-time Tout Wars championMember of the FSWA Hall of FameFollow on TwitterFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailprintcommentThe Fantasy Baseball Forecaster has been updated as of Monday, Sept. 4, at 9:40 a.m. ET.Quickly jump to any page for specific intelProjected starting pitchersStarting pitcher rankingsHitting matchup ratingsOn tap: Week 22 of the fantasy baseball season begins on Labor Day, with a full day of action that begins at 1 p.m. ET. ESPN will broadcast two games: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds at 1 p.m. ET, and Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates at 4 p.m. ET. Fantasy owners will need to get their lineups set earlier this week, so make sure to do so before heading out for your holiday plans!ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball begins at 8 p.m. ET, with the Baltimore Orioles visiting the Cleveland Indians.Week 22 begins the playoffs in ESPN standard head-to-head leagues, and is the first of a two-week Round 1 matchup. Seeds 1 and 4 square off in one matchup, with Seeds 2 and 3 meeting in the other.As major league rosters have expanded from 25 to 40 active players as of Friday, roles are at greater risk of changing this week. Expect many changes to teams' rotations, especially with an increased volume of doubleheaders in recent days, so be sure to check back here often for the latest updates.The NineOne thing that might stand out on the pitching projections and rankings pages is that fresh-off-the-DL starters like Lance McCullers Jr. and Garrett Richards have unusually low numbers. With the large majority of minor league regular seasons coming to a close on Monday, teams no longer have as many available places for healing pitchers to make rehabilitation starts, and are more likely to bring them straight back to the major league club with limited pitch counts, knowing that the 40-man roster expansion affords them the bullpen depth to round out the game. Richards threw just 40 pitches in his Wednesday start for Triple-A Salt Lake, making it unlikely he'd reach the 100-pitch threshold in his projected Tuesday start McCullers, meanwhile, threw 59 pitches for Triple-A Fresno on Aug. 25 and 60 for Double-A Corpus Christi on Wednesday, giving him slim odds of a 100-pitch outing when he returns. Keep this in mind as you evaluate your starting pitchers making their return starts off the DL as, without a promise of no limitations, none seems worthy of your start. This also applies in "only" leagues to pitchers like Brandon McCarthy, Daniel Norris, Anibal Sanchez and Brent Suter, all of whom could make starts within the week.The San Francisco Giants aren't known for their hitting -- they rank last in the majors in both isolated power (.129) and home run rate (2.0 percent of their trips to the plate) and 29th in both runs per game (3.91) and well-hit average (.142) -- but this is one week where they could provide you some production. The Giants begin the week with three games at Colorado's Coors Field followed by three at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field, with two of the latter against the weakest links in the White Sox's rotation, James Shields and David Holmberg. With the exception of Buster Posey, Giants hitters are widely available, with Brandon Crawford (33.8 percent rostered in ESPN leagues, .277/.339/.447 second-half hitter in 45 games) being an obvious add. Also consider picking up the team's usual Nos. 2 and 3 hitters against right-handers, Hunter Pence (13.8 percent rostered, .290/.365/.462 hitter in 27 August games) and Jarrett Parker (1.4 percent rostered, .268/.304/.443 hitter in 25 August games). Finally, a heads up to those of you in two-catcher leagues: Nick Hundley, a .278/.301/.456 hitter since July 1, has made starts in six of the Giants' past seven games in an American League park.Though a much more obvious source of offense, the Indians enjoy a similarly strong hitting schedule, thanks in large part to four games of their own at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field, again with two coming against Shields and Holmberg. Drawing Wade Miley and Chris Tillman during a weekend series versus the Orioles is mere gravy for Cleveland. Austin Jackson (2.8 percent owned) has emerged as the team's usual No. 2 hitter, regardless of the opposing starter's handedness, and he was a .296/.333/.506 hitter in 22 August games.The loss of the designated hitter -- they won't have it for three of their six games in Week 22 -- is always an issue for the Texas Rangers, due to their glut of corner infielder/corner outfielder/DH types on their roster. Mike Napoli Anton Slepyshev Jersey, the team's least-effective hitter this season in terms of offensive WAR, spent each of the Rangers' past five games in a National League park as a pinch hitter, so he's likely to occupy that role again at Atlanta's SunTrust Park He is, therefore, someone to bench in all formats. Napoli could sneak in a start over Joey Gallo or Shin-Soo Choo against lefty Sean Newcomb, however, not that it would make either lefty someone to sit.Though neither his team's overall hitting grade nor their right-handed hitting grade reflects it, this is a good week of matchups for Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. He and his team could face as many as five left-handed starting pitchers, and he's a .303/.395/.677 hitter against lefties this season.Speaking of schedules that feature a lot of opposing left-handed pitching, the Detroit Tigers, while today more of a skeleton lineup than the one that accumulated the majors' best wOBA against lefties this season (.371), still have two lefty power bats who should now bat closer to the heart of the order and can capitalize: Nicholas Castellanos, a .275/.320/.617 hitter against lefties this season, and James McCann, a .333/.394/.633 hitter against them.Shifting to left-handed batters who face a lot of right-handed pitching, the Reds, who face seven righty starters, have two to consider adding and starting: Scooter Gennett (67.6 percent owned), a .306/.361/.580 hitter against right-handers this season; and Scott Schebler (27.7 percent owned), a .221/.324/.493 hitter -- that's .272 isolated power -- against them.The Cubs also stand out for their favorable-for-lefty-hitters schedule. Pending the Brewers' decision on Brent Suter/Matt Garza, Chicago could face as many as six right-handed starters during Week 22. That's especially good news for Alex Avila (55.3 percent rostered, .280/.398/.504 rates against right-handers this season), Kyle Schwarber (51.3 percent rostered, .206/.310/.474 rates against righties this season) and Ian Happ (29 Stuart Skinner Jersey.8 percent rostered, .248/.339/.559 against righties).Kolten Wong is well worth the pickup in the near 80 percent of ESPN leagues in which he's available. His St. Louis Cardinals will face at least four -- and potentially as many as five -- right-handed starters. They have favorable overall hitting matchups and the best stolen base matchups in the game. While the Cardinals aren't traditionally an aggressive team on the base paths -- they're anything but -- Wong is one of the few St. Louis players with the ability to capitalize upon this favorable set of matchups.FacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerEmailcommentSponsored HeadlinesComments ABOUT COOKIES We use cookies to offer an improved online experience. By clicking "OK" without changing your settings you are giving your consent to receive cookies.



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