Wow! What a trade deadline! I usually start the process of making these grades on Thursday night and finish them on Saturday morning. With all the trading activity just before the deadline, I knew I had to wait until all the dust had settled before I really dived into everything. Now that my head has stopped spinning and I actually know which teams these players are playing for next week, I can get into the matches and the characters. Let’s get to that.
I went through how the grades for this series are calculated in week 1, and I will connect to that breakdown each week instead of filling this room with a long explanation each time. If you are interested in knowing my process or just want to talk baseball, feel free to contact me on Twitter @mikeMaher. I respond to tweets, and my DMs are open. Here is a link to the week 1 section with a complete breakdown of Quick Grades:
First in the 90s: Bryce harps, Shohei Ohtani, Starling March, Charlie blackmon, Gleyber Torres, Harrison bathes, Freddie freeman, Joey votto, and Daulton varsho. Without looking back, this feels like the longest list in the 90s we’ve had this season. Varsho only hits the list at exactly 90, while Harper led with 94.75. With all the activity, we will see many new faces in new places this week. Keep an eye on the lineups over the weekend and heading into next week. We will not only see where new players strike with their new teams, but also which players on teams who sold by the deadline, could see more opportunities.
Now let’s go to the rest of the week 18 grades and notes.
Week 18 Hitter Grades
Note: This table is on three pages (see button at the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!
- Tea Toronto Blue Jays play eight games this week and have a solid Matchups rating of 18.75. This lineup is so deep that many of their players are already listed, however Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is available in more than 20% of the leagues.
- The best Matchups ratings this week: Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Yankees.
- Tea New York Yankees play seven games this week and they all play seven in the small league they call Yankee Stadium. They also meet four leftists and have good matches throughout the week. Heck, it’s worth streaming all the Yankees you can find just for their matchup against Matt Harvey.
Fades of the week
- Tea Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Oakland Athletics playing only five games this week.
- Tea Minnesota twins has the lowest Matchups rating for the week, followed by Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston astros, and Washington citizens.
- Joey votto is the hottest player on the planet. He may be the hottest player since planets have existed. I’m waiting for my scientist to get back to me about it. That’s it. No analysis is required here. If you’ve read anything by Brendan Tuma in the last three months, this is what you have been waiting for. He saw this coming. Well, maybe not THIS, but he saw good things in the data and has been pounding that drum for a while now. Take your victory round, Tuma.
- Shohei Ohtani is now -650 on the FanDuel Sportsbook to win the AL MVP, and that kind of feels like a discount. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is number two, at +450. Ohtani has been so good.
- One of the players who should benefit from more playing time and a better lineup track (but without anyone around him) is Patrick wisdom. Wisdom’s ownership has fallen in recent weeks after his offensive blast from June faded, but he has two home runs in the last four games and is worth a try in most formats.
- Another player that is available everywhere and that needs to be added is Abraham Toro. Toro was just switched from Astros to Mariners and should see regular playing time ahead. He homered in four straight games this week, with two of them coming against the Astros after the trade. He’s some Mariners wanted, and they were willing to give up Kendall Gravedigger to get him. He’s going to play, and he’s hot now. He received a grade of 83.87 for the coming week.
- Cody bellinger continues to disappoint and has a rating of 52.30 this week. Just brutal. Here he hopes that he can turn things around soon and that he is healthy, but nothing looks good right now. He made homer the other day, so at least it’s?
- Daulton varsho continues to be hot and should be catchy in most leagues. He is still available in more than 50% of the leagues in one way or another. Go and get it. Varsho. I made Varsho in some leagues back in March, but could not keep him due to the slow start and lack of playing time.
Daulton Varsho is one of the hottest hits in baseball, qualifies as a catcher and is available in more than 50% of the leagues. What are we doing here? Grab this man.#RattleOn
– Mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) July 31, 2021
Week 18 Throwing grades
Below you see a grid with probable starters, matches and grades. The grade is on a scale from 0-100, and here is what these numbers mean.
These grades assume you are in 10 leagues of varying size and format, with a good mix of shallow, deeper, scoring and roster / lineup sizes. The score for all these players corresponds to how many leagues I would start a pitcher in if I had him in each league. So, a pitcher with a score of 100 means I would start him in all 10 leagues. A pitcher with a score of 50 means I would start him in five leagues. Zero, zero leagues. Have it? Great.
Note: The starters below are grouped alphabetically by team and schedule, and the table is two pages to keep the length manageable (you can click to see the other page at the top right).
- Kyle Freeland has not won a start since June 28th. Since then, he has thrown four quality starts on five trips to the mound while lowering the ERA from 6.54 to 4.52. He’s facing the impoverished kids and Marlins this week. He is available in more than 90% of the leagues. If you’ve desperate for a game, Freeland is someone who’s probably available in your league.
Kyle Freeland has not won a start since June 28. Since then, he has thrown four quality starts on five trips to the mound while lowering the ERA from 6.54 to 4.52. He’s facing the impoverished kids and Marlins this week.#Rockies
– Mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) July 31, 2021
- Max Fried gets two starts this week. One is against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the other is against a Washington Nationals lineup that may include you or me by the end of the week. Fried also has a 2.84 ERA and a 10.42 K / 9 out of three starts since the All-Star break.
- Frankie Montas has thrown four quality starts in a row, with 10 strikeouts in three of these starts. During that span, he has 37 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.
- Matt Harvey has not allowed to run on three starts since the All-Star break. I do not care. I’m not starting him at Yankee Stadium against the new Yankees series coming now Joey gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
- Madison Bumgarner just earned his first win since May 11 and has allowed only four earned races in total over the last three starts. But he has not exactly been dominant in these starts and will face the Giants at home and the Padres on the road this week. Avoid unless you are desperate.
That’s it for this week. Again, if you have any questions, feedback or queries, beat me on Twitter!
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Mike maher is an editor and featured writer on FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archives, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.