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Hitting Planner

Week 18 Hitting Planner: Someone Left the Hot Stove On

Photo Credit: Kent Kanouse

The Week 18 Hitting Planner starts as the trade deadline passes. Some key names have shifted hands recently. The Diamondbacks added Eduardo Escobar to solidify their infield. The Mets flipped Asdrubal Cabrera to the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. Teams are beginning to shape up for the playoff push, so without any hesitation, let’s jump into the Week 18 Hitting Planner.

Weather Forecast

Another heat wave strikes the Week 18 Hitting Planner from the west coast. Temperatures expected to reach the triple-digit throughout the week on the west coast. San Francisco will be the exception as its only projected to reach temperatures of 70 degrees. That heat wave currently projects to move east raising average temperatures in the Midwest.

Park Factors

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles weirdly wanders its way into the Week 18 Hitting Planner with only one park factor above one: home runs. A 1.093 HR PF places Dodger stadium 12th in terms of HR PF, but they’re dead last in terms of triples park factor with .328. The other categories sit slightly below one, which pushes Dodger Stadium to ultimately play big. The team will head back home to LA and face the Brewers than the Astros.

Stolen Base Report

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Speaking of the Brewers, they enter the Week 18 Hitting Planner leading the MLB in team stolen bases with 84 on 106 attempts. They face the Dodgers (22.1% CS) in LA and then host the Rockies (26.2% CS). Led by Lorenzo Cain (19 SB) and Christian Yelich (13 SB), the Brew crew could torch the base paths this week. Pay close attention their Ryan Braun (7 SB) / Eric Thames (6 SB) platoon as they have combined 13 steals.

The Mets have been the worst team in the MLB in terms of rSB. They are -4 rSB worse than the average catcher in terms of preventing stolen bases. The Mets will visit the Nationals (74 SB) and host the Braves (57 SB) in the Week 18 Hitting Planner. Braves’ first basemen, Freddie Freeman (6 SB) and Nationals outfielder, Bryce Harper (8 SB) should be interesting power options with high stolen base upside this week.

Under-The-Radar- Players

Khris Davis, OAK (vs. TOR, vs. DET)

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The Oakland A’s have a great matchup in the Week 18 Hitting Planner. The Blue Jays pitching staff surrenders 1.28 HR/9 with 12.8% of fly balls leaving the park. The Tigers staff has not been much better as they serve up 1.22 HR/9 on 11.6% HR/FB. While this spot could have gone to either of the Matts (Olson and Chapman), Khris Davis seems primed to take full advantage of this matchup.

Over his last 35 PA, Davis generated 57.1% of his contact as fly balls. It roughly equates to 12 fly balls with 6 leaving the yard. He’s averaged an exit velocity right at 93.4 mph, but on fly balls, that velocity jumps to 99.3 mph. The Tigers and Blue Jays pitching staffs rank second and third in terms of FB%. The Tigers surrender 38.9% of their contact as fly balls with the Jays right behind them at 37.9%.

Juan Soto, WAS (vs NYM, vs CIN)

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As previously mentioned, the Mets have been pretty awful in terms of stopping runners from stealing bases. Nationals outfielder, Juan Soto, sports a slightly above average sprint speed of 27.4 ft/sec. Don’t bank on insane production on the basepath form the Nat young outfielder, but bet on his immense power being on full display. Soto’s torn through the month of July with a wRC+ of 150 through 103 PA. That comes with a slash line of .299/.402/.540 and five home runs. The last week of July should be full of fireworks as the Nationals return home (6th HR PF with 1.176) to face the Mets (13.2% HR/FB) and the Reds (16.1% HR/FB).

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