It’s virtually impossible to see some things coming, but by pre-planning for each and every week of the Fantasy Baseball season, you can often get a jump on the trends that are brewing around the league. Let’s take a look at how Week 20 of the MLB campaign is shaping up. 

Braves734at COL (4), vs.CIN (3)
Marlins633vs.SF (3), at NYM (3)
Mets752at NYY (2), vs.NYY (2), vs.MIA (3)
Phillies707at SD (3). at SF (4)
Nationals624vs.LAA (2), at SD (4)
Cubs770vs.CIN (4), vs.TOR (3)
Reds707at CHC (4), at ATL (3)
Brewers523vs.PIT (2), at COL (3)
Pirates642at MIL (2), vs.STL (4)
Cardinals606at BOS (2), at PIT (4)
Diamondbacks725vs.HOU (2), at HOU (2), at MIN (3)
Rockies770vs.ATL (4), vs.MIL (3)
Dodgers523vs.CWS (2), at DET (3)
Padres770vs.PHI (3), vs.WSH (4)
Giants743at MIA (3), vs.PHI (4)
Orioles633at SEA (3), vs.LAA (3)
Red Sox660vs.CLE (1), vs.STL (2), vs.NYY (3)
Yankees725vs.NYM (2), at NYM (2), at BOS (3)
Rays734at TOR (4), vs.SEA (3)
Blue Jays743vs.TB (4), at CHC (3)
White Sox606at LAD (2), at TEX (4)
Indians707at BOS (1), at MIN (3), at KC (3)
Tigers633at TEX (3), vs.LAD (3)
Royals633at OAK (3), vs.CLE (3)
Twins660vs.CLE (3), vs.ARI (3)
Astros752at ARI (2), vs.ARI (2), vs.OAK (3)
Angels505at WSH (2), at BAL (3)
A's633vs.KC (3), at HOU (3)
Mariners633vs.BAL (3), at TB (3)
Rangers770vs.DET (3), vs.CWS (4)

Leading Off

Right off the bat, there are three teams with short, five-game slates this week, as both clubs from Los Angeles along with the Brew Crew from Milwaukee will all receive two of the next seven days off. Exactly half of the league’s 30 teams have a seven-game load on the docket.

Of those 15 teams, the N.L. Wild Card-leading Rockies will hit the field at home in the thin-aired environment of Coors Field. According to ESPN’s Park Factors, Coors Field is well on its way to a sixth straight season of being the league’s top run-producing park. The Rockies, as is usually the case, have taken full advantage of the elements in Denver so far this season, putting up an impressive .864 team OPS while scoring nearly 6.2 runs per game. It is probably best to avoid any pitcher from the Braves or Brewers scheduled to battle the Rockies this week. Jimmy Nelson might be the exception on Friday evening, but the even he, at best, is risky coming off his worst outing of the season.

News From the Mound

Stephen Strasburg (elbow), who has been on the DL since exiting a start in Arizona back on July 23 after just two innings, tossed 57 pitches in a simulated game this past Wednesday and expects to deliver as many as 75 during a rehab assignment for High-A Potomac on Monday night. If all continues to go well, the three-time All-Star could be set to return to a big-league mound in San Diego on Saturday.

Alex Cobb is having a solid bounce-back campaign for the Rays, but he currently sits on the DL dealing with turf toe. The issue is reportedly minor and not expected to hold him out more than one start. Cobb last appeared for the Rays back on August 5 and will likely return to the Rays rotation next weekend.

After surrendering seven runs (six earned) across six innings at Yankee Stadium back on July 31, Tigers righty Michael Fulmer was placed on the DL due to elbow inflammation. The 2016 A.L. Rookie of the Year emerged from a bullpen session this past Friday feeling confident that he will return to the Detroit rotation Monday night in Texas.

***None of the SP from the “News” (above) will be in this week’s rankings (below).

AstrosDiamondbacks2NoJake Marisnick, Derek Fisher
DiamondbacksAstros2YesBrandon Drury
DiamondbacksTwins3YesBrandon Drury
Blue JaysCubs3NoKendrys Morales
White SoxDodgers2NoNick Delmonico
DodgersTigers3YesChase Utley, Enrique Hernandez
AngelsNationals2NoC.J. Cron
MetsYankees2YesBrandon Nimmo
YankeesMets2NoAaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury
CardinalsRed Sox2YesJose Martinez

Top 50 SP Rankings

1Chris Salevs. Yankees 
2Max Scherzer@Padres 
3Corey Kluber@Royals 
4Gio Gonzalezvs. Angels@Padres
5Madison Bumgarner@Marlinsvs. Phillies
6Danny Salazar@Twins@Royals
7Jacob deGrom@Yankeesvs. Marlins
8Yu Darvishvs. White Sox 
9Aaron Nola@Giants 
10Zack Greinkevs. Astros@Twins
11Jake Arrietavs. Blue Jays 
12Alex Woodvs. White Sox 
13Justin Verlander@Rangers 
14Trevor Bauer@Red Sox@Royals
15Rich Hill@Tigers 
16Chris Archer@Blue Jays 
17Sonny Grayvs. Mets@Red Sox
18Jon Lestervs. Reds 
19Cole Hamelsvs. Tigers 
20Zack Godley@Twins 
21Jose Quintanavs. Redsvs. Blue Jays
22Carlos Carrasco@Twins 
23Hyun-Jin Ryu@Tigers 
24Drew Pomeranzvs. Yankees 
25Lance Lynn@Red Sox 
26Luis Severino@Mets 
27Brad Peacock@Diamondbacksvs. A's
28Dinelson Lametvs. Philliesvs. Nationals
29Gerrit Cole@Brewers 
30Carlos Martinez@Pirates 
31Kenta Maeda@Tigers 
32Marco Estradavs. Rays@Cubs
33Eduardo Rodriguezvs. Cardinals 
34Marcus Stromanvs. Rays 
35Jameson Taillonvs. Cardinals 
36Kevin Gausman@Marinersvs. Angels
37Charlie Mortonvs. Diamondbacks 
38Carlos Rodon@Dodgers 
39Jacob Faria@Blue Jays 
40Kyle Hendricksvs. Redsvs. Blue Jays
41Jimmy Nelson@Rockies 
42Jake Junis@A'svs. Indians
43Jerad Eickhoff@Padres@Giants
44Michael Wacha@Pirates 
45Danny Duffy@A's 
46J.A. Happ@Cubs 
47Tanner Roarkvs. Angels 
48Parker Bridwell@Orioles 
49Ervin Santanavs. Diamondbacks 
50German Marquezvs. Brewers 

Cole Hamels has been nothing short of an “Ace” form since the calendar flipped to August. The veteran southpaw worked seven scoreless frames against the Astros this past Friday and has now gone 16.0 innings without allowing an earned run (one unearned) so far this month. Hamels did take a sharp smack to the knee on a grounder off the bat of Jose Altuve during the fourth inning of Friday’s outing and has reportedly been dealing with some soreness ever since. Monitor his status leading up to Wednesday’s scheduled matchup versus the Tigers, but roll with him if all looks good. On top of his recent performance, Hamels is 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA across seven home starts this season.

Similarly to Hamels, but obviously scarier, Lance Lynn took a 105 mph line drive off the right side of his head during the third inning of his start this past Thursday. Amazingly, Lynn reportedly demanded that Manager Mike Matheny allow him to remain in the game, after which the 6’5, 280 pound right-hander proceeded to finish off his seventh consecutive quality start. Over those past seven outings, Lynn has gone 4-0 while cruising to the tune of a 1.45 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across 43.1 innings.

Marco Estrada is a two-start pitcher for the week that has suddenly surged back up the rankings. After struggling mightily (9.52 ERA) during a nine-start stretch from June 1 to July 21, he has rebounded to turn in a terrific 2.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 22-to-10 K/BB ratio across 26.0 innings over his last four appearances. Estrada has certainly earned his way back into fantasy relevance. 

51Edwin Jackson@Padres 
52Rick Porcellovs. Cardinals 
53Jake Odorizzi@Blue Jaysvs. Mariners
54Luis Castillo@Cubs@Braves
55Jeff Samardzijavs. Phillies 
56Jon Grayvs. Braves 
57Dylan Bundyvs. Angels 
58Patrick Corbin@Astros 
59Ty Blach@Marlinsvs. Phillies
60John Lackeyvs. Reds 
61Ubaldo Jimenez@Mariners 
62Dan Strailyvs. Giants 
63Taijuan Walker@Astros 
64Jason Hammel@A's 
65Jhoulys Chacinvs. Nationals 
66Collin McHugh@Diamondbacksvs. A's
67Doug Fistervs. Indiansvs. Yankees
68Mike Leake@Red Sox@Pirates
69Jaime Garcia@Mets 
70Brandon Woodruffvs. Pirates 
71Jeremy Hellicksonvs. Angels 
72Jose Urenavs. Giants 
73Trevor Williamsvs. Cardinals 
74Adam Wainwright@Pirates 
75Dallas Keuchelvs. A's 

Nate Miller is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and has been an analyst in the industry since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad, where he is always up for fielding any Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Football or DFS questions.