It’s virtually impossible to see some things coming, but by preplanning 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 21 of the MLB campaign is shaping up.

Braves660vs.SEA (3), vs.COL (3)
Marlins734at PHI (4), vs.SD (3)
Mets844vs.ARI (4), at WSH (4)
Phillies770vs.MIA (4), vs.CHC (3)
Nationals743at HOU (3), vs.NYM (4)
Cubs606at CIN (3), at PHI (3)
Reds660vs.CHC (3), vs.PIT (3)
Brewers606at SF (3), at LAD (3)
Pirates743vs.LAD (4), at CIN (3)
Cardinals660vs.SD (3), vs.TB (3)
Diamondbacks734at NYM (4), vs. SF (3)
Rockies606at KC (3), at ATL (3)
Dodgers734at PIT (4), vs.MIL (3)
Padres606at STL (3), at MIA (3)
Giants633vs.MIL (3), at ARI (3)
Orioles633vs.OAK (3), at BOS (3)
Red Sox734at CLE (4), vs. BAL (3)
Yankees633at DET (3), vs.SEA (3)
Rays633vs.TOR (3), at STL (3)
Blue Jays633at TB (3), vs.MIN (3)
White Sox880vs.MIN (5), vs.DET (3)
Indians770vs.BOS (4), vs.KC (3)
Tigers633vs.NYY (3), at CWS (3)
Royals633vs.COL (3), at CLE (3)
Twins808at CWS (5), at TOR (3)
Astros633vs.WSH (3), at LAA (3)
Angels770vs.TEX (4), vs.HOU (3)
A's633at BAL (3), vs.TEX (3)
Mariners606at ATL (3), at NYY (3)
Rangers707at LAA (4), at OAK (3)

Leading Off

There are no five-game slates to be aware of this week. Quite the contrary in fact, as 13 teams will play at least seven games over the next seven days with three of those clubs, the Twins, White Sox and Mets, looking at eight-game schedules due to doubleheaders.

News From the Mound

There are plenty of news updates to cover on the pitching front this week, so let’s get right to them.

Chase Anderson (MIL) - Anderson was in the midst of an excellent season before an oblique injury sent him to the DL back on June 28. He will finally get the chance to resume his breakout campaign Sunday afternoon (Aug. 20) on the road at Coors Field. Fantasy owners should monitor that outing

Robbie Ray (ARI) - Ray (concussion) hasn’t appeared on a big-league mound since being struck in the head by a line drive during a start in St. Louis back on July 28. He looked quite strong while striking out 11 batters across 4.2 innings during an 80-pitch rehab start at High-A this past Thursday. Ray is now eyeing a return to the Arizona rotation during the team’s upcoming series in New York.

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) - Tanaka, who has posted a 3.13 ERA and 10.8 K/9 across 31.2 innings since the All-Star break, has been out since August 9 due to inflammation in his right shoulder. He is expected to return to the hill for the Yankees on Tuesday in Detroit.

Yu Darvish (LAD) - Darvish (back) has been outstanding (2.50 ERA, 11.0 K/9) since the trade-deadline deal that sent him from Texas to Los Angeles went down. The four-time All-Star was placed on the disabled list Saturday, but this stint is retroactive to this past Thursday, meaning he could be back as early as Sunday opposite the Brewers.

Max Scherzer (WSH) - The Nationals have been getting hit from all sides by the injury bug lately. Scherzer (neck) was placed on the DL this weekend, but he’s actually eligible to return Friday against the Mets and that is the expectation.

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

NationalsAstros3YesAdrian SanchezAndrew Stevenson,
RaysCardinals3NoLucas Duda, Logan Morrison
MarinersBraves3NoDanny Valencia
RockiesRoyals3YesPat Valaika

Top-50 SP

1Danny Salazarvs. Royals 
2Chris Sale@Indians 
3Alex Wood@Piratesvs. Brewers
4Lance Lynnvs. Padresvs. Rays
5Gio Gonzalezvs. Mets 
6Carlos Carrascovs. Red Soxvs. Royals
7Luis Severino@Tigers 
8Aaron Nolavs. Marlinsvs. Cubs
9Patrick Corbin@Metsvs. Giants
10Jake Arrieta@Reds 
11Stephen Strasburg@Astros 
12Jacob deGrom@Nationals 
13Zack Greinkevs. Giants 
14Carlos Rodonvs. Twinsvs. Tigers
15Gerrit Colevs. Dodgers@Reds
16Marcus Stroman@Raysvs. Twins
17Carlos Martinezvs. Padres 
18Corey Klubervs. Red Sox 
19Rich Hill@Pirates 
20Jose Quintana@Phillies 
21Chris Archervs. Blue Jays 
22Justin Verlander@White Sox 
23Dylan Bundy  
24Trevor Bauervs. Red Sox 
25Madison Bumgarner@Diamondbacks 
26Kenta Maedavs. Brewers 
27Charlie Mortonvs. Nationals@Angels
28Jon Gray@Royals@Braves
29Cole Hamels@Angels 
30Zack Godley@Mets 
31Jimmy Nelson@Giants 
32Dinelson Lamet@Marlins 
33Dallas Keuchelvs. Nationals 
34Sonny Grayvs. Mariners 
35Hyun-Jin Ryu@Pirates 
36John Lackey@Reds@Phillies
37Tanner Roark@Astrosvs. Mets
38Danny Duffyvs. Rockies@Indians
39Kyle Hendricks@Phillies 
40Drew Pomeranz@Indians 
41Luis Castillovs. Pirates 
42Michael Fulmer@White Sox 
43Dan Straily@Philliesvs. Padres
44Collin McHugh@Angels 
45Ervin Santana@White Sox 
46J.A. Happ@Rays 
47Taijuan Walker@Metsvs. Giants
48Jameson Taillonvs. Dodgers@Reds
49Jacob Fariavs. Blue Jays@Cardinals
50Parker Bridwellvs. Astros 


Simply put, no pitcher in the league has been as dominant as Danny Salazar to this point. Through five starts since the All-Star break, the resurgent righty has cruised to the tune of a 1.39 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 46-to-9 K/BB ratio across 32.1 innings. Even with just one start on the docket, all things considered, Salazar is the top man on the mound heading into the new week.

One of Salazar’s teammates, Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, has been adjusted down in the rankings from his typical spot among the top handful of hurlers. As of Sunday morning, Kluber’s next scheduled start could be pushed back due to an ankle issue he suffered last time out. Monitor this situation.

Drew Pomeranz has likewise been placed down a bit in the rankings, as he exited his last outing with back spasms. Pomeranz is expecting to make his next scheduled start, but this is also a situation to keep an eye on.

One two-start pitcher that has made a significant climb up the rankings this week is White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon. Over his last four starts, Rodon has worked to an outstanding 2.12 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 28-to-6 K/BB ratio across 29.2 innings. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this stretch, the opposition for Rodon has been the Indians, Red Sox, Astros and Dodgers respectively.

Next-25 SP


51Rick Porcellovs. Orioles 
52Jhoulys Chacin@Cardinals 
53Chad Bettis@Braves 
54Jose Berrios@White Sox 
55Brad Peacock@Angels 
56Tyler Skaggsvs. Rangersvs. Astros
57Kevin Gausman@Red Sox 
58Eduardo Rodriguez@Indians 
59Zach Davies@Giants@Dodgers
60Jeff Samardzijavs. Brewers 
61Edwin Jackson@Astros 
62Luke Weavervs. Padres 
63Michael Foltynewiczvs. Marinersvs. Rockies
64Alex Cobbvs. Blue Jays 
65German Marquez@Royals 
66Michael Wachavs. Rays 
67J.C. Ramirezvs. Rangers 
68R.A. Dickeyvs. Mariners 
69Jason Hammel@Indians 
70Chris Strattonvs. Brewers@Diamondbacks
71Kyle Freeland@Braves 
72Jose Urena@Phillies 
73Andrew Cashner@Angels 
74Erasmo Ramirez@Braves 
75Sean Newcombvs. Rockies 

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.