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 19 of the MLB campaign is shaping up. 

Braves523vs.PHI (2), at STL (3)
Marlins734at WSH (4), vs.COL (3)
Mets624vs.TEX (2), at PHI (4)
Phillies642at ATL (2), vs.NYM (4)
Nationals770vs.MIA (4), vs.SF (3)
Cubs606at SF (3), at ARI (3)
Reds743vs.SD (4), at MIL (3)
Brewers752at MIN (2), vs.MIN (2), vs.CIN (3)
Pirates725vs.DET (2), at DET (2), at TOR (3)
Cardinals752at KC (2), vs.KC (2), vs.ATL (3)
Diamondbacks660vs.LAD (3), vs.CHC (3)
Rockies505at CLE (2), at MIA (3)
Dodgers633at ARI (3), vs.SD (3)
Padres707at CIN (4), at LAD (3)
Giants633vs.CHC (3), at WSH (3)
Orioles707at LAA (3), at OAK (4)
Red Sox505at TB (2), at NYY (3)
Yankees633at TOR (3), vs.BOS (3)
Rays660vs.BOS (2), vs.CLE (4)
Blue Jays660vs.NYY (3), vs.PIT (3)
White Sox660vs.HOU (3), vs.KC (3)
Indians624vs.COL (2), at TB (4)
Tigers752at PIT (2), vs.PIT (2), vs.MIN (3)
Royals725vs.STL (2), at STL (2), at CWS (3)
Twins725vs.MIL (2), at MIL (2), at DET (3)
Astros606at CWS (3), at TEX (3)
Angels734vs.BAL (3), at SEA (4)
A's660vs.SEA (2), vs.BAL (4)
Mariners642at OAK (2), vs.LAA (4)
Rangers532at NYM (2), vs.HOU (3)

Leading Off

Right off the bat, a few five-game slates for teams that all feature several fantasy-relevant assets need to be accounted for when planning for the week, as the Red Sox, Braves, Rockies and Rangers all have short schedules on the docket.

The only club with as many as seven home games this week is the N.L. East leading Nationals, who enter play on Sunday with a commanding 13-game lead in the division. Not only do the Nationals love hitting in their home park, as evidenced by an average of 5.6 runs per game on the back of a stout .842 OPS, but Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez, the top two arms in the rotation right now, have a combined 2.41 ERA when pitching in D.C. You will find more on Scherzer and Gonzalez below.

News From the Mound

More from the nation’s capital, as Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is reportedly progressing in his throwing program, but he still remains without a set timetable to return to the rotation. The oft-injured righty has not been on the mound for the Nationals since July 23, and with the previously mentioned lead the team has in their division, there is little reason for Strasburg to be rushed back into action. There seems to be a slight possibility he picks up a start next weekend, but it’s probably best to plan to be without Strasburg for at least one more week.

Robbie Ray of the Diamondbacks is in facing a similar scenario. The All-Star southpaw was struck in the head by a line drive during a start in St. Louis back on July 28 and has been on the Concussion DL ever since. Ray did resume throwing this past Friday and has been traveling with the team, so it appears a return to action is imminent. The D’Backs will not necessarily need a fifth man in the rotation until Saturday when they host the Cubs. That could well be the target for Ray.

Interleague Outlook

RockiesIndians2YesRaimel Tapia
TigersPirates2NoVictor Martinez
PiratesTigers2YesAdam Frazier
PiratesBlue Jays3YesAdam Frazier, Jose Osuna
CardinalsRoyals2YesJose Martinez
RoyalsCardinals2NoBrandon Moss
BrewersTwins2YesJesus Aguilar
TwinsBrewers2NoRobbie Grossman
RangersMets2NoMike Napoli

Top-50 SP

1Corey Klubervs. Rockies@Rays
2Max Scherzervs. Marlinsvs. Giants
3Chris Sale@Rays 
4James Paxtonvs. Angels 
5Jacob deGromvs. Rangers 
6Luis Severinovs. Red Sox 
7Gio Gonzalezvs. Marlins 
8Danny Salazar@Rays 
9Jake Arrieta@Giants@Diamondbacks
10Rich Hillvs. Padres 
11Jimmy Nelsonvs. Reds 
12Madison Bumgarnervs. Cubs 
13Zack Greinkevs. Dodgers 
14Lance Lynnvs. Royals 
15Aaron Nolavs. Mets 
16Justin Verlandervs. Pirates 
17Michael Wacha@Royalsvs. Braves
18Zack Godleyvs. Dodgersvs. Cubs
19Jose Quintana@Giants 
20Masahiro Tanaka@Blue Jays 
21Danny Duffy@Cardinals 
22Drew Pomeranz@Yankees 
23Sonny Gray@Blue Jays 
24Carlos Martinez@Royalsvs. Braves
25Chris Archervs. Indians 
26Kevin Gausman@A's 
27Yu Darvish@Diamondbacks 
28Dallas Keuchel@White Sox@Rangers
29Jacob Fariavs. Indians 
30Trevor Bauervs. Rockies 
31Alex Wood@Diamondbacks 
32Michael Foltynewicz@Cardinals 
33Collin McHugh@White Sox 
34Kenta Maeda@Diamondbacksvs. Padres
35Jason Vargasvs. Cardinals@White Sox
36Hyun-Jin Ryuvs. Padres 
37Jon Lester@Diamondbacks 
38Carlos Carrasco@Rays 
39Brent Suter@Twinsvs. Reds
40Kyle Hendricks@Giants 
41Jon Gray@Marlins 
42Gerrit Cole@Tigers 
43J.A. Happvs. Yankeesvs. Pirates
44Jhoulys Chacin@Reds@Dodgers
45Luis Castillovs. Padres 
46Brad Peacock@White Sox 
47Marcus Stromanvs. Pirates 
48Alex Cobbvs. Indians 
49Jose Berrios@Tigers 
50German Marquez@Indians 


Max Scherzer has pitched just 1.0 inning since July 27. Manager Dusty Baker decided to give the defending N.L. Cy Young Award winner some extra time to rest his ailing neck, as he worked a bullpen session Saturday and plans to return to the mound to set up a two-start week with an outing against the Marlins on Monday.

Scherzer’s teammate Gio Gonzalez will also take the mound against the Marlins on extended rest this week after being away from the team on paternity leave. The veteran lefty’s last start, in which he allowed only one hit and three walks with five strikeouts across 8.0 scoreless frames, came on July 31 down in Miami.

Following an incredibly frustrating first half of the season which included a demotion to the bullpen and a trip to the disabled list, Danny Salazar has been nothing short of ace-like through three starts since returning to the Indians rotation. Over that stretch, Salazar has put up a sensational 1.35 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and and 28-to-5 K/BB rate across 20.0 innings.

Another resurgent starter in search of a big second half after pitching well short of his potential in the early months of the season cracks the Top-10 this week, as Jake Arrieta has certainly figured some things out since the beginning of July. Over his last half-dozen outings, Arrieta has cruised to the tune of a 2.08 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 31-to-11 K/BB ratio across 39.0 innings. Perhaps most impressive is that the opposition is hitting a mere .154 against him during that span. 

Next-25 SP

51Dinelson Lamet@Reds 
52Sean Manaeavs. Orioles 
53Carlos Rodonvs. Astros 
54Taijuan Walkervs. Dodgers 
55Matt Garza@Twinsvs. Reds
56Jeff Samardzija@Nationals 
57J.C. Ramirezvs. Orioles@Mariners
58Ervin Santanavs. Brewers@Tigers
59Mike Leakevs. Royals 
60Charlie Morton@Rangers 
61Jason Hammel@Cardinals 
62Adam Wainwrightvs. Braves 
63Ian Kennedy@White Sox 
64Patrick Corbinvs. Cubs 
65Cole Hamelsvs. Astros 
66Zach Daviesvs. Twins 
67Parker Bridwellvs. Orioles@Mariners
68Eduardo Rodriguez@Yankees 
69Rick Porcello@Rays 
70Tanner Roarkvs. Marlins 
71Mike Fiers@Rangers 
72Dan Straily@Nationals 
73Brandon Woodruffvs. Twins 
74Asher Wojciechowskivs. Padres 
75Jose Urenavs. 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.