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Fantasy baseball forecaster for Week 19: Aug. 12-18

New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela looks like a good plug-and-play option in fantasy baseball leagues this week. Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

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  • The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees play a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Monday -- resulting from the makeup of their May 14 postponement -- and the scheduled 1:05 p.m. ET first pitch of Game 1 sets up an earlier-than-usual start to fantasy's Week 19. It also grants the Yankees the rare eight-game week, with the team hosting the Orioles and Cleveland Indians for four games apiece. If not for a Sunday meeting with Mike Clevinger, who was riding a five-game quality start streak into the week, the Yankees' schedule would grade among the very best of the week on the hitting side. It's still extremely strong for the Yankees' bats, and even better for the team's pitchers, who finally are showing hints of improvement in recent days. Two-start pitchers James Paxton and Domingo German should be locked into your lineups despite their late-July struggles, and fill-in hitters Mike Tauchman (70% available in ESPN leagues), a .412/.467/.838 hitter in 20 games since the All-Star break, Gio Urshela (68%), a .380/.402/.848 hitter in 22 such games, and Cameron Maybin (96%), a .405/.476/.730 hitter in 10, are all strong plug-and-play options.

  • A full week played at home at Coors Field almost always means a favorable hitting schedule for the Colorado Rockies, and Week 19 is no different, with the team hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins for three games apiece. Robbie Ray (Wednesday) is probably the toughest opposing starter they'll face, as well as the only left-hander. Ryan McMahon (86% available in ESPN leagues), a .302/.365/.547 hitter in 25 games since the All-Star break, and Raimel Tapia (98% available), a .277/.317/.460 hitter against righties this season who has started eight of the team's past nine games against right-handers, are both well worth adding and starting.

  • The Coors-visiting Diamondbacks, though, actually fare better on the hitting side than the aforementioned Rockies, in large part because they play an additional game (seven, due to their four-game, weekend series versus the San Francisco Giants). Giants ace Madison Bumgarner isn't even locked into facing the Diamondbacks this week -- their rotation is still somewhat uncertain due to Shaun Anderson's injury -- but even if Bumgarner does stay on turn for Sunday, that'd mean three opposing lefty starters (and a chance for four) for this team that has the majors' widest wOBA differential facing pitchers of that handedness (.353 against lefties, .317 against righties). Nick Ahmed (87% available in ESPN leagues) and Carson Kelly (93% available) have both mashed left-handed pitching this season, with .314/.365/.505 and .387/.479/.758 rates, and both warrant your consideration accordingly.

  • Teams that draw the short end of the stick in terms of total games in Week 19 include the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers, with each playing only five times. The Royals play a pair of interleague series, but fortunately host them both, so designated hitter Jorge Soler won't be at risk of any lost time. The Brewers also host their interleague series against the Minnesota Twins, a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday, so there's no benefit for them in terms of additional playing time thanks to the DH. It's the Royals who are in awful shape as a result of their schedule, as Jack Flaherty (Tuesday), Noah Syndergaard (Friday) and Jacob deGrom (Saturday) are amongst their opposing starting pitchers. Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier and, perhaps, Soler are the only ones worth keeping active in a traditional mixed league.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays have averaged more than five runs per game since the All-Star break (5.04), and while that's no longer the accomplishment it once was -- the league's average during that time span is 4.97 -- it still elevates the team as one of the better-hitting in recent weeks. That's a good pairing with the team's hitting-friendly Week 19 schedule, including a pair of three-game series at home against the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners. Lance Lynn (Tuesday) is the toughest starter the team will face, and three (and potentially four) of the others are scheduled to be left-handers. If you haven't locked Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the team's Nos. 1, 3 and 4 hitters, into your everyday lineups, you certainly must for this week. Randal Grichuk (77% available in ESPN leagues), a .255/.327/.423 hitter against lefties, is also worth activating as the typical No. 6 hitter behind them.

  • One of those Rogers Centre visitors also matches up well on the hitting side, as the Rangers add a four-game series at home against the Twins, who have a 5.18 team ERA in their past 22 games (through Aug. 8), to complete a seven-game schedule. Jose Berrios (Saturday) is the scariest opposing-pitcher matchup, and the Rangers are set to face three (and possibly four) left-handed starters, great news considering they have the widest wOBA split favoring hitting that side since the All-Star break (.375 against lefties, .278 against righties). Danny Santana (still available in 31% of ESPN leagues) is a .326/.352/.616 hitter against lefties this season, while left handed-hitting Willie Calhoun (85% available) and Rougned Odor (39%) both have wOBAs of at least .370 against same-handed pitchers.

  • A couple of rotations are in flux entering Week 19, influencing the two-start pitcher list: The Rockies could skip Chi Chi Gonzalez's turn in the rotation following Thursday's off day, in which case Jon Gray would pick up a second start and vault into the week's top-50 pitcher rankings (he'd be adding a Marlins matchup). The Giants haven't yet announced how they'll fill the aforementioned Anderson's spot, which was originally set to arrive on Tuesday. Bumgarner, who seems likely to make two starts as the team delays its decision, would move down only 16 spots if he's moved off Tuesday.

  • Keep tabs on Nelson Cruz's wrist, as he's in a tougher spot entering Week 19 again due to his Twins beginning with two games at Milwaukee's Miller Park, where they'll lack the DH. The Twins' schedule is generally favorable, and their four week-ending games at Texas' Globe Life Park is plenty to make Cruz a solid start even in shallow leagues. The injury, though, compounds his availability. As for other DH implications, the Oakland Athletics play two of six at San Francisco's AT&T Park and Tampa Bay Rays play three of their six games at San Diego's Petco Park, where both American League teams won't have the DH. Amongst National League teams visiting AL parks, picking up the DH, the New York Mets visit Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium for three of their six games, Pittsburgh Pirates play three of their six at Los Angeles' Angel Stadium and St. Louis Cardinals play two of their six games at Kauffman Stadium.

  • If you're looking for righty/lefty matchup advantages amongst players more suited for deep-mixed (think 14-plus-team) or "only" leagues, consider: Travis d'Arnaud (52% available), .275/.346/.604 hitter against lefties, whose Tampa Bay Rays face four left-handed starters; Leury Garcia (87% available) and James McCann (69%), .324/.356/.482 and .301/.375/.527 hitters against lefties, whose Chicago White Sox face five left-handed starters; Niko Goodrum (86% available), a .378/.435/.537 hitter against lefties, whose Detroit Tigers face five left-handed starters; Robert Perez (89%), a .247/.349/.516 hitter against lefties, whose Cleveland Indians face four left-handed starters; Bryan Reynolds (65%), a .298/.355/.476 hitter against lefties, whose Pittsburgh Pirates face four left-handed starters; and Jesse Winker (66%), a .286/.367/.518 hitter against righties, whose Cincinnati Reds face nothing but right-handed starters.