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Hit Parade for Week 2

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: We don't state the obvious here at CBSSports.com because we don't want to waste your time (or ours). Scott won't be suggesting you start Evan Longoria or Andrew McCutchen. Instead, he'll be focusing on the fringe players on every roster to help you make those tough weekly lineup decisions. These designations indicate a player's Fantasy value for the current week only.

All stats are updated through Wednesday, April 3.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Schedule: PIT3, LAD3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Jason Kubel, Gerardo Parra
The four left-handers, which include Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the Dodgers series, are the key to the Diamondbacks' schedule this week. Other than Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado, who you'd obviously be starting anyway, nobody in the lineup benefits from facing them, but Kubel and Parra could suffer, judging by their splits last year. Kubel actually sat against the left-handed Jaime Garcia Tuesday, so you'll want to avoid him.

Atlanta Braves

Schedule: @MIA3, @WAS3
Worth a second look: Andrelton Simmons
Less than advisable: None
Simmons is one of those so-called "fringe" players who'll probably be advisable more weeks than not. With his high contact rate and run-scoring potential at the top of a loaded lineup, I can't think of too many scenarios that would compel me to sit him, other than simply having a higher-end alternative. If you didn't draft a Starlin Castro, Jimmy Rollins, Asdrubal Cabrera or someone of that ilk, continue to roll with him.
Scott's sleepers for Week 2
Player Start %
1. Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies 55
2. Lucas Duda, OF, Mets 17
3. Ben Revere, OF, Phillies 64
4. Jayson Werth, OF, Nationals 43
5. Lance Berkman, 1B, Rangers 39
6. Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees 49
7. Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds 57
8. Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox 21
9. Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants 36
10. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Indians 31

Baltimore Orioles

Schedule: @BOS3, @NYY3
Worth a second look: Nick Markakis
Less than advisable: Nate McLouth
Markakis might not seem like the most attractive start with the three lefties on tap, but he actually performed better against them (.313 batting average) than righties (.291) last year and gets to take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium this week. McLouth, on the other hand, hit less than .200 against lefties last year, and will likely continue to lose at-bats to Steve Pearce against them.

Boston Red Sox

Schedule: BAL3, TB3
Worth a second look: Will Middlebrooks
Less than advisable: Jackie Bradley
Will Middlebrooks' slow start, if you could call it that, is likely a product of the fever he's been dealing with. In mixed leagues you stick with him, especially with the team returning to Fenway Park this week. With a bunch of control artists on tap for the Red Sox, I have a hunch Bradley's batting eye will be wasted this week. You could do worse than him, of course, but most mixed-leaguers have options.

Chicago Cubs

Schedule: MIL3, SF4
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Welington Castillo
The Cubs are one of only six teams that play seven games this week, which might mean something to Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo owners if they weren't predisposed to starting those players already. With the six righties on tap, I don't know that I'd turn to Castillo as my second catcher this week. He did almost all of his damage against lefties in his 170 at-bats last year, batting .476.

Chicago White Sox

Schedule: @WAS3, @CLE3
Worth a second look: Tyler Flowers
Less than advisable: Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez
I'm not elevating Flowers to top-12 status just because he homered in his first two games, but certainly in leagues where every team starts two catchers, you'll want to ride the hot hand. Provided your league is shallow enough that Dunn is a fringe option, you'll want to sit him with the DH unavailable half the week. I'm guessing he'll play the field in one of those three games at Washington, but that's it.

Cincinnati Reds

Schedule: @STL3, @PIT3
Worth a second look: Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey
Less than advisable: Zack Cozart
The Heisey recommendation is probably one better left for deeper leagues -- NL-only and the like -- but as we count down the weeks until Billy Hamilton's promotion with the injury to Ryan Ludwick, I'll admit he can provide some cheap power. Certainly, in a week he's facing three lefties, I'm willing to give him a look. The right-handed hitter had a .827 OPS against southpaws last season.
Most added hitters (as of 4/5)
Player Own %
1. Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF, Red Sox 62
2. Lance Berkman, 1B, Rangers 70
3. Gerardo Parra, OF, D-Backs 31
4. Collin Cowgill, OF, Mets 25
5. Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox 34
6. Jed Lowrie, SS, Athletics 57
7. Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals 78
8. Justin Maxwell, OF, Astros 21
9. Jean Segura, SS, Brewers 63
10. Evan Gattis, C, Braves 18

Cleveland Indians

Schedule: NYY4, CHW3
Worth a second look: Nick Swisher, Lonnie Chisenhall
Less than advisable: None
I wouldn't label Swisher a must-start, but as steady as he is from year to year, you'd need a pretty good reason to sit him. Matchups against Ivan Nova, David Phelps and Dylan Axelrod in a seven-game week aren't it. After an unfavorable schedule the first week, this week's matchups could also get Chisenhall back to hitting like he did this spring, if you have a hole at third base.

Colorado Rockies

Schedule: @SF3, @SD3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Josh Rutledge, Michael Cuddyer
After a week of games in hitter's parks (including three at home), the Rockies travel to two of the game's more pitcher-friendly venues this week. Even with the altered dimensions at PETCO Park, I'm not sure Rutledge's power will play up at either venue, so if you've been itching to get Erick Aybar or Andrelton Simmons into your lineup, this might be the week.

Detroit Tigers

Schedule: TOR3, @OAK3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Torii Hunter, Andy Dirks, Jhonny Peralta
Frankly, I don't trust any of the Tigers' fringe players in a week they're facing Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker. I didn't include Victor Martinez among them, though I'm sure he's fringy to some. To me, a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk guy is just too attractive to sit in Head-to-Head leagues.

Houston Astros

Schedule: @SEA3, @LAA3
Worth a second look: Jason Castro, Chris Carter
Less than advisable: None
Castro and Carter aren't necessarily advisable sleepers for this week, but in the Astros lineup, they're the two most attractive Fantasy options other than Jose Altuve, who's too obvious to mention. In a week the Astros are facing hittable pitchers like Joe Saunders, Blake Beavan and Tommy Hanson, I feel like I should recommend someone. This one's for you, owners in deeper leagues.

Kansas City Royals

Schedule: MIN3, TOR3
Worth a second look: Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar
Less than advisable: None
I'm thinking the first series against the Twins and their particularly suspect starting trio of Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey and Liam Hendriks will be enough to jumpstart Hosmer and Moustakas, provided they haven't already righted themselves over the weekend. The six games at home should also work in Moustakas' favor, seeing as he produced a .624 OPS on the road last year. I like Hosmer a little more, but both are startable.

Los Angeles Angels

Schedule: OAK3, HOU3
Worth a second look: Erick Aybar
Less than advisable: Peter Bourjos
Batting in between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, Aybar has arguably the most favorable lineup spot in all of baseball -- one where Torii Hunter hit .343 last year. So far, it's worked out well for him, so stick with him. Bourjos should be back to playing every day after the Angels' brief stop in the National League, but he'll need to prove he's his 2011 version before I start him.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Schedule: @SD3, @ARI3
Worth a second look: Carl Crawford, Luis Cruz
Less than advisable: A.J. Ellis
Crawford sat against a left-hander Tuesday, but the Dodgers said it was less about platooning him than easing him in after he missed much of spring training with a sore elbow. The way he has hit so far, you have no reason to shy away from him in a week he's facing Clayton Richard, Eric Stults and Jason Marquis before traveling to a hitter's haven like Chase Field.
Best Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Giants COL3, @CHC4
2. Yankees @CLE4, BAL3
3. Indians NYY4, CHW3
4. Phillies NYM3, @MIA3
5. Dodgers @SD3, @ARI3

Miami Marlins

Schedule: ATL3, PHI3
Worth a second look: Justin Ruggiano
Less than advisable: Juan Pierre
Maybe it's because of the lingering back injury that sidelined him for much of spring training, but Ruggiano isn't even playing every day to begin the season. So why is he worth a second look this week? The Marlins face four left-handers. Those are the games he'll be starting, given his 1.129 OPS against lefties last year. Of course, since two of the lefties are Mike Minor and Cole Hamels, it's more of an NL-only recommendation.

Milwaukee Brewers

Schedule: @CHC3, @STL3
Worth a second look: Jean Segura, Jonathan Lucroy
Less than advisable: None
The Brewers are on the road this week with some favorable matchups in their first three games against the Cubs. With a .329 batting average, Segura did almost all of his damage on the road last year, which may have just been a product of the small sample size, but since he's off to a hot start anyway, I'm counting him among the middle infield sleepers this week. Lucroy was also a road warrior last year, batting .348.

Minnesota Twins

Schedule: @KC3, NYM3
Worth a second look: Justin Morneau
Less than advisable: Aaron Hicks
The Twins' interleague series is at home this week, so you Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee owners don't have to worry about those two losing at-bats. The matchups aren't especially good or bad, but since five of the six starting pitchers on tap are right-handed, you should probably start Morneau and his .902 OPS against righties last season.

New York Mets

Schedule: @PHI3, @MIN3
Worth a second look: Ike Davis, Lucas Duda
Less than advisable: Daniel Murphy
I know some of you are itching to see Collin Cowgill's name in the "worth a second look" category, but with five righties on tap, Davis and Duda are the Mets to profile here. Really, the matchups against Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, Cole De Vries and Kevin Correia work to just about every Met's advantage, as do the six games on the road. Murphy is one of the few who performs better at home.

New York Yankees

Schedule: @CLE4, BAL3
Worth a second look: Brett Gardner, Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez
Less than advisable: None
Yeah, I know, the Yankees are terrible offensively, but what few hitters they have left should benefit from the schedule this week. Not only are they one of only six teams playing seven games, but they're facing two of the most bottom-heavy rotations in the AL. Their toughest test is Wei-Yin Chen, for crying out loud. I don't know if I'd dig as deep as Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, but Gardner and Youkilis are certainly advisable.

Oakland Athletics

Schedule: @LAA3, DET3
Worth a second look: Jed Lowrie
Less than advisable: Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp
The Athletics' matchups are bad enough this week that I advise sitting all of their fringe hitters except Lowrie, who tends to run hot cold and is clearly off to a hot start. Moss in particular should be avoided in mixed leagues. Not only does he figure to sit against the two left-handers, but two of the four right-handers on tap are Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Philadelphia Phillies

Schedule: NYM3, @MIA3
Worth a second look: Domonic Brown, Ben Revere
Less than advisable: Michael Young
Brown hasn't demonstrated his power potential yet, but he has shown off one of his less celebrated attributes: a high contact rate. Really, for as young as he is and as many home runs as he could hit, he doesn't strike out much. I'm sticking with my favorite breakout candidate this week, particularly with nothing but righties on tap (and three of them part of the Marlins' makeshift rotation).

Pittsburgh Pirates

Schedule: @ARI3, CIN3
Worth a second look: None
Less than advisable: Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte
With Gaby Sanchez manning first base, the Pirates have enough excess in their outfield between Jose Tabata and Travis Snider that they might not necessarily stick with Marte through thick and thin. In any case, I'd prefer him to heat up before I start him. The same goes for Alvarez, though because he plays the weaker position, you may not be able to find a suitable alternative.
Worst Five Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Tigers TOR3, @OAK3
2. Athletics @LAA3, DET3
3. Cardinals CIN3, MIL3
4. Marlins ATL3, PHI3
5. Padres LAD3, COL3

San Diego Padres

Schedule: LAD3, COL3
Worth a second look: Everth Cabrera
Less than advisable: Yonder Alonso, Carlos Quentin, Jedd Gyorko
A homestand for the Padres isn't the bad news it used to be now that the fences have come in at PETCO Park, but Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley and Zack Greinke to begin the week is bad news no matter where the Padres are playing. Generally speaking, speedsters are less vulnerable to matchups, and Cabrera has done a good enough job getting on base in the early going that I'm willing to stick with him at a weak position.

San Francisco Giants

Schedule: COL3, @CHC4
Worth a second look: Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro
Less than advisable: None
About ready to give up on Belt because of his early-season illness? Fine, but understand that with matchups like Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio, Jeff Francis, Carlos Villanueva and Travis Wood, he could come roaring back this week. With his home run Wednesday, Sandoval put most of the concerns over his elbow to rest. He should be almost universally started given the favorable matchups.

Seattle Mariners

Schedule: HOU3, TEX4
Worth a second look: Kyle Seager
Less than advisable: Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak
Finally, we get to see what effect Safeco Field's new dimensions will have on the Mariners' hitters. Because the most dramatic changes were in left field, Michael Morse and Jesus Montero figure to benefit the most, but because they're too high-end to recommend here, I'm going with Seager instead. Helping his cause are righties like Philip Humber, Brad Peacock and Nick Tepesch on tap.

St. Louis Cardinals

Schedule: CIN3, MIL3
Worth a second look: Jon Jay, Matt Carpenter
Less than advisable: David Freese, Carlos Beltran
The Cardinals have unfavorable matchups this week against pitchers like Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada, but their lineup is so deep that apart from Carlos Beltran, who might have to sit off and on with a fractured toe, you wouldn't want to sit too many of their hitters. Freese may return from his strained back Monday, but I'll give him a week more just to be sure.

Tampa Bay Rays

Schedule: @TEX3, @BOS3
Worth a second look: Matt Joyce
Less than advisable: Yunel Escobar
The Rays have so many moving pieces in their lineup that it's hard to get a handle on who to start and who to sit in Fantasy. They're at Texas and Boston this week -- two favorable places to hit -- so maybe Joyce will do enough in the four games he's likely to play to factor in deeper leagues. He hit three-fourths of his home runs on the road last year.

Texas Rangers

Schedule: TB3, @SEA4
Worth a second look: Lance Berkman, David Murphy
Less than advisable: Leonys Martin
Oh, who really knows what to make of this Martin-Craig Gentry split? Maybe Martin will sit half the time. Maybe he'll sit mostly against lefties. Maybe he'll sit only the day after he doesn't run out a dropped third strike. I'm hoping it's closer to the latter than the former, but since it's clearly up for debate, I don't think you can trust Martin in mixed leagues, even in a seven-game week.

Toronto Blue Jays

Schedule: @DET3, @KC3
Worth a second look: Adam Lind
Less than advisable: Colby Rasmus
This might be digging a little too deep for owners in standard mixed leagues, but if there's ever a time to start Lind, it's when the Blue Jays are facing nothing but right-handers. He hit .276 with a .795 OPS against righties last year, which doesn't sound like much, but it's significantly better than his numbers against lefties. And though we haven't seen it in a few years, he has some potential beyond that.

Washington Nationals

Schedule: CHW3, ATL3
Worth a second look: Jayson Werth
Less than advisable: Danny Espinosa
Werth is off to a so-so start, but a full week at home should do him some good. He hit .339 there last year. I'm sticking with him, at least in Head-to-Head points leagues. Espinosa's slow start, meanwhile, is a little concerning since we don't yet know how the torn rotator cuff will affect him at the plate. Plenty of middle infield sleepers out there this week.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Angels SS Erick Aybar (hamstring) out of Friday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:22 pm ET) A left hamstring issue has Angels shortstop Erick Aybar set to sit Friday night against Detroit. He sustained the injury on Thursday.

Aybar did run his hitting streak to seven games before going down.


Padres CF Will Venable sits against lefty on Friday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5:18 pm ET) Padres outfielder Will Venable is out of the lineup for Friday's matchup with the Pirates. Venable had started each of the last eight games for the Padres, going 11 for 32 with a double and three RBI in that stretch.

But, with the Pirates throwing a left-hander on Friday, Venable will take a seat. He is just 2 for 9 against southpaws this season.

Switch-hitter Abraham Almonte will get the start in center field and bat seventh on Friday against starter Francisco Liriano. 


Brewers SP Matt Garza pushed back to Monday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:09 pm ET) Brewers starting pitcher Matt Garza will not start Sunday, as prospect Tyler Wagner will be promoted from the minors to make his MLB debut against the Diamondbacks. Manager Craig Counsell said Garza has been pushed back to Monday against the Cardinals.

Counsell said earlier this week he was thinking about pushing back Garza's next start since he was struggling. 

Garza has lost his last four decisions and has seven losses in 10 starts. He has an 11.66 ERA over his last three starts.


Brewers officially tab Tyler Wagner to start Sunday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:05 pm ET) Brewers starting pitcher prospect Tyler Wagner will make his MLB debut Sunday against the Diamondbacks, the team announced Friday. Matt Garza was originally scheduled to start Sunday, but manager Craig Counsell had thought about pushing him back in the rotation since he has been struggling.

The 2012 fourth-round pick is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Biloxi this season. The right-hander has 38 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53 2/3 innings.


White Sox OF Avisail Garcia could be back Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:01 pm ET) The absence of White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia from the lineup with a knee injury will continue Friday night against host Houston. He has been sidelined since Monday.

Garcia did tell CSN Chicago that he ran Friday and will also take fly balls and batting practice. The team is reporting that he could plays Saturday.

He will return in a 3-for-17 slump that has weakened his slash line to a still-wonderful .327/.365/.456.


Athletics SP Sonny Gray (ankle) read to go Friday night
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:50 pm ET) Athletics ace Sonny Gray is set to start Friday night against the Yankees despite a right ankle issue.

Gray has been a victim of non-support lately from a meager Oakland offense. He has allowed five runs in 23 innings over his last four starts, but has just one win to show for it. He is, however, 5-2 with a 1.77 ERA on the year.


Orioles C Matt Wieters to make 2015 debut next Friday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:38 pm ET) Buck Showalter has announced that Orioles veteran catcher Matt Wieters will return next Friday in Cleveland and start that night against the Indians, the Baltimore Sun has reported.

Wieters, who has been sidelined for nearly 13 months following Tommy John surgery, is currently rehabbing at Double-A Bowie. He has not played for Baltimore since May 10, 2014.


Cardinals OF Jon Jay activated off DL on Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:37 pm ET) Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay was activated off the 15-day disabled list Friday. However, he was not in the starting lineup against the Dodgers. 

Jay has been on the disabled list since mid-May due to left wrist tendinitis.


Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon sitting against tough lefty Hamels
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) A matchup against Phillies premier left-hander Cole Hamels has Rockies leadoff hitter and center fielder Charlie Blackmon grabbing some pine Friday night.

Brandon Barnes is set to take over both those spots.

Blackmon is just 8-for-51 against southpaws this season and hitless in four at-bats lifetime against Hamels.

This will mark only his fourth absence from the lineup this season.


Mets' Collins: Bobby Parnell took 'huge step forward' in minors
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Mets manager Terry Collins was happy with the report he received Thursday night about reliever Bobby Parnell. Collins said Parnell's velocity is in the 94-95 mph range.

"It was a huge step forward," Collins said.

Parnell has not allowed a run in two innings since moving his rehab assignment to Double-A. He has allowed one hit and one walk, while recording two strikeouts with Binghamton.


 
 
 
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