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Start and sit hitters for Week 3

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Though normally in Fantasy Baseball, you'd start your best players every week regardless of matchups, in those weeks when you do need a fill-in, whether because of injuries or the total collapse of a trusted starter, Scott White is here to help.

At each position, he'll list the players who are "too obvious" for the upcoming week, meaning the ones you wouldn't consider sitting for anyone off the list, and then suggest a start and a sit based on a variety of short-term factors.

All stats are updated through Thursday, April 10.

Dustin Pedroia's status is up in the air because of a wrist injury. He's getting the wrist examined, so he could potentially avoid a DL stint, but unless we pass on a favorable report early Monday, you probably shouldn't chance it in mixed leagues.

Thanks in part to an illness interfering with his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, Shane Victorino won't return from the DL when first eligible Tuesday, but will instead begin a rehab assignment. Victorino's return could impact Jackie Bradley's or Daniel Nava's playing time -- the Red Sox haven't decided which yet -- but they'll have another week to duke it out.

With five consecutive starts (including one at third base), Mark Reynolds appears to have emerged as an everyday player in Milwaukee, ending his platoon with Lyle Overbay. That's good news for the Rotisserie owner looking for power off the waiver wire, but we all know Reynolds' limitations by now. He's basically Chris Carter, but with eligibility at third base.

And with that, on to the position-by-position breakdown ...

Catcher

Too obvious: Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Yadier Molina, Jonathan Lucroy, Wilin Rosario, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Salvador Perez

Scott's sleepers for Week 3
Player Own/Start %
1. Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA 96/69
2. Norichika Aoki, OF, KC 74/47
3. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD 94/61
4. Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA 75/50
5. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL 71/51
6. Leonys Martin, OF, TEX 78/52
7. Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC 66/26
8. Ben Revere, OF, PHI 56/41
9. Marlon Byrd, OF, PHI 54/31
10. Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, SEA 76/52

Start: Dioner Navarro, Blue Jays
After a slow start that had everyone questioning if his breakthrough for the Cubs last year would translate to a full-time role, the portly backstop is 5 for 15 with four doubles over his last four games and has favorable matchups this week against the Twins and Indians. He should tee off on pitchers like Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and Kyle Gibson, making him a nice consolation for those who missed out on Devin Mesoraco in two-catcher leagues.
Instead of: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Tyler Flowers

Sit: Russell Martin, Pirates
Martin is even hotter than Navarro, having just homered twice in the same game Wednesday, but he's a notoriously inconsistent player who tends to do most of his damage in short, unpredictable spurts. Starting him because he's the hot hand is typically ill-advised, especially when the matchups aren't in his favor. In his seven games against the Reds and Brewers this week, the only weak link is Mike Leake.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, Devin Mesoraco, Navarro

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols, Jose Abreu, Mark Trumbo, Eric Hosmer, Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Carlos Santana, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Adams, Allen Craig, Anthony Rizzo

Start: Justin Smoak, Mariners
Remember how I advised you to sit Smoak last week? It wasn't because I can't fathom the possibility of him finally breaking out this season, but because the Mariners had some of the worst matchups of any team. Well, this week, they have the best, which should help us determine if he has staying power. The "too obvious" list is so deep at first base that you may not be able to fit him into your lineup, but he's worth a shot if you have some flexibility.
Instead of: Brandon Moss, Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche

Sit: Casey McGehee, Marlins
McGehee has already cooled off from his torrid start, going 1 for 16 over his last four games, but he's still getting too much love from those who overemphasized the first week of games. If you didn't start him from the get-go, you probably missed out on the best he has to offer. His matchups against the Cardinals and Pirates this week should help reduce the career .257 hitter to NL-only status.
Instead of: Corey Hart, Adam Lind, Smoak

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Matt Carpenter, Ian Kinsler, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, Aaron Hill, Jose Altuve, Brandon Phillips

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Mariners @TEX4, @MIA3
2. Royals @HOU3, MIN3
3. Rangers SEA4, CHW3
4. Padres COL4, SF3
5. Braves @PHI4, @NYM3

Start: Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Gyorko is off to a dreadful start, which is true to form for a free-swinging, all-or-nothing type. OK, so it's unfair to label him such so early his career, but after the ups and downs of his rookie season, you had to expect some inconsistency. The good news is that after two weeks of nothing, he's a good bet to go off against pitchers like Franklin Morales, Juan Nicasio, Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson and Tim Lincecum.
Instead of: Brian Dozier, Kolten Wong

Sit: Emilio Bonifacio, Cubs
While Bonifacio has no doubt proven his worth as the Cubs' leadoff hitter, he doesn't deserve your undying loyalty at what is actually one of the deeper positions in Fantasy, offering more than one quality option to go around in a 12-team league. If he's your primary source of steals in a Rotisserie league, that's one thing, but with only five games on tap for the Cubs this week -- including four against Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Tony Cingrani and Homer Bailey -- you shouldn't expect Bonifacio to perform like a top-12 second baseman.
Instead of: Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Gyorko

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Carlos Santana, Martin Prado, Pedro Alvarez

Start: Kyle Seager, Mariners
Seager was "too obvious" at this position each of the first two weeks, but his 3-for-23 (.130) start has Fantasy owners sitting him in droves. He's proven his worth with back-to-back productive seasons, though, and is a good bet to come around against pitchers like Robbie Ross, Colby Lewis, Tanner Scheppers, Henderson Alvarez and Brad Hand this week. His four games at Texas to begin the week could be especially productive. He has hit .374 with six home runs and a 1.102 OPS in 99 career at-bats there.
Instead of: Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts

Sit: Chase Headley, Padres
Even though the Padres have one of the five best hitting schedules this week, I can't bring myself to endorse Headley, not with the kind of start he's had. Coming off a horrible spring that only added to the skepticism after a disappointing 2013, he's 4 for 32 with no extra-base hits through eight games. He's never performed his best at home anyway, and that's where the Padres play all seven of their games this week.
Instead of: Ramirez, Mike Moustakas, Chris Johnson

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Jean Segura, Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, Brad Miller

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cubs @NYY2, CIN3
2. Nationals @MIA3, STL4
3. Cardinals @MIL3, @WAS4
4. Twins TOR3, @KC3
5. Orioles TB3, @BOS3

Start: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
At 75 percent, Lowrie is started in too many leagues to qualify for the sleepers table above, but at the weakest position in Fantasy, he probably needs to be universally started this week. His three games against the Astros alone should be enough to get his batting average up to snuff. Though he hasn't made headlines with his performance so far, he's proven his worth with his patient approach, which has him on pace for 202 walks and 141 runs. You read that right.
Instead of: Xander Bogaerts, Starlin Castro, Andrelton Simmons

Sit: Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
With two hits in 29 at-bats so far, Peralta hasn't given his owners much incentive to start him just yet, but he's probably better than what they'll find on waivers at the weakest position in Fantasy. Those with options, though, shouldn't hold out hope for a turnaround this week, not with Matt Garza, Marco Estrada, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez on tap.
Instead of: Dee Gordon, Jimmy Rollins

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista, Shin-Soo Choo, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gomez, Matt Holliday, Jay Bruce, Justin Upton, Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Mark Trumbo, Jayson Werth, Wil Myers, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Heyward, Allen Craig, Domonic Brown, Starling Marte, Ben Zobrist, Martin Prado, Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Beltran, Matt Kemp, Desmond Jennings, Nelson Cruz

Start: Norichika Aoki, Royals
While the lineup around him can't seem to get it together, Aoki has turned the corner after an 0-for-9 start, going 10 for 20 with two doubles, two triples and a stolen base in his last five games. Though you could make a case for any of his teammates, Mike Moustakas included, against the bottom-feeder Astros and Twins rotations this week, Aoki should genuinely inspire confidence. Which of Lucas Harrell, Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman, Ricky Nolasco, Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes is going to trip him up?
Instead of: Angel Pagan, Charlie Blackmon, Carl Crawford

Sit: Kole Calhoun, Angels
The Angels' matchups aren't among the five worst this week, but they do face three legitimately tough pitchers in Dan Straily, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez. That wouldn't keep you from starting Calhoun if he was playing his best, but he still has yet to put together a multi-hit game and was recently bumped from the leadoff spot. He's not exactly a disaster waiting to happen this week, but at a deep position like the outfield, you'll find no shortage of sleepers.
Instead of: Leonys Martin, Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

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Player News
Buster Posey smacks walkoff home run Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Giants catcher Buster Posey went 3 for 5 with three RBI and hit a walkoff, two-run home run in his team's 4-2 win over the Rockies Wednesday.

Posey gave his team a 2-1 lead with an RBI single in the seventh inning, but the Rockies managed to even the game in the top of the ninth. The catcher came up with one on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and came through with a game-ending homer. Posey has hit .292/.348/.465 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI in 449 at-bats.


Juan Nicasio takes loss vs. Giants Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:21 am ET) Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio was stuck with a loss Wednesday, allowing a walkoff two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth in his team's 4-2 defeat against the Giants.

Nicasio (5-6) wrapped two strikeouts around a single before Buster Posey deposited a pitch over the left-field wall to end the game. He's surrendered six earned runs in 10 innings since rejoining the team in early August. Nicasio owns a 5.86 ERA and 55:28 K:BB ratio in 83 innings.


Santiago Casilla blows save, picks up win Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:18 am ET) Giants closer Santiago Casilla blews a save opportunity Wednesday, giving up one earned run on one hit and one walk in one inning, but he still managed to pick up a win in his team's 4-2 victory over the Rockies.

Casilla (2-3) threw just five of his 15 pitches for strikes Wednesday, and a Justin Morneau double brought home a run and cost the closer a save. He owns a 1.71 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 39:14 K:BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings.


Albert Pujols dealing with calf tightness
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:16 am ET) Angels first baseman Albert Pujols was removed from Wednesday's game due to minor calf tightness, MLB.com reports.

The injury isn't expected to cost Pujols time, as manager Mike Scioscia expects to have him in the lineup Thursday. The first baseman went 0 for 3 with a walk and an RBI before coming out of Wednesday's game.


Mike Trout smashes 30th home run in win vs. Marlins
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:14 am ET) Angels outfielder Mike Trout went 2 for 3 with two walks, a home run and two RBI in his team's 6-1 win over the Marlins Wednesday.

Trout tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single in the third inning and piled on with his seventh-inning solo home run. He has four multi-hit performances in his last six games, with three including a home run. Trout has hit .291/.378/.565 with 30 home runs and 94 RBI in 501 at-bats.


Tim Hudson strikes out eight vs. Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) Giants pitcher Tim Hudson didn't factor into the decision Wednesday, giving up one earned run on four hits and one walk in eight innings while striking out eight in his team's 4-2 win over the Rockies.

Hudson hadn't completed eight innings in a start since the end of June, and he needed just 87 pitches to pull off the feat Wednesday. His only damage came on a fifth-inning home run. Hudson owns a 2.90 ERA and 106:29 K:BB ratio in 167 2/3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Rockies again Monday, this time in Colorado.


Franklin Morales allows one run in no-decision vs. Giants
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:10 am ET) Rockies pitcher Franklin Morales didn't factor into the decision Wednesday, allowing one earned run on seven hits and one walk in six innings while striking out six in his team's 4-2 loss to the Giants.

Morales hadn't completed six innings while holding the opposition to one run or fewer since April before doing so Wednesday, when his only run came on a bunt single in the fourth inning. He owns a 5.14 ERA and 86:55 K:BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings. Morales is scheduled to face the Giants again Monday.


Zach Duke takes first loss Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:10 am ET) Brewers pitcher Zach Duke was stuck with his first loss Wednesday, giving up one earned run on two hits and one walk while recording two outs in his team's 3-2, 10th-inning defeat against the Padres.

Duke (4-1) put the first two batters of the bottom of the 10th inning on base but looked like he may escape with the game still tied after retiring the next two batters. It didn't happen, as a single brought home the game-ending run. Duke, who has put together a rocky August, owns a 2.47 ERA and 63:15 K:BB ratio in 51 innings.


Henderson Alvarez gives up five runs in loss vs. Angels
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:01 am ET) Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez took a loss Wednesday, surrendering five earned runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings while striking out three in his team's 6-1 defeat against the Angels.

Alvarez (10-6) watched a four-start winning streak end Wednesday, allowing three runs in the third inning before serving up solo home runs in the fourth and seventh innings. He's now given up four home runs in his last two starts combined. Alvarez owns a 2.75 ERA and 97:29 K:BB ratio in 157 innings. He's scheduled to face the Mets Monday.


Hector Santiago strikes out six in win vs. Marlins
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:01 am ET) Angels pitcher Hector Santiago earned a win Wednesday, allowing one earned run on three hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings while striking out six in his team's 6-1 victory over the Marlins.

Santiago (4-7) fell behind 1-0 after surrendering a home run in the third inning, but he was able to buckle down and hold the Marlins at bay over the rest of the start. He owns a 3.28 ERA and 94:41 K:BB ratio in 107 innings. Santiago is set to face the Astros Tuesday.


 
 
 
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