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Start and sit hitters for Week 8

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, May 15.

A bunch of those players you've had stashed in your DL slots the last few weeks are set to return in the days ahead. Devin Mesoraco (hamstring) was back in the lineup Friday, putting him immediately in the "too obvious" category at catcher. Wilin Rosario (illness) still needs a rehab assignment but, but assuming it goes as planned, is high-end enough to start this week in anticipation of a Tuesday return.

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In the outfield, Michael Cuddyer, who has been out since mid-April with a hamstring injury, is on about the same timetable as Rosario, but Adam Eaton (hamstring), who has been out with a hamstring injury of his own, could return as soon as Sunday. Kole Calhoun (ankle) is expected back Tuesday, but he's returning from a more serious injury and wasn't as established as Cuddyer or Eaton at the time he went down. In standard leagues, you might want to give him a week to shake off the rust.

Starling Marte's back injury is more of the day-to-day variety, but because he has yet to start a game in Fantasy Week 7 (May 12-18), he's hardly automatic heading into this week. In five-outfielder leagues, you should probably give him the benefit of the doubt (unless he winds up on the DL, of course), but if you have any concerns about his playing time in a three-outfielder league, you don't risk losing all that much by benching him, given his performance to date.

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

Catcher

Too obvious: Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Santana, Brian McCann, Miguel Montero, Salvador Perez, Devin Mesoraco, Evan Gattis

Scott's sleepers for Week 8
Player Own/Start %
1. Yangervis Solarte, 2B/3B/SS/OF, NYY 84/72
2. Seth Smith, OF, SD 37/31
3. Brett Gardner, OF, NYY 70/58
4. Yan Gomes, C, CLE 71/59
5. Torii Hunter, OF, DET 84/69
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, SF 72/44
7. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, CLE 68/52
8. Chase Headley, 3B, SD 68/42
9. Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, SEA 49/34
10. Everth Cabrera, SS, SD 76/52

Start: Yan Gomes, Indians
Gomes has had his ups and downs this season, but so far in May, he's batting .308 (12 for 39) with three homers in 10 games, looking more like the player who broke out with a .294 batting average and 11 home runs in only 293 at-bats last year. While he faces the Tigers rotation at the beginning of this week, he should do enough damage against the Orioles' projected foursome of Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wei-Yin Chen to remain the hot-hand play.
Instead of: Jason Castro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Carlos Ruiz

Sit: Josmil Pinto, Twins
Pinto's ownership rate peaked at only 38 percent, but for a few weeks there, he was performing like a high-end catcher, reaching base nearly 40 percent of the time with plus power. But alas, that ride appears to be over. The Twins have started him in just two of six games since bringing Chris Parmelee back to the majors, adding to their options at DH. And they won't even have the DH spot available to do them this week with all five of their games (yes, only five games) in NL parks.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, Yasmani Grandal, John Jaso

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey, Anthony Rizzo, Victor Martinez, Justin Morneau, Eric Hosmer, Brandon Moss, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli

Start: Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Teixeira's power surge in his return from the DL probably isn't lost on anyone, but what may be is how often he's getting on base. He's back to walking at the rate he did in his first few years with the Yankees, which helped keep him an elite Fantasy option even as his batting average tanked. If it continues, he's not necessarily just a hot-hand play, but of course, he's hot now and should be able to keep it going against Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Hector Noesi, John Danks, Scott Carroll and Andre Rienzo.
Instead of: Matt Adams, Ryan Howard, James Loney

Sit: Juan Francisco, Blue Jays
Excited to take advantage of all the home runs Francisco's been hitting in May? Pardon me while I dampen your enthusiasm. Francisco sat against a left-hander Monday and will likely continue to do so with Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie back from injuries. The Blue Jays face four lefties this week, including high-end types like Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir and Drew Pomeranz. Striking out more than every third at-bat, Francisco is due for a downturn anyway.
Instead of: Loney, Corey Hart, Garrett Jones

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Carpenter, Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier, Anthony Rendon, Jose Altuve, Dee Gordon, Chase Utley, Daniel Murphy, Howie Kendrick

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Yankees @CHC2, @CHW4
2. Giants @COL3, MIN3
3. Mariners @TEX2, HOU4
4. Padres MIN2, CHC4
5. Tigers @CLE3, TEX4

Start: Yangervis Solarte, Yankees
He's listed here at second base, but in standard CBSSports.com leagues, you can start Solarte at third base, shortstop or even the outfield. Wherever he best meets your needs, you want him active this week and potentially long after that. He's shown excellent bat control and plate discipline in first big-league season, boasting a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio that makes his high batting average not so far-fetched. He'll get to beat up on the Cubs and White Sox rotations this week and is plenty hot to begin with, batting .429 (15 for 39) with three home runs in his last 10 games.
Instead of: Martin Prado, Neil Walker, Jedd Gyorko

Sit: Brandon Phillips, Reds
A non-factor for much of the season, Phillips has actually been swinging a hot bat in May, batting .349 (15 for 43) with two home runs in 11 games, but because of his putrid plate discipline and lackluster supporting cast, he's been only the 13th-best second baseman in Head-to-Head point leagues during that stretch. That's more disappointing than bad, but against Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, Tanner Roark and Adam Wainwright this week, he figures to take a step back from there.
Instead of: Solarte, Walker, Dustin Ackley

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Pedro Alvarez, Nolan Arenado, Todd Frazier, Carlos Santana, Kyle Seager

Start: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Though still not hitting for his usual power, Sandoval has piled up singles in his last five games, batting .400 (8 for 20) with only two strikeouts. If it's a sign of him breaking out of his early-season funk, he's picked the right week. The Giants are in Colorado for three games and then host Minnesota for three, making Ricky Nolasco the best pitcher they'll face all week. He's not as promising as Solarte, of course, but at a thin position, he's usable.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Trevor Plouffe, Casey McGehee

Sit: Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
Though he's been getting more hits in recent days, Prado still hasn't made much of an impact this season, and while his track record says it's only a matter of time (it certainly was last year, when he hit .324 in the second half), his matchups this week won't help his cause. He's facing six righties, including Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Rafael Montero, and what little he's done this year has come against lefties, against whom he's 10 for 30.
Instead of: Solarte, Sandoval, Chase Headley

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Alexei Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Jed Lowrie, Jean Segura

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Rangers SEA2, @DET4
2. Pirates BAL2, WAS4
3. Blue Jays @BOS3, OAK3
4. Reds @WAS3, STL3
5. Twins @SD2, @SF3

Start: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
A forgotten man this season after a disappointing 2013 campaign, Cabrera has started to perform more like the player who made the All-Star team in 2011 and 2012, batting .471 (16 for 34) with two homers, five doubles and a steal in his last eight games. Granted, he had his share of hot streaks last year as well, but once you get past the "too obvious" options at a weak position, you'll cling to whatever you can. His matchups against Chris Tillman, Bud Norris, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wei-Yin Chen should at least give him a chance to keep it going.
Instead of: Andrelton Simmons, J.J. Hardy, Xander Bogaerts

Sit: Jonathan Villar, Astros
Fittingly, as soon as I got on the Villar bandwagon, making him my "start" at this position last week, he began doing what he probably should have been doing all along: making out after out after out. He's 3 for 30 over his last nine games, his batting average falling to where you'd expect it to be for a player who strikes out every third at-bat. Expect no letup against Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma this week.
Instead of: Asdrubal Cabrera, Everth Cabrera, Alcides Escobar

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gomez, Yasiel Puig, Shin-Soo Choo, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Jayson Werth, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Charlie Blackmon, Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Kemp, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Wil Myers, Desmond Jennings, Michael Morse, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward

Start: Seth Smith, Padres
Particularly with Carlos Quentin back, Smith probably isn't the safest long-term bet in Fantasy. A big reason why he's on everyone's radar now is because the Padres have faced only two left-handed pitchers in their last 14 games. He sat against both and figures to continue sitting against lefties going forward, but once again, the Padres face only one this week. With a .513 batting average and 1.526 OPS over his last 11 games, Smith is as hot as it gets right now and could keep it going against pitchers like Kevin Correia, Phil Hughes, Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta.
Instead of: George Springer, Nick Markakis, Marcell Ozuna

Sit: Chris Colabello, Twins
You know how Chris Parmelee's promotion has impacted Josmil Pinto's playing time? With the DH unavailable to the Twins for their five games in NL parks this week, it could impact Colabello's as well. Clearly encouraged by his .305 batting average and .920 OPS at Triple-Rochester, the Twins have started Parmelee against both lefties and righties so far, and he's justified it with his performance. Colabello, meanwhile, is 0 for 18 in his last six games and 8 for 69 (.116) in his last 18, so sending him to the bench isn't much of a stretch. Even if he plays, he'll face Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Madison Bumgarner in three of those five games.
Instead of: Smith, Brett Gardner, Torii Hunter

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
Jason Grilli blasted in loss vs. Mariners
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:34 am ET) Angels pitcher Jason Grilli took a loss Tuesday, giving up four earned runs while recording just one out in his team's 13-2 defeat against the Mariners.

Grilli (1-3) walked a batter and hit another batter to open up the fifth inning, and after a sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position, he gave up back-to-back doubles to bring three runs home, getting himself pulled from the game with a man still in scoring position. That runner would come around to score, leaving him with his worst performance since joining the Angels. Grilli owns a 4.03 ERA and 51:19 K:BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings.


Carson Smith picks up win vs. Angels
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:29 am ET) Mariners pitcher Carson Smith earned a win Tuesday, walking one and striking out one in two scoreless innings in his team's 13-2 victory over the Angels.

Smith took over for an injured Roenis Elias and handled business in the fourth and fifth innings, and the offense exploded for 13 unanswered runs after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning. Smith has tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out six and walking two.


Cory Rasmus tosses four scoreless innings vs. Mariners
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:26 am ET) Angels pitcher Cory Rasmus wasn't a factor in the decision Tuesday, giving up just one hit in four scoreless innings while striking out four in his team's 13-2 loss to the Mariners.

Rasmus, who has mostly pitched in relief this season, wasn't going to be given a full workload no matter the results, but he was removed after just 43 pitches after passing that mark in three of his previous four outings. The bullpen immediately blew the lead upon Rasmus' exit. He owns a 2.57 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 51:15 K:BB ratio in 49 innings. Rasmus is scheduled to face the Rangers Sunday.


Kevin Quackenbush picks up fourth save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) Padres pitcher Kevin Quackenbush earned his fourth save Tuesday, giving up one earned run on one hit and one walk while striking out one in his team's 5-4 win over the Phillies.

Quackenbush walked a batter with one out, and after the runner took second on catcher's indifference with two outs, a single brought him home to give the reliever his second earned run in his last three appearances. He owns a 2.68 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 53:18 K:BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings.


Ian Kennedy strikes out seven in win vs. Phillies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:22 am ET) Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy earned a win Tuesday, giving up three earned runs on three hits and four walks in six innings while striking out seven in his team's 5-4 victory over the Padres.

Kennedy (11-13) gave up a solo home run in the second inning and fell behind on a two-run blast in the fifth, but the offense was able to pick him up with three runs in the sixth. It was Kennedy's first time allowing multiple home runs in a start this season. He owns a 3.80 ERA and 196:67 K:BB ratio in 187 1/3 innings. Kennedy is slated to face the Giants Sunday.


A.J. Burnett walks four in loss vs. Padres
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:22 am ET) Phillies pitcher A.J. Burnett took a loss Tuesday, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four in his team's 5-4 defeat against the Padres.

Burnett (8-17) gave up a pair of runs in the first inning Tuesday, but the offense carried him to a 3-2 lead heading into the sixth inning, where the starter served up a two-run home run and an RBI single to fall behind for good. It's the first time in his last eight starts Burnett has been unable to complete six innings. He owns a 4.40 ERA and 180:87 K:BB ratio in 202 2/3 innings going into Sunday's scheduled start against the A's.


Steve Tolleson returns to action late Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:12 am ET) Blue Jays infielder Steve Tolleson went 0 for 1 and played third base in his team's 8-2 loss to the Orioles Tuesday.

Tolleson was not in the starting lineup Tuesday after suffering a wrist injury Monday, but he came in as a pinch hitter, struck out and stayed in to play third base. He has hit .239/.299/.358 with three home runs, 14 RBI and three stolen bases in 159 at-bats.


Neftali Feliz earns 10th save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:05 am ET) Rangers closer Neftali Feliz picked up his 10th save Tuesday, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his team's 6-3 victory over the A's.

Feliz needed just nine pitches to turn in his third straight perfect inning and eight straight scoreless appearance. He's averaged just 10 pitches over his last three outings while allowing no hits or walks. Feliz owns a 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 17:9 K:BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings.


Nick Tepesch posts quality start in win vs. A's
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch earned a win Tuesday, giving up three earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings while striking out just one in his team's 6-3 victory over the A's.

Tepesch (5-10) saw the A's score a pair of runs in the fourth inning right after the offense had given him a 3-0 lead. After the Rangers tacked on three more runs in the fifth, the starter served up a harmless solo home run in the sixth. Tepesch owns a 4.47 ERA and 51:38 K:BB ratio in 114 2/3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Angels Sunday.


Scott Kazmir struggles in loss vs. Rangers Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Athletics pitcher Scott Kazmir took a loss Tuesday, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings while striking out three in his team's 6-3 defeat against the Rangers.

Kazmir (14-9) is now 0-4 in his last five starts, though he did a solid job in his previous two outings before throwing up a clunker Tuesday. He served up a two-run blast during a three-run fourth inning before the Rangers scored three more in the fifth inning to put the A's into a hole they couldn't escape. Kazmir owns a 3.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 150:49 K:BB ratio in 178 innings. He's scheduled to face the Phillies Sunday.


 
 
 
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