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Start and sit hitters for Week 11

Senior Fantasy Writer
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All stats are updated through Thursday, June 5.

Frustrated by his continued lack of production, the Yankees have decided to sit Alfonso Soriano against right-handers for the time being, turning over the majority of his at-bats to Ichiro Suzuki. As streaky as he's been known to be, he could end that arrangement in a week's time, but at least for right now, you don't want to have to count on him in mixed leagues.

Scott's sleepers for Week 11
Player Own/Start %
1. Josh Willingham, OF, MIN 55/45
2. Adam Lind, 1B, TOR 50/42
3. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL 79/65
4. Lonnie Chisenhall, 1B/3B, CLE 69/55
5. Torii Hunter, OF, DET 82/62
6. Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, TOR 84/67
7. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL 80/33
8. Corey Dickerson, OF, COL 40/27
9. Michael Bourn, OF, CLE 57/42
10. Juan Francisco, 1B/3B, TOR 60/45

Mike Napoli is set to return Sunday after missing about two weeks with a sprained finger. He was slumping just before the injury but remained "too obvious" at first base because of his high walk rate. At a deep position, you can afford to play it safe and wait another week to activate him, but there's no shame in starting him either.

With Carlos Gonzalez sidelined by a finger injury that could potentially require surgery, Corey Dickerson is in line for more at-bats in Colorado. Judging by his minor-league track record and the fact he has hit .340 with seven home runs and a 1.028 OPS in 97 at-bats this year, that's potentially a big deal in Fantasy, but of course, if manager Walt Weiss doesn't see fit to start Charlie Blackmon against lefties, the same figures to be true for Dickerson. He's a sleeper this week regardless.

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

Catcher

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

Start: A.J. Pierzynski, Red Sox
Pierzynski was a "sit" in Fantasy Week 10 (June 9-15) and has fittingly slowed down a little over the last few days, but he's still batting .370 (20 for 54) over his last 13 games. The matchups should work more to his benefit this week. He'll be facing Bud Norris, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson and T.J. House in a seven-game week.
Instead of: Wilson Ramos, Carlos Ruiz, Kurt Suzuki

Sit: Derek Norris, Athletics
Not only do the Athletics have the worst matchups of any team this week, facing pitchers like Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka in their six games, but Norris figures to sit half of them, having slumped his way out of regular playing time with a .145 (8 for 5) batting average and one home run in his last 19 games. He has started four of the team's last nine.
Instead of: Pierzynski, Yan Gomes, Dioner Navarro

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Freddie Freeman, Jose Abreu, Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Anthony Rizzo, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Buster Posey, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Lucroy

Start: Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Lind has obviously been hot since returning from a back injury May 8, batting .360 (27 for 75) with nine doubles and two homers in 22 games. But because he sits against left-handed pitchers, he's been lacking in point production during that time. That won't be an issue this week with nothing but righties on tap for the Blue Jays. And against the Twins and Orioles, about the toughest they'll face is Phil Hughes.
Instead of: Ryan Howard, Jon Singleton, Lucas Duda

Sit: Garrett Jones, Marlins
Jones collected three hits Thursday to snap out of a 5-for-33 (.152) spell, but he'll have to get much hotter than that to make any real impact with only five games on the schedule for the Marlins this week. And considering one of those games is against Yu Darvish, it's really more like four. Or three when you factor in the lefty. Jones is batting .200 with a .488 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.
Instead of: Lind, Mark Teixeira, Juan Francisco

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, Jose Altuve, Matt Carpenter, Brian Dozier, Dustin Pedroia, Chase Utley, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, Jason Kipnis, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Howie Kendrick, Neil Walker

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cubs @PIT4, @PHI3
2. Tigers @CHW4, MIN3
3. Blue Jays MIN3, @BAL4
4. Braves @COL4, LAA3
5. Red Sox @BAL3, CLE4

Start: Tommy La Stella, Braves
Second base is deep enough that relatively high-end options like Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips and Yangervis Solarte don't exactly qualify as "too obvious" but are nevertheless more advisable than someone like La Stella, so consider this recommendation for deeper leagues only. For what La Stella lacks in power and speed, he makes up for in on-base ability. It was plainly evident in the minors and has so far translated to the majors, which puts him in line to bunches of runs in the Braves' four-game series at Colorado this week. He may not directly benefit from the hitter-friendly venue, but the rest of the lineup will.
Instead of: Gordon Beckham, Kolten Wong, Rougned Odor

Sit: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
This Lowrie pick is kind of like last week's Dee Gordon pick in that it applies more for second base than shortstop, where you won't find nearly as many alternatives. Lowrie has actually begun to turn things around after a mostly disastrous May, batting .333 (5 for 15) with a homer in his last four games, but the position is so deep and the matchups so tough (Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka) that you have no reason to clear an opening for him.
Instead of: Aaron Hill, Yangervis Solarte, Brandon Phillips

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Todd Frazier, Martin Prado, Xander Bogaerts, Pablo Sandoval, Kyle Seager, Pedro Alvarez

Start: Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians
Once again, the Indians face almost exclusively right-handers this week -- six in seven games -- which means Chisenhall should play just about every day even with Carlos Santana back. His year-to-date batting average of .361 pretty much says it all, and it's not like he's slowed down recently, batting .321 (9 for 28) with a home run and a double in his last eight games. Plus, some of the righties he's facing this week -- like Nick Marktinez, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Peavy and Brandon Workman -- are especially hittable.
Instead of: Yangervis Solarte, Trevor Plouffe, Aramis Ramirez

Sit: Josh Harrison, Pirates
Having earned more at-bats with his high-energy play, Harrison's numbers are beginning to attract attention as well. A third base-eligible player with a .317 batting average and .869 OPS typically doesn't last long on waivers, but in this particular case, you may want to show some restraint. Though top prospect Gregory Polanco didn't arrive Friday as rumored, he's likely just days away and figures to bump Harrison to the bench whenever he does arrive. No reason to risk it for a player who has probably performed over his head anyway.
Instead of: Ramirez, Juan Francisco, Chase Headley

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Alexei Ramirez, Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Ben Zobrist, Xander Bogaerts, Starlin Castro, Jean Segura

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Athletics @LAA3, NYY3
2. Cardinals @TB2, WAS3
3. White Sox DET4, KC3
4. Nationals @SF4, @STL3
5. Marlins @TEX2, PIT3

Start: Alcides Escobar, Royals
Now that he's back to being one of the game's top base-stealers after slumping in every capacity last season, anytime Escobar is hitting is noteworthy in Fantasy. He's 8 for 17 (.471) with a stolen base so far in June and will get to face hittable lefties Vidal Nuno, Jose Quintana and John Danks (as well as hittable righty Hector Noesi) in his six games this week. Escobar has hit .340 with an .880 OPS against lefties this season compared to .255 and .650 against righties.
Instead of: Everth Cabrera, Andrelton Simmons, Asdrubal Cabrera

Sit; Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
Among the group of fallback shortstops that includes Escobar, Erick Aybar, Andrelton Simmons, Everth Cabrera, J.J. Hardy and Asdrubal Cabrera, Peralta gets the short straw with the Cardinals' short schedule this week. They play only five games, including three against the Nationals' top three (at least with Gio Gonzalez down) of Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister. Plus, Peralta hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball lately, batting .118 (6 for 51) in his last 14 games.
Instead of: Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Erick Aybar

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Gomez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, Ryan Braun, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Upton, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz, Alex Rios, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Melky Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Jason Heyward, Josh Hamilton, George Springer, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Charlie Blackmon, Christian Yelich, Michael Cuddyer

Start: Josh Willingham, Twins
Willingham has been a notoriously streaky player over his career, looking like Rafael Belliard one month and Rafael Palmeiro the next. Even when he appeared to stray from that pattern in 2013, he still hit .311 with 16 home runs in April and July and .237 with 19 home runs the other four months. So now that he's hot, batting .333 (11 for 33) with four homers and an insane .522 on-base percentage in 11 games off the DL, no need to complicate things by bringing matchups into the picture.
Instead of: Desmond Jennings, Adam Eaton, Denard Span

Sit: Oscar Taveras, Cardinals
Taveras homered in his first game as a major-leaguer May 31 but has gone 4 for 19 with one extra-base hit in five games since. You've already waited this long for him to arrive, so in shallower leagues with ample alternatives, you can wait until he gets hot to activate him. With only five games on tap for the Cardinals this week -- and three of them against Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister -- the odds are against him anyway.
Instead of: Willingham, Nick Markakis, Torii Hunter

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.

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Player News
Starling Marte picks up a hit Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:26 am ET) Pirates outfielder Starling Marte collected one of the few hits for his club Wednesday against the Giants. 

Marte finished 1 for 4, singling in the seventh inning. He was one of three Pirates to notch a hit against Madison Bumgarner during the contest. Bumgarner gave up just four hits during a complete game shutout. Marte also struck out once and stranded two runners. 


Tim Hudson to start Game 2 of NLDS
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) Giants pitcher Tim Hudson has been tabbed to face the Nationals Saturday in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

Hudson has delivered an ERA under 4.00 for eight straight seasons, but he was rocked this September, going 0-4 with an 8.72 ERA and 14:5 K:BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings over five starts. Hudson has pitched in six postseason series (four with Oakland, two with Atlanta), finding himself on the losing side each time. He owns a 3.46 ERA postseason ERA in 54 2/3 innings. Hudson faced the Nationals twice during the regular season, earning a win each time.


Jake Peavy to start Game 1 of NLDS vs. Nationals
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:19 am ET) Giants pitcher Jake Peavy will take the mound for Game 1 of the National League Division Series in Washington against the Nationals Friday.

Peavy excelled after returning to the NL West this summer, going 6-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 58:17 K:BB ratio in 78 2/3 innings over 12 starts. Prior to joining the Giants, he delivered a 4.48 ERA in 30 starts with the Red Sox after posting a 4.00 ERA in 84 games (83 starts) with the White Sox. He's posted a 3.77 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 14:3 K:BB ratio in 14 1/3 innings in two starts at Nationals Park.


Report: Justin Smoak likely to hit free agency this offseason
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak will likely reach free agency this offseason, as the team is expected to pay the $150,000 buyout of his 2015 option, the Seattle Times reports.

Smoak has a $3.65-million club option for next season, but the Mariners figure to pay the buyout and decline to tender the first baseman a contract. The option would have vested if he made 525 plate appearances in 2014. Instead, he hit .202/.275/.339 in 276 plate appearances.


Russell Martin collects one hit Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:02 am ET) Pirates catcher Russell Martin picked up one hit Wednesday against the Giants.

The Pirates only mustered four hits against Madison Bumgarner, so Martin was one of the standout performers during the contest. During his last at-bat, the fans chanted for Martin to re-sign with the club during the offseason. The team continued to chant even after Martin flew out. He gave the fans a tip of the cap before going into the dugout. Martin is set to be a free agent during the offseason.


Andrew McCutchen goes hitless Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went hitless Wednesday against the Giants.

The entire Pirate offense was shut down by Madison Bumgarner, who allowed just four hits all night. McCutchen struck out, flew out and grounded out in three at-bats. He did reach base once, walking in the fourth inning. McCutchen hit .314/.410/.542 over 548 at-bats during the regular season.


Joe Panik delivers three hits in wild-card win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) Giants second baseman Joe Panik enjoyed a fantastic postseason debut Wednesday, going 3 for 5 in his team's 8-0 wild-card win over the Pirates.

Panik plugged a hole in the infield in the middle of the season, hitting .305/.343/.368 in 269 at-bats during the regular season. He figures to continue to occupy the second spot of the lineup in the National League Division Series, starting with Game 1 Friday in Washington.


Brandon Belt drives in three runs in wild-card win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) Giants first baseman Brandon Belt went 2 for 3 with two walks and three RBI in his team's 8-0 wild-card victory over the Pirates Wednesday.

Belt was on base when Brandon Crawford opened up the scoring with a fourth-inning grand slam, and the first baseman tacked on a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh on a pair of singles. Belt and the Giants face the Nationals in Washington Friday in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.


Josh Harrison the only bright spot Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) Pirates infielder Josh Harrison was the lone bright spot Wednesday night.

Harrison was the only player on the club to collect two hits during the outing. In his final two at-bats, Harrison hit two singles. The Pirates managed just four hits off Madison Bumgarner during the contest. Half of those came from Harrison's bat. Harrison enjoyed a breakout during the regular season, hitting .315/.347/.490 over 520 at-bats. 


Brandon Crawford becomes first SS with postseason grand slam
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10/1/2014) Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford went 1 for 5 with a grand slam in his team's 8-0 wild-card win over the Pirates Wednesday.

After the Giants loaded the bases in the fourth inning with two singles and a walk, Crawford deposited a ball over the right-field fence to break a scoreless tie. He became the first shortstop in postseason history to swat a grand slam. Grand slams are nothing new to Crawford, as he's collected three while hitting 27 career home runs (postseason included). The blast was all starter Madison Bumgarner would need, as he coasted to a complete-game shutout. The Giants open the National League Division Series Friday in Washington against the Nationals.


 
 
 
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