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Start and sit hitters for Week 16

Senior Fantasy Writer
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All stats are updated through Sunday, July 13.

A doubleheader between the Indians and Tigers throws off the equilibrium that should be inherent when every team begins the second half on Friday instead of some beginning it on Thursday as used to be the case. Both of those teams could have better matchups -- of the two, only the Tigers crack the top five -- but it goes without saying that an extra game during a three-day week is more impactful than an extra game during a seven-day week.

Every hitter of Fantasy significance who was sidelined by a day-to-day injury before the break -- which includes Victor Martinez, Hanley Ramirez, Alex Gordon and Coco Crisp -- is expected back Friday, so you can use them as you normally would, which probably means starting them in every case. Martinez, Ramirez and Gordon are "too obvious" at their respective positions, and Crisp is one of the top 10 sleepers for this week.

Scott's sleepers for Week 16
Player Own/Start %
1. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Nationals 90/71
2. Torii Hunter, OF, Tigers 77/62
3. Coco Crisp, OF, Athletics 91/56
4. Stephen Vogt, C/1B/OF, Athletics 54/48
5. Arismendy Alcantara, SS, Cubs 63/41
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Giants 88/63
7. Martin Prado, 2B/3B/OF, Diamondbacks 91/65
8. Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Pirates 65/46
9. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies 92/59
10. Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS, Athletics 72/50

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

Catcher

Too obvious: Jonathan Lucroy, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Salvador Perez, Devin Mesoraco, Miguel Montero, Brian McCann

Start: Stephen Vogt, Athletics
Whether it's because he's only now getting his first extended look in the big leagues at age 29 or because Fantasy owners perceive the Athletics don't have an opening for him, Vogt hasn't gotten much attention since his arrival June 1. But that needs to end. Since then, he's the seventh-best catcher-eligible player in both Rotisserie and Head-to-Head points leagues. The Athletics have found at-bats for him in the outfield and at first base, and that doesn't figure to change even with Josh Reddick on the verge of returning. Vogt's three games against the not-so-fearsome Orioles rotation make him an especially advisable play this week.
Instead of: Wilin Rosario, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki

Sit: Mike Zunino, Mariners
Zunino was a pretty hot pickup when he homered four times in the span of five games back in late June, but he hasn't been able to keep it going in 13 games since. Well, OK, he's homered twice during that stretch, but he has four hits total for a .087 (4 for 46) batting average. With Jered Weaver and Garrett Richards on tap for the Mariners this week, you'll want to steer clear of him.
Instead of: Vogt, Russell Martin, Travis d'Arnaud

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Jose Bautista, Jose Abreu, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Todd Frazier, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Jonathan Lucroy, Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Adams, Eric Hosmer

Start: Adam LaRoche, Nationals
Just as soon as LaRoche gains "too obvious" status at first base, as he did last week, he loses it because of an ill-timed cold streak. I still say his overall production merits the distinction, but his ownership percentage says otherwise. Even though he's batting just .122 (5 for 41) so far in June, I'd be looking to start him this week with the Nationals scheduled to face three right-handers. LaRoche has a .914 OPS vs. righties, hitting all 12 of his homers against him. He's also batting .303 at home, which is where the Nationals will be.
Instead of: Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, Mike Napoli

Sit: C.J. Cron, Angels
Cron's power potential is not only well documented, but well demonstrated by his six home runs in 18 games since Raul Ibanez made his last start for the Angels. But he showed in Week 15 (7-13) just how ugly it can get for a free-swinger like him when he doesn't hit home runs. With nothing else to fall back on, he scored all of three Head-to-Head points -- and that was in a seven-game week for the Angels. In a three-game week, with two of those games against Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, you may not want to chance it.
Instead of: LaRoche, Mark Teixeira, Michael Morse

Second base

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

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Pirates COL3
2. Cubs @ARI3
3. Tigers CLE4
4. Reds @NYY3
5. White Sox HOU3

Start: Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
Prado overcame a slow start last year to hit .324 in the second half, bringing him back to more or less his usual numbers, and he was showing signs of a similar turnaround just before the All-Star break this year, batting .353 (12 for 34) in his last 10 games. He has a tough matchup Sunday against Jake Arrieta, but his other two against Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood are favorable enough for you to take a flier on him if you need help at any of the three positions he plays.
Instead of: Scooter Gennett, Aaron Hill, Tommy La Stella

Sit: Kolten Wong, Cardinals
Wong has played out of his mind in eight games since returning from a DL stint for a bruised shoulder, batting .321 (9 for 28) with three stolen bases and five home runs. He had only one home run before then. It may be the start of a legitimate breakout for the 23-year-old rookie, but it's worth noting the Cardinals didn't face a single left-handed pitcher during that stretch. Wong will probably sit against Clayton Kershaw Sunday, and he might struggle against Zack Greinke Saturday. In a deeper leaguer where you have few alternatives, you may not want to sit him because of it, but don't feel like you have to force him into your lineup in a standard 12-team league.
Instead of: Prado, Jed Lowrie

Third base

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

Start: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Sandoval has generally been an advisable start during an up-and-down season, and after a strong finish to the first half, this week is no exception. Sandoval hit .450 (9 for 20) with a homer in five games just before the All-Star break, and he gets to face a struggling Nathan Eovaldi and a perpetually struggling Brad Hand in two of the Giants' three games this week. Might as well stick with him.
Instead of: Lonnie Chisenhall, Trevor Plouffe, Conor Gillaspie

Sit: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
Ramirez may have started the All-Star game, but he hasn't performed like an All-Star in 12 July games, batting .267 (12 for 45) with just one extra-base hit for a .581 OPS. Like Sandoval, he's the sort of player you'll want to start more weeks than not, but when he's already struggling going into a three-game week against Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, you may want to weigh your alternatives.
Instead of: Sandoval, Nolan Arenado, Martin Prado

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Starlin Castro, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, Erick Aybar, Jimmy Rollins

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Brewers @WAS3
2. Angels SEA3
3. Cardinals LAD3
4. Orioles @OAK3
5. Twins TB3

Start: Arismendy Alcantara, Cubs
It's worth mentioning for anyone who might have gone camping just before the All-Star break and missed it all: In five games since joining the Cubs, Alcantara has gone 9 for 23 (.391) with three doubles, a triple, a home run and a stolen base. He was the second highest-scoring shortstop-eligible player in Fantasy Week 15 (July 7-13), and he didn't even play the full week. He's obviously not quite this good, but why predict regression in a week he's scheduled to face Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley, Josh Collmenter?
Instead of: Asdrubal Cabrera, Alcides Escobar, Andrelton Simmons

Sit: J.J. Hardy, Orioles
Given how streaky his power can be and how far behind pace he is in terms of home runs, Hardy could be in for a big second half. But he's having a rough July so far, batting .196 (9 for 46) in 12 games, and he's scheduled to face Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Sonny Gray this week. Those games are in Oakland, too, not hitter-friendly Camden Yards.
Instead of: Alcantara, Jed Lowrie, Eugenio Suarez

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gomez, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley, Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Jayson Werth, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Alex Rios, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Jason Heyward, Jay Bruce, Alex Gordon, Billy Hamilton, George Springer, Ryan Zimmerman, Gregory Polanco, J.D. Martinez, Josh Hamilton, Kole Calhoun, Shin-Soo Choo, Charlie Blackmon, Khris Davis, Matt Kemp, Bryce Harper, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Ben Zobrist

Start: Torii Hunter, Tigers
Though Hunter hasn't been quite as reliable this season as he was the last two, he's at least shown that when he's hot, he's too valuable to take out of the lineup. And he's indisputably hot right now, batting .400 (18 for 45) with three home runs in his last 11 games. The Tigers are one of the two teams playing four games this week (because of a doubleheader Saturday), and they have the better matchups of the two, facing only one top-of-the-rotation type (Corey Kluber).
Instead of: Michael Morse, Corey Dickerson, Lucas Duda

Sit: Steve Pearce, Orioles
It's never fun to pick against Pearce, who has been a huge find for those who remain diligent on the waiver wire into the summer months, but for the second straight week, the deck is stacked against him. Not only are his matchups against Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Sonny Gray tough, but all three of them throw right-handed. He's done most of his damage against lefties this season, batting .351 with six of his 11 home runs and a 1.185 OPS. Those games are also in Oakland instead of Baltimore. Pearce is just a .268 hitter on the road.
Instead of: Coco Crisp, Christian Yelich, 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
Diamondbacks pitcher Bronson Arroyo still dealing with pain in elbow
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:31 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Bronson Arroyo is still feeling a noticeable pain in his right elbow on the road to recovery from Tommy John surgery, according to MLB.com.

Arroyo underwent the procedure last July and is hopeful to return during the second half of the season at some point. Arizona has a $4.5 million buyout on Arroyo's contract at the end of the season, which is motivating his speedy recovery from the surgery.

"That's why I'd like to get back and maybe make 10 starts the second half of the season to show what I can do," Arroyo said. "That way they have some basis for making a decision."


Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin on track for return this summer
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:28 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin continues to progress his way back from Tommy John surgery last season. The righty missed the entire 2014 season with the injury and is scheduled to make his second simulated game Tuesday before throwing three innings in an extended spring training appearances May 4, according to MLB.com.

If all goes well, Corbin is expected to build his stamina to 90 pitches for a minor league start in mid-May. Manager Chip Hale is targeting June 5 for Corbin to return, according to the report.

"I was just looking at the schedule," Hale said. "[Corbin's] going to throw that simulated on Tuesday. It looks like the first week of June he'll be back pitching on our club."

Corbin can't wait to get back with the team.

"I'm excited, yeah I am," said Corbin. "I'm feeling great. Just can't wait to get back. It has been awhile. It's been 14 months on our calendar since the surgery on Monday. So it will be about 15 months when I come back."


Mets third baseman David Wright set to ramp up activities
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:22 pm ET) Mets third baseman David Wright will continue with his rehab of a hamstring injury this week by ramping up his baseball activities, according to ESPN.com.

Wright is scheduled to field ground balls and do a little bit of running to test his injured hamstring. Wright is currently on the 15-day DL with the injury. He remains hopeful to return to the club before the end of the month. Wright is hitting .333 with one home run and four RBI in 33 at-bats this season.


Royals left fielder Alex Gordon connects for second home run
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:11 pm ET) Royals left fielder Alex Gordon went 2 for 4 at the plate in Kansas City's 5-3 loss to the Royals Sunday. Gordon connected on a 2-1 pitch from John Danks over the right field wall for a two-run shot, his second of the season. 

Gordon is now hitting .245 with seven RBI in 50 at-bats this season.


White Sox closer David Roberston picks up third save of the year
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:04 pm ET) White Sox closer David Robertson worked a two-hit ninth inning, but did not allow a run en route to his third save of the season in Chicago's 5-3 win over the Royals Sunday.

Robertson allowed two singles in the ninth, but his two strikeouts and groundout by Omar Infante was good enough to end the game. Robertson is yet to allow a run in his seven innings of work with 14 strikeouts and just one walk.


White Sox pitcher John Danks strikes out eight in win Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:00 pm ET) White Sox pitcher John Danks allowed three runs on five hits in six innings of work Sunday in Chicago's 5-3 win over the Royals.

Danks, who struck out eight and walked just one, only ran into two issues in his start. He allowed an RBI double to Mike Moustakas in the third to allow a run. Then in the fourth, Danks allowed a two-run home run over the right field wall to Alex Gordon to push the lead to 3-0. 

Before he was officially out of the game, Chicago scored five in the sixth to put him in line for the win. Danks, now 1-2, lowered his ERA to 5.64 in 22 1/3 innings. He will look to keep rolling Friday against the Twins.


Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez strikes out six in losing effort
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:00 pm ET) Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez allowed five runs, one earned, on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of work in Kansas City's 5-3 loss to the White Sox Sunday. 

Everything fell apart for Volquez in the sixth inning when after two men reached with one out, Volquez threw a wild pitch and then a fielding error allowed a run to score. Adam LaRoche then ripped an RBI single to left center to bring home another run before Conor Gillaspie connected for an RBI single to right to bring home two more runs.

Volquez, who also struck out six with two walks, lowered his ERA to 1.91, but moved his record to 2-2 on the year. He will look to get back on track Friday against the Tigers.


Brewers' Adam Lind slugs third home run Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) Brewers first baseman Adam Lind went 1 for 3 with a walk and a two-run home run in his team's 6-3 win over the Cardinals Sunday.

Lind, who is 8 for 19 with two home runs during his current five-game hitting streak, smacked his home run to right field in the third inning to give his team a 3-0 lead in a game where the Brewers never trailed. He has hit .318/.387/.561 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 66 at-bats.


Cardinals' Mark Reynolds homers, plays left field Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:47 pm ET) Cardinals infielder Mark Reynolds went 1 for 5 with a solo home run while serving as the team's left fielder in Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Brewers.

It was the first career appearance in left field for Reynolds, who played three games while making one start in right field last season. Sunday's game marked his second time in 1,025 career starts that he's been an outfielder in the starting lineup.

The home run was the first of the season for Reynolds, who has hit .200/.310/.440 with three RBI in 25 at-bats.


Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp could start batting practice next week
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:47 pm ET) Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp may begin taking live batting practice at the end of the week, according to CSN Bay Area.

Crisp, who has been on the 15-day DL since the beginning of the season with an elbow injury, will need to go on a rehab assignment before return to the team, manager Bob Melvin said. He has been able to take dry swings and play catch, but nothing further.


 
 
 
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