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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
Report: Matt Andriese to get 26th man call-up for Rays
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:19 pm ET) Rays pitcher Matt Andriese will get called up from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday to start the second game of a doubleheader against Kansas City, per the Tampa Bay Times

The day-night doubleheader resulted from a rainout on Monday. Andriese will get the call-up courtesy of MLB's 26th man rule for twin bills. 

Andriese was scheduled to start for Durham on Tuesday and will be on regular rest. He's 1-0, 2.88 at Durham. 


Cardinals' Marco Gonzalez to start rehab assignment on Friday
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:13 pm ET) Cardinals pitcher Marco Gonzalez will begin pitching in games on Friday, general manager John Mozeliak said, per MLB.com

Gonzalez has been sidelined with a pectoral injury and shoulder impingement since May. 

Mozeliak said Gonzalez would pitch for Class A Palm Beach and gradually increase his workload to 100 pitches by the end of the month. 


AL reserves announced for 2015 MLB All-Star game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) The American League reserves for the 2015 MLB All-Star game were announced Monday and the following players were selected:

Catcher: Russell Martin, Blue Jays; Stephen Vogt, Athletics

First Base: Prince Fielder, Rangers; Albert Pujols, Angels (will start in place of injured Miguel Cabrera); Mark Teixeira, Yankees (replaces injured Cabrera on roster)

Second Base: Jason Kipnis, Indians

Shortstop: Jose Iglesias, Tigers

Third Base: Manny Machado, Orioles

Outfield: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays; Adam Jones, Orioles; J.D. Martinez, Tigers

Utility: Brock Holt, Red Sox

Starting Pitchers: Sonny Gray, Athletics; Felix Hernandez, Mariners; David Price, Tigers; Dallas Keuchel, Astros; Chris Sale, White Sox; Zach Britton, Orioles; Chris Archer, Rays

Relief Pitchers: Dellin Betances, Yankees; Brad Boxberger, Rays; Zach Britton, Orioles; Wade Davis, Royals; Kelvin Herrera, Royals; Darren O'Day, Orioles; Glen Perkins, Twins

The following players are eligible to be voted in during the final Fan Vote: SS Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox; OF Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers; OF Brett Gardner, Yankees; 2B Brian Dozier, Twins; 3B Mike Moustakas, Royals


National League All Star reserves, pitchers, Final Vote candidates named
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7:44 pm ET) The National League All Star reserves and pitchers were announced on Monday evening, and there was no room for the reigning National League MVP.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was not selected for the All Star team, although he's one of five candidates to take the final spot on the roster in the Final Vote. 

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant made the team as an injury replacement for the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton. Bryant is one of two rookies on the team, along with Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson

The Pirates sent two starting pitchers to the All Star team for the first time since 1960. MLB wins leader Gerrit Cole and fellow Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett will both be making their first appearance. 

National League reserves are

Catcher: Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers
Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
First baseman: Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
First baseman: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
Second baseman: DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
Second baseman: Joe Panik, Giants
Third baseman: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Third baseman: Kris Bryant, Cubs
Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, Giants
Outfielder: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Outfielder: Joc Pederson, Dodgers
Outfielder: A.J. Pollock, D-backs
Outfielder: Justin Upton, Padres

National League pitchers are 

LHP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
RHP: A.J. Burnett, Pirates
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
RHP: Gerrit Cole, Pirates
RHP: Jacob deGrom, Mets
RHP: Zack Greinke, Dodgers
RHP: Mark Melancon, Pirates
RHP: Shelby Miller, Braves
RHP: Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
RHP: Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
RHP: Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals
RHP: Max Scherzer, Nationals
RHP: Michael Wacha, Cardinals

The five candidates for the Final Vote are 

RHP: Johnny Cueto, Reds
RHP: Jeurys Familia, Mets
RHP: Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies


Monday's Rays-Royals game postponed due to rain
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:26 pm ET) Monday's game between the Rays and Royals has been postponed due to inclement weather, the teams announced.

The teams will play a doubleheader Tuesday at Kansas City. Game 1 will feature Matt Moore and Chris Young on the mound. The Rays will call up pitcher Matt Andriese to start Game 2 against  Edinson Volquez, reports the Tampa Bay Times.


Giants sit 2B Joe Panik, SS Brandon Crawford against lefty
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:59 pm ET) The Giants have benched their starting middle infield Monday. Both second baseman Joe Panik and shortstop Brandon Crawford are out against Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese.

It marks the first absence for Panik since May 21 and third for Crawford since three days later.

Crawford has certainly not struggled against southpaws this season. He is batting .333 (20-for-60). Panik has 19 hits in 68 at-bats against them in 2015.


Mets 1B Lucas Duda not in Monday's lineup
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:51 pm ET) Mets first baseman Lucas Duda was held out of Monday's lineup at the Giants, the team announced.

He was replaced at first base by Michael Cuddyer, who will bat fifth. Krik Nieuwenhuis received the start in left field. Duda is hitting .138 with two doubles and four RBI in his last 15 games.

The Mets are the underdogs (+135) at San Francisco on Monday.


Dodgers SS Jimmy Rollins batting behind pitcher Monday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:34 pm ET) Don Mattingly has placed starting pitcher Yimi Garcia into the eighth spot in the Monday lineup against Philadelphia. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins will follow him.

That marks the first time a Dodgers pitcher has not batted ninth since Randy Wolf hit eighth on Aug. 6, 2009.


Phillies' Ben Revere returns to lineup Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:33 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Ben Revere was back in the lineup for Monday's game at the Los Angeles Dodgers, reports TrueBlueLA.com.

He will bat first and play right field. Revere had been held out of Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury. Over his last 13 games, Revere is hitting .364 with one home run and five RBI.

The Phillies are the underdogs (+240) at Los Angeles on Monday. 


Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig dropped to sixth in Monday order
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:29 pm ET) Scuffling Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig has been lowered to sixth in the lineup for the first time this season against Philadelphia on Monday night.

Puig is batting just .148 (4-for-27) with 11 strikeouts since June 26. His .278 average is at its lowest point since April 18.


 
 
 
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