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Start and sit hitters for Week 20

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, Aug. 7.

An unusually high number of interleague games this week could make for some questionable DH situations in Fantasy. The White Sox play two games in NL parks, so what little incentive you have to start Adam Dunn is gone. The Red Sox also play two games in NL parks, but based on the way their recent series at St. Louis went, neither David Ortiz nor Mike Napoli is a lock to sit. The Tigers play two games in NL parks, but they always seem to find a way to keep Victor Martinez in the lineup, usually by shifting Miguel Cabrera to third base and bumping Nick Castellanos to the bench. The Athletics play three games in NL parks, which probably impacts all three of Stephen Vogt, John Jaso and Derek Norris to some degree, but there's no telling which of them is going to start on a given day anyway.

Joe Mauer, out since July 1 with a strained oblique, is on a rehab assignment and could be back as early as Monday. He's worth the gamble over whatever catcher you grabbed off the waiver wire to replace him. Edwin Encarnacion and George Springer, both sidelined by quadriceps injuries, may also return at some point this week, but because the exact date is unknown, you might want to play it safe in standard mixed leagues.

Mark Teixeira needed three stitches after getting spiked in the left pinkie Wednesday. The Yankees have favorable matchups this week, so if he makes it back over the weekend, he's something of a sleeper in Fantasy. Just keep in mind the injury concerns for him don't end with the finger.

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

Catcher

Scott's sleepers for Week 20
Player Own/Start %
1. Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies 82/67
2. Danny Santana, SS/OF, Twins 63/52
3. Chris Carter, 1B/OF, Astros 78/69
4. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs 84/47
5. Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Diamondbacks 92/59
6. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals 60/46
7. Billy Butler, 1B, Royals 58/33
8. Yangervis Solarte, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Padres 64/43
9. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, Padres 58/37
10. James Loney, 1B, Rays 64/46

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

Start: Caleb Joseph, Orioles
Even after homering in four straight games, Joseph is owned in only 4 percent of Fantasy leagues, so obtaining him shouldn't be an issue for anyone. Trusting him is another matter entirely. He was useless before this power surge, but considering he hit 22 homers at Double-A Bowie last year, it isn't a total fluke. And he showed faint signs of life before it, batting .294 (20 for 68) in 21 games. He has favorable enough matchups against the Yankees and Indians for you to take a flier on him in two-catcher leagues.
Instead of: Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Flowers, A.J. Pierzynski

Sit: Dioner Navarro, Blue Jays
Navarro preceded Caleb Joseph as the hot waiver claim at the position and is still batting an impressive .322 (28 for 87) over his last 22 games. But over his last five games, that number drops to .211 (4 for 19). If his matchups against Felix Hernandez, Chris Young, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jose Quintana this week aren't enough to keep him down, his six games on the road, where he has a .605 OPS, figure to be.
Instead of: Joseph, J.P. Arencibia, Brayan Pena

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Jose Abreu, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rizzo, Victor Martinez, Freddie Freeman, Todd Frazier, Brandon Moss, Jonathan Lucroy, Buster Posey, Adrian Gonzalez, Carlos Santana, Lucas Duda, Matt Adams, Justin Morneau, Adam LaRoche

Start: Chris Carter, Astros
At some point, this impossible hot streak of Carter's that has him hitting .330 (33 for 100) with 11 home runs over his last 26 games will come to an end, but considering the Astros have the most favorable matchups of any team this week -- going against pitchers like Kevin Correia, Yohan Pino, Kyle Gibson, Allen Webster, Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa and Joe Kelly -- I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride for now. Nobody's saying you have to start him forever.
Instead of: Mike Napoli, Ryan Howard, Michael Morse

Sit: Michael Morse, Giants
Since June 16 -- a span of nearly seven weeks -- Morse is just 52nd-best first baseman in Head-to-Head points leagues, ranking behind Alberto Callaspo, Yasmani Grandal and Chris Parmelee, among others. And yet his early season success earned him enough trust that he's still started in 53 percent of leagues -- more than double those other three combined. I'm thinking standard mixed leagued owners can do better, especially with the Giants playing only five games this week.
Instead of: Billy Butler, Mark Trumbo, James Loney

Second base

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

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Astros MIN3, @BOS4
2. Reds BOS2, @COL4
3. Rays @TEX4, NYY3
4. Marlins STL3, ARI4
5. Diamondbacks @CLE2, @MIA4

Start: Kolten Wong, Cardinals
After a brief cold stretch to end July and begin August, Wong hit two home runs Thursday, giving him eight in 25 games since returning from a shoulder injury. He now has nine on the year to go along with 17 stolen bases in less than half a season's worth of at-bats. Granted, he's still a platoon player -- or at least the Cardinals treated him as such when they last faced a lefty July 25 -- but with six righties on tap, it's not an issue this week. And those righties include pitch-to-contact types like Tom Koehler, Jarred Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi and Odrisamer Despaigne.
Instead of: Martin Prado, Arismendy Alcantara, Tommy La Stella

Sit: Dustin Ackley, Mariners
Ackley is arguably the hottest player at the position right now, batting .367 (29 for 79) with four home runs in his last 19 games, which makes the timing of this selection a little odd. But Ackley has teased us enough in the past -- including hitting .321 (45 for 140) over his final 41 games last year -- that I'd rather not mess with him, especially since he's not a great source of power or speed anyway. He also closes this week with three games against the Tigers' ace-tastic rotation.
Instead of: Wong, Jedd Gyorko, Luis Valbuena

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Anthony Rendon, Todd Frazier, Josh Donaldson, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Kyle Seager, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Santana, Josh Harrison, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, Pablo Sandoval

Start: Casey McGehee, Marlins
Hey look, McGehee is regressing in the second half just like we thought he would, batting .130 (7 for 54) in his last 15 games. Pretty cool, right? Well, hopefully he can take a break from that for just one week. At a position with little depth, we need him to take advantage of the Marlins' favorable matchups against Shelby Miller, Justin Masterson, Chase Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter. The seven games at home should help. McGehee's OPS is about 100 points higher there than on the road.
Instead of: Lonnie Chisenhall, Chase Headley, Chris Johnson

Sit: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
With manager Clint Hurdle recently declaring Josh Harrison the preferred option at third base, Alvarez's playing time is in question even with Andrew McCutchen sidelined. After all, he's started just four of the Pirates' last 16 games. Granted, his knee was hurting for a few of those games, and he missed three more for personal reasons. But it's clear the Pirates' don't trust his bat or his glove right now. And given their matchups against Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister this week, you shouldn't trust him either.
Instead of: Aramis Ramirez, McGehee, Trevor Plouffe

Shortstop

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

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Pirates DET2, @DET2, @WAS3
2. Braves LAD4, OAK3
3. Mets @PHI1, WAS3, CHC3
4. Mariners TOR3, @DET3
5. Blue Jays @SEA3, @CHW3

Start: Danny Santana, Twins
OK, so Santana has gone hitless in three games since his five-hit performance Aug. 3 at the White Sox, bringing his batting average since he returned from the DL down to a tepid .270. But I actually think that's right on the money for him. I'm most encouraged by his .514 slugging percentage during that same time -- a continuation of the unexpected power surge than made me skeptical of his every move for the first seven weeks of his career. Now, with favorable matchups against the Astros and Royals pitching staffs this week, I expect continued continuation.
Instead of: Arismendy Alcantara, Jean Segura, Alcides Escobar

Sit: Erick Aybar, Angels
After playing over his head for the first 15 weeks, Aybar is making up for lost time, so to speak, batting .197 (13 for 66) with just one extra-base hit in 18 games since the All-Star break. But Fantasy owners have been slow to catch on, starting him in 66 percent of leagues still. Granted, shortstop is a thin position, but enough players have emerged there in recent weeks that you shouldn't have to start Aybar with only five games on tap. That's speaking from a mixed-league perspective, of course.
Instead of: Santana, Javier Baez, Yangervis Solarte

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gomez, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Michael Brantley, Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday, Melky Cabrera, Jason Heyward, Jayson Werth, Nelson Cruz, Billy Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Jay Bruce, Alex Gordon, J.D. Martinez, Brett Gardner, Lucas Duda, Ben Zobrist, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Blackmon, Josh Harrison, Marlon Byrd, Kole Calhoun, Nick Markakis, Gregory Polanco

Start: Corey Dickerson, Rockies
After setting an impossible standard with what he did in July, Dickerson has mostly frustrated Fantasy owners over the last month or so. But sitting against left-handers certainly hasn't helped. The Rockies have none of those on tap for their seven games this week, which should allow Dickerson to put his .330 batting average against righties to good use. They're also home for four games, where Dickerson is batting .371.
Instead of: Khris Davis, Austin Jackson, Starling Marte

Sit: Curtis Granderson, Mets
If you own him in Fantasy, you're probably already aware: Granderson stinks right now. He's batting .133 (8 for 60) in his last 16 games, and nothing about the Mets schedule this week works in his favor -- not the return home, where he's hitting .208, or the abundance of righties, against whom he's hitting .215, or the matchups against ace-caliber pitchers like Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg and Jake Arrieta. In other words, don't get your hopes up.
Instead of: Dickerson, Carlos Beltran, Christian Yelich

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Danny Salazar surrenders five runs in loss vs. Royals
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:09 pm ET) Indians pitcher Danny Salazar took a loss Tuesday, allowing five earned runs on eight hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings while striking out eight in his team's 7-0 defeat against the Royals.

Salazar (6-8) watched two runs score in the fourth inning before the Royals tacked on three more in the fifth. The pitcher has been prone to mix in ugly lines with excellent outings, and he now owns a 4.25 ERA and 120:35 K:BB ratio in 110 innings after his final scheduled start of the season.


Yordano Ventura spins seven scoreless innings in win Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:09 pm ET) Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura earned a win Tuesday, giving up just four hits and four hits in seven scoreless innings while striking out six in his team's 7-0 victory over the Indians.

Ventura (14-10) has been cruising despite issuing plenty of walks, and he now has 11 straight quality starts heading into the end of the season. He owns a 3.07 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 153:68 K:BB ratio in 179 innings. Ventura is scheduled to take on the White Sox in the season finale Sunday.


Drew Storen picks up 10th save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:08 pm ET) Nationals closer Drew Storen earned his 10th save Tuesday, giving up one hit and striking out two in his team's 4-2 win over the Mets.

Storen needed 25 pitches to convert the save opportunity, giving him his highest workload since the end of July. His scoreless streak is now up to 18 innings and 21 appearances. Storen owns a 1.16 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 44:11 K:BB ratio in 54 1/3 innings.


Tanner Roark allows two runs in win vs. Mets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:05 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark earned a win Tuesday, giving up two earned runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out one in his team's 4-2 victory over the Mets.

Roark (15-10) has picked up wins in each of his last three starts, though he's only managed one strikeout two times during that stretch. It was his second straight outing without allowing a home run after giving one up in four straight starts. Roark owns a 2.85 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 138:39 K:BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Marlins in the season finale Sunday.


Bartolo Colon surrenders four runs in loss vs. Nationals
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:05 pm ET) Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon took a loss Tuesday, allowing four earned runs on five hits and three walks in six innings while striking out four in his team's 4-2 defeat against the Nationals.

Colon (14-13) has exhibited excellent control this season, and Tuesday's start was just his second time walking three batters. He ran into trouble in the fifth inning, giving up all four runs in the frame, with three coming on a home run. Colon owns a 4.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 147:28 K:BB ratio in 196 1/3 innings. He's scheduled to face the Astros in the season finale Sunday.


Tony Watson earns second save Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:02 pm ET) Pirates pitcher Tony Watson picked up his second save Tuesday, giving up one hit and striking out one in his team's 3-2 win over the Braves.

With closer Mark Melancon pitching four times in a five-day stretch, the Pirates turned to Watson to slam the door in a close game Tuesday. He's tossed 16 1/3 scoreless innings since last surrendering a run. Watson owns a 1.44 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 78:15 K:BB ratio in 75 innings.


Alex Wood strikes out six in loss vs. Pirates
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:00 pm ET) Braves pitcher Alex Wood took the loss Tuesday, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings while striking out six in his team's 3-2 defeat against the Pirates.

Wood (11-11) took hold of a 2-0 lead after two innings, but the Pirates managed an unearned run in the fourth inning before tying the game on a fifth-inning home run. Wood watched Pittsburgh take a lead on an RBI double in the sixth but still ended up with his 11th straight quality start. He owns a 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 170:45 K:BB ratio in 171 2/3 innings. Wood's slated to start the season finale Sunday against the Phillies.


Gerrit Cole strikes out eight in win vs. Braves
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:59 pm ET) Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole earned a win Tuesday, giving up two earned runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings while striking out eight in his team's 3-2 victory over the Braves.

Cole (11-5) has racked up four straight wins, striking out 29 batters and walking only three while posting quality starts each time during that stretch. The win Tuesday clinches a playoff spot for the second straight season. Cole owns a 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 126:40 K:BB ratio in 131 innings. He's slated to face the Reds in Sunday's season finale.


Aroldis Chapman strikes out three in 34th save
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:53 pm ET) Reds closer Aroldis Chapman earned his 34th save Tuesday, striking out three and walking one in a scoreless ninth inning to slam the door on his team's 3-1 win over the Brewers.

Chapman hasn't allowed a hit in more than two weeks, and he hasn't given up a run since his Aug. 17 meltdown. He owns a 2.12 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 100:24 K:BB ratio in 51 innings.


Johnny Cueto strikes out seven in win vs. Brewers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:51 pm ET) Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto earned a win Tuesday, giving up just one earned run on four hits and one walk in eight innings while striking out seven in his team's 3-1 victory over the Brewers.

Cueto (19-9) had a rough outing in his last start, but he bounced back in a big way Tuesday, limiting Milwaukee to just a sixth-inning solo home run. He owns a 2.29 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 235:65 K:BB ratio in 235 2/3 innings. He'll go for win No. 20 in the season finale against the Pirates Sunday.


 
 
 
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