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Kennys Vargas homered from each side of the plate in Game 1 of a doubleheader Thursday, so he has to be a sleeper for this week, right? I mean, just look at those numbers.
Bad timing. The Twins travel to Atlanta for two games, thus costing them the DH spot, and it's not like it's reserved for Vargas anyway. They need Miguel Sano to play there with Trevor Plouffe back from the DL.
Bad timing also for the Cardinals to gain the DH spot for two games since they just lost Matt Holliday (thumb) and Matt Adams (shoulder) to injury. A surplus has suddenly become a scarcity, so you can expect Brandon Moss, Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk to see plenty of action. Of course, with just five games on the schedule (the Cardinals are alone in that regard) Moss is probably the only one worth using in Fantasy.
The Rockies have a full week at home, but their matchups against the Nationals and Cubs rotations kind of cancel it out. It's still more good news than not, so it's not like I'd be looking to sit any of the usuals. And that's basically the entire lineup with the way David Dahl is hitting right now.
And with that, on to the matchups ...
Best hitter matchups for Week 20
Trea Turner has shown signs of cooling off lately, but it's nothing a trip to Coors Field and a round against the Braves patchwork rotation can't solve. He's a clear start in Rotisserie leagues, where his steals are so vital, but as long as your points league awards two points per stolen base rather than one, you'll probably want him active there as well. Jayson Werth is always a player to consider when the matchups are right, especially since he already has three homers this month, and if you're feeling really lucky, you can hope the thin air brings Danny Espinosa back to life.
If you've given any thought to sitting Marcell Ozuna because of his struggles since the break, these matchups are reason enough to hold out another week. The rest of the Marlins lineup is either too high-end or too low-end for the matchups to matter, with the possible exception of Martin Prado, who's still widely available even though he's the sixth-best third baseman in Head-to-Head points leagues over his past 20 games. The Mariners lineup is similar in that way, though Mike Zunino's power is probably being overlooked at a thin position. He seems to be their primary catcher now.
The Cubs will also pay a visit to Coors Field and, like the Nationals, face a rebuilding team in their other series. It's only six games, making it even harder to trust in Jorge Soler or Javier Baez not knowing exactly how that playing time is going to shake out, but one Cub whose playing time should no longer be a concern is Willson Contreras. He's started in only 70 percent of CBSSports.com leagues despite starting nine of the Cubs' last 10 games. Addison Russell is also a sleeper of sorts, but Jason Heyward might be pushing it.
The Rays' matchups are great and all, but unfortunately two of their most sleeper-worthy hitters, Brad Miller and Corey Dickerson, may not be able to take advantage. That's because three lefties are on the schedule, and neither Miller nor Dickerson has played much against lefties this season. You might still do OK starting Miller since he's a hot-hand play and the Rays have relaxed the platoon with him lately, but he's not automatic. Meanwhile, all those lefties should ensure Logan Forsythe continues to smoke the ball, making him pretty close to must-start.
Worst hitter matchups for Week 20
Yes, the Brewers have the "worst" hitter matchups this week, but no team's are out-and-out terrible. Just something to keep in mind as you weigh all the factors. "Matchup" may not be as important this go around. Still, it has some influence. You wouldn't choose this week to bank on an Orlando Arcia breakout, for instance, at least if you had a halfway decent alternative. And though Hernan Perez halted what looked like the beginnings of a slump with a monster game Thursday, you're not obligated to start him unless you're desperate for steals. Naturally, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar shouldn't be in question.
To be clear, the Athletics' contests against Yu Darvish, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana are the only reason they appear here. Their other matchups are actually quite favorable, which again shows why playing the matchups game may not be the best idea this week. Then again, so many of the Athletics' hitters make it oh so easy to do. Stephen Vogt, Marcus Semien and Khris Davis, arguably their three most valuable for Fantasy purposes, have all been scuffling since the All-Star break, so in shallower leagues -- Head-to-Head, mostly -- you can pass on them.
Even with the acquisition of Matt Kemp, Freddie Freeman looks like the only surefire must-start hitter for the Braves. True, in Rotisserie leagues, Kemp's home run potential may be too great to pass up, particularly in five-outfielder formats, but as little as he walks, he needs help from his supporting cast that he isn't likely to get in that four-game series against the Nationals. Nick Markakis (.351 batting average) and Ender Inciarte (.356) have both been hot since the All-Star break, but their limited ceilings make them low-priority hitters in weeks like this one.
Again, Curtis Granderson isn't a great play with four lefties on tap, but Jay Bruce's splits aren't so dramatic that you should consider sitting someone as high-end as him. What about Neil Walker, as hot as he is? He has actually crushed lefties to the tune of a .315 batting average and .933, so don't let the matchups scare you away from him.