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Hooray for health!
Shin-Soo Choo (calf) is off the DL Friday, and Mike Moustakas (thumb) looks like a go for Saturday. The timing couldn't be any more perfect for you. They get a couple games to prove their health, allowing you to make a more informed lineup decision come Monday.
There's also a chance David Peralta (wrist) returns from the DL early in the week, but you probably wouldn't want to chance it with him, especially with three lefties on tap for the Diamondbacks.
Speaking of lefty concerns, the Pirates are projected to face four this week. That's bad news for John Jaso, who will likely sit those games, but good news for Francisco Cervelli, who has hit .305 with an .808 OPS against lefties over his career. Don't lose faith in what's shaping up to be one of the best 10 options the dreadful catcher position has to offer.
No major DH concerns this week. The Rays lose theirs for two games, which is hopefully what finally compels you to sit Corey Dickerson finally even though Brandon Guyer is more likely to lose at-bats than him.
And with that, on to the matchups ...
Best hitter matchups for Week 8
1. Giants SD3, @COL3
2. Astros BAL3, @LAA3
3. Brewers @ATL3, CIN3
4. Rangers LAA3, PIT3
5. Mariners OAK3, MIN3
- The three-game series at Coors Field is what really puts the Giants over the top. Their matchups in the Padres series aren't so great, really. Joe Panik is picking it up at the plate and should be fairly obvious even at a deep position. Denard Span as well -- he's actually unowned in 27 percent of leagues still, for some reason. Maybe you give Matt Duffy the benefit of the doubt with matchups like these. His BABIP suggests he has nowhere to go but up.
- We haven't seen the Astros on this list too often, but we could see fireworks from their boom-or-bust lineup against pitchers like Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Matt Shoemaker and Jered Weaver. No lefties on the slate either, which is good news for Colby Rasmus, Luis Valbuena and Jason Castro, who's suddenly looking awfully attractive in two-catcher leagues. Too bad Evan Gattis isn't eligible there yet. I could also see myself rolling the dice on Tyler White or even Tony Kemp, depending how much they play this weekend.
- You ready to put your faith in ultra-streaky Chris Carter again? I don't know that I could do it in a Head-to-Head league, where every loss is "banked" and unaffected by a later hot streak. But in a Rotisserie league, knowing where his home run total is likely to wind up, I wouldn't want to risk sitting him. Jonathan Villar has greater crossover appeal, especially since his improved walk rate this year is allowing him to make better use of his speed.
- Funny thing about the Mariners matchups: All six of their games are at home, where nobody other than Ketel Marte has hit particularly well, so I'm going to focus on the Rangers instead. Nomar Mazara has been less productive than his batting average and home run total would suggest, but he's too promising to sit in a week like this one. Shin-Soo Choo should be in for an exciting return. I'll also go out on a limb and say this is the week Prince Fielder plays up to his potential. I'd still go with David Ortiz or Victor Martinez over him if I had more than one DH-only player, but with as much contact as he's making, I'm not ready to admit he's washed up.
Worst hitter matchups for Week 8
1. Mets @WAS3, LAD3
2. Cardinals CHC3, @WAS4
3. Rockies @BOS3, SF3
4. Cubs @STL3, PHI3
5. Padres @SF3, @ARI3
- David Wright, on the other hand, may well be washed up. No sense starting him against a string of must-owns like Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Clayton Kershaw. Same goes for Asdrubal Cabrera and I'd also say Lucas Duda, Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson (deep positions and all) if you have anything in the way of an alternative. The real questionable choice is Michael Conforto, who had seemingly graduated to must-start status a few weeks ago but has since trailed off. In three-outfielder leagues, I'd probably pass.
- Pretty scary group of opposing pitchers for the Cardinals as well: John Lackey, Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta, Joe Ross, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. Seven games, at least, but not a weak link in the bunch. You'd never sit Matt Carpenter, of course, and by now, that goes for Stephen Piscotty as well. I'd also think Aledmys Diaz and Yadier Molina owners would be hard-pressed to find a worthy replacement at those positions. Otherwise, though, this week is a week to sit your Cardinals.
- Despite the tough matchups, you're probably not going to sit your Rockies with half a week at home, and the Cubs are short on potential sits as well. I don't think Jason Heyward's home run the other day is enough for us to swear our loyalty to him again, and Javier Baez and Jorge Soler continue to cut into each other's at-bats. That's about it. The dropoff from the Cardinals' matchups is notable, though, so it's probably best not to exaggerate the difficulty of the Rockies' and Cubs' anyway.
- But hey, the Padres are all pretty fringy, apart from Matt Kemp, so even having sort of bad matchups is enough incentive to sit them. I'm thinking Wil Myers, Melvin Upton and, um ... anybody else you might have been desperate enough to start at one point. Come to think of it, I'm not sure Kemp is really beyond sitting. He has been home run-or-bust this season, with a lot more bust lately. A 7-for-57 (.123) slump has his 35-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio looking mighty debilitating.