Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 sleeper hitters for Week 10 feature Hunter Pence, C.J. Cron
The Pirates are scheduled to play eight games and the Rockies have seven at home. Who can you use to make the most of these oddities? Scott White shares his favorite hitters for Week 10.
It's always more fun when Coors Field is involved.
A full seven games there in Week 10 (May 27-June 2) is of course good news for Rockies hitters, to whatever extent you might be on the fence about them. There's also a stark contrast in number of games for two other teams. The Braves are the only one playing five. The Pirates are the only one playing eight. Not surprisingly, the former appears among the worst matchups for Week 10 and the latter among the best.
Speaking of the latter, I'm bending my 80 percent ownership rule for one of them because it's oh so borderline and he's oh so perfectly suited to take advantage of both the matchups and the volume this week. But generally speaking, the players depicted here are all owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
Gregory Polanco is the player deserving of special distinction here. Despite being owned in 81 percent of CBS Sports leagues, it doesn't seem clear that the world at large has caught onto the fact he's all the way back from a torn labrum in his shoulder, making consistent contact with the same sort of power profile he was just growing into prior to the injury. He has been in and out of the lineup some, but an eight-game week in which the Pirates are facing almost all righties should help with that.
Though Willie Calhoun's trip to the IL for a quad strain was unfortunate timing for his development, it does assure something close to regular at-bats for the 36-year-old Hunter Pence, who has caught fire again with his reconstructed swing. The possibility of facing four lefties in seven games should make it an easier call for the Rangers, and the fact those seven games are against the Mariners and Royals pitching staffs should make it an easier call for you.
Daniel Vogelbach managed to navigate his first slump of the season without giving up any ground in playing time and now seems to be coming out of it, having homered five times in his past 10 games. He remains one of the game's most disciplined hitters with all the home run potential you could want from a corner infielder, and a seven-game week against some of the worst the Rangers and Angels can offer seems like a good time to hop back aboard.
Cavan Biggio got the start at second base in each of his first three big-league games, so playing time doesn't seem to be an issue. He went 3 for 4 with his first career home run Sunday, so performance doesn't either. With power, speed and plus on-base skills, there's a lot to like, especially when he's scheduled to play three games at Coors Field.
The Twins' matchups this week are decidedly middle-of-the road, but for as productive as C.J. Cron has been in May, having homered eight times already, he remains surprisingly available. The playing time is consistent and the power potential well established, so there's no harm in turning to him as a hot-hand play.
Kole Calhoun's season numbers are still pretty pitiful, but he has a near-.950 OPS over the past month. He also has some favorable matchups this week with seven games against the Athletics and Mariners pitching staffs.
Though the return of his power stroke is just as mysterious as the loss of it was two years ago, Jonathan Lucroy is nonetheless on pace for more than twice as many home runs (22) as in the past two years combined (10). And as one of the more consistent starters at a position that requires frequent off days, he stands out on two levels. Especially with matchups like Daniel Mengden, Mike Leake, Tommy Milone and Marco Gonzales, he should be pretty close to must-start.
The arrival of Brendan Rodgers obviously poses a threat to Ryan McMahon's playing time, but McMahon has gotten the more consistent playing time of the two and recently responded with a two-homer game. If you want to take advantage of the seven-game week at Coors Field, he's probably your best bet off the waiver wire, especially since six of those games are expected to come against right-handers.
Lately, the strikeouts have been more prominent than the home runs for Jorge Soler, who may be the clearest example of an all-or-nothing hitter in the game today. I'd be willing to bet more on the "all" with a seven-game week against the White Sox and Rangers pitching staffs.
Looking to go even deeper? Renato Nunez had nearly slumped his way out of the lineup before homering five times in his past six games. Of his 12 home runs this season, six have come vs. left-handers, giving him a .963 OPS against them. The Orioles have four of those on the schedule this week, and while Matthew Boyd obviously presents a challenge, the other three do not.
Best hitter matchups for Week 10
1. Rockies ARI4, TOR3
2. Pirates @CIN4, MIL4
3. Rangers @SEA3, KC4
4. Mariners TEX3, LAA4
5. Diamondbacks @COL4, NYM3
Worst hitter matchups for Week 10
1. Mets @LAD4, @ARI3
2. Cardinals @PHI3, CHC3
3. Athletics LAA3, HOU3
4. Braves WAS2, DET3
5. Cubs @HOU3, @STL3
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