Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 sleeper hitters for Week 5 include Christian Villanueva, Jeimer Candelario
An eight-game week for the White Sox is great for their hitters, but none of them top Scott White's list of sleeper hitters for Week 5 (April 23-29).
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Those early postponements are already coming home to roost. Thanks to a couple doubleheaders Saturday, Week 5 (April 23-29) features our first eight-game slate of 2018.
It belongs to the White Sox, which makes their hitters that much more interesting. If you had any reservations about starting the resurgent Yoan Moncada, for instance, the eight-game slate should clear it up for you.
And actually, three of the four teams taking part in the doubleheaders are in my top five hitter matchups for this week, so the entire spectrum of hitter recommendations changes because of poor playing conditions over the first couple weeks.
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Question is how many of those teams' hitters qualify as sleepers, owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues?
Christian Villanueva San Diego Padres 3B
|Christian Villanueva appears to be settling in as the Padres primary third baseman, batting .520 (13 for 25) with three homers and two doubles over his past eight games. Good time for a visit to Coors Field, which is where the Padres open the week.|
Matt Davidson Chicago White Sox DH
|Matt Davidson has predictably hit the skids after the early-season hoopla, the strikeouts once again weighing him down. But an eight-game slate presents him with more opportunities to do big damage, and pitchers like Mike Leake, Marco Gonzales, Felix Hernandez, Eric Skoglund and Ian Kennedy are the kind that can bring his bat to life.|
Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox SS
|Tim Anderson's base-stealing prowess combined with his poor plate discipline makes him a much better play in categories formats, but even in points leagues, he has chance to make up for his shortcomings via pure volume this week. And those matchups are just as favorable for him as for Davidson.|
Jeimer Candelario Detroit Tigers 3B
|Jeimer Candelario might be second on this list if points leagues were all that mattered. His greatest skill is getting on base, but a recent home-run binge has him riding high with the Tigers set to face some of the worst the Pirates and Orioles can throw at him. Nothing but righties, too, who he has crushed to the tune of a .297 batting average and .929 OPS so far.|
Kurt Suzuki Atlanta Braves C
|You wouldn't start a catcher anywhere but catcher, making it the least actionable position and least useful for this list. But as the unexpected primary option for the Braves this year, Kurt Suzuki has reached the point of being criminally undervalued, having struck out only twice while demonstrating as much power as during his surprising 2017. Great matchups, too.|
Steve Pearce Toronto Blue Jays LF
|A tricky recommendation given that he doesn't have a job all to himself, Steve Pearce nonetheless looks like a fixture vs. left-handers, against whom he has gone 9 for 28 (.321) with two home runs this year and has an .843 OPS for his career. The Blue Jays have four lefties on the schedule this week.|
Kevin Pillar Toronto Blue Jays CF
|Kevin Pillar's playing time is more assured than Pearce's even though his bat is less impactful at its best. You may be surprised to learn, though, he hit .336 with a .940 OPS against lefties last year, making this week's matchups just as favorable for him as for Pearce.|
Preston Tucker Atlanta Braves LF
|With a four-game series against the Reds crummy pitching staff to open the week, I'm betting on NL RBI co-leader Preston Tucker to continue defying expectations. And with only one left-handed pitcher on the seven-game slate, I'm betting on him to stay in the lineup, too.|
Nick Markakis Atlanta Braves RF
|Nick Markakis doesn't get much love in Fantasy Baseball circles as a guy who offers little in the way of power or speed, but he's a good compiler in a high-volume week (seven games) with favorable matchups. His plate discipline helps set him apart in points leagues as well.|
Leonys Martin Detroit Tigers CF
|Like most of the Tigers lineup, Leonys Martin has been on fire lately, putting together five multi-hit games in his last eight to raise his batting average nearly 100 points. He has plenty of failure on his resume, but offers some power and speed and is a good bet to keep it going against pitchers like Chad Kuhl, Ivan Nova, Andrew Cashner and Alex Cobb.|
Best hitter matchups for Week 5
1. White Sox SEA3, @KC5
2. Dodgers MIA3, @SF4
3. Royals MIL2, CHW5
4. Braves @CIN4, @PHI3
5. Cubs @CLE2, MIL4
Worst hitter matchups for Week 5
1. Angels @HOU3, NYY3
2. Nationals @SF3, ARI3
3. Athletics @TEX3, @HOU3
4. Giants WAS3, LAD3
5. Rays @BAL3, @BOS3
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