Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Preview: Top 10 sleeper hitters include Ian Desmond, Robel Garcia
Whether your looking at an extra short or extra long scoring period fresh off the All-Star break, Scott White has you covered.
Most of you play in a league that will treat these four stray days of games immediately after the All-Star break like their own separate week, an extra short one wherein the margin for error will be higher.
Some of you play in a league that will lump these four stray days in with the week beginning July 15, creating an extra long 11-day scoring period wherein the margin for error will be lower. I'll address you weirdos a little further down, giving you your own special list of sleepers.
But for my four-day folks, we have some work to do.
The first item of note is that only four teams are actually playing four games, two because of a doubleheader Saturday. Of those four teams, only the Rays have favorable matchups, at least in terms of the pitchers they're facing, but the other three — the Astros, Rangers and Orioles — are noteworthy because that extra game counts for more than usual in an especially short week.
It's a judgment call whether it matters even more than the opposing pitchers, and you'll see I still include some hitters from those three other teams in my top 10 sleeper hitters, all owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
It's amazing what elevating the ball a little can do for a player in this environment. Ian Desmond has an OPS over .900 at Coors Field, where the Rockies are playing all three of their games this week.
Yandy Diaz has yet to homer in 11 games since returning from the IL, but his high contact rate makes him a high-floor player from week to week. And four games against the Orioles pitching staff makes him a high-ceiling player this week.
Keston Hiura 2B
MIL Milwaukee • #18 • Age: 22
Though the plate discipline still leaves something to be desired, Keston Hiura appears to be settling in as the Brewers second baseman and has at least demonstrated good power so far. The Giants rotation doesn't pose much of a challenge, especially in Milwaukee.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #22 • Age: 29
Jason Heyward has a .289 batting average and .891 OPS against righties, and it looks like all three of the pitchers the Cubs are facing this week indeed throw right-handed. The best of the bunch is probably Chris Archer, which isn't saying much.
Robel Garcia 2B
CHC Chi. Cubs • #16 • Age: 26
It's a gamble on the playing time, of course, but Robel Garcia, who hit 21 homers in just 72 minor-league games prior to his call-up, started three straight for the big club prior to the break, primarily at second base. He homered in two of them.
TB Tampa Bay • #43 • Age: 25
Another recent call-up whose playing time is in question, Mike Brosseau does have to watch out for the return of Brandon Lowe from the IL Saturday, but he started five straight heading into the break and performed well enough to keep getting looks, especially with the Rays gearing up to play four games in three days.
DET Detroit • #46 • Age: 25
If the two weeks heading into the All-Star break, during which he hit .350 (14 for 40) with four home runs, are any indication, Jeimer Candelario figured something out during his recent banishment to Triple-A, where he indeed put up good numbers. He'll have favorable matchups to put that theory to the test this week.
Rougned Odor 2B
TEX Texas • #12 • Age: 25
During a season in which he has struggled to hit even .175, Rougned Odor is batting a competent .255 (14 for 55) with five homers in his past 16 games, which for him qualifies as a hot streak. Hopefully he can use it to take advantage of the four games the Rangers are playing this week, even if it's against Astros pitchers.
Renato Nunez DH
BAL Baltimore • #39 • Age: 25
Renato Nunez's numbers against lefties have leveled off a bit, but they still come out to a .929 OPS. He was hot before the break, homering four times in the span of seven games, and is scheduled to face three lefties (albeit pretty good ones) in four games this week.
Best hitter matchups for Week 16
1. Rays @BAL4
2. Reds @COL3
3. Rockies CIN3
4. Athletics CHW3
5. Angels SEA3
Worst hitter matchups for Week 16
1. Phillies WAS3
2. Twins @CLE3
3. Red Sox LAD3
4. Dodgers @BOS3
5. Marlins NYM3
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