If you need a fill-in for an injury or are simply looking for a spark, Scott White has you covered with 10 sleeper hitters for the upcoming scoring period, all rostered in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues. They're not must-starts by any estimation, but they're the best you'll find off the waiver wire.
- Week 22: |
All information is up to date as of Sunday evening.
Zack Gelof 3B
OAK Oakland • #46 • Age: 24
Gelof has two four-hit games in the past week and has only gotten better and better since joining the team for the start of the second half. His combination of a high strikeout rate and a low max exit velocity could bring him down to size eventually, but not with the Athletics having the best hitter matchups this week.
ATL Atlanta • #20 • Age: 33
Ozuna saw his 16-game hitting streak snapped Sunday, but he's basically been a stud since May 1 and shouldn't be as available as he still is in CBS Sports leagues. The Braves matchups in Week 22 are decent enough, but really, he's beyond matchups.
HOU Houston • #20 • Age: 28
As with Marcell Ozuna, this McCormick pick is less about the player's schedule for this week and more about him being good enough for long enough that he should no longer be available anywhere. He looked like he might be slowing down at the start of August but comes out of the weekend batting .360 (9 for 25) with two home runs in his past seven games.
Josh Bell 1B
MIA Miami • #9 • Age: 31
Bell has been a different hitter since joining the Marlins, and the data says he should have been performing this way all along given the exit velocity readings and quality plate discipline. He'll enjoy favorable matchups this week against pitchers like Rich Hill, Joan Adon, Jake Irvin and Trevor Williams.
WAS Washington • #20 • Age: 25
It's always a stretch to think anyone would pick up an extra catcher just to take advantage of his good matchups in a given week, but the bottom line with Ruiz is that he might just deserve to be your No. 1 catcher moving forward. His contact skills are second to none at the position, and he's shown improved power lately, homering four times in his past 11 games.
Jake Burger 3B
MIA Miami • #36 • Age: 27
Burger hasn't put many balls in the bleachers yet with the Marlins, but he has closed the gap on his .258 xBA, batting .486 (17 for 35) in his past nine games to bring his actual batting average up to .240. He'll look to continue his hot hitting in a week that includes three games against the back of the Nationals rotation.
PIT Pittsburgh • #13 • Age: 26
Hayes has throttled the ball since coming back from an IL stint for a back issue in early August, batting .286 (18 for 63) with three homers and an average exit velocity of 94.7 mph. Not only do the Pirates have the second-best hitter matchups this week but they're also facing four lefties, against whom Hayes is batting .291 on the year.
Joey Meneses DH
WAS Washington • #45 • Age: 31
Meneses had just two home runs on July 6, but he has nine home runs in 36 games since then, batting .288 (42 for 149) with an .881 OPS. The contact skills stand out even more than the power, frankly, and he'll get to enjoy the fifth-best hitter matchups this week, facing pitchers like Luis Severino, Jhony Brito and Johnny Cueto.
DET Detroit • #30 • Age: 26
You might think Carpenter deserves to rank higher than this given that he's playing against lefties as well as righties now and batting .393 (22 for 56) with seven homers over his past 15 games. But the Tigers are at home all week, where he has hit just four of his 18 home runs. He's still better than most of what you'll find on the waiver wire but not a total no-brainer.
OAK Oakland • #22 • Age: 23
Butler's improved contact skills in the minors have so far carried over to the majors, which should allow his natural abilities to come through. The Athletics have the best hitter matchups this week, going against the Royals staff for three games and the White Sox staff for four, and because they only have two lefties on the schedule, Butler will have ample opportunities to take advantage.