The amount of rotation upheaval through the first three weeks has been extraordinarily high. From rampant injuries to rearranged roles to entire series being canceled, we should know by now that the 2020 season isn't going to make anything easy.
And it's of particular significance when selecting which pitchers to start. Sleepers like the ones depicted here are often only worthwhile because of where their start falls, putting them in line for a favorable matchup or a two-start week. But if you can't rely on the schedule to hold or for turns to remain in line, what good is a sleeper pick?
Case in point: The Cardinals had two more series canceled over the weekend, which not only impacts their rotation, but also the Cubs' and Pirates' rotations. It's the sort of thing that could happen mid-week as well.
So, important reminder: It's never a bad idea to just play your best players and let the matchups fall where they may, and for this year in particular, you should probably be doing more of it.
Based on what we can surmise right now, though, here are my 10 sleeper pitchers for Week 4 (Aug. 10-16). All are rostered in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
MIL Milwaukee • #37 • Age: 28
Hopefully, the schedule actually holds for him to make the two starts he's scheduled to make this time. The skills are good enough that I'll take the volume even if there's some matchup risk.
Randy Dobnak RP
MIN Minnesota • #68 • Age: 27
The lack of strikeouts limits his upside, but he prevents runs in other ways, having allowed just one between three starts this year after putting together a 1.98 ERA between the majors and minors last year. Nice matchups, too.
HOU Houston • #53 • Age: 24
The guy with the 1.74 ERA in the minors last year gets a pass for faltering in his third big-league start, especially after dominating in his first two. It helps that his matchup will be the easiest he has faced yet.
HOU Houston • #59 • Age: 28
The ground-ball specialist with at least average strikeout potential turned in a seven-inning gem against the Athletics over the weekend and has an even better matchup this time out.
BOS Boston • #43 • Age: 33
He has had to navigate some difficult matchups of late and gets another one to begin this week. If he can just limit the damage in that first start, he should deliver something more worthwhile in the second.
LAA L.A. Angels • #47 • Age: 25
The matchup is nothing special, but he's looking healthy after an earlier elbow scare and, frankly, deserves more respect. Two of his first three starts have gone well.
Dylan Cease SP
CHW Chi. White Sox • #84 • Age: 26
He's still a work in progress and not to be trusted every week, but he certainly has the upside to make the most of this favorable matchup.
Kyle Gibson SP
PHI Philadelphia • #44 • Age: 34
He struck out nine in his most recent start and is an interesting change-of-scenery candidate for the Rangers, but his bipolar matchups this week might make him too risky for some.
SEA Seattle • #18 • Age: 30
The Astros present a difficult matchup, of course, but with a big jump in velocity, Kikuchi has shown world-beating potential of late. He piled up whiffs against the Athletics two turns ago.
DET Detroit • #70 • Age: 27
He had a crazy relief outing recently in which he struck out 10 of the 12 hitters he faced, earning him this rotation chance, but he got some favorable calls then and doesn't have a track record that supports that kind of production. Still, if you're desperate enough ...