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 21: |
All information is up to date as of Sunday afternoon.
Nolan Jones LF
COL Colorado • #22 • Age: 25
The one sleeper hitter this week who's genuinely worth getting excited about, Jones continues to deliver premium exit velocities and has a full week of home games at the hitter's haven that is Coors Field. It helps that he has a full slate of right-handed pitchers, not that it's impacted his playing time lately.
Max Kepler RF
MIN Minnesota • #26 • Age: 30
Kepler has been a hot hitter of late, batting .307 (27 for 88) with seven homers in his past 25 games, and his xwOBA this year the highest of his career. His numbers aren't so great against left-handed pitchers, but the Twins aren't expected to face any in their five games against the Tigers and Pirates.
STL St. Louis • #27 • Age: 28
O'Neill rejoined the lineup Thursday after missing a couple games with a knee issue, but he's performed well overall since returning from a lengthy IL stint July 20. And the Cardinals happen to have the third-best hitter matchups this week, facing a bad Athletics rotation and a depleted Mets rotation.
DET Detroit • #30 • Age: 26
Carpenter is picking it up at the plate, hitting safely in 10 straight with a .459 (17 for 37) batting average and four home runs during that stretch. Lately, he's been in the lineup regardless, but it's nice that he has five righties on the schedule, against whom he's batting .288 with an .875 OPS.
Zack Gelof 3B
OAK Oakland • #46 • Age: 24
Some of the underlying numbers paint a less-than-rosy picture for Zack Gelof, but it would hard to argue that the second-half call-up is anything less than a hot hand, made all the hotter by his two-homer game Sunday. His matchups are decent enough, mostly because of a three-game series against a suspect Cardinals staff.
MIN Minnesota • #47 • Age: 24
Julien still tends to sit against left-handers -- and for good reason, judging by the splits -- but the Twins aren't scheduled to face any. They have only five games, but that's true for so many teams this week that it's hard to hold it against them, especially when they're facing the Tigers and Pirates pitching staffs.
Matt Wallner LF
MIN Minnesota • #38 • Age: 25
Wallner has proven to be a considerable source of power, just as he was in the minors, and while his strikeouts could cause him to spiral, that's less likely in a week against nothing but Tigers and Pirates pitchers. He also benefits from having no left-handers on the schedule.
ARI Arizona • #31 • Age: 26
McCarthy doesn't play quite every day, but he's batting near .280 with a ton of stolen bases since returning to the minors in late May. That makes him as good of a bet as any to take advantage of the most favorable hitting schedule this week, which includes three games at Coors Field.
ATL Atlanta • #11 • Age: 29
Arcia had a big Week 20 and is batting .282 (11 for 39) with three homers in August. His matchups this week are middle-of-the-road, but he feels like a safe choice if you need help up the middle, having sustained a batting average around .300 basically all year.
Tommy Pham DH
ARI Arizona • #28 • Age: 35
The Diamondbacks have the most favorable hitter matchups of any team this week, being one of only six scheduled for seven games, including three at Colorado. Pham has been their primary DH since coming over from the Mets, and while he has yet to produce much for his new team, the favorable matchups, along with the three lefties on tap, could be enough to get him going.