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Week 24: Ranking two-start pitchers

Maybe this week is an exceptional case with an unusually high number of fifth starters lining up for two starts, but one thing I’m noticing this time of year is that every hitter seems to have a favorable matchup.

OK, so not every hitter. The Cubs, Indians and Nationals rotations are still pretty stacked, making the hitters that face them, at least the fringy ones, something less than advisable. But with rosters expanded for September, spot starters have significantly diluted the pitching pool. Shoot, half the league has resorted to a six-man rotation.

So don’t stress too much about hitter matchups when setting your lineups this week. I pretty much threw them out when selecting these sleepers. I did, however, make an exception for the Brewers, who’ll be facing that loaded Cubs rotation for four games. It’s a shame, too, with the way Chris Carter, Orlando Arcia, Hernan Perez and Domingo Santana have swung the bat lately. Any other matchups, and they might all be sleepers.

As it is, these are the best 10 I could find, all owned in less than 80 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.

1. Jung Ho Kang 3B/SS / Pittsburgh Pirates (last 10 games)

BA: .438HR: 6AB: 32BB: 4K: 6
He has mashed since returning from a shoulder injury and was in the starting lineup for a fifth straight game Friday, which should soften those concerns about his playing time.

2. Kendrys Morales 1B/OF / Kansas City Royals (last 10 games)

BA: .405HR: 6AB: 42BB: 3K: 6
A hot-hand play now two weeks running, the seven home games and three lefties on tap only play into his splits.

Ryan Schimpf may be grabbing the headlines, but Solarte is swinging a hot bat himself and has averaged more Head-to-Head points per game than Justin Turner and Todd Frazier this season.

4. Ryan Schimpf 2B / San Diego Padres (last 12 games)

BA: .300HR: 43B: 32B: 2AB: 40
Of course, Schimpf’s historic power season (check out his ISO) should make for a fun half-week at Coors Field, and the surplus of righties on tap should keep him in the lineup.

5. C.J. Cron 1B / Los Angeles Angels (last 37 games)

BA: .333HR: 11AB: 144BB: 4K: 23
A lot of hot-hand plays this week, which is the riskiest kind of sleeper, but Cron’s hot streak precedes even his six-week DL stint for a fractured hand, lasting long enough to suggest it’s something more.

6. Jose Reyes 3B/SS / New York Mets (2016 season)

BA: .287HR: 6SB: 8OPS: .826AB: 167
Seeing as he’s the third-best shortstop on a per-game basis, might as well keep touting him until he’s appropriately owned, right?

A lefty-loaded schedule gives the right-handed hitter a perfect opportunity to seize everyday duty, especially after hitting his first and second career home runs on back-to-back days.

A bit all-or-nothing for my liking, but he has homered in three consecutive games and faces nothing but righties this week, which should both keep him in the lineup and play to his strengths.

9. Byron Buxton OF / Minnesota Twins (last seven games)

BA: .462HR: 42B: 4AB: 26K: 7
The strikeouts are beginning to pile up again, which is why he’s only ninth despite decent matchups, but that’s the only knock on his performance since returning from the minors.

10. Jose Peraza 2B/SS/OF / Cincinnati Reds (2016 season)

BA: .338SB: 14AB: 154BB: 4K: 20
Kind of a format-specific recommendation since Peraza’s poor plate discipline severely limits his points-league appeal, but he profiles as a 50-steal guy with full-time at-bats, which is what he’s getting now with Billy Hamilton hurt.

Best hitter matchups for Week 24

1. Red Sox BAL3, NYY4
2. Cubs @STL3, MIL4
3. Phillies PIT4, MIA3
4. Giants SD3, STL4
5. Rockies @ARI3, SD3

Worst hitter matchups for Week 24

1. Brewers @CIN3, @CHC4
2. White Sox CLE4, @KC3
3. Orioles @BOS3, TB4
4. Braves MIA3, WAS3
5. Athletics @KC4, @TEX3


Source: CBS Sports / Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 sleeper hitters for Week 24