Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Fantasy Baseball Week 23 Preview: Top 10 sleeper pitchers highlight Patrick Sandoval, Justin Steele

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CHW Chi. White Sox • #47 • Age: 36

Cueto rebounded nicely from a seven-run disaster two turns ago and retains an ERA below 3.00 for reasons that are difficult to ascertain. With matchups this week against two bottom-10 offenses, the Mariners and Athletics, better not to overthink it.

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LAA L.A. Angels • #43 • Age: 25

Sandoval has exhibited better control over his past three starts, helping him to get the most out of his whifftastic changeup and slider. It all started with a complete-game shutout against the Tigers, and he’s facing them again this week.

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BOS Boston • #52 • Age: 31

Wacha has had the look of an overachiever most of the year, but his stuff has played up in four starts since returning from a shoulder injury, setting him up for an attractive two-start slate at the Rays and Orioles.

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STL St. Louis • #62 • Age: 33

After getting off to a nice start with the Cardinals, Quintana has floundered of late, struggling to go deep into starts. He has choice matchups to get back on track this week, though, facing the Nationals and Pirates.

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STL St. Louis • #22 • Age: 26

It’s not optimal to start Flaherty fresh off a shoulder injury that’s sidelined him for almost the entire season, but he’s coming back to a dream schedule — not only two starts but both against offenses that rank in the bottom five in runs scored (Nationals and Pirates). It’s too tempting to resist, I think, especially after a strong rehab assignment.

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TOR Toronto • #48 • Age: 32

The Rangers aren’t such a favorable matchup for opposing pitchers anymore, but they’re also not reason enough to back off Stripling after three consecutive quality starts. He’s fine if you have a hole to fill.

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PIT Pittsburgh • #23 • Age: 26


vs. NYM, vs. STL

Keller can’t seem to figure out what kind of pitcher he wants to be, emphasizing the four-seamer in his last start after working off the sinker more in recent weeks, but the fact is he has a 3.19 ERA in his past nine starts. He’s of some interest in points leagues with two starts this week.

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LAA L.A. Angels • #54 • Age: 24

Suarez’s slider is actually a pretty good swing-and-miss pitch, and he has a 2.12 ERA over his past six starts. He struggles to go deep into games, but there’s no matchup more favorable than the Tigers, his opponent this week.

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PHI Philadelphia • #70 • Age: 25

Turns out Falter is sticking in the rotation with Zack Wheeler still on the mend. He’s had three straight quality starts since re-joining the rotation and couldn’t ask for a better matchup this week than against the Marlins, who rank dead last offensively against left-handed pitchers.

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ATL Atlanta • #12 • Age: 32

Odorizzi just had his last turned skipped due to arm fatigue, so the risk might be bigger than the reward here. But he’s expected to take his next turn against a suspect Mariners lineup that he held to two hits in seven innings while striking out eight back on July 31.

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