Here are The Game Day’s Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: 2-Start Pitchers, Spot Starters, & Hitter Picks. Follow along with our full fantasy baseball tips page all MLB season. Use Josh Shepardson’s Week 8 MLB Sleepers to fill out your fantasy baseball lineups with upside plays.
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Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
Week 8 Fantasy Baseball 2-Start Pitchers To Add From Waiver Wire
Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs (22% rostered on Yahoo!)
- Start 1: vs. Washington Nationals
- Start 2: at St. Louis Cardinals
Adbert Alzolay was featured here last week, but he, unfortunately, ended up toeing the rubber only one time. This week, he projects to start Monday and Saturday, putting him in line for a two-start week. He’s the only pitcher dancing the fantasy baseball two-step I’m willing to suggest rolling with this week.
I entered the year skeptical of Alzolay’s ability to hold down a rotation spot after walking 14.9% of the batters he faced in 2020. I’m now driving the bandwagon for rostering him, as the fantasy community seems to be sleeping on him.
Sure, his 4.50 ERA isn’t much to get excited about. However, the rest of his profile is dreamy, including a 3.21 SIERA, per FanGraphs, 0.88 WHIP, 5.7 BB%, 29.3 K%, and 31.7 CWS%. As for his matchups, they’re about everything you could hope for, too, with the Washington Nationals ranking tied for 22nd in wRC+ (89) and the St. Louis Cardinals checking in 24th in wRC+ (88) against right-handed pitchers this year.
- Adbert Alzolay fantasy baseball tip: Alzolay should be scooped up universally in fantasy baseball leagues for his fantasy-friendly two-start week.
Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Spot Starters
Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners, vs. Detroit Tigers (41%)
Rather than suggest two-start pitchers I harbor serious reservations about using, I’m pumping this section up with a trio of spot-starter options, starting with Yusei Kikuchi. The southpaw is one of the three players I featured as a waiver wire priority add. Rather than rehash why I’m enamored with him, I’ll say he’s been en fuego lately, and I’ll turn my attention to his matchup.
The Detroit Tigers rank dead last in wRC+ (56) against lefties this year. They also have the dubious distinction of punching out against lefties at the highest clip, striking out in a whopping 33.8% of their plate appearances. It’s a drool-inducing matchup for Kikuchi.
- Yusei Kikuchi fantasy baseball tip: Kikuchi’s a streaming option universally this week, and he has roster staying power beyond that. He also sets up for a two-start week next week, a nifty bonus for streaming him now.
Rich Hill, Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles (14%)
Through Rich Hill’s first four starts this year, lasting just 16.1 innings, he was knocked around to the tune of an 8.82 ERA. The lefty’s 4.34 SIERA provided a reason for optimism regarding a turnaround, and it’s happened in an even more extreme way than anyone could have reasonably expected.
In his last four starts lasting 21.2 innings, he’s pitched to a microscopic 0.83 ERA, 3.30 SIERA, 0.74 WHIP, 9.8 BB%, 32.9 K%, and 13.8 SwStr%. The Baltimore Orioles are a middle-of-the-road offense against lefties, ranking 14th with a 103 wRC+. An average offense isn’t the caliber I’m fading with a white-hot Hill.
- Rich Hill fantasy baseball tip: Hill should be streamed in leagues of all sizes.
Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers (49%)
Logan Gilbert is one of Major League Baseball’s top pitching prospects, and while his first start wasn’t a gem, it was good enough to warrant another crack in fantasy lineups in a plus matchup this week. Gilbert proved all he needed to in the upper-minors (Double-A and Triple-A), recording a 2.78 ERA, 2.78 FIP, 0.96 WHIP, 7.0 BB%, and 28.6 K% in 10 starts (nine in Double-A in 2019 and one in Triple-A this year) totaling 55 innings.
The rookie righty lasted only four innings in his first game, allowing four runs on five hits, two homers, and zero walks. On the plus side, he struck out five, and he was awarded 71 pitches. If the Seattle Mariners loosen his pitch restrictions a bit in this turn, he should be able to complete five or more innings and qualify for the win.
Gilbert will have another chance to delight the home crowd in his second start. More importantly, that means he’ll be pitching in a pitcher-friendly venue, as T-Mobile Park has the fifth-lowest park factor for runs (0.915) and also suppresses homers (0.964), per FantasyPros. The matchup is a soft one as well, with the Tigers ranking 20th in wRC+ (91) and striking out at the second-highest clip (27.4 K%) against right-handed pitchers this year.
- Logan Gilbert fantasy baseball tip: Fantasy baseball gamers in leagues as shallow as 12-team mixers should add Gilbert for his start against the Tigers this week.
Week 8 MLB Sleeper Hitters
Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants (29%)
- 4 Games at Cincinnati Reds
- 3 Games vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The San Francisco Giants are scheduled to play seven games this week; that’s a good start for their hitters. Additionally, four of those games are at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, which ranks second in run-scoring (1.106) and first for homers (1.347).
Brandon Crawford is a widely available option from their lineup, and he’s raking of late. In 75 plate appearances since April 16, he’s slashing .297/.387/.578 with six homers, 14 runs, 13 RBIs, and two stolen bases.
Kyle Schwarber, OF, Washington Nationals (42%)
- 4 Games at Chicago Cubs
- 3 Games vs. Baltimore Orioles
Kyle Schwarber isn’t ripping the cover of the ball this year. Still, there’s enough to like here to make him a sleeper this week, starting with seven games and at least five slated to be facing a right-handed starter.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder has hit .237/.341/.506 with 70 homers in 1,155 plate appearances with the platoon advantage since 2018. Further, he’s slotted cleanup in four straight games against right-handed starters and five of his last six games, hitting fifth in the outlier contest.