It was an awesome Friday night of baseball across the Major Leagues last night. There was plenty of excitement and offense to o around as well as some shutdown pitching performances. The two teams with the best record in the NL faced off at Dodger Stadium where Clayton Kershaw pitched LA to the win. In the American League, The Tigers are in trouble as the Yankees walked off winners on a wild pitch and the Red Sox are suddenly resurgent. Coming into the weekend everyone was all over the Rangers as the best team in baseball, but the Rays are hot right now too making for a fascinating series in Arlington.
Hopefully, your team pulled out the win in their game and hopefully your fantasy team is rolling right along as well. If heading into next week you’re looking for help check out our lineup below in today’s installment of Sleeper Central and look through our archive for other sleepers that might meet your needs. If you need starting pitching for this weekend, check out our spot starter selections updated daily with 3 solid and available probable starters.
For the purposes of our post, a sleeper is a player owned in less than half of ESPN leagues (percentages included). It’s your call who you add or drop since you know your team needs and league rules, but here’s a whole lineup of players that are widely available and were productive yesterday.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Ramon Hernandez-Col: (4.3%) Hernandez was part of the 18-run Rockies onslaught. He went 1-5 with 2 runs scored and 5 RBI’s. He hit a HR in the nightcap of the Rockies double-header in his previous game and has 12 RBI’s and 4 HR on the year while hitting .265. If you need a catcher, he’s a great addition whether he’s in Coors or not.
1B-Ty Wigginton-Phi: (5.3%) Wigginton continues to fill in at first base for Philadelphia. He’s not Ryan Howard (2 HRs) but then again he’s not Ryan Howard (batting .320). Wigginton went 2-4 yesterday extending his hitting streak to 12 games and accounting for the Phils only run on the night with his 2nd HR on the season. He’s in the middle of a slow-producing lineup but Wigginton hasn’t been the problem since he’s hitting decent and can possibly help your team especially due to his positional flexibility in many leagues.
2B-Skip Schumaker-Stl: (0.6%) Schumaker missed some time at the start of the year due to injury but has hit in every game he’s batted in and is 5-12 overall with 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI’s. All 3 of those RBI’s came yesterday as he tripled and went 2-3 with 2 runs scored, a walk, and a strikeout. He’s versatile and could get some increased time if he keeps hitting.
3B-Eric Sogard-Oak: (0.0%) Sogard hit a key HR for the A’s in their win in Baltimore. He went 1-3 and is still hitting just .167 on the year. The reason he’s included here (besides his 2nd long-ball of the year) is that it looks like he’ll get more time to work out his hitting stroke as manager Bob Melvin tries to do all he can to give him the 3B job.
SS-Jed Lowrie-Hou: (1.5%) Lowrie went 2-4 and has multiple hits in 3 of his last 4 bringing his average up to .264 after a rough start. He looks to be hitting #2 in a surprisingly productive Astros lineup when he plays and while he doesn’t offer much speed can contribute with average, HR, and runs scored when he’s hot.
OF-Tony Campana-ChC: (1.6%) Campana started for the Cubs and hit second causing problems for Roy Halladay going 2-5 with 2 runs scored and his 5th stolen base in his last three games. Campana is expect to play about 80% of the Cubs games as their starting CF making him an almost-must add with his speed. He won’t give you any power but runs ad steals should be abundant.
OF-Michael Saunders-Sea: (1.1%) Saunders had been heating up and appearing in sleeper central over the past week before his breakout performance last night. He has 2 hits in 5 of his last 7 games and last night his 2 hits couldn’t have been bigger. He homered in the 9th and shortly after the Mariners scored a second run to tie the game on a John Jaso single. He batted again in the tenth, this time with the bases loaded, and delivered his first career grand slam which was his 3rd HR of the year. He finished 2-4 with a walk, 3 runs scored, 2 HR, and 5 RBI. He’s now batting .254 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, 10 runs scored in his 18 games this month.
OF-Eric Thames-Tor: (0.5%) Thames has control of the LF starting job for Toronto and has at least 1 hit in 12 consecutive games in which he’s batted at least twice. He went 3-4 yesterday with 2 runs scored, an RBI, and his second HR of the year (both in his last 4 games). He’s hitting .321 with just 3 RBI but 8 runs scored. He does strikeout a lot (10 times in 56 ABs), but is 8-16 in his last 4 games.
4th OF-Scott Hairston-NYM: (0.2%) Hairston is a platoon guy in the Mets outfield right now and came into yesterday’s game batting .172. He would have to have a great game to make this list from that starting position, and he did last night in Colorado. He went 4-5 collecting the full cycle-1B, 2B, 3B, HR-while driving in 4 runs and scoring 3. He’s now batting .265 with 2 HR and 6 RBI’s on the year. He’s not worth an add in most leagues, but his huge night last night made him deserving of mention. Make sure you see if he’s going to get the time before you take the leap.
DH-Josh Reddick-Oak: (4.3%) Reddick went 2-4 last night and is eligible in the OF. He’s here since there were no DH-only players that stepped up. He hit his 3rd HR of the year and raised his average to .256 as he continues to hit in the middle of the A’s lineup. He’s had back-to-back muti-hit games after 3 0-fers. He’s played 20 games for Oakland and is a huge part of their plan in the OF.
AL Starting Pitcher-Brandon McCarthy-Oak: (84.7%) I realize I’m breaking the “rules” (which are completely made up by me, fwiw). McCarthy is owned in over half of leagues, but there were no decent performances by anyone under 50%. McCarthy got his first win of the season although this was hie 4th start of 7 innings and the 3rd time he had thrown 7 while allowing 2 or less runs. The A’s offense isn’t going to get him lots of W’s but he leads the AL in innings and his ERA of 3.23 with a WHIP of 1.41 is solid and worth adding if he’s available.
NL Starting Pitcher-Joe Saunders-Ari:(17.7%) The best start in the Bigs last night was turned in by someone who’s on the waiver wire in the vast majority of leagues. On a night when Clayton Kershaw and Roy Halladay pitched, it was Joe Saunders who went the distance allowing just 3 hits and 2 BB’s while striking out 4 against the Marlins. I gave you him as a good spot start for yesterday, but with the year he’s having- 2 W, 0.87 WHIP, 0.90 ERA, .188 BAA-he’s going to be a hot addition for more than just a spot start.
Relief Pitcher-Ryan Cook-Oak: (0.0%) While most baseball fans haven’t heard of Cook he’s been one of the game’s dominant setup men so far this season. He has pitched 10 innings in 9 games and has yet to allow a run. In fact, in those 10 innings he’s given up exactly 1 hit. He has walked 5, but he has 8 strikeouts including 4 last night against Baltimore. He struck out the side “and 1″ as a wild pitch forced him to get 4 outs in the inning. He has a hold in 6 consecutive outings and has a WHIP of just 0.60 and an ERA of 0.00. Grant Balfour has been solid at the end of games (6 saves), but it’s been Cook who’s been bridging the gap to get to him for the A’s.