As we gear up for another fantasy baseball week, it’s time to get all your rosters finalized for weekly leagues. In roto-style leagues we’re nearing the time when you need to cut some of your non-producing draftees and move on to players that are stepping it up.
There were 14 games on a full Saturday of baseball. The highlights were the Nats and Dogers in Bryce Harper’s debut that turned into a wild one at the end. the Red Sox beating White Sox 1-0 behind a Jon Lester gem, and the Angels snapping their losing skid behind a solid game by Dan Haren. If you need pitching help for today check out our spot starters that you can add to close out the week.
Those are some of the big names, but in fantasy baseball the success of your season often comes down to adding the right pieces as the your goes on. To help you know your options, sleeper central (archive here) provides you with a lineup of players who are producing solid numbers but are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues (percentages in parentheses are ownership).
Here’s the sleeper central lineup for Saturday:Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Carlos Ruiz-Phi: (11.6%) Ruiz went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored raising his average to .311 and hitting his 2nd HR of the week, 3rd of the year. He missed time with a sore wrist last weekend but seems to be back at full strength and ready to contribute offensively.
1b-Chris Davis-Bal: (7.4%) Davis went 3-4 extending his hitting streak to 4 games scoring 2 runs and driving in 4 including his 4th homer of the year and 3rd in the last 4 days. He’s hitting .313 on the season and is an option to consider due to his power numbers despite the fact that he strikes out at a high rate.
2b-Robert Andino-Bal: (20.8%) Andino went 3-4 in his second game back after returning yesterday (paternity list) and going 0-4. He’s batting .309 with 6 RBI’s and 9 runs scored for the Orioles surprising offense and can make a nice addition now that he’s back in the everyday Baltimore lineup. He doesn’t have a stolen base yet this year, and won’t provide lots of HR, but he can contribute in hits, average, RBI’s, and runs scored.
3b-Pedro Alvarez-Pit: (1.0%) Alvarez went 2-4 with a pair of doubles with an RBI and 2 K’s. He’s still batting just .176 but has been hitting the ball much better the last week and seems to have shaken off his early season slump.
SS-Alex Gonzalez-Mil: (11.5%) Gonzalez hit his 4th HR of the year while going 3-13 with a walk to raise his average up to .270. He’s a solid HR/RBI/R option and is starting to become at least a non-liability in the average category as he continues to him for the Brewers. He’s on the fringes of the top 10 offensive shortstops so I expect his ownership to be on the rise soon.
OF-Ryan Sweeney-Bos: (19.2%) Sweeney has hit in 9 in a row after going 2-4 with a 2B while scoring the only run in the Red Sox win in Chicago. He has 11 2B’s on the year and is now hitting .391 with 8 RBI’s and 7 runs scored. He’ll continue to hit 2nd for the Red Sox in the foreseeable furutre with Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury still on the sidelines for months to come.
OF-Jon Jay-Stl: (30.1%) Jay had his second consecutive 3-hit day since returning from his shoulder injury. Granted, all 6 hits have been singles but they’ve raised his batting average up to .404 while helping him drive in 4 of his 8 RBI’s on the year. He added a stolen base in the Cardinals win and looks like a solid pickup for the coming week since his injury is behind him.
OF-Dexter Fowler-Col: (17.2%) Back-to-back days with a HR land Fowler a spot in sleeper central. He’s batting .254 on the year with 4 HR and 10 RBI’s after his 1-4 night last night. Hw’a hit in the 8th spot but is clearly still a threat to run giving him a nice combo of speed-power if he continues to hit so well.
DH-Andy Dirks-Det: (0.1%) Dirks should get a playing bump with Delmon Young out (personal) and Ryan Raburn playing more time in the infield. He played his first game in LF after 7 at DH and responded with his first HR of the year. It was a key 3-run shot that helped Detroit get past the Yankees. His batting average actually dropped with his 1-4 to .290 on the year (9-31).
AL Starting Pitcher-Wei-Yin Chen (7.1%)-In 4 starts Chen has yet to allow more than 2 earned runs. He went 7 innings for Baltimore last night striking out 4 and allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 2 BB’s. He picked up his second win of the year and lowered his ERA to 2.22 and his WHIP to 1.32. He’s one of the surprises in the O’s early-season success.
NL Starting Pitcher-Anthony Bass (5.5%) Bass has pitched will in his last 2 starts after starting the year in the bullpen. He dueled with Tim Lincecum last night and allowed just a 2-run double to Brandon Belt which cost him the game although he did pitch all 8 innings for SD. He gave up 6 hits, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out 8 in his solid performance although he was a tough-luck loser to drop to 1-3 on the year. He’s worth at least a spot start especially when he’s at Petco.
Relief Pitcher-Santiago Casilla-SF: (35.8%) Casilla got his 3rd save of the year in his 9th game. He’s only allowed a run in 1 of those outings with an ERA of 1.17 in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out the side in his save Thursday and added another punchout last night while pitching a clean 9th to preserve the win for Tim Lincecum against the Padres. If your looking for saves, take note that Casilla could be close to securing sole possession of the San Francisco closing job.