Another full Sunday of sports gave us plenty of highlights from the Clippers comeback to the NHL Playoffs and plenty of analysis and grades from the NFL draft. Buried under all that in the national sport scene was another dramatic and riveting MLB weekend. Everyone was in action yesterday with the Rays and Rangers closing things out in Arlington.
As usual, there were plenty of under-owned contributors that can serve as good additions to your fantasy team if you need them for the coming week. These are players who stepped up last night and are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues (percentage of ownership in parentheses). For more players who make good additions or pickups check out our archive and our spot starters feature.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Jonathan Lucroy-Mil: (8.5%) LuCroy went 2-4 with a 2B and 2 RBI’s in the Brewers 3-2 win over the Cardinals. Right now he’s playing about 2 out of every 3 games but is producing when in the lineup, batting .283 with 8 RBI’s, 5 runs scored, and 2 HR. In you don’t have an elite catcher he’s a solid offensive option.
1B-Matt Carpenter-Stl: (7.5%) With Lance Berkman coming back soon, Carpeter’s days of starting everyday may be numbered. However, he’s had a double in each of his last 3 games and could continue to find AB’s in Mike Matheny’s system. He went 2-4 yesterday with a run scored and a double. He’s now batting .267 with 8 runs scored, 5 wB, a HR, and 14 RBI’s.
2B-Robert Andino-Bal: (19.7%) Since Jose Altuve has graduated from sleeper status (owned in over 50% of leagues), Andino has dominated this spot. He went 2-3 in the Orioles win yesterday to raise his average to .324. He isn’t going to steal many bases but is a solid average addition in deep leagues.
3B-Danny Valencia-Min: (2.7%) Valencia went 3-4 with a 3B, run scored, and 2 RBI’s to help the Twins snap their losing streak and raise his average to .239 on the season with 9 RBI’s and 9 runs scored. He can be helpful in AL only or deep leagues as the Twins regular third-baseman.
SS-Jed Lowrie-Hou: (1.3%) Lowrie is heating up and went 2-4 yesterday with a HR, run scored, and 3 RBI’s. He hit in the 3rd slot as the Astros adjusted without Carlos Lee. He should continue to contribute in average, R, and RBI’s while he’s hot. In his last 6 games he’s 9-25 with 4 multi-hit games, 2 HR’s, 5 RBI’s, and 4 R’s.
OF-Kirk Nieuwenhuis-NYM: (12.3%) Nieuwenhuis will shift to LF with the return of Andres Torres. Right now, he’s secured the top spot in the Mets lineup and yesterday went 3-6 with a 2B, RBI, and run scored. He’s now batting .316 in his rookie season and should continue to help you in average, R, and RBi although he won’t steal tons of bases like some leadoff hitters.
OF-Gerardo Parra-Ari: (17.4%) Parra went 2-3 with a run scored, an RBI, 2 walks, and a SB. He only had 1 walk in 61 AB’s coming in, but he’s stolen 7 bases while hitting .270 and driving in 10 runs. He could be worth holding on to at least until Chris Young returns. If he continues to develop his plate discipline he could be a great part of the top of the Snake lineup.
OF-Jose Tabata-Pit: (3.7%) With good matchups ahead for Tabata he seems to be heating up at the right time. He’s hit in 5 games in a row and yesterday went 3-5 with a 2B, run scored, and 2 RBI’s. He’s 15-65 in his first 17 games with 3 RBI’s (all in the last 2 games). The Pirates offense needs a spark and Tabata may be the guy to provide it.
DH-Andrew Jones-NYY: (0.3%) With Nick Swisher leaving injured and Brett Gardner still a few days away, Jones could get some extra playing time especially as the Yankees 2 lefty starters in their next 4 games. He went 2-2 after entering the game and hit his 3rd HR of the season raising his average to an even .200 (6-30) with 5 RBI’s and 6 runs scored.
AL Starting Pitcher-Derek Lowe-Cle: (5.0%) Lowe pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Angels as he continued their struggles at the plate. He struck out just 1 while walking 2 and allowing 3 hits. He secured his 4th win of the season while dropping his ERA to 3.27 and his WHIP to 1.42.
NL Starting Pitcher-Wade Miley-Ari: (3.8%) Miley has looked sharp in his first 2 starts. He went 6 1/3 yesterday against the Marlins while giving up 1 run on 1 hit and 2 BB’s with 6 strike outs. He’s 3-0 on the year and has pitched 12 innings of 3-hit, 1-run, 3-walk ball while striking out 13 in his 2 starts on the year. The lack of clarity about Miley’s role going forward is the only thing that limits his value.
AL Relief Pitcher-Matt Thornton-CHW: (17.7%) Thornton has only allowed 1 run all year in 12 appearances (11 innings). He threw 1 1/3 of perfect relief last night to close out the series against Boston and earned his first save. With Hector Santiago struggling, Thornton could see more closing opportunities, but has value as a quality setup option for the White Sox and for many fantasy teams.
NL Relief Pitcher-Santiago Casilla-SF: (39.4%) Casilla stayed perfect in 4 chances closing out the Padres last night at AT&T Park. Casilla struck out 2 more giving him 6 in his last 3 outings and lowering his ERA to 1.04 allowing just 1 run in his 10 appearances. He looks to be the current front-runner for saves in San Francisco.