As we head into May in Fantasy Baseball, there’s still plenty of value on the waiver wire as teams continue to deal with changing roles and injuries as the season progresses. If you are looking to make a change on your team, you’ve come to the right place.
Every day on Fantasy CPR we compile a lineup of underrated players we call “sleepers.” Check out our archive, for more sleeper ideas from previous days.
By definition sleepers are currently producing and owned in less than 50% of ESPN Leagues. It’s not worth much to talk about how great Ryan Braun is in-season since he’s either on your team or you can’t get him. The players featured here can most likely be a part of your team, and can be helpful if they continue their current production.
Here’s the lineup from last night’s full slate of Major League Baseball goodness:
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Ramon Hernandez-Col: (7.8%) Hernandez is one of the best hitting catchers still widely available. He plays his home games at Coors Field which can only help his production. He went 3-4 yesterday in the Rockies loss to LA while scoring a run and hitting his 5th double of the year. He has 4 homers on the year to go with 14 RBI’s while batting at a nice .279 clip.
1B-Chris Davis-Bal: (41.6%) This could be Davis’s last appearance with a surge in his ownership making him less and less of a sleeper. If nobody else has grabbed him in your league, get him quickly if you need help in the power categories. He went 3-4 last night against the Yankees with 3 runs scored, 1 RBI, a 2B, and a HR. He’s not batting .333 with 5 HR’s and 13 RBI’s in his first 22 games played for Baltimore this season.
2B-Mark Ellis-LAD: (6.6%) Ellis has benefited from hitting in front of the surging Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. In his 23 games this season he has 17 runs scored with an OBP of .379. He went 4-5 last night with a run scored raising his batting average to .280. He’s helped Dodger Blue’s hot start offering a veteran presence in the infield and a solid bat in the 2-spot.
3B-Pedro Alvarez-Pit: (3.1%) After a difficult start to the season, Alvarez is making up for lost time. Last night he went 1-3 with a 2-run HR raising his average to .210. It was his 6th HR of the year and his 4th in his last 7 games. He has 7 RBI’s over that span while going 9-25 with 3 BB’s and 8 K’s. If your league doesn’t penalize strikeouts, he has even more value, but his power surge is making him an option in all formats. If you lost Evan Longoria, Alvarez is a solid option to fill-in the next few weeks.
SS-Jed Lowrie-Hou: (3.9%) Lowrie is on a tear since returning from the DL. He has bounced around the Astros lineup a bit, but was in the 2-spot last night. He’s hit in 5 in a row with 3 multi-hit games while going 8-17. Last night, he didn’t have multiple hits but his one hit was a HR driving in 2 runs and scoring 1. He also had 3 walks while raising his average to .303 for the year with an OBP of .410, 3 HR, 9 RBI’s, 8 runs scored, and 12 walks. He looks to be following the Jose Altuve/J.D. Martinez path to almost universal ownership in a surprisingly productive Houston lineup.
OF-Shelley Duncan-Cle: (2.7%) Duncan may lose time with Johnny Damon coming aboard for the tribe, but he’s not going to give up space quietly based on last night’s performance. Duncan connected on his 3rd HR of the year driving in a run while scoring 2 with a walk and a double as part of his 2-3 night. He raised his average to .250 on the year and has a hit in 3 of his last 4 starts. Maybe the pressure from Damon’s presence will help Duncan to be more consistent. He’s at least worth monitoring at this point.
OF-Will Venable-SD: (1.4%) Since seeing more time at the top of the Padres lineup, Venable has started to hit more. He went 1-3 yesterday with a walk while scoring one of the Padres 2 runs. He also stole his 4th base of the year. He’s hitting .247 with a .310 on-base percentage with 8 runs scored, a HR, and 2 RBI. If you need an everyday outfielder that can offer some speed and ability to get on base, Venable is worth a look in deep leagues or NL-only formats.
OF-Jose Tabata-Pit: (3.3%) Tabata hit his first HR of the year yesterday in the Bucs loss to St. Louis. His 1-4 night raised his average to .233 but he has picked it up as of late, with a hit in his last 7 games and 3 multi-hit games during that span.
DH-Andy Dirks-Det: (0.1%) Dirks went 2-3 with a 2B and a run to help the Tigers past the Royals 9-3. Dirks is now hitting .314 on the year with 1 HR and 5 RBI’s. He’s not getting regular time yet but has hit in 4 consecutive starts and could see more time while Delmon Young is suspended.
AL Starting Pitcher-Jerome Williams-LAA: (1.2%) Williams pitched a 3-hit gen of a complete game for the Angels last night. I featured him in our spot starter options and he stepped up with by far his best start of the year. He’s 2-1 now with 6 K’s in each of his last 3 starts and has an ERA of 3.55 and a WHIP of 1.11 in his 4 starts. His ERA and WHIP are inflated due to a rough first start against the Yankees, but his last 3 outings have all been “quality starts” with last night being his first complete game shutout since his rookie year in 2003 with the Giants. The Waipahu alum did the 50th state proud with his performance last night.
NL Starting Pitcher-Edinson Volquez-SD: (16.2%) Volquez had his second consecutive strong outing at Petco limiting the Brewers to no runs on 3 his and 2 walks. He only struck out 4 and did not factor into the decision leaving his record at 0-2 despite his 2.92 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and .191 BAA. He’s definitely worth a look whenever he’s starting at home for the Padres although with San Diego’s offense he may not get much run support.
Relief Pitcher-Alexi Ogando-Tex: (11.5%) Ogando continues to be an effective workhorse out of the Ranger pen. He’s appeared in 12 games and given up just 1 R while striking out 12 in 12 2/3 innings. Last night, he pitched 2 innings against Toronto without beng charged with a run (although he allowed 2 inherited runners to score). He gave up a hit and had a K before Mike Gonzalez gave up the walkoff t0 Brett Lawrie. Ogando was charged with a blown save, his first of the year to go with his AL-leading 6 holds.