May 3, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Laynce Nix (19) celebrates with catcher Brian Schneider (23) after a home run in the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Baseball-Pickups for the Weekend-Sleeper Central, May 4

It was the Thursday lull in Major League Baseball as many teams had the day off while they got ready for their coming weekend series. There were 9 games though, and the shallower pool allows us the opportunity on Sleeper Central to focus on some players who have had rough starts, but are starting to turn things around.

If you need help at a particular position due to injury or ineffectiveness, check out our archive of daily sleeper lineups for some players stepping up at that position or category. Each day we’ve been looking at an entire lineup of player producing right now who are owned in less than half of ESPN leagues (percentages of ownership in parentheses). Here’s the highlights from yesterday

Sleeper Starting Lineup

C-Geovany Soto-ChC: (26.7%) Soto has been dealing with a bad back but was in the lineup yesterday and hit his 2nd HR of the year after going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI on Wednesday. He’s raised his average back to .161, but is by far the Cubs best offensive option at catcher and will remain in the lineup as long as his back allows him.

1B-Laynce Nix-Phi: (0.1%) Nix is making a strong case for getting more playing time in Philadelphia’s struggling offense which could make him fantasy relevant in a hurry. He went 2-3 for the 2nd consecutive day yesterday this time adding a solo HR, his 2nd of the year. He is not batting .342 in his first 38 AB’s with 2 HR, 6 2B’s, 6 runs scored and 10 RBI’s. Nix qualifies at the OF and 1B spots in most leagues and can be a fill-in option if he can earn more time in the lineup.

2B-Gordon Beckham-CHW: (5.5%) Beckham is another player who got off to a dreadful start but may be starting to turn it around. He went 2-4 last night against the Tribe while scoring a run. He broke the Mendoza line raising his average to .203 after going 5-10 in his last 3 games with his only stolen back of the year, his only HR and 2 of his 4 RBI. If he continues to produce, he could have value at a thin 2B position but wait and see if this is a turn-around or just a couple good games.

May 3, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) is congratulated by batting coach Gregg Ritchie (58) after scoring in the fourth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

3B-Pedro Alvarez-Pit: (27%) After a dreadful start to the season, Alvarez has gotten things turned around. He went 2-4 with 2 runs scored and 2 runs driven in yesterday against the Cardinals and is not hitting .257 on the year. Just 10 games ago he was at .108 with2 HR and 4 RBI’s, now he’s up to 7 HR and 14 RBI’s. His resurgence has come at just the right time with all the 3B injuries across the league. In you own Longoria, Youkilis, Sandoval, or Gamel, Alvarez is at the top of the short-list of possible players offering replacement production.

SS-Clint Barmes-Pit: (0.1%) Barmes has slumped badly to start the season but the last 2 days has 3 2B’s in 6 official AB’s. Even with his 3-6 he’s still hitting just .173 and has a 1:16 BB:K ratio. He’s been a disaster for the Pirates, but he might be turning the corner and is about as low as a buy-low candidate can be.

May 3, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco (7) smiles after falling on the run against the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning at AT

OF-Gregor Blanco-SF: (0.0%) Blanco has had 2 relatively successful days atop the Giants batting order, and right now Bruce Bochy will go with anyone who shows any signs of heating up. The Giants offense has been dreadful and Blanco was the only one who produced on any level yesterday. He went 3-3 with a 2B and a walk while scoring both the Giants runs in their 3-2 loss to Miami. He had an RBI in his 1-4 night on Wednesday as well. His recent run has raised his average from .182 to .300 and he should merit at least a few more looks at the top of the Giants order.

OF-Juan Pierre-Phi: (6.1%) Pierre is batting .324 after a 2-4 day yesterday. He’s not seeing everyday playing time, which is surprising with his 4 SB and solid batting average. He’s scored 9 runs and has 4 RBI’s in 71 plate appearances. He’s a good bargain in daily leagues if you know he’s going to get the start.

May 03, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) at bat in the sixth inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

OF-Jarrod Dyson-KC: (0.1%) The Royals are a great source of cheap speed and it starts with Dyson right now. He’s hitting at the top of the lineup and yesterday went 2-4 with a run scored (for th3 6th time in 7 starts) and a strikeout. He has started 7 games since his recall batting .321 with 2 SB and 9 runs scored. If you need runs and steals, he’s worth a flier in deep or AL only leagues.

AL Starting Pitcher-Danny Duffy-KC: (2.7%) Duffy pitched well against the Yankees in KC going 5 1/3 allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. His ERA is 3.57 with a high WHIP of 1.37. He’s a solid source of K’s with 26 so far this season in his 22 2/3 innings. He’s been dealing with an elbow injury which appears to be minor and hopefully he can build on the momentum from today’s solid start.

May 3, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton (56) pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

NL Starting Pitcher-Joe Blanton-Phi: (2.1%) Blanton had been good at home and horrible on the road until yesterday. He sparkled in Atlanta earning his 3rd win with a complete game shutout walking none, striking out 6, and allowing just 3 hits. He’s a risky play, but showed his upside yesterday as he lowered his ERA to 2.83 and his WHIP to 1.06 while turning in his 2nd solid start in a row. He’s a streaming option especially in NL leagues moving forward.

Relief Pitcher-Logan Ondrusek-Cin: Yeah, you hear me, Ondrusek. He’s up to 12 innings now in 13 appearnaces out of the Cincinnati pen without allowing a run. He has 10 K’s and only 6 hits allowed with a WHIP of 0.92. He has 2 holds and 2 wins all in his last 5 appearances and looks to be ready for pressure spots for the Reds.

Tags: Danny Duffy Fantasy Baseball Additions Fantasy Baseball Help Geovany Soto Gordon Beckham Gregor Blanco Injury Replacement Jarrod Dyson Joe Blanton Juan Pierre Laynce Nix Logan Ondrusek Pedro Alvarez Sleeper Central Waiver Wire

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