May 8, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher John Baker (21) congratulates relief pitcher Dale Thayer (55) after the game against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park. The Padres beat the Rockies 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Central-May 9

It was a historic night for Josh Hamilton as he joined the four-home-run club which is even more exclusive than the perfect-game-club. There have been only 16 players in MLB history who have hit four homers in one game. Unfortunately for your fantasy baseball team, guys like Josh Hamilton aren’t on the waiver wire and can’t be added if you need a boost.

There are ways to improve your team though in just about every league. Each day here at Fantasy CPR you can catch the Fantasy Baseball Sleeper Central where there’s a whole lineup of underowned overachievers (archive here). To make the list players must be producing and be owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues (percentage of ownership included in parentheses). Check back each day to see who’s heating up and who you should pick up to help your team be a Hamilton-esque success.

Sleeper Starting Lineup

C-Jonathan Lucroy-Mil: (7.4%) Lucroy has hit in six consecutive games after going 2-4 yesterday raising his average to .313 on the season. He had his third double and his second home run of the year while driving in two runs. He doesn’t play as much as some of the other elite catching options, but when he plays he’s been producing as of late.

Apr 29, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman (35) plays defense against the Los Angeles Angels at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

1B-Casey Kotchman-Cle: (0.5%) Kotchman is heating up at the plate but is still just batting .182 on the season but is up to .286 for the month of May (6-21). He went 2-4 last night with a double (his third of the year) and a run scored. He’s even more of an option if your league rewards walks since he has nine on the year helping is OBP to .265 on the season.

2B-Pete Orr-Phi: (0.0%) As the Phillies continue to try and get by without Chase Utley, Orr has started four of the last five games for Philadelphia. He’s raised his average to .303 after his 2-4 night last night. He doesn’t offer much pop with just four extra-base hits, but his OBP and average can e a help in deep mixed leagues or NL only formats.

May 8, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Brandon Inge (top) celebrates after hitting a grand slam to win the game during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Blue Jays 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

3B-Brandon Inge-Oak: (0.1%) Inge is the everyday 3B for the A’s since coming over from Detroit but has yet to produce at a high level. Last night could go a long way to changing that though as he hit the first walk-off Grand Slam of the season and his second home run in as many days. He’s hitting a mere .146 but has collected four hits in five games and five of seven since moving to Oakland. His three home runs and 11 RBI are solid power numbers making him worth a look if you’re desperate at a thin 3B position.

SS-Cesar Izturis-Mil: (0.0%) Izturis is at least the short-term fill-in for the injured Alex Gonzalez. He went 2-4 last night against the Reds to get his average to .216 while hitting his first home run of the year. He should be a regular starter until something changes and could be able to contribute in NL only formats.

May 8, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks (12) hits an RBI-single against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

OF-Andy Dirks: (0.3%) Dirks continues to thrive in the second spot in the batting order. Yesterday he went 2-5 to collect two hits for the fourth game in a row. His batting average is now up to .339 and he has 10 RBI with tow home runs, five doubles, and 10 runs scored. He’s filling in remarkably for Delmon Young, and he should be able to keep it going as long as he keeps hitting second in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

OF-Josh Reddick-Oak: (46.1%) Reddick won’t qualify much longer if he keeps producing from the middle of the A’s lineup. He went 1-3 yesterday raising his average to .265 and connecting on his sixth home run of the year. He only had 13 RBI, but as the Oakland lineup takes shape he’s right in the thick of things. He’ll continue to get plenty of AB’s and chances to contribute to the A’s and your fantasy team.

OF-Will Venable-SD: (1.0%) While he’s still off the grid nationally, Vanable is starting to make things happen in the leadoff spot for San Diego. He went 2-4 with a triple and a double while scoring a run and driving one in. He’s batting .247 on the year hiw 11 runs scored, eight walks, three RBI, and four stolen bases. He’s been heating it up in May and he’ll continue to leda off against righties.

May 8, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Raul Ibanez (27) homers to right during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

DH-Raul Ibanez-NYY: (21.2%) Ibanez is best suited to a DH role, but the Yankees have several players who are. He did get the start last night and left the yard twice for home runs number four and five on te season. He’s batting .267 with 16 RBI in 24 games played. Keep an eye on his PT since when he plays he’s been useful.

AL Starting Pitcher-Scott Diamond-Min: (0.0%) After struggling in the Majors in previous call-ups, Diamond pitched seven shutout innings against the Angels to lead Minnesota to a 5-0 win. He struck out six and should have at least earned another look in the Twins rotation. Keep an eye on him moving forward to see if this is just LAA slumping or if Diamond may be figuring it out.

NL Starting Pitcher-Jeff Suppan-SD: (0.4%) The least likely name on this list for the second time is Jeff Suppan. He now has two solid starts for San Diego since returning to the Bigs. He went five innings while allowing four hits and his first run of the year. He’s 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting just .216 against him. He hasn’t pitched outsise of Petco, so don’t go all in but do take notice.

Relief Pitcher-Dale Thayer-SD: Thayer collected his second save in a row over the Rockies even though this one was a little scary. Manager Bud Black,with his whole bullpen available and in use, turned to Thayer to wrap up a two-run game in the ninth. It was a Valverde/Perez type performance from Thayer who allowed three hits, but escaped with two strikeouts and his sixth shutout inning in six appearances.


Tags: Andy Dirks Brandon Inge Casey Kotchman Cesar Izturis Dale Thayer Fantasy Baseball Additions Jeff Suppan Jonathan Lucroy Josh Reddick Pete Orr Scott Diamond Sleeper Central Waiver Wire Will Venable

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