Just in case you got too caught up in some solid NBA playoff action and missed last night in the MLB, there were 13 games with four teams taking the day off. Mike Leake did it all for Cincinnati (see below) as the Reds cruised past the Braves on ESPN. In other action, the Red Sox rallied back to .500, Gio Gonzalez dominated the Phils, Felipe Paulino shutout the Yankees again, the Angels still can’t hit, and the Mariners backed King Felix and beat Yu Darvish again.
The highlight of the night was a Roy Hobbs-esque home run from Giancarlo Stanton that knocked out a panel of lights on the videoboard in the Marlins new park. The home run also knocked out the Rockies as the Marlins won 7-4 getting four runs on Stanton’s grand slam. Check out the video here.
If you’re looking to bolster your fantasy lineup or replace a panel or two like the Marlins will need to on that videoboard, here’s the players who came through last night and are available in over half of ESPN leagues. Percentage of ownership listed in parentheses.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Hector Sanchez-SF: (0.1%) In the 14th inning against the Brewers, Sanchez’s second HR of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for the Giants. While he’s not starting regularly, when Sanchez gets opportunities he’s makes the most of them. He’s hitting .297 after hitting a home run in his only ab-bat after entering the game as a defensive replacement for Buster Posey. Sanchez has only played 20 games but has three doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBI. Monitor how the Giants work their 1B-C rotation since Sanchez is worth a look if he becomes a regular part of the lineup.
1B-Yonder Alonso-SD: (36.1%) The Padres offense is still a mess, but Alonso looks to be a legit contributor in the middle of the lineup. He had two hits for the second day in a row raising his average to .301. He only has one home run, partly due to the Petco effect, but as 14 doubles, 13 RBI, and 18 walks in his first 143 at-bats of the season.
2B-Tyler Greene-Stl: (1.1%) The Cards have been making an effort to give Greene the starting job at 2B and he’s not letting them down. He won yesterday’s game with a walkoff home run on a 100.5 MPH fastball. He was 3-4 on the game with a double, two runs scored, and two RBI in addition to his fourth home run of the year. He’s batting .253 with four stolen bases, four home runs, 12 runs scored, and 10 RBI. He’s worth a speculative add if you’re in a deep mixed or NL-only league and could be quickly fantasy relevant if he can hold onto the starting job in St. Louis.
3B-Chris Johnson-Hou: (43%) Johnson had been scuffling a bit at the plate and his ownership was dropping but he delivered yesterday going 2-4 with two runs scored, a home run, and three RBI. He raised his average back to .285 with five home runs and 23 RBI on the year. He’s the everyday starter in Houston and probably around the 10-15 range in 3B rankings.
SS-Zack Cozart-Cin: (22.9%) Cozart has cooled considerably since his hot start but is starting to show some signes of heating back up again. He connected on his fourth home run of the year yesterday against the Braves while going 2-4 with a run scored, and RBI bringing his totals for the year to 21 runs scored, 10 RBI, and a .239 average. If this is the end of his free fall, grab him on the upswing of his new hot streak.
OF-Austin Kearns-Mia: (0.2%) Hitting fourth in the Fish lineup, Kearns went a perfect 4-4 and is now 7-9 in his last three games. He had a run scored and two RBI with a walk and a stolen base. After his recent hot streak he’s up to .362 in his first 47 at-bats of the year with four doubles, three home runs, and nine RBI. With Gaby Sanchez back in the minors and Logan Morrison moving to 1B some of the time, it could open the door for Kearns to get more consistent playing time which he appears ready to seize and control as part of a decent Miami lineup.
OF-Daniel Nava-Bos: (17.5%) Nava’s run with the Sox was extended further by the injury to Cody Ross. The Red Sox outfielders hit 7-8-9 against the Orioles yesterday with Crawford-Ellsbury-Ross-Sweeney all out injured. It was Nava who delivered going 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI raising his average in his first 12 games to .343 with a home run, 10 RBI, a stolen base, four doubles, and eight runs scored. He’ll be in the lineup going forward and is a bargain option in any format.
OF-Tony Campana-CHC: (20.8%) In a good example of why not to draft speed to highly, Campana continued his emergence from the Cubs farm system by going just 1-4 and lowering his average to .306 but stealing two bases to bring his total to 12 in his first 28 games. He’s a great way to pick up steals and runs despite playing for a struggling Cubs team.
AL Starting Pitcher-Felipe Paulino-KC: (2.7%) If only he could face the Yankees every time out… Paulino shut out New York for the second time this year last night throwing 6.2 innings allowing six hits and striking out eight. He has no runs allowed in three of four starts and has 29 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. He has a 1.42 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP and is 2-1 in his first four starts. It’s a small sample size, but Paulino has looked dominant and is worth a look in most leagues.
NL Starting Pitcher-Mike Leake-Cin: (1.5%) The Reds Mike Leake has been awful to start the season, but his last two starts have shown some promise. On May 16 he went six innings allowing just one earned run and seven hits to the Mets. More importantly, he was able to build on that start last night and hold the Braves to a run on three hits in eight innings while striking out a season-high six. He even added a home run. His ERA is still 5.32 and he has a 1.40 WHIP, but there may be hope of him turning things around.
Relief Pitcher-Andrew Miller-Bos: (0.0%) The Boston bullpen transformation has been possible in part due to the addition of a rejuvenated Miller. He struggled last year as a starter but has yet to allow a run yet this year and picked up his first win going 1.2 scoreless innings last night in Baltimore. He has allowed just four batter to reach all season while pitching eight innings in eight games and striking out 10. He’s been efficient and effective and will continue to be a key sixth and seventh inning contributor for the back-to-.500 Red Sox.
Tags: Andrew Miller Austin Kearns Chris Johnson Daniel Nava Fantasy Baseball Additions Felipe Paulino Hector Santiago Mike Leake Popular Sleeper Central Tony Campana Tyler Greene Waiver Wire Yonder Alonso Zack Cozart