After enjoying a full heaping helping of MLB yesterday, there’s plenty to digest as we get ready for the lighter schedule today. The staff over at Call to the Pen do a great job every day of running down a quick game recap for every game if you want a more detailed look at the whole league.
If you’re looking for fantasy baseball analysis, check out the list of sleepers below who are available in over half of ESPN leagues and put up nice numbers last night. Every day we post a lineup of contributing underowned players who you can add to your team if you think they can help in the category or at the position you where you have a need.
If you want more options, here’s our archive and make sure to drop a bookmark and come back each day for a new lineup of undervalued players. The Percentages in parentheses are percentage of ownership in ESPN Leagues.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Kelly Shoppach-Bos: (0.0%) Shoppach gets two or three starts a week and finds ways to contribute offensively. He’s up to .281 after going 2-3 with his second home run of the year yesterday in Baltimore. He has just 19 games played but has seven runs scored, five doubles, eight RBI, and even a triple. His value will be limited unless Saltalamacchia goes down injured or gets mired in a slump which would instantly cause Shoppach to become a hot add.
1B-Matt Adams-Stl: (9.6%) The last man standing at 1B in St. Louis is Adams for now. Matt Carpenter and Lance Berkman are both on the DL so Adams should get plenty of playing time over the next few weeks. He’s 4-14 in his first four games in the Big Leagues and had his first extra-base hit and RBI in the Majors last night in St. Louis. He’ll have the opportunity to seize the job at 1B for the Cards and is worth a speculative add if you need a 1B.
2B-Drew Sutton-TB: (0.0%) Sutton’s whirlwind tour of the Majors continues after being traded from Triple-A for Atlanta to Triple-A for Pittsburgh and then to the Majors for Tampa. All that resulted in him hitting cleanup for the Rays yesterday as they played the Blue Jays. Sutton went 2-4 with a double and two RBI giving him four hits, two doubles, three RBI, and a run scored in his first two days with Tampa Bay. He’ll continue to get time in the patchwork infield of the Rays as they deal with the continued absence of Evan Longoria and the Desmond Jennings DL-trip with Ben Zobrist moving to shore up the outfield.
3B-Joaquin Arias-SF: (0.0%) Another player taking advantage of an open infield spot is the Giants’ Joaquin Arias. He went 3-4 yesterday stealing his first base of the year and raising his average to .263. He hit his first home run of the year Tuesday and looks to be the Giants everyday 3B for now. He’s worth a look in deep leagues or NL only leagues if you’re scrambling at a thin 3B position.
SS-Willie Bloomquist-Ari: (1.8%) One of the hottest shortstops in the league right now, Bloomquist has raised his average from .212 nine games ago to .275 after his 3-6 night last night in the desert. He has hit safely in eight games in a row with multiple hits in all but two of those games. From the D-Backs leadoff spot mostly, he’s scored 21 runs this season with 10 RBI, eight doubles, and four triples. He won’t provide home-run power (zero this year) or elite speed (four stolen bases), but his average and run-scoring can be an asset in any league where SS is a position of need.
OF-Daniel Nava-Bos: (19.4%) Nava hit his second home run of the year as part of his 2-3 day raising his average back to .350. In his 14 games since being recalled he has nine runs, 11 RBI, ten walks, and a stolen base. He should continue to see plenty of playing time in Boston’s make-shift outfield as he continues to provide offense from the bottom of the Sox lineup.
OF-Xavier Avery-Bal: (2.5%) It was another solid game for Avery yesterday as he went 2-5 with a double, run scored, and a stolen base. He is now hitting .273 in his first 11 MLB games while also contributing eight runs scored, three RBI, five walks, ans two steals. He’s been consistently leading off for the O’s which gives him value if Baltimore can stay on their current roll.
OF-Alex Liddi-Sea: (0.6%) To further increase his value, Liddi started in the outfield yesterday as he continues to add positional eligibility. He went 2-3 with a double, walk, run scored, four RBI, and a grand slam to lead Seattle past the Rangers. He’s hitting .273 for the season with three home runs and nine RBI. If he carves out an everyday place in the starting lineup (even if he rotates positions), he’ll have value since he’s shown some solid pop in his first 77 at-bats this year.
AL Starting Pitcher-Andy Pettitte-NYY: (20.2%) The Yankees fountain-of-youth elixir must have been left for Pettitte from Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Yesterday, Pettitte went seven innings against the Royals striking out eight and allowing just two runs on seven hits. He is 2-1 in his first three starts since coming out of retirement with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. The Yankees lineup is still one of the best in baseball so if Pettitte continues to put up these numbers expect plenty of wins to go with a solid ERA and WHIP for as long as the lefty can stay healthy.
NL Starting Pitcher-Jonathon Niese-NYM: (14.9) Keeping it in New York, the Mets’ Jonathon Niese bounced back from an ugly outing north of the border to shut down the Pirates yesterday. He went 7.2 innings allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out five. He got the win moving to 3-2 on the year and lowering his ERA to 4.29. He has five starts on the year with two earned runs of fewer, but the ugly start in Toronto (eight runs in three innings) will leave a mark in his averages going forward and keeping him undervalued.
Relief Pitcher-Ernesto Frieri-LAA: (15.1%) While Scott Downs is still the official closer in Anaheim, Frieri’s impressive run with the Angels continued last night as he struck out the side in the eleventh inning to earn his first save of the year. He has yet to allow a hit in nine appearances over 8.2 innings since being acquired from the Padres. Perhaps even more impressive is his 19 strikeouts over that same period. He’s an extremely valuable setup man for now, but he has sky-high potential if he steps into the closer’s role for a team many thought would make the playoffs and may be starting to turn things around.
Topics: Alex Liddi, Andy Pettitte, Daniel Nava, Drew Sutton, Ernesto Frieri, Fantasy Baseball Additions, Joaquin Arias, Jonathon Niese, Kelly Shoppach, Matt Adams, Sleeper Central, Willie Bloomquist, Xavier Avery