The fireworks weren’t just after many of the Major League Baseball games even though scoring was way down after the most runs on any day this regular season were scored on Tuesday. Wednesday seemed to be more dominate by solid pitching (and hot dogs or course since it was July 4th). Eight of the 30 teams who played scored two runs or fewer and only the Indians hit double-figures.
In fantasy baseball, there were still some under-owned hitters that produced. Here’s our daily starting lineup of sleepers (owned in 50% or less of ESPN leagues). Many of these make good pickups depending on your situation and team needs, so take a look and make the moves your team needs heading into the second half.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Yasmani Grandal – SD:(4.7%) Grandal hit his fourth home run of the year in just his 20th at-bat. His two-run home run gave the Padres the lead for good in the eighth as they finished out the sweep of the D-Backs. He only has six hits, but his bat is definitely MLB ready. His defense may cost him some playing time, but if you need an offensive catcher, Grandal is a good pickup for the second half.
1B- Brandon Moss – Oak: (14.6%) Moss finished his great series against his former team the Red Sox going 3-4 with his third home run in his last three starts. He has 10 homers on the year with 18 RBI and 15 runs scored. His batting average is up to .282 but he’s still splitting time and sitting against lefties. Watch his playing time, but he’s been slugging in Oakland where they are desperate for offense. He should be a solid add going forward.
2B- Robert Andino – Bal: (8.8%) With Brian Roberts back on the DL, Andino should be back in the lineup on a daily basis. Andino hit a home run that won the game on Tuesday and then went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored yesterday. He’s still just hitting .233 but can contribute if he stays in the daily lineup.
3B- Chipper Jones – Atl: (28.4%) Jones has hit in 11 games in a row and is 7-9 in his last two games while raising his average to .317 on the year. He’s connected on six home runs and has 33 RBI and 23 runs scored in 47 games. He doesn’t play every game, but when he’s played he’s been a contributor to the Braves and his fantasy owners.
SS- Ruben Tejada – NYM: (4.5%) In his second game from the leadoff spot for the Mets, Tejada went 2-4 with a double and a run scored. He’s brought his average on the year all the way up to .331 and has been even hotter since returning from the DL. In his 10 games back he has six multi-hit games and has scored nine runs while driving in four. He doesn’t offer power or elite speed ,but if you need average and countables he’s a solid pickup.
OF- Garrett Jones – Pit: (10.5%) The Pirates surge offensively and in the standings has not coincidentally coincided with Jones own resurgence. In the three games against Houston he’s 8-13 with seven runs scored and six RBI. He’s raised his average to .275 and has 12 home runs and 36 RBI on the year. He’s settled into the cleanup role nicely for Pittsburgh and is the rare power-hitting outfielder available in most leagues. He’s going fast, so act quickly if you want to add Jones.
OF- Justin Ruggiano – Mia: (3.8%) Ruggiano homered in his third consecutive game yesterday while raising his average to .409 for the season. He has five home runs on the season with 15 RBI and 13 runs scored. The Marlins will need to find a place for him in their everyday lineup for as long as he’s this hot. Emilio Bonifacio was expected to come off the DL after the break and force him to the bench, but Ruggiano has shown his value through his fist 28 games in the Bigs this season.
OF- Juan Pierre – Phi: (29.6%) Refusing to fade after 12 years in the Majors, Pierre stole his 20th base of the year yesterday while going 2-3 and scoring a run in the Phillies win. He’s hitting .322 and has scored 31 runs in his 70 games and still offers speed if you need steals off the wire.
AL Starting Pitcher- Chris Tillman – Bal: (1.4%) In his first start of the season, Tillman gave up just two unearned runs on two hits and two walks in 8.1 innings last night. He will be sent back to the minors to make a start Monday before returning to the Majors to start for Baltimore next weekend. He may be worth a look as a spot starter moving forward in favorable matchups like the one he has this time out against the Mariners.
NL Starting Pitcher- Aaron Harang – LAD: (9.5%) Facing his former team from Cincinnati, Harang went seven strong innings allowing just three hits and a solo home run while striking out five to pick up his 6th win of the year. He has a 1.42 WHIP, a 3.51 ERA and a solid 78 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched over 17 starts this season.
Relief Pitcher- Ronald Belisario – LAD: (0.4%) With Todd Coffey sidelined, Belisario could be in line for even more work and appears up to the task. Last night he retired the Reds in order on just seven pitches to get his 8th hold of the season. He has a 1.03 ERA in his first 27 appearances allowing just three runs in 27.1 innings. He has 12 walks and 20 strikeouts, but should serve as the Dodgers primary setup man and backup closer for the time being.
Topics: Aaron Harang, Brandon Moss, Chipper Jones, Chris Tillman, Fantasy Baseball Additions, Garrett Jones, Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, Robert Andino, Ronald Belasario, Ruben Tejada, Sleeper Central, Waiver Wire, Yasmini Grandal