It was a busy Thursday night around the Major Leagues with just 6 teams getting the night off as there were 13 games across the country throughout the afternoon and evening. Some series were just beginning while other were wrapping up. The Nats complete a sweep of the Giants in walk-off fashion while the Pirates cleaned up their own sweep by taking care of the Astros behing a strong pitching performance by one of our spot starter selections.
Jeff Karstens wasn’t the only under-owned player to step up. Here’s our daily starting lineup of contributors who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. (ownership percentage included.)
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Salvador Perez – KC: (21.4%) After starting the year on the DL, Perez is starting to live up to lofty expectations coming into the season. He went 4-5 yesterday with a pair of runs scored and raised his average to .425 on the year. He has three home runs and 7 RBI with 17 hits in his first 11 games. He’s collected at least a hit in every game he’s played. Although his average is bound to come back to earth, I think he’ll be a top 8 offensive catcher the rest of the season.
1B- Tyler Colvin – Col: (12.5%) Colvin actually played the OF yesterday, but he has 1B eligibility in most leagues since he’s played 12 games there this season. He went 1-4 yesterday in St. Louis dopping his average to .301 but hit his third home run of the four-game series all of which he started. Colvin is finding regular time as the Rockies work his bat into the lineup. All Rockies have pretty skewed home-road splits but his three home runs and seven RBI in this series away from Coors Field shows he can be a huge offensive addition for the second half.
2B- Ryan Theriot – SF: (9.7%) With the announcement that Freddy Sanchez will miss the rest of the year Theriot got some added job security. He came back after a day off on the 4th with a 3-4 night last night while bringing his average back up to .275. He has eight steals on the year and has contributed regularly from the top of the Giants lineup. He scores runs, picks up RBI, and steals the occasional base while not hurting your team average. Don’t expect much power, but Theriot can be helpful if you need to fill a hole with a cheap option.
3B- Juan Francisco – Atl: (0.0%) Starting in place of Chipper Jones who I highlighted yesterday, Francisco hit his sixth home run of the year in just 115 at-bats. He’s splitting time with Jones at 3B but not really getting enough time to be a viable fantasy option. That position would change if Jones were to spend more time on the DL or if the Braves found a different position for Francisco to play. His bat has proven he’s ready for next year when the position is all his if nothing else.
SS- Brian Dozier – Min: (0.3%) Dozier continues to start everyday as SS for the Twins and went 3-4 yesterday with an RBI and a run scored in the Twins 7-3 loss to the Tigers. He added two steals bringing his total for the year to six. Running more often would be a huge boost to his value and he has four in his last five games. He’s hitting just .245 on the year, but can contribute countables and the occasional steal if you’re desperate.
OF- Michael Brantley – Cle:(41.4%) Brantley connected on a home run for the second consecutive game while going 2-3 with a walk, RBI, and run scored. He’s raised his average to .282 on the season while driving in 41 runs with three home runs and ten stolen bases. He could make a push for 100 RBI by the end of the season and is playing a solid everyday CF for the Tribe. He makes a good pickup if you need countable stats like runs and RBI while not hurting your average or providing elite power.
OF- Logan Morrison – Mia: (38.6%) After homering in his last two games, Morrison got the start yesterday and went 2-4 with a pair of RBI and how has 35 on the year to go with his 10 home runs and .246 average. He’s going to find playing time more difficult to come by with Emilio Bonaficio returning from the DL and Carlos Lee manning 1B, but he’s still a solid power and RBI option for the second half and has 1B and OF eligibility.
OF- Justin Christian – SF: (0.0%) Recently recalled, Christian gave Gregor Blanco the day off yesterday against lefty Ross Detwiler. Christian showed why he was brought up going 3-5 with a double, stolen base, and three runs scored. Watch to see if he gets more time especially against lefties as the Giants continue to search for offense as the year goes on. He’s 4-13 in his first seven games in the Majors this year.
AL Starting Pitcher- Jose Quintana – CHW: (17.3%) Quintana was brilliant for Chicago yesterday as they beat the Rangers once again. He went eight innings allowing just one earned run on two hits while walking one and striking out eight. He bounced back well after allowing six runs against New York his last time out and is a great spot starter or long-term pickup. He enters the break with a 2.04 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in his first eight starts in the Big Leagues.
NL Starting Pitcher- Jeff Karstens – Pit: (2.6%) If the Pirates want to stay in the NL Central race, pitching like what Karstens provided yesterday will be key. He went eight shutout innings against Houston striking out eight while walking one and striking out eight. He picked up his second win of the year while dropping his ERA to 3.94. He’s on a roll with just eight hits allowed and two runs in his last two starts while striking out 15 in 15 innings.
Relief Pitcher- Vinnie Pestano – Cle: (3.0%) Pestano has emerged as one of the elite setup men in the game but is relatively unknown still on the fantasy scene. He’s known by owners where holds are a stat though since his shutout inning last night game in 21 on the year. He has 39 strikeouts in his 34 innings while allowing just seven runs for a 1.85 ERA.
Tags: Fantasy Baseball Additions Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Featured Jeff Karstens Jose Quintana Juan Francisco Justin Christian Logan Morrison Michael Brantley Ryan Theriot Salvador Perez Tyler Colvin Vinnie Pestano Waiver Wire