It was a Monday night of late-inning drama and offensive explosions across the Major Leagues last night. The typically light-hitting Mariners and Twins each put up big numbers with Minnesota setting a record for most runs scored at Target Field hanging 19 on the O’s. The Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, Rockies, and Tigers all won thanks to runs scored at the end of their games.
The drama and offensive output helped some fantasy teams too with big nights for Miguel Montero, Joe Mauer, Lance Lynn, and Ryan Zimmerman. All of those players were big for their owners, but if they aren’t on your team there’s not much you can do about it. The sleepers listed below in today’s edition of Sleeper Central represent help that is available if you need a boost at a specific position or in a certain category as we go into the home stretch of fantasy baseball. The percentages in parentheses are ownership in ESPN leagues.
Casper Wells – OF -Sea: Wells powered the Mariners offense to nine runs from the number three spot in the batting order. His 2-5 night included a home run, triple, and five RBI. He has played much better since being given a more regular role in the outfield for the M’s (started 21 of 27 games since being recalled). He has only 130 at-bats on the year but has five home runs, 22 RBI, 21 runs scored, two stolen bases, and a .269 batting average. Since July 1, he’s played 11 games hitting .279 (12-43) with three home runs and 10 RBI. If Seattle continues to plug him in the middle of their lineup he should maintain deep-league value the rest of the year.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jesus Montero – Sea: (45.6%) 2-4, $, 2B, BB. Montero returned to catching duties and is back following his time missed due to concussion. The Mariners can sure use his bat; maybe you can to.
1B- Mark Reynolds – Bal: (24.1%) 3-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B, HR. Reynolds is still hitting just .213 but hopefully this is the start of a turnaround for the O’s slugger.
2B- Jamey Carroll – Min: (1.4%) 2-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Carroll is an everyday 2B for the Twins and can provide depth in countable stats while being eligible at 2B, SS, and 3B.
3B- Willie Bloomquist – Ari: (2.3%) 3-5, R. Bloomquiest hit second behind Stephen Drew yesterday and raised his average back to .295 with a solid day. He has 42 runs scored and a .323 OBP while hitting near the top of the D-Backs lineup all season.
SS- Stephen Drew – Ari: (15.8%) 2-4, R, BB. Drew is shaking off the rust from an extended layoff to start the season. He’s played 13 games and is hitting .233 with three doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored. The plan appears to be for him to leadoff Arizona’s regular lineup.
OF- Casper Wells – Sea: (0.2%) 2-5, R, 5 RBI, 3B, HR. See above
OF- Raul Ibanez – NYY: (25.1%) 1-3, R, 4 RBI, HR, BB. Ibanez had the game-winning Grand Slam in the eighth inning for his 12th home run of the year. He gets sporadic playing time, but has been swinging a solid bat when in the lineup.
OF- Quintin Berry – Det: (13.6%) 3-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB. Berry raised his average back to .297 and has 14 steals without being caught. He only has one home run in 165 at-bats but has scored 30 runs, driven in 18, and appears to have the two-spot in the Tigers lineup secured for the short-term.
AL Starting Pitcher- Aaron Cook – Bos: (0.9%) 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K. Cook pitches to contact but his sinker has been effective in his five starts for the Sox.
NL Starting Pitcher- J.A. Happ – Hou: (2.5%) 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, W. Happ is inconsistent but dominated San Diego last night.
Relief Pitcher- Josh Roenicke – Col: (0.0%) 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB. Roenicke shut down the Pirates to pick up his fourth hold of the year and lower his ERA to 2.33. He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last five appearances.