Last night was highlighted by a wild walkoff win for Washington; a solid return for CC and Doc Halladay; and the Mariners, Twins, and Padres offenses continuing to put up solid numbers. With those three previously offensively-challenged teams scoring runs in bunches, there’s some new producers starting to emerge as fantasy baseball options.
In our daily Sleeper Central post (archive here) our goal is to keep you up to date on players who are stepping it up and are available in over half of ESPN leagues. It’s up to you if you should make the move to drop who you have and add these up-and-comers. If you have specific questions, feel free to hit us up in the comments and I’ll do my best to reply. Here’s a quick look at unowned contributors from last night with ownership percentages from ESPN leagues included in parentheses.
Francisco Rodriguez – RP – Mil: K-Rod is back in a closer role after John Axford’s struggled forced Roy Roenicke to make the change. Rodriguez isn’t a typical “new” closer since he has 292 career saves, but he is unowned in over 97% of ESPN leagues since this wasn’t a move that many anticipated. So far this year K-Rod’s been a good setup man with 46 appearances, 40 strikeouts, 42.2 innings, a 1.43 WHIP, and a 3.59 ERA. He is second in the NL with 19 holds and has only been charged with four blown saves. He picked up just his second save of the night last night against St. Louis. If you need saves, it’s extremely rare that a closer promotion allows you the chance to get a closer with the experience and skill of K-Rod. He could be the best reliever pickup of the second half if the situation plays out in his favor and he keeps the job for the Brewers rather than moving to another team or returning to his setup role.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jesus Montero – Sea: (45.0%) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB. Montero is 5-8 with 2 2B’s in the series at KC. He’s hitting cleanup and starting to solidify middle of Seattle lineup.
1B- Yonder Alonso – SD: (6.8%) 2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR, BB. His struggle has been getting extra-base hits, but he had two last night. If he starts picking those up, he’s worth a look.
2B- Alexi Amarista – SD: (36.1%) 3-5, RBI. Amarista played three different positions last night and is expanding his eligibility. He is or soon will be eligible at 3B, SS, 2B, and OF. He’s hitting .302 on the year and .362 since June 1. If you need average he’s a top pickup.
3B- Alberto Callaspo – LAA: (0.3%) 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR. Callaspo has seven home runs on the year and is hitting .248 as the everyday 3B for the Angels. If their lineup heats up, he’ll have some value.
SS- Marwin Gonzalez – Hou: (0.0%) 3-4, R, 2B, SB. Gonzalez has three multi-hit games in a row since returning from DL and replacing Jed Lowrie as the Astros everyday SS. He hit second yesterday and has two steals in his last two games. Keep an eye on him to see if he can maintain anywhere close to this production.
OF- Ryan Ludwick – Cin: (1.2%) 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR, BB. Ludwich hit his 14th home run of the year and could see more time in the lineup as the Reds look to pick up the Joey Votto-less lineup. He has three home runs in his last six games with six RBI.
OF- Gregor Blanco – SF: (4.6%) 1-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB. Blanco has 16 steals on the season while batting .253 with a .346 OBP from atop the Giants lineup. He’s scored 43 runs in 78 games while driving in 22. He’s vastly underowned and could help plenty of fantasy teams.
OF- Tyler Moore – Was: (1.4%) 1-4, R, RBI, HR. Moore’s playing time comtinues to be limited but he connected on his fifth home run of the year last night. If he gets the playing time, he could have fantasy value.
DH- Adam Lind – Tor: (37.5%) 2-4. Lind continues to hit since returning from the minors and his average continues to regain respectability (now .237).
AL Starting Pitcher- Garrett Richards – LAA: (2.9%) 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2K. Richards bounced back from two rough starts and got the win in Detroit last night behind the Angels offensive onslaught. He was filling in for Dan Haren and may be headed back to Triple-A.
NL Starting Pitcher- Ross Detwiler – Was: (11.4%) 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Before all the walk-off drama, Detwiler shut out the Mets for sven innings. He got a no-decision but lowered his ERA to 3.15 and his WHIP to 1.23. He’s a nice spot starter option going forward.