Last night was a full night of Major League Baseball drama as three games went into extra innings and the A’s were walk-off winners for the tenth time this season. In another of the thrilling conclusions, The Braves completed a historic comeback to beat the Nats. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays, Orioles, Tigres, Giants, Reds, Twins, Cardinals, and Angels all won by allowing two or fewer runs to their opponent.
There were some dramatic happening in fantasy baseball this week too. If you’re still scrambling to fill a Big Papi sized hole, check out the following list of players in Sleeper Central (archive). These players all heated things up last night and are owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues (ownership % included). If you need a hot bat, these guys are a great place to start.
Ryan Theriot – 2B – SF: Theriot isn’t a flashy, out-there pickup in most leagues. He’s owned in only 5.7% of leagues and that number has actually slipped due to a recent slump. He busted out of his slump last night and can be useful 2B for many fantasy owners. He isn’t going to get you power (no home runs this year) or RBI but he does score runs, steal occasional bases, and contribute to your average. He doesn’t have one category he dominates, but he contributes and allows you to have an Ike Davis or other low-average power hitter on your team since Theriot can help counteract his weaknesses. The Giants aren’t going to pile on runs like the Yankees or Red Sox, but Gregor Blanco and Ryan Theriot give them to shot to be productive as they reach base and create. If you need a 2B fill-in or are ready to move on from your current batting average pit, give Theriot a look.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Yasmani Grandal – SD: (6.5%) 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2b, HR. Grandal has been sitting against lefties but in just 17 games has piled up five home runs, 10 RBI, 11 runs scored, and a .288 batting average. If you need an offensive catcher Grandal is a solid non-elite option.
1B- Brandon Moss – Oak: (9.0%) 2-5, R, RBI, 2B. Moss is hitting .257 with 11 home runs and 20 RBI. His RBI last night was the game winner as the A’s bested the Yankees.
2B- Ryan Theroit – SF: (5.7%) 4-5, R, 2B. See above
3B- Scott Rolen – Cin: (0.5%) 2-3, R, RBI, 2B, HR. Rolen is 8-21 over his last six games and this was his fourth homer of the year. The Reds need his bat with Joey Votto sidelined and he may be coming alive.
SS- Brandon Crawford – SF: (0.1%) 2-4, R, 5 RBI, HR. Crawford has two home runs in his last three games and hit the big Grand Slam last night. He still has just 29 RBI on the year but is the everyday SS for the Giants which makes him viable if you need countables and other starters are off the market.
OF- Chris Denorfia – SD: (0.1%) 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B, SB. Denorfia is hitting .295 with seven steals, three home runs, 18 RBI, and 31 runs scored in his 78 games so far this season. Watch his playing time, but if he hits behind Carlos Quintin and starts regularly he’ll have fantasy value.
OF- Stephen Lombardozzi – Was: (0.7%) 3-5, R, 2 RBI, SB. Lombardozzi would give his owners a huge boost if he started running like he did last night. He has hit in 13 games in a row and has his average up to .347 for the month. The Nats may try and leave him at the top of the lineup allowing them to drop Ian Desmond further down to take advantage of his power.
OF- Darin Mastroianni – Min: (0.2%) 2-4, R, RBI, 3B, HR. Mastroianni was a huge part of the Twins offense in their 2-1 win. He’s a fill-in outfielder but has shown some pop and speed when given the chance.
AL Starting Pitcher- Aaron Laffey – Tor: (0.1%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 4 K, W. Laffey lowered his EAR to 2.77 by baffling the Red Sox for seven. He should stay in the rotataion despite the addition of J.A. Happ and is worth a spot start look in his next start.
NL Starting Pitcher-Homer Bailey – Cin: (22.0%) 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 10 K, W. Bailey has allowed two or one earned run in his last four starts pitching eight in three of them. He struck out a season-high 10 last night and makes a great add going forward.
Relief Pitcher- Glen Perkins – Min: (13.3%) Perkins picked up his fifth save with a one-hit inning last night against KC. He won’t overpower people on most nights but he is worth considering if you’re fishing the waiver wire for saves