It was a full 16-game schedule in the Major Leagues last night. There was plenty of drama with two games needing extra innings to decide the winner. It seemed that there were a number of solid pitching performances including in Oakland where the A’s bested the Yankees yet again. There were some big bats on display too though as the D-Backs and Cardinals both put a dozen runs up to win their games.
Here’s some of the underowned players who are stepping it up lately for their teams and fantasy owners. If you need to make a change heading into next week, these are the guys to start with. For more ideas, check our archives. Percentages indicated ownership in ESPN leagues.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- John Jaso – Sea: (0.1%) 2-3, R. Jaso is up to .287 on the year with four home runs and 24 RBI in 150 at-bats. He’s still splitting time, but improving against lefties as he continues to work toward becoming a full-time option.
1B- Jordan Pacheco – Col: (1.6%) 3-6, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2B. Pacheco started at 1B but most of his value lies in his 3B elgibility. He’s hitting .306 with 21 RBI and 25 R. He should be a regular fixture of the Rockies lineup until Chris Nelson and/or Jonathan Herrera return from the DL.
2B- Ryan Flaherty – Bal: (0.0%) 1-3, R, RBI, HR. Flaherty homered for the second day in a row and now has four in his 110 at-bats. With Brian Roberts and Robert Andino both sidelined with injury Flaherty should see a bulk of the playing time at 2B for Baltimore especially if he shows this kind of pop.
3B- Juan Uribe – LAD: (0.0%) 2-3, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2B, HR, 2 BB. Uribe busted out of a season-long slump but is still hitting just .196 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 51 games. The Dodgers seem committed to giving him a chance, so wait and see if he can build on today going forward.
SS- Everth Cabrera – SD: (2.3%) 3-5, R, RBI, 2B, SB. Cabrera’s stolen base kept him perfect in 18 attempts this season. He’s hitting .239 with 14 extra-base hits, 14 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 55 games. Cabrera has proven a spark plug on the bases and is a good pickup if you need speed.
OF- Brennan Boesch – Det: (27.6%) 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR. Boesch has 10 home runs and 18 doubles on the year while hitting .251 in 331 at-bats. He’s driven in 41 runs and scored 40.
OF- Garrett Jones – Pit: (26.2%) 0-2, 2 RBI, 2BB. Jones is notoriously streaky and has driven in six in his last three games. He may be heating up so grab him if you need a big outfield bat.
OF- Ryan Ludwick – Cin: (1.4%) 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR. Ludwick homered for the fourth time in his last 10 games and has 41 RBI and 15 home runs on the season. He’s picked up some of Joey Votto’s slack as he’s helped the Red Machine keep rolling.
AL Starting Pitcher- Rick Porcello – Det: (2.8%) 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K. Porcello is inconsistent, but was great yesterday and is now 7-5 on the year. Opponents are still hitting .311 off him so be careful.
NL Starting Pitcher- Ben Sheets – Atl: (46.5%) 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K. In his two starts, Sheets has yet to allow a run in 12 innings while striking out 11 and allowing just seven hits. There are bound to be some bumps in the road but he hasn’t hit them yet.
Relief Pitcher- Sean Doolittle – Oak: (0.1%) 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K. Doolittle struck out Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, and Andruw Jones to end the game last night and get his first save in the Major Leagues. Ryan Cook is still the closer, but Doolittle’s stuff is electric too as evidence by his 29 K’s in 19.1 innings and his 1.86 ERA.