There was plenty of Major League Baseball action last night with every team in action. Even with the Olympics getting started, fantasy baseball owners need to pay close attention to their teams as we come down the home stretch in the fantasy baseball regular season.
In case you missed last night’s highlights because you were watching the fastest ever parade of nations which still seemed plenty slow, here’s the highlights. The A’s won again continuing their incredible July. The Red Sox lost again, this time to the Yankees, and appear to be beyond hope of climbing back into things. The Giants and Dodgers needed extra innings to determine game one of their big NL West series and the Hanley emerged the hero with a 10th inning blast.
As usual here on sleeper central, here’s the players who had big nights who are owned in less than half of ESPN leagues. Ownership percentages from ESPN included in parentheses.
Coco Crisp – OF – Oakland A’s: Crisp edges in under our threshold at 49% for one more day. He had a brutal first two months of the season, but has picked up his stroke in June and July. He’s hitting .362 in his 17 games this month with four steals, and three of his five home runs. His OPS is all the way up to 1.002 for the month while hitting leadoff primarily and scoring 11 runs while driving in eight. He’s hitting at the top of the A’s lineup which is suddenly a solid one. He’s a good source of steals (20 on the year) and if he keeps getting on base he’ll be a big part of any playoff push for Oakland. He’s a good pickup if you need outfield depth and average but aren’t desperate for power.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Michael McKenry – Pit: (0.4%) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. McKenry is getting more time behind the plate as a result of his imcreased offensive production. He’s homered in his last two games and has three in his last eight. He’s hitting .267 on the year with an OPS of .907.
1B- Chris Carter – Oak: (1.1%) 2-5, R, 2 RBI, HR. Carter continues to hit for power with two home runs in his last three games and four in his last ten. He is in and out of the Oakland linup but is worth adding if you need power and RBI from 1B and missed the elite options.
2B- Daniel Descalso – Stl: (0.1%) 2-3, R, RBI, 3B, BB. Descalso contrinutes from his utility role for the Cards and it will be interesting to see what he does if and when he gets an increased opportunity to play.
3B- Chris Johnson – Bal: (9.9%) 3-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2B, 3B, HR. Johnson continues to hit and is about the only Astro to do so lately. He’s homered in back to back games now and was just a single short of the cycle last night. Since the break, he’s hitting .321 with an OPS of .964.
SS- Stephen Drew – Ari: (15.2%) ) 2-4, 2 R. Drew is starting to round into form as he continues to shake the rust off after missing the first half. He’s now up to .222 on the year with 16 hits in 72 at-bats with nine runs, 7 RBI, and five doubles.
OF- Coco Crisp – Oak: (49.6%) 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB. See Above.
OF- Ryan Ludwick – Stl: (4.2%) 2-3, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB. Ludwick is still hitting just .248 but has 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 76 games and had picked things up this month with a .313 average and a .956 OPS.
OF- Denard Span – Min: (27.2%) 2-3, 3 R, 2 BB, SB. Span is 9-16 in his last four games and has 10 steals on the year. He has scored 48 runs with an OBP of .354 which are solid numbers for a leadoff hitter.
AL Starting Pitcher- Scott Diamond – Min: (35%) 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K. Diamond dominated the Indians throwing just 98 pitches to get the complete game shutout. He had struggled a bit in his last two games so this was a nice bounce-back start for him headed into the last two months of his first full year in the Bigs.
NL Starting Pitcher- Bronson Arroyo – Cin: (6.8%) 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K. Arroyo has won three of his last four starts an has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five while continuing to eat up inning for the REds. His ERA for July is 2.64 as he’s posted a nice 3-1 record.