As we gear up for the first week of August, it’s time to make your move if you’re stuck in the middle of the pack in your fantasy baseball league. There’s just over a month in most leagues regular seasons. If there’s a player who is down dealing with a slump or injury unless you see them bouncing back soon, it’s time to move on.
The players featured each day in our Sleeper Central (archive) post are productive players who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. If you’re look going to make a move, these are players who may meet your need at a given position or in a specific category.
Ryan Ludwick – OF – Cincinnati Reds: Ludwick has been the Red who has picked up the most slack while Joey Votto has been down. In fact, check this out:
Player A is the universally owned Jay Bruce. Player B is Ludwick. When you add in that in July he’s hitting .324 with six home runs and an OPS of 1.046, Ludwick is a great pickup in the over 95% of leagues where he’s available. He’s been big part of the Reds staying in the lead in the NL Central and can be a big part of your lineup for the stretch run if you need power production from the OF position.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Carlos Corporan – Hou: (0.0% owned in ESPN leagues) 2-4, RBI. Corporan should see some more time with Jason Castro struggling with an injury. He’s played just nine games but in 22 at-bats he has nine hits for a .409 average to go with a pair of homers and six RBI.
1B- Ike Davis – NYM: (47.0%) 4-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3 HR. Davis has 20 home runs on the year now to go with 60 RBI and a .216 average. He unquestionably provides power but his average has been mired in the low .200s all season. Since the All-Star break he has eight homers and 11 RBI with an OPS of 1.040.
2B- Jemile Weeks – Oak: (27.3%) 3-5, 2 R, SB. Weeks has started to hit a little bit and climbed back into the two-spot in the A’s lineup yesterday. He has his average up to .221 (which is still painfully low) and 14 steals in 19 attempts.
3B- Todd Frazier – Cin: (7.5%) 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR. Frazier’s hitting .283 now and starting daily at either 3B or 1B. He has 11 home runs and 35 RBI in his 74 games as he and Ludwick combine to keep the Reds offense solvent.
SS- Ruben Tejada – NYM: (21.6%) 2-4, BB. Tejada is the antidote to an average-drain like Jemile Weeks or his teammate Ike Davis. He’s hitting .319 and has multiple hits in four of his last five starts. He doesn’t hit for power (0 HR) or steal bases (1 SB) but can score runs and provide a consistently good average and OBP.
OF- Ryan Ludwick – Cin: (4.7%) 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR. See above.
OF- Rajai Davis – Tor: (9.9%) 1-5, R, 2B, 2 SB. Davis stole two bases giving him 27 on the year. If he stays at the top of the Blue Jays lineup (with Brett Lawrie batting third), he’ll have some serious value in speed and runs. He’s battling for time with Anthony Gose and Travis Snider.
OF- Casper Wells – Sea: (9.8%) 2-4, R. Wells is in the lineup virtually everyday now for the Mariners and is hitting .253 with 25 RBI and 28 runs in his 182 at-bats so far this season.
AL Starting Pitcher- Henderson Alvarez – Tor: (1.8%) 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Alvarez evened his record at 7-7 by beating the Tigers at home lowering his ERA to 4.43. He’s probably the Jays best pitcher currently and is worth a look if you need a spot starter.
NL Starting Pitcher- Mike Minor – Atl: (31.4%) 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K. Minor dominated the Phillies in his fourth consecutive sterling start. He’s 2-1 allowing just six earned runs in 27.1 innings. His ERA is still over five, but he can give you some strikeouts when his stuff is dialed in as it has been lately.