As the dust from the trading deadline starts to settle, it’s time for teams to establish new lineups and rotations. As Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports pointed out on twitter every team but the Nationals and Padres made some kind of trade since the Sox swap of Kevin Youkilis got the trading season rolling. Every team has made changes which means fantasy baseball opportunities abound. Not only is it a new start for those who change teams, but for the players stepping into vacated positions.
Come back each day as things shake out for a whole lineup of players who are producing and owned in less than 50% of leagues. They’ll be featured in our daily sleeper central where you can find options to add for your fantasy baseball stretch run.
Ryan Ludwick – OF – Cincinnati Reds : I know I just wrote about Ludwick a few days ago, but he’s just too good a pickup not to emphasize again. Ludwick finished July with a `1.089 OPS, a .333 average, seven home runs, and 19 RBI. Since the All-Star break he’s been even more torrid with a 1.155 OPS, a .321 average, six home runs, and 18 RBI. Despite playing without Joey Votto, the Reds have not let down at all and Ludwick is one of the main reasons why. He’s hit in eight consecutive starts and has three homers in his last three games. Among OF with 20 games played, only Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Holliday, and Jason Kubel finished with a higher OPS for July. Despite all those factors, Ludwick can still be had on 85% of ESPN league’s waiver wires. He’s been playing almost everyday for two months for the Reds and become a key part of the middle of their lineup. He can still be a key part of yours if you go get him quickly.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- John Baker – SD: (0.0%) 2-3, R, BB. Baker has hit in five straight and has raised his average to .266. With Yasmani Grandal on the 15-day DL, Baker should get some starts the next two weeks. His OBP is .350 on the year and he’s a decent fill-in if all you need is batting average. He hasn’t homered on the year and has just 10 RBI in 41 games.
1B- Todd Frazier – Cin: (8.8%) 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR. Frazier has 12 home runs and 37 RBI in his 76 games while hitting .276. He’s hit two homers in three games and has six RBI in his last seven.
2B- Omar Quintanilla – Bal: (0.4%) 1-4, R, 2 RBI. He’s hitting .406 since going the O’s and has hit in seven in a row. Many are saying he’s earned at least a platoon with Robert Andino who is fresh off the DL. Watch his playing time as he’s shown some solid abilities in his time in Baltimore.
3B- Jordan Pacheco – Col: (1.7%) 3-5, 2 2B. Pacheco returned to the .300 plateau with his three hits yesterday and has 21 RBI and 25 runs scored in 73 games as well. He’s mainly just a batting average contributor, but he’s proven to a solid one at that for most of this season.
SS- Brendan Ryan – Sea: (0.1%) 3-4, RBI. Even with three hits Ryan is only at .205 on the season. He has been better lately hitting .261 in July his highest average of any month while also equaling his highest stolen base total of any month with three. If you need an everyday starter, Ryan is starting to become a fringe option is ultra-deep leagues and it’s worth noting his progress in OBP and batting average this past month.
OF- Ryan Ludwick – Cin: (15.1%) 2-3, R, 4 RBI, HR, BB. See above for details. If you need a bat, he’s one of the best out there.
OF- Juan Pierre – Phi: (20.2%) 3-5, 2 R, 2 SB. Pierre is the veteran OF who didn’t get traded from the Phillies but should get consistent playing time from here on out. He has 25 steals on the season after two last night and is hitting .312 with 38 runs scored. He’s worth an add if you need speed stats and especially if he consistently hits second in front of the power in the middle of the Philly lineup.
OF- Denard Span – Min: (33.2%) 4-5, RBI, SB. Span is another average, runs and steals option although I would take Pierre first since he runs more and is part of a better lineup. Span is hitting .297 with 12 steals. He’s hit in nine games in a row and has three steals in his last five.
AL Starting Pitcher- Chris Tillman – Bal: (2.9%) 5 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 K, W. Although his final line is less than impressive, Tillman bounced back after giving up five runs (four earned ) in the first and shut out the Yankees the rest of the way in Yankee Stadium to pick up the win. It’s not an awesome statistical start but is a sign that he could continue to roll in more favorable matchups.
NL Starting Pitcher- Kris Medlen – Atl: (5.2%) 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K, W. In his first start of the season Medlen got the win against the Marlins while on a pitch count. It’s unclear if he’ll stay in the rotation, but if he does he showed he can have value as a spot starter.
Relief Pitcher- Clayton Mortensen – Bos: (0.0%) 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, W. Mortenson was recalled just before the game and got the win after filling in for Josh Beckett who left the game with a back spasm (just one apparently not spasms). He was probably only in the Majors for one game but stepped in and pitched well getting Prince Fielder to fly out with the bases loaded and picking up the win in the Red Sox bizarre rain-abbreviated win over Justin Verlander.