Last night, Major League Baseball caught it’s breath before the weekend series got under way. There was still some great baseball action though, highlighted by the Angels-Rangers finals in Arlington. There were plenty of runs to go around and Texas earned a split and pushed their lead back to five games in the AL West. Elsewhere, the Nats shut out the Phillies, and the Royald may have put the finishing touches on the Indians season finishing them off in 11 after letting the Tribe battle all the way back from a 6-0 first inning defecit.
The thinner schedule just means we can look even deeper for our sleepers today. Here’s a whole lineup of players who were owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues but contributed to their teams success last night. If you’re looking to reinforce or overhaul your roster this is a great place to start. Check out our archive for more ideas from past editions.
Todd Frazier – 3B/1B – Cincinnati Reds: Frazier may be able to close the gap on Bryce Harper and steal the NL Rookie of the Year if he keeps mashing like he has been of late. He has three home runs in his last five games and 13 on the season. He’s driven in 40 runs while scoring 31 and has only 247 at-bats on the season. His OPS is up to a healthy .871 and he has eligibility at both corner infield spots as well as playing five games in the outfield. The Reds may need to move him back out there when Joey Votto returns to keep his bat in the lineup. He’s a good pickup if you are in need of corner infield power and average and are in one of the 90% of leagues where Frazier’s still on the waiver wire. Trust me, Manager Dusty Baker will find ways to keep him in the lineup and productive even after Votto returns.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Ryan Hanigan – Cin: (0.0% owned in ESPN Leagues) 2-4, R, RBI, 2B. Hanigan has his average up to .276 in his 74 games behind the place for the Reds. He shares time with Devin Mesoraco but has been the more consistent offensively as of late.
1B- Todd Frazier – Cin: (9.5%) 1-4, R, 3 RBI, BB, HR. See Above for analysis.
2B- Ronny Cedeno – NYM: (0.0%) 3-5, 5 RBI, 2 2B. Cedeno has found playing time hard to come by since Ruben Tejada secured the everyday starting SS gig. He had a big game yesterday to help the Mets past the Giants so keep an eye on how Terry Collins utilizes him going forward. If he gets regular playing time he can contribute average, runs, and RBI.
3B- Jordan Pacheco – Col: (1.6%) 3-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 2B. Pacheco is hitting .307 on the season and again is proving that any Rockie at home is a good pickup. He has 17 of his 24 RBI at home, his one home run, and his OBP is .811 compared to .657 on the road. Whenever Colorado is at home, Pacheco and the Rockies are good pickups in daily leagues when they’re at home especially.
SS- Brian Dozier – Min: (0.6%) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Dozier killed the Red Sox last night outhitting them by himself and delivering the insurance two-run blast in the ninth of Alfredo Aceves. He has five homers on the year and is hitting .244 with 30 RBI and nine stolen bases. Outside of being an everyday starter, he represents little value unless he can string some more games like last night together.
OF- Jarrod Dyson – KC: (0.6%) 2-5, RBI, 2 SB. Dyson has started five games in a row and stolen three bases in the last two giving him 20 on the year. He has multiple hits in his last three games bringing his average to .266. If he stays in the regular lineup he offers stolen bases and runs from the bottom of the Royals lineup.
OF- Tyler Colvin – Col: (15.9%) 2-5, R, RBI, 2 2B. Colvin was red-hot after the All Star break but hit a dry spell going 0-16 before putting together two solid games to snap out of it the last two days. He is 5-9 in those two games with a pair of doubles and a pair of triples. He hit leadoff last night for Colorado which would add to his value with the meat of the Rockies lineup to follow. His average on the year is .284 with 13 homers and 43 RBI.
OF- Jon Jay – Stl: (18.5%) 2-4, R, RBI, 3B. Jay is back up to .287 after his recent slump and should return to his regular two-spot in the lineup when he starts hitting regularly. He has been successful in 11 of his 12 steal attempts and could further help his value if he starts to run more often.
AL Starting Pitcher- Bartolo Colon – Oak: (16.9%) 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 3 K, W. Colon has not allowed a run in two consecutive starts while evening his record at 8-8 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. The 39-year old righty continues to be effective for Oakland and can help your fantasy team if you can deal with the low strikeout numbers.
NL Starting Pitcher- Ross Detwiler – Was: (19.8%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K, W. Detwiler has been solid going 2-1 with a 1.79 ERA in his last four starts and allowing one run or fewer in three of those four. Strasburg may be nearing a shutdown, but Detwiler is pitching better lately.
Relief Pitcher- Tony Sipp – Cle: (0.0%) 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K. Sipp calmed the Royals down after their first inning outburst and allowed the Tribe the chance to climb back into the game. Cleveland actually shut out the Royals for nine innings but lost 7-6 allowing six in the first and one in the 11th. Sipp has made 43 appearances for the Tribe going 36.1 innings with a 4.95 ERA, 10 holds, and a 1.29 WHIP.