Sunday’s will soon be full of football and pennant races, but yesterday baseball had the day to itself before a meaningless football game kicked off the NFL preseason at night. Although it was great to have football back, don’t lose track of your fantasy baseball team yet. There’s still time to make moves and supplement your roster.
Below you can find our daily sleeper central starting lineup (archive here) with a whole list of players who are contributing to their current lineups but are available in most leagues. The percentages listed are the ownership in ESPN leagues as of about 5 AM this morning. Here’s today’s fantasy baseball sleepers:
Chris Johnson – 3B – Arizona Diamondbacks: Chris Johnson has been a regular on this list for the past month and his trade to Arizona has only enhanced his value. At a thin third base position where injuries continue to derail some of the big names, he’s been as solid as anyone out there. Since the All-Star break he’s absolutely been raking with an OPS of 1.012. He has five of his 11 homers in that time and 17 of his 51 RBI. He’s hitting .321 in that time frame in his 21 games. He’s locked into the Arizona lineup at 3B for the rest of the year barring injury and looks to duplicate his finishing kick from last year. Since being traded to the D-Backs he’s hit three home runs and picked up 10 RBI in just six games. While he probably won’t keep that pace up, he could easily be a top eight 3B the rest of the year and he’s still on the waiver wire in 55 % of leagues.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Welington Castillo – ChC: (0.0% owned in ESPN leagues) 2-5, R, RBI, HR. Castillo has three homers in his 12 games while hitting .239. He’ll see regular time now that he’s back from the DL and the Cubs traded Geovany Soto. Castillo hasn’t gotten solid playing time in the Big Leagues but the Cubs are high on him and felt he was ready to be the everyday catcher for now.
1B- Yonder Alonso – SD: (10.2%) 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Alonso struggled in power stats the beginning of the year butis definitely picking up the pace over the past 10 games. In that span he’s 16-41 with a pair of home runs and eight doubles. He has 31 doubles on the year with six home runs and 39 RBI. He’s in a power-hungry lineup and seems to be solidifying his spot in the middle of the San Diego batting order as he adjusts to MLB pitching.
2B- Jonathan Herrera – Col: (0.0%) 2-4. Herrera is back from the DL and has put together back-to-back 2-4 games. He should get plenty of playing time for the Rockies going forward and anyone in that lineup at Coors Field is worth considering.
3B- Chris Johnson – Ari: (44.9%) 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR. See above.
SS- Maicer Izturis – LAA: (3.6%) 2-4, R. Izturis is 13-34 in his last eight games raising his average to .251. He’s played a variety of positions and has value especially if the Angels lineup is clicking. He can offer some speed, runs scored, and batting average.
OF- Ezequiel Carrera – Cle: (0.0%) 3-5, R, RBI, HR, SB. Carrera has burst onto the scene in Cleveland going 7-12 over the weekend series with the Tigers with two triples and a home run. He was hitting .294 with 26 steals before being called up and should get some time the rest of the season for the Tribe. He should be able to bring steals, runs, and RBI even though he obviously won’t keep hitting .583 with an OPS of 1.750. He’s been scorching since his call up and is worth a look if you have a need for speed.
OF- Dominic Brown – Phi: (1.5%) 2-4, R, 2B. Brown is 5-18 since being called up and is the Phils top OF prospect. Manager Charlie Manuel has made it clear he’ll be in the lineup everyday and should be able to provide countables and some power as he adjusts to the Major Leagues.
OF-Rajai Davis – Tor: (19.2%) 2-5, 2 R, 2B. Davis continues his recent hot streak which was highlighted yesterday getting his average to .264. He’s hit safe in 10 in a row and is 9-26 so far in August.
AL Starting Pitcher- Miguel Gonzalez – Bal: (0.8%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K.Gonzalez dominted the Rays in Tampa but got the no-decision with no run support. It was probably his best start of the year although the Rays have struggled offensively. It looks like he’ll stick in the rotation for the short-term at least.
NL Starting Pitcher- Kris Medlen – Atl: (25.7%) 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Medlen has made two solid starts going 5.0 and 5.1 allowing one run in each. As he continues to increase his pitch count he could be a vital contributor to the Braves and his fantasy owners down the stretch.
Relief Pitcher- Franklin Morales – Bos: (7.6%) 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K, W. Morales got a spot start and a win while dominating the Twins. Unless Aaron Cook does extremely well against Texas expect Morales to take his spot. Whatever happens, the Red Sox need to see if he can continue to give them starts like this as they prepare for next year.