Major League Baseball had another full night last night with every team in action across the nation. The more things change the more they stay the same for the two games that went into extra innings as the Orioles won in extra innings for the 12th time in a row as they walked off winners in 14 over Seattle. On the flip side of that, the Astros lost again this time in 12 as they consistently find new ways to come up short.
If your fantasy teams been a little too Astro-ish it may be time to make some moves. In our daily Sleeper Central post we run down the players who are contributing to their teams and are still owned in less than half of ESPN leagues. Last night there were plenty of players who stepped up; here’s just a few:
Stephen Drew – SS – Arizona Diamondbacks: This could be the right time to get in on Stephen Drew who missed 11 months after fracturing his ankle sliding into home. He struggled mightily when he first returned but has shown signs of heating up over the last few days. He was hitting just .188 coming into the month but has raised his average to .223 with a 6-11 run over the last three games he’s played. He also hit his first two home runs of the season in his last two games and has four extra-base hits this month. He hit leadoff as well which enhances his value as a run-scorer and possibly even as a base-stealer once he’s fully healthy. He was expected to be a breakout candidate and top-tier SS before being derailed by injuries so he’s worth taking a risk on if he can rediscover his form and pick up where he left off before his injury. Unless you have an elite SS, Drew could easily represent an upgrade for most teams if he is in top form.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Erik Kratz – Phi: (0.4% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-3, 2B. Kratz is hitting .406 on the season in his 16 games played and nine of his 13 hits have been for extra bases. He has a crazy 1.395 OPS and should keep seeing time while Carlos Ruiz is on the sidelines.
1B- Mike Carp – Sea: (9.4%) 2-7, R, RBI. Carp isn’t injured but missed Sunday’s game to attend the birth of his daughter. He’s back now and continuing to start as the Mariners everyday 1B. Don’t be fooled by his low season totals since most of them are due to a rough start. Since the All-Star break he’s hitting .333 with a home run and eight RBI in 13 games. He still strikes out a bunch, but can be a servicable 1B if you lack an elite option.
2B- Gordon Beckham – ChW: (11.1%) 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, HR. Beckham connected on a home run for the second straight day this time while hitting leadoff. He’s hitting just .229 but has 11 home runs and 40 RBI while starting almost everyday at 2B for Chicago.
3B- Eric Chavez – NYY: (0.4%) 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR. Chavez continues to hit when he’s in the lineup and is 5-8 in his last two games with 10 total bases. He has three home runs in his last seven games giving him 11 on the year with 26 RBI and 24 runs scored in his 75 games and 186 at-bats.
SS- Stephen Drew – Ari: (13.9%) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR. See Above
OF- Travis Snider – Pit: (3.5%) 3-5, 2 R, 2B. Snider hit second for the Pirates and raised his average to .333 since moving to Pittsburgh. On the year he’s hit three home runs in 57 at-bats with 11 runs scored and 10 RBI. He hit second in front of Andrew McCutchen which would greatly enhance his value if it becomes the trend.
OF- Andy Dirks – Det: (5.3%) 3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B. Before going down with an Achilles injury, Dirks was a key part of the Tigers lineup as well as many fantasy owners. He’s picked up where he left off in his first four games back going 6-11 with four RBI. He’s hitting .345 on the season with 20 RBI and four home runs. It’ll be interesting to see how playing time gets divided, but he has serious value if he’s in there on a regular basis.
OF- Eric Young Jr. – Col: (0.1%) 3-4, 2 R, BB. Young got another start in the leadoff spot and delievered again. He’s now 12-22 with six runs scored and a steal in his last five starts. If he stays atop the Rockies lineup he’ll have huge value with his .295 batting average, .364 OBP, and 12-14 in stolen base attempts.
AL Starting Pitcher- Bartolo Colon – Oak: (16.2%) 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K, W. I admit it; I was scared to start him agains the Angels lineup. He looked very good again and is 9-8 on the year with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
NL Starting Pitcher- Ross Ohlendorf – SD: (0.4%) 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K, W. Ohlendorf bounced back from the pounding hi took in Cincinnati to pick up his fourth win pitching the Padres past the Cubs. Except for his last start, he has allowed three runs or less in his last five starts while pitching at least six innings. Don’t expect much run support but Ohlendorf is worth a look as a spot starter in the right matchup if you need ERA and WHIP help.
Relief Pitcher- Jim Henderson – Mil: (0.0%) 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, S. Henderson was called on to close out Michael Fiers great start in a 3-1 game and picked up his first save in his Major League career. He has appeared in just seven games this year but has allowed just one earned run while striking out eight in six innings. The Brewers ‘pen is such a mess that if he can be decent, he can close and have value.