If your fantasy baseball team is on life-support, it’s time to make some moves to give it a transfusion and get some fresh players in there. In our daily Sleeper Central post (Archive here), you can find a full lineup of players who are performing and contributing but are still mostly unowned in fantasy leagues.
If it’s time for some radical procedures for your team, make the cuts and pickup these players for the rest of the season. Percentages in parentheses are percent of ownership in ESPN Leagues
Manny Machado – 3B – Baltimore Orioles: Machado’s ownership is about to start a huge climb, but as of Saturday morning it’s still only 6.2%. He has burst onto the scene in Baltimore with back-to-back 2-4 games with a pair of home runs last night and three runs scored and four RBI already in his young career. He was the O’s top draft pick just two years ago when he was selected third overall. He was hitting .266 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI at Double-A. Many thought his call-up was premature, and there’s bound to be rough patches ahead, but Machado is a must add in keeper leagues and a solid pickup at a thin 3B position. He’ll start the rest of the way for Baltimore barring injury and may be ready to solve that 3B problem many owners have struggled with all year. Also watch his eligibility since he’s naturally a SS and may play there occasionally for Baltimore.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Carlos Corporan – Hou: (0.0% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-3, R, 2 RBI, HR. Corporan was one of many catchers who has solid offensive nights along with Welington Castillo, John Jaso, and Salvador Perez. Corporan is hitting .298 on the year with three homers and nine RBI in his 17 games played. He’s not the Astros everyday catcher, but he’s shown a little pop when in the lineup meaning he may force his way into more playing time.
1B- Todd Frazier – Cin: (11.1%) 3-4, R, 4 RBI, 2B, BB. Frazier has cooled off a bit but has enjoyed his trip to Wrigley going 5-8 through two games against the Cubs in this series with a homer and five RBI. It looks like when Joey Votto returns Frazier will slide back to 3B in place of the again-injured Scott Rolen. Frazier has 14 home runs and 47 RBI while hitting .273 with a .858 OPS. Frazier is starting to get some love in the Rookie of the Year discussion as well with Bryce Harper’s recent struggles. Frazier is a solid pickup for either corner infield position if you don’t have an elite option.
2B- Stephen Lombardozzi – Was: (6.0%) 4-5, 4 R, 3B. Lombardozzi hit leadoff while continuing to start at 2B. He followed his first mult-hit game in August with a nice 4-5 performance yesterday raising his average to .269 while his OBP is above .300 at .317. He’s hit safely in six of his last seven games.
3B- Manny Machado – Bal: (6.2%) 2-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR. Welcome to the Big Leagues Mr. Machado! See above for details on Machado and enjoy him as the latest big prospect 3B to join the MLB ranks this year. Already called up at the hot corner: Will Middlebrooks, Peter Olt, and the previously mentioned Todd Frazier.
SS- Brandon Crawford – SF: (0.4%) 2-3. Crawford had two of the Giants three total hits yesterday and has hit safely in four in a row going 7-15 to raise his average to .240 on the season. He doesn’t steal bases or hit many home runs but he is in the lineup everyday and is starting to contribute more at the plate.
OF- Justin Ruggiano - Mia: (43.5%) 1-4, R, RBI, HR. Ruggiano has homered in back-to-back games and is 7-16 in his last four. He’s still hitting .350 with 10 home runs on the year and 25 RBI. With the fire-sale in Miami, Ruggiano is now in the middle of their lineup on a daily basis and can give your average a boost while helping a little in power numbers as well.
OF- Travis Snider – Pit: (0.5%) 2-5, R, 3 RBI, HR. Snider continues to enjoy his time in Pittsburgh hitting .333 and connecting on his first NL home run last night in a losing effort. He bounces around between the second and fifth spot in the lineup but can give you some production or outfield depth for the next few weeks.
OF- Brandon Moss – Oak: (4.1%) 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR. Actually starting at CH against Chicago he hit his 12th homer of the year in just 141 at-bats. He still won’t help in other categories much, but if you need a bargain bin pickup who can hit the long ball, Moss is worth a look..
AL Starting Pitcher- Miguel Gonzalez – Bal: (3.9%) 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W. Gonzalez shut down the Royals while earning win number four and getting his ERA down to 3.42. He was shelled in one start by Tampa but has looked great in his last two allowing just the one earned run in 15 innings.
NL Starting Pitcher- Tyler Chatwood – Col: (0.1%) 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, W. Chatwood’s ERA is still at a loft 5.06 but has seemed more at ease in his second start in the four-man Rockies rotation. He could help in streaming situations in the right matchup after shutting down San Francisco on the road last night.