As this week and scoring period comes to a close, it’s getting late in fantasy baseball. Depending on your scoring system and playoffs, there may just be a few weeks left to make up ground so it’s time to make the moves to put the pieces in place to take you to the championship.
Here’s our daily Sleeper Central (Archive here) where we highlight players owned in under half of ESPN leagues who can make an impact on your fantasy team and help you in the last seven weeks of the season.
Salvador Perez – KC: Perez is owned in just over a third of ESPN leagues but will be a top five catcher the rest of the season. He’s relatively fresh compared to other catchers after missing most of the first half and only playing 37 games to this point in the season (compared to 103 for Matt Wieters or 100 for Yadier Molina). Rest doesn’t equal productivity but it means that Perez will be playing his first half while they play their second. He’s heated it up of late with three home runs in his last four games and seven RBI in his last six. On the season, Perez is hitting .313 with 17 RBI and 21 runs scored with eight homers and seven doubles. His OPS is a healthy .883. While the averages seem a little high and I don’t think he’ll be able to sustain them the power and RBI numbers give him great value for the rest of the season in the middle of a solid Royals lineup.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Salvador Perez – KC: (35.8% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Unless you have an elite catcher, get Perez in your league. See above for more details.
1B- Chris Carter – Oak: (5.4%) 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B. Carter has now hit in four straight starts going 8-16 with a home run, three doubles, five runs, and four RBI during his streak. He’s hitting .283 now on the year with an impressive 10 homers in just 99 at-bats.
2B- Brent Lillibridge – Cle: (0.0%) 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. With his third team of the season, Lillibridge is starting to see regular time and is performing well hitting in three straight starts and going 5-12. His main value is on the basepaths where he’s 9-11 in stolen base attempts. If you need cheap speed and runs scored, Lillibridge will be an option as long as he is in the lineup.
3B- Casey McGehee – NYY: (0.8%) 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR. It’s not quite time for the Yankeeography yet, but McGehee had a good night last night and is 3-13 with five runs scored, two doubles, four RBI, and last night’s home run since joining the Yankees. He’s splitting time with Eric Chavez who struggles hitting lefties, so watch who sees more time there to determine what if any value McGehee has.
SS- Joaquin Arias- SF: (0.2%) 2-3, 2 R, RBI, 3B. Arias slid over to SS as he continued to fill in any infield positions needed for the Giants. He’s hitting .262 now and has hit in six games in a row. He doesn’t have a set position so his value is low until injury or ineffectiveness opens up an opportunity for him.
OF- Rajai Davis – Tor: (32.4%) 2-4, 2 R, 2B, SB. Davis has become the Jays full-time leadoff hitter and is up to 32 steals on the year with 47 runs scored. He’s getting on base 31.4% of the time which should allow for more steals and runs for as long as he holds that spot. He also provides a little pop with six home runs and 27 RBI on the season. He should be owned in virtually every league.
OF- Nate McLouth – Bal: (0.0%) 2-4, 2B. Remember when McLouth was an All-Star outfielder? He hopes to regain that form with Baltimore after struggling for the Pirates… in Triple-A. He was only hitting .244 in Norfolk but has back-to-back 2-4 days and looks to divide time in LF with Lew Ford for the rest of the season for Baltimore. See if he can pull a Ben Sheets and return to fantasy usefulness.
OF- Trayvon Robinson- Sea: (0.0%) 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB. Robinson has three multi-hit games in eight starts for the Mariners since being called up when Ichiro was traded. He’s stolen two bases and is 8-30 overall with four RBI and five runs scored. HE should bet plenty of playing time as the MAriners try to determine where he fits in their future plans. He offers an alluring blend of power and speed if he can translate his skills to the Major League level.
AL Starting Pitcher- Derek Holland – Tex: (27.9%) 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K, ND. Holland looked great against the Tigers last night as he tries to rediscover his playoff form of last year. He’s struggled on the year to a 4.92 ERA but most of the damage has been on home runs. If he can keep the ball in the park, he can be solid again for the rest of the year.
NL Starting Pitcher- Jason Marquis – SD: (0.8%) 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W. Marquis’s gem came out of nowhere. In his last two starts he’s allowed four home runs and 10 earned runs. Last night he had as many hits (two) as he allowed while completely dominating the Pirates in PIttsburgh. He leveled his record to 6-6 with a 5.05 ERA. I don’t trust him yet even as a spot starter, but what a performance last night.