Yesterday was a slower day in the Major League Baseball world as everyone recovered from the King Felix perfecto and the Melky Cabrera imperfections. If you lost Cabrera or need to fill a hole on your roster for another reason, check out the sleepers listed below.
Each day on Sleeper Central (Archive here) we list a full lineup of players that can help fantasy teams to varying degrees and are available on waiver wires in over half of ESPN leagues. Here’s today’s options:
David Murphy – OF – Texas Rangers: Often lost in the shadow of all the other fantasy studs in the Rangers lineup, David Murphy has put together a solid season and has won the LF job outright. He had been in a platoon situation with Craig Gentry but has hit well enough to secure the full-time job. His big night last night pulled his average up to .300 even with 10 home runs, 44 RBI, 40 runs, 21 doubles, and eight stolen bases. Since the All-Star break he’s played 29 games and is hitting at a .327 clip. Obviously the lineup he’s in is a big boost to his value and now that he’s in it consistently he’ll be a great pickup for the rest of the season. If you need a solid outfield bat with some pop and plenty of run-scoring and run-producing potential, Murphy is definitely one of the top options out there. He’s currently available in 88.5% of ESPN leagues.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jeff Mathis – Tor: (0.0% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-3. Mathis is playing everyday in Toronto while J.P. Arencibia is on the sidelines, and in deep leagues or leagues that require two catchers he’s proving he has value offensively. He is 4-11 in his last three games including his seventh home run of the year and has 20 RBI and 21 runs scored in 49 games played. He’s not worth owning in most standard leagues, but is a deep option.
1B- Ike Davis – NYM: (43.9%) 2-4, 2R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Davis is what he is and there is some value. Make sure you know what you’re getting though. Davis will help you RBI (65) and home runs (21) while proving a liability in batting average (.216). If you can make that sacrifice, he’s a reliable power hitter. He’s now in the top 10 in the National League in home runs but has 107 strike outs in 384 at-bats. He’s worth a pickup if you can counter-balance him with some high-average, low-power pickups as well.
2B- D.J. LeMahieu – Col: (1.5%) 2-4, 2 R, 3B. LeMaheiu continues to rake as he average hovers around the .300 mark. He’s currently at .298 with five doubles, a triple, and a home run in his first 94 at-bats. He doesn’t have elite speed or power but can contribute runs, average, and RBI as he plays 2B everyday in the Rockies lineup. As with all Colorado players, he’s especially useful at home.
3B- Kevin Frandsen- Phi: (0.1%) 3-5, 3 RBI, 2B. Frandsen has been contributing some solid fantasy numbers while filling in for Placido Polanco. Polanco is on the DL with a bad back and is hoping to return at the end of the week, but even once he returns Frandsen could still see significant playing time. Since he was recalled, Frandsen has hit .333 (21-63) with a home run, five RBI, a pair of doubles, and six runs scored. He’s hit safely in seven of his last eight games with five multi-hit games in his last 10 played.
SS- Clint Barmes – Pit: (0.1%) 2-4, 3 RBI, 3B. Barmes is showing some signs of life with four multi-hit games in his last six and eight RBI over that span. He’s still hitting just .221 on the year but he’s been better lately with a .325 average in August with an .841 OPS.
OF- David Murphy – Tex: (11.5%) 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B. Murphy will be a solid bat for as long as he has the full-time job in Texas. See above for more details.
OF- Moises Sierra – Tor: (0.1%) 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR. Sierra has hit two home runs in his last three games and has hit safely in his last four going 7-15. He’s still adjusting to the Major Leagues, but Sierra has shown some promise in his limited time. If he continues to get time, he could win a starting job next year and be a big help to your fantasy team along the way.
OF- Juan Pierre -Phi: (18.1%) 2-5, SB. Pierre stole his 29th base of the season and raised his average to .308. He’s in and out of the lineup, but can give you solid average and steals numbers when he’s on the field. If you have a need for speed, he’s most likely the best pickup available for you.
AL Starting Pitcher- Dan Straily – Oak: (10.3%) 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, W. Straily got his first Major League win throwing shutout ball for 6.1 innings in KC. His strike numbers from the Minors haven’t translated, but he still has managed to be very effective in two of his three MLB starts. He’s a good spot start option going forward and a deep league speculative pickup.
NL Starting Pitcher- Trevor Cahill – Ari: (24.6%) 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 K, ND. Cahill pitched well, but the D-Backs didn’t score until the ninth so he ended up with a no decision. His road splits continue to be solid with another good road start although the lack of innings is a little troubling.