It was another full Friday night of baseball action with all 30 MLB teams in action. There were plenty of players who contributed to their teams wins and some that put up valiant efforts in their teams losses. Several big names came through in big ways like Matt Cain, Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Andre Ethier, Josh Willingham, and the ageless Chipper Jones.
All those players are spoken for in virtually every fantasy baseball league. The players fantasy owners need to be aware of are those who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and are still putting up numbers that can help owners out. Those are the players we highlight here in our daily sleeper central (Archive here). Here’s today’s lineup of waiver wire options:
Todd Frazier – 1B/3B – Cincinnati Reds: Since he took over 3B for then-injured Scott Rolen, Frazier has been a recurring character here in sleeper central. I’ve been high on him and was disappointed when he was relegated to a bench role when Rolen returned. When Joey Votto went down and man questioned the Red offensive abilities, Frazier seized the opportunity and has become one of the leading candidates for NL Rookie of the Year. It does help to have a few iconic moments like the home run where the bat was literally out of his hands and performing the Heimlich maneuver to save a man’s life in Pittsburgh. Since most fantasy baseball leagues don’t give have categories for the life-saving award which Frazier received from Dr. Henry Heimlich on June 26, it’s also important that Frazier has the pop to thrive in the Majors in the middle of the Reds lineup. He’s hitting .286 on the year and .299 since this All-Star break. His four home runs in August have brought his season total to 16 along with 51 RBI. Those totals are despite playing only seven games the first month of the season. Frazier’s OPS for August is .994 as he and Ryan Ludwick have become the “heavy hitters” behind Jay Bruce in the Cincinnati lineup. The Reds will continue to find a way to get his bat in the lineup once Botto returns playing him at 3B or in the OF (where he’s already played five games). Frazier is owned in 41 percent of leagues but grab him right away if for some reason he’s available in yours.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jose Molina – TB: (0.0% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, HR. Molina has hit in eight straight and hit his fifth home run of the season. He’s still hitting just .208 despite hitting .345 during his streak. He’s part of a platoon, but is showing he can have value when he’s in the lineup.
1B- Todd Frazier – Cin: (41.8%) 2-4, 2R, 2 RBI, HR, SB. Frazier has two of his three steals on the year in the last three games but his power numbers make him an option especially at a thin 3B position. See above for more.
2B- D.J. LeMahieu – Col: (1.7%) 2-4, 2B. LeMaheiu has multi-hit games in six of his last eight and is up to .306 on the year. He doesn’t have a super slugging percentage but is reaching base, scoring runs, and continuing to step up and force his way into the Rockies discussions for the future plans at 2B.
3B- Josh Donaldson- Oak: (0.0%) 4-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B. Keep an eye on Donaldson who hit well at Triple-A and is now 7-14 since being recalled. In 51 games with Sacramento he hit .335 with an OPS of 1.000. He had 13 home runs and five stolen bases before getting called up. He’s not someone you need to add yet, but he may have value if he can translate those numbers to the Majors
SS- Brandon Crawford – SF: (0.7%) 2-5, 2 R, 2B. Crawford has hit in nine straight with four multi-hit efforts in that span. Normally known for his glove, he’s hitting .350 in 12 games this month with six RBI, two doubles, and a home run.
OF- Eric Young Jr. – Col: (27.7%) 2-5, R, SB. EY Jr. is still hot and available in way too many leagues. He’s batting .325 on the year and in the last 10 games has 10 runs scored. The Rockies are scoring especially at home and Young is one of the beneficiaries.
OF- Lorenzo Cain – KC: (21.3%) 2-4, R, RBI, HR, SB. Cain has slumped badly since making a big splash coming off the DL. He is showing signs of coming out of it and has yet to be caught in five stolen base attempts.
OF- Gorkys Hernandez -Mia: (0.0%) 2-3, 2 R, BB, SB. Hernandez is getting an audition in CF for the Marlins at least until Emilio Bonifacio returns. He was acquired in the Gaby Sanchez trade from Pittsburgh
AL Starting Pitcher- Hisashi Iwakuma – Sea: (7.0%%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W. Iwakuma has won three of four starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in his last six. He’s 4-3 on the year with a 1.31 WHIP and a 3.79 ERA. In the right matchup, he’s definitely worth a look as a spot starter.
NL Starting Pitcher- James McDonald- Pit: (48.6%) 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K, W. After being so good at the beginning of the season, McDonald had been so bad his ownership dipped below 50%. However, don’t expect that to last long after last night’s steller performance against St. Louis.