Aug 20, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) is greeted by first baseman Corey Hart (1) and third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) after hitting a 3-run home run against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy Baseball Best Pickups-Sleeper Central-August 21

Monday night in the Majors was a another big one as teams get positioned for the final playoff push. The Nationals got a big win in 13 over the visiting Braves, and the White Sox rallied to beat the Yankees. Out West, the Giants knocked off the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in LA while the Rangers beat the visting Orioles extending their lead over the A’s who lost to the Twins.

If your fantasy baseball team is in the playoff hunt, there’s players that can make a difference still available in many leagues on the waiver wire. On our daily Sleeper Central post(Archive here), we feature a lineup of players owned in less than half of ESPN leagues that can give you that boost you need to get into and dominate your league’s playoffs.

Here’s today’s lineup of waiver wire options:

Sleeper Awakening

Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers backstop was emerging as a top fantasy catching offense before his freak hotel-room accident cost him almost two months of the season. Because of the time off, he’s owned in only 20.2 percent of ESPN leagues but appears to be returning to top-level form. His average is back up to .328 and yesterday’s two-homer game brought him to eight home runs and 39 RBI on the season. In the last three games he’s 5-10 with three runs scored, four RBI, the two home runs from yesterday, and a pair of walks. The Brewers don’t have a ton of offensive depth so they’ll keep Lucroy in the middle of their lineup as much as possible as the season winds down. As some of the top catchers start to fatigue, Lucroy should be fresher and ready to contribute to your fantasy team and the Brew-crew for the last six weeks of the season.

Sleeper Starting Lineup

C- Jonathan Lucroy-Mil: (20.2% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, 2 HR. As discussed above, Lucroy is a top catching option if you need average and his power may be returning as well after yesterday’s power surge.

1B- Tyler Colvin – Col: (13.5%) 2-3, R, RBI, BB, HR. Colvin should see solid playing time for the near future and is starting to heat up again at the plate. He’s hitting .368 in 17 games this month with a .998 OPS, five doubles, two triples, a home run, and 11 RBI. Colvin is great at home but actually has an even seven and seven split of his home runs at home and on the road. He’s one of the few Rockeis worth checking into whether at Coors Field or away.

2B- Donovan Solano – Mia: (0.1%) 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB. Granted all the Marlins hit yesterday, but Solano is worth a look for cheap speed if nothing else. He has yet to be caught in any of his five attempts and is now hitting .259 as he gets an extended look in the number two spot in the Miami lineup.

3B- Luis Cruz- LAD: (5.1%) 2-3. Cruz and Clayton Kershaw were he only Dodgers able to get it going offensively in the Dodgers loss and Cruz remains red hot. He’s 15-31 over his last nine games with five runs, four doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI. He’s batting .294 on the year and is settling in as the everyday 3B in LA.

SS- Pedro Florimon- Min: (0.0%) 3-3, 3 R, BB, SB. Since he replaced Brian Dozier, he’s started four straight games for the Twins at SS. He’s 6-12 over that time with four runs, a double, a triple, two walks, and a steal. Florimon should see the bulk of playing time down the stretch as the Twins see what they have for the future.

OF- David Murphy – Tex: (13.3%) 2-3, R, 2 RBI, BB. Murphy continues to rake going 10-19 in his last five games as he remains the everyday LF for Texas and the top OF option available in most leagues.

OF- John Mayberry Jr. – Phi(1.7%) 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR. Mayberry is picking up the extra playing time while Nate Schierholtz is out. He’s hit two home runs in his last three games while going 6-13 with five RBI. He’s a solid pickup if Murphy is gone for the next few weeks as he tries to solidify his outfield spot for next season.

OF- Michael Saunders – Sea: (6.2%) 3-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR. Saunders has three multi-hit games in a row and three home runs in his last two. He’s starting everyday in CF for the Mariners and is starting to become a feasible option in deep leagues and a speculative pickup in AL-only and standard leagues. He has 13 home runs, 17 stolen bases, 41 RBI, and 57 runs scored on the season.

OF- Dewayne Wise – ChW: (0.7%) 2-5, R, 2 RBI, HR, SB. Wise touched up his former team the Yankees for his third home run with the White Sox (in just eight games) and added his second steal in three games. He’s filling in for Alejandro De Aza who is dealing with both a back and olique problem and may be headed for the DL. If Wise continues to leadoff and produce, expect De Aza to hit the DL and Wise to have a couple weeks of fantasy relevancy.

AL Starting Pitcher- Brian Duensing- Min: (0.0%) 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W. In the midst of a rough season, Duensing had a solid start in Oakland to move to 3-8. He’s still not a spot starter consideration yet with his 4.46 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Take note of the performance though and see if he can duplicate it in his next outing.

NL Starting Pitcher- Edinson Volquez- SD: (20.4%) 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 10 K, W. Moving to 8-9, Volquez bounced back after four rough starts with double-digit strikeouts against the Pirates at Petco. He had allowed 21 runs in his last four starts, so don’t go all in yet, but he’s worth noting especially when he’s pitching at home.

Tags: Jonathan Lucroy MLB Waiver Wire Sleeper Central

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