Fantasy Baseball has slid to the back burner in many owners mind in the flurry of fantasy football prep. If you didn’t have time to catch all of Saturday’s MLB action, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s our daily Sleeper Central (Archive here) where you can find a full list of players who had good nights and are available in over half of ESPN leagues.
Here’s today’s lineup of waiver wire options:
Juan Cruz- LA Dodgers – 3B/SS: While everyone is going to pay attention to the top of the Dodgers newly remade lineup and respect this offense, Cruz is going to be a huge beneficiary of being in such a potent lineup and is still available in four out of five leagues. He collected two hits last night for the fifth time in his last six games and raised his average to .303 on the season. This month in 19 games he’s hitting a scorching .365 with 13 RBI, six doubles, seven runs scored, and a pair of home runs. On the season his OPS is a healthy .820 and he’s expected to continue as the everyday 3B despite the addition of Nick Punto to the LA bench. He doesn’t offer elite speed (2-3 in stolen base attempts) but if you need average, runs, and RBI at a weak 3B position, Cruz is a great option for the rest of the season hitting in the suddenly potent LA lineup. His value would be even greater if Manager Don Mattingly regularly slides him into the second spot in the lineup as he did last night in from of Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, and Andre Ethier.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Geovany Soto-Tex: (11.6% ownership in ESPN leagues) 2-4, 2 R, RBI. Soto has hit in six straight going 9-23 with six runs and seven RBI. He’s starting to hit and in the Rangers lineup there will always be plenty of R and RBI to go around.
1B- Mauro Gomez – Bos: (0.0%) 4-6, R, 3 RBI, HR. Watch what happens when James Loney arrives in Boston, but if Gomez gets at-bats he can provide some offense. He is hitting .318 (14-44) in limited time this season and is excited about the chance to prove himself. My best guess is that Bobby V gives him every opportunity to show he can play everyday in the Bigs.
2B- Jamey Carroll- Min: (0.8%) 2-4, R, 2B. Carroll is hitting .303 in 19 games in August. The Twins lineup doesn’t offer much in terms of RBI opportunities but he has scored 10 runs this month and is a deep league option if you need an average boost in the middle infield.
3B- Luis Cruz – LAD: (21.3%) 2-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B. Cruz is highlighted above and is the best 3B and SS widely available. Get him now if you have needs at either position.
SS- Pedro Florimon- Min: (0.1%) 2-3, RBI. Florimon is now hitting .321 (9-28) since being called up to be the Twins everday SS. He has a pair of doubles and a triple to go with five runs scored, a stolen base, and two RBI.
OF- Michael Brantley – Cle: (40.3%) 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR. Brantley’s three-run shot was all the Indians scoring in their 3-1 win over New York. He’s hitting .292 on the season with six homers and 55 RBI.
OF- John Mayberry Jr. – Phi: (2.7%) 2-3, R, 3 RBI, HR. File under: better late than never. Mayberry was AWOL in April (.204 with zero HR) and June (.194 with four home runs). He’s coming on the last two months hitting .271 and .267 with six more home runs since the All-Star break matching his first-half total. He’s still just at .242 on the season but has four multi-hit games in his last seven going 10-27.
OF- Brett Jackson – ChC: (0.3%) 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Jacksons average is still just .197 but he has homered in each of the last two days and has three long balls in his last seven games played. He started brutally at the plate, but seems to be adjusting to Major League pitching. In deep NL-only leagues, he’s a speculative add.
AL Starting Pitcher- Justin Masterson – Cle: (42.2%) 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W. Masterson was great agains the Yankees after getting pummeled by Oakland his last time out. He’s been inconsistent all year, but has had several good starts especially at home for the Tribe. He’s either really good or really bad. In his last ten starts he’s allowed seven runs or more four times and two runs or less five times.
NL Starting Pitcher- Jeff Karstens-Pit: (7.8%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 4 K, W. Karstens was excellent again at home last night shutting down the Brewers and moving to 5-3 on the year. He has a steller 1.12 WHIP and a 3.47 ERA. He hasn’t walked multiple batters in five starts this month and has allowed three runs or less in seven of his last 10 outings.