If you’re still in the running in your fantasy baseball league, congratulation are most likely in order. As the regular season continues to wind down in most leagues, there are still valuable pieces on the waiver wire if you know what you need and where to look. Need is based on your team and league scoring system, but Sleeper Central can help you now where to look for what you need.
In our daily Sleeper Central post (Archive here) we highlight players owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues who are contributing to their teams as we wrap up the month of August.
Here’s today’s lineup of waiver wire options:
Wilin Rosario- Colorado Rockies – C: Throughout the year, I’ve been high on Rosario. He’s now logged over 300 plate appearances in his 88 games and has 22 home runs, 56 RBI, and an OPS of .832. In August, his OPS is even higher at .991 with six home runs and 16 RBI in 65 at-bats. How he’s still only 17.2% owned, I don’t understand. He’s raised his average, which was weak earlier in the year, up to .252 by hitting .292 this month. Whatever his position, his numbers would give him value, but when he consider that he’s a catcher he’s an even better pickup. Only A.J. Pierzynski has hit more home runs this year at his position and his OPS would rank #4 if he had enough at-bats to qualify. He’s in the top 10 in RBI at C as well. His home/road splits are definitely skewed to the rare air of Coors Field but he’ll get to play there for 14 more games this season. If you need an offensive boost from your catcher, there’s no better option on most waiver wires.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Wilin Rosario- Col: (17.2% ownership in ESPN leagues) 3-4, 2R, 3 RBI, HR. At the end of the year, he may get the award for “most highlighted sleeper.” It’s amazing to me how available he still is. See Above for more.
1B- Chris Carter- Oak: (4.9%) 3-5, 2R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR. Carter has become the everyday first baseman in Oakland. He’s up to .270 with 12 homers in his 152 at-bats this season and has two homers and five RBI in his last three games. He still is striking out at a high rate, so beware the negative points if your league penalizes for K’s.
2B- Dustin Ackley- Sea: (47.0%) 1-5, R, 3 RBI, HR. When your team wins 5-2, a three-run homer is pretty important. Ackley is still hitting just .233 on the year but does have 10 homers and 46 RBI. In August, he’s hitting .265 with his highest OPS since May. He’s not fading yet and should continue to see plenty of at-bat’s for Seattle mostly from the leadoff spot.
3B- Pedro Alvarez – Pit: (43.9%) 4-5, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2B, 2 HR. Alvarez has treated his owners to one wild ride this season but overall is up to .247 with 25 homers and 67 RBI. He started so slowly that those number look even better shen you split them from April and May. He’s up-and-down, but the ups are very nice like yesterday…
SS- Ruben Tejada- NYM: (19.4%) 2-5, 2 RBI, 2B. Tejada was back at the top of the Mets lineup and back over .300 after last night’s couple of hits. He had been slumping a bit and since average is his main contribution had been dropped by many owners. See if he can start hitting and batting leadoff again. If he does, he’s a nice middle-infield contributor in average and runs.
OF- Justin Ruggiano – Mia: (33.5%) 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR. If you cut Ruggiano, you may have jumped too soon. He bumped his average back to .327 with a big night last night. He crushed Stephen Strasburg’s first inning fastball and continues to have a breakout season for the Marlins.
OF- Nate McLouth- Bal: (0.2%) 3-4, R, SB. McLouth’s renaissance is just one of the “Say What??” storylines on the Orioles this season. He’s hit .274 since coming to Baltimore and has scored a run in each of his last eight games while driving in seven and hitting a pair of home runs. He has the green light as well and has been successful in six of seven attempted steals. If you need an outfield bat, McLouth is showing he may have some fantasy value left in the tank.
OF- Trayvon Robinson- Sea: (0.2%) 2-4, R, 2 SB. Robinson is 5-6 on stolen base attempts while hitting .247 for Seattle in 23 games. He offers run potential and cheap speed whenever he’s in the lineup. The Mariners outfield is getting a bit crowded but Seattle should continue to find a way to see how Robinson adjusts to the Major Leagues.
AL Starting Pitcher- Chris Tillman – Bal: (11.0%) 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 5 K, W. Tillman has beaten the Rangers and White Sox in his last two starts to get to 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He’s definitely worth a look if you need a spot starter or to fill a starts/innings quota.
NL Starting Pitcher- Ricky Nolasco – Mia: (20.4%) 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K, W. After some disastrous outings allowing four or more runs in seven of his last eight times out, Nolasco threw an absolute gem against Washington last night. His complete game shutout was one of the most surprising performances of the year. I still wouldn’t trust him until he backs this up with some consistency.