It’s time to go all-in if your team is still alive in fantasy baseball. There’s no long-term to look at as players who are hot and pitchers with solid starts become must-adds. Anyone who is hitting right now has value and players in slumps or injuries need to be replaced. If you need to make some moves, check our daily Sleeper Central post (Archive here) for a whole lineup of pickups to consider.
Here’s today’s lineup of waiver wire options:
Ezequiel Carrera- Cleveland Indians – OF: As the Indians season fades to darker and darker shades os dismal, Carrera stands out as a bright spot. He’s played 24 games since being called up early in August. He’s a good example of a hot bat that could make a difference in the playoffs despite being owned in just under a half of a percent in ESPN leagues. He’s hitting .319 and has gone 4-8 in his last two games with eight total bases. He added his fourth steal in five attempts yesterday as well in the Indians lost again to the A’s. Carrera will get plenty of playing time and should be able to provide speed, runs, RBI, speed, and even some sneaky power down the stretch. Carrera does strike out at a rate of just under one per game so be aware of that if your league has a penalty for K’s. Carrera is 22-69 overall with four doubles, three triples, a home run, four RBI and 11 runs scored.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Jonathan Lucroy- Mil: (43.9% ownership in ESPN leagues) 3-5, R, 7 RBI, HR. No other catcher in history has had two games in one season with seven or more RBI. Lucroy joins just four other catchers who have two of those games in their career accoring to Elias Sports Bureau-Bill Dickey, Smoky Burgess, Johnny Bench, and Ramon Hernandez. Lucroy is now hitting an impressive .332 on the season with nine homers and 49 RBI despite only having played 70 games. He’s definitely a great catching option and should be owned in all leagues for the last month of the season.
1B- James Loney- Bos: (3.8%) 3-4, 2 R, RBI, HR. In each of his five games with Boston, Loney has at least a hit and has an RBI in each of his four starts. He’s hitting .412 since coming to the AL with four RBI and the one home run from last night. He’ll split time with Mauro Gomez as they audition for 1B roles either with Boston or another team next year.
2B- Alexi Casilla- Min: (0.1%) 2-3, R, RBI, BB, SB. Casilla has two steals in his last four games and has 16 on the year. His speed is his primary fantasy asset but beware his .212 batting average if cheap speed is what you’re looking for.
3B- Josh Donaldson – Oak: (5.0%) 1-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, HR. Donaldson homered for the second day in a row. He’s played 16 games this month since being recalled and has a 1.018 OPS with a .350 batting average, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He’s swinging a hot bat and manning the hot corner for Oakland so take a look at him if you have a positional need.
SS- Tyler Greene – Hou: (1.7%) 1-4, R, RBI, HR. Greene continues to get a long look in the middle of the Astros infield his home run was his third in the last ten games and his eighth of the season. He’s only hitting .226, but if you can trade average for speed and power Greene is worth a look..
OF- Brett Jackson – ChC: (1.4%) 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 2 BB. Jackson seems to be adjusting well to Major league picthing going 7-19 in his last seven games. He’s hit three home runs and three doubles during that span as well all at Wrigley field. The Cubs will take a long look at Jackson in the outfield as they see if he’s ready to start in the Majors next year, and Jackson is worth a pickup in deep leagues if you need an outfield bat. He hasn’t utilized his speed at all to steal bases but didi have 27 steals at Iowa before his recall.
OF- Ezequiel Carrera- Cle: (0.3%) 2-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB. See above.
OF- Franklin Gutierrez- Sea: (0.3%) 2-4, 2 R, 2B, SB. Gutierrez has stolen three bases in three games since his return to the Seattle lineup after his second DL stint of the season. He’s only played 16 games this year but has a pair of homers, nine RBI, and eight runs scored. If he can stay healthy and get playing time in the M’s crowded outfield, he could definitely hav fantasy value for the next month.
AL Starting Pitcher- Zach Britton-Bal: (2.5%) 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 10 K, W. Britton has started eight games this year for the Orioles. In four he’s given up four runs or more, and in the other four he’s given up two runs or less. He dominated a solid Chicago team last night and the 10 K’s was by far a season-high. He’ll make his next start Tuesday against Toronto despite being optioned to Triple-A after his start last night.
NL Starting Pitcher- Kyle Kendrick-Phi: (28.6%) 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 6 K, W. Kendrick has been exceptional his last four starts going 7.0, 8.0, 6.2, and 7.2 innings while not allowing more than two earned runs in any of his starts. Granted, last night’s was agains the weak-hitting Mets, but Kendrick has been in a groove lately and is worth picking up possibly as a spot starter his next time out.