You know its a wacky day in Major League Baseball when the Astros put up 16 runs in one game after scoring after scoring just 17 in their first seven games of the season. Houston entered the game hitting .201 on the season but collected 22 hits as they rolled the Mariners.
Any Astros players you threw into your fantasy baseball lineup as a last-minute fix or a bargain-basement prayer definitely paid off, but playing all-Houston isn’t a very good long term strategy. It was such an out-lier that I’m not even including any Astros in my sleeper list today since everybody looked great last night against the M’s.
Instead, we’ll try to focus on players who actually do have long term upside as sleepers if you need help on the waiver wire. We do this daily in our sleeper central post (archive here) which highlights players contributing to fantasy owners who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. Here’s today’s lineup
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Evan Gattis-Atlanta Braves: (2.2%) Gattis has been hitting right in the middle of the Braves lineup and hit his second home run of the year yesterday while going 2-3 with a double, 2 RB, and a run scored. He’s started the year 7-19 and is a really nice pickup if your looking for a long-term backstop. Other options who also had solid nights last night are John Buck of the Mets and Alex Avila of the Tigers.
1B- Brandon Moss-Oakland Athletics: (35.5%) Moss has hit safely in his last three games after a bit 3-4 night in LA last night. He also connected on his first homer of the year while driving in four. Moss is solid as a home run option and is starting to see the ball well which could mean a home run and RBI binge is around the corner.
2B-Donovan Solano-Miami Marlins: (0.4%) 2B continues to be the hardest positions to find viable stats from on the waiver wire. Solano went 1-3 with a walk but it was the best night among qualifying 2B. He his 8-27 to start the year and continues to work walks and get on base. He hasn’t stolen any bases yet which would boost his value, and some help from the rest of the lineup would go along way too. If you’re stuck at this position, there isn’t much out there, but Solano is one of the better options.
3B- Juan Uribe-Los Angeles Dodgers: (0.0%) Uribe started his third game of the season last night and connected on his first hit which was also his first home run of the year. He’s still just 1-9 and has a long way to go to earn the full-time 3B role. No one has filled that role yet for LA, though, and Uribe is a serious contender if he can get his bat back in gear after a couple down seasons. He’s only worth a look right now in the deepest of leagues, but could change that if he can swat his way into more playing time.
SS-Jean Segura-Milwaukee Brewers: (32.3%) After sitting Monday due to a quad injury, Segura was back in the lineup and back in his usual SS spot in our sleeper lineup as he continues to produce nice numbers for the Brewers. Yesterday he finished 2-4 with a double, triple, RBI, and run scored. He’s started the season 11-24 which gives him a .458 batting average. He won’t keep those numbers up but continues to be the player you want if you’re shopping for a shortstop on the waiver wire.
OF- Starling Marte-Pittsburgh Pirates: (15.5%) Another player becoming a regular is Marte who had his fourth two-hit game in a row yesterday adding a double, two runs, two RBI, and his first stolen base of the year. He’s now 10-32 with six runs scored and the one stolen base. He looks to be locked in as the Pirates leadoff hitter for the near future and is ready to produce and help your outfield if you need average, speed, and runs scored. He hasn’t flashed his power this season, but does offer some production in RBI and home runs if he continues to play on a regular basis.
OF- Will Venable-San Diego Padres: (0.1%) Venable had a monster nght against LA in the Padres home opener going 2-3 with a pair of walks, a stolen base, two runs scored, a triple, a home run, and four RBI. He’s still in a platoon with Chris Denorfia, but could be on his way to getting more playing time with those kinds of numbers. Venable is definitely an option whenever you can confirm he’s in the lineup for daily leagues and could emerge as standard mixed-league material if he gains more playing time.
OF-John Mayberry Jr.-Philadelphia Phillies: (0.7%) Mayberry has been rotating with Laynce Nix in right field and will need to hit to secure playing time. He’s started the season well going 5-15 in seven games played and connected on his first homer of the season last night as part of his 2-4 night. His other hit was a double and he scored a pair of runs while driving in three.
AL Starting Pitcher-Nick Tepesch-Texas Rangers: (0.0%) Tepesch came out of nowhere and pitched a great game last night against the Rays. The sinker-baller went 7 1/3 innings allowing a run on four hits and three walks while striking out five. Whether e can duplicate these results remains to be seen, and most analysts and scouts have their doubts. He looked good for at least one start though, so it’s worth monitoring to see if he can continue his success. I wouldn’t go out and grab him just yet, but he’s worth watching going forward.
NL Starting Pitcher-Travis Wood-Chicago Cubs: (5.6%) Wood didn’t dominate or get the win last night but finished with a solid 6 1/3 allowing two earned runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking two. His ERA through two starts is still just 1.46 and he’s a solid spot or streaming option going forward.
Relief Pitcher-Ryan Cook-Oakland Athletics: (6.7%) Cook got a win last night going 1 2/3 against the powerful Angels and allowing just one hit while striking out three. He’s struck out seven in his last three appearances all scoreless. He did have control issues in his first appearance allowing his only run of the season, but has been just fine since then. He’s in a setup role for now with Grant Balfour doing the closing but he can give you K’s and innings, and if your league requires relief pitchers he’s one of the better non-closer options.