There were plenty of standout performances last night, headlined my Johan Santana becoming the first Mets pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter. Santana wasn’t the only dominant pitcher going last night as offense was limited with six of the 28 teames that played being held to one or no runs. The only teams not in action were the Braves and Nats who got rained out in Washington.
There was some offense though and plenty of players over-performing their fantasy baseball ownership. If you need an addition or replacement for your lineup these “sleepers” make great targets. This is our daily “Sleeper Central” where we highlight an entire lineup of contributing players who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and should be considered if you need help at a position or in a category. The percent of ownership in ESPN leagues is included in parentheses.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Wilin Rosario-Col: (0.9%) Rosario hit his eighth home run of the year last night against the Dodgers going 1-4 with a walk, three runs scored, three RBI, and a stolen base. The stolen base was his second in as many games, but don’t start counting on him as a speed option. He is a great power option behind the plate as the Rockies everyday catcher for as long as Ramon Hernandez is on the DL. Rosario is hitting .229 with 21 RBI, 17 runs scored, and 14 extra base hits (out of 22 total). He does strike out alot, 30 times in 32 games, but if you can absorb the hit in average he’s worth the add in power categories.
1B-David Cooper-Tor: (0.0%) The recent Blue Jay callup went 2-4 with his first home run of the year as well as a double yesterday against the Red Sox in Toronto. He’s batting .360 (9-25) with three RBI and four runs scored in his first seven games this season. He’s a decent fill-in or short-term add, but Cooper’s long-term lineup security is uncertain with Adam Lind destroying Triple-A since his demotion.
2B-Gordon Beckham-ChW: (11.3%) The red hot White Sox rolled past Seattle 7-3 behind another big game from the resurgent Gordon Beckham. Beckham went 2-5 with a pair of home runs brining his totals for the year to seven home runs, 27 runs scored, 17 RBI, and a .229 batting average. He’s hit in eight consecutive games and is firmly entrenched in the second spot in the Chicago batting order. He struggled horribly to star the season, but looks to be coming around with the bat.
3B-Lonnie Chisenhall-Cle: (5.2%) The injury-ravaged Indians offense has received a boost from Chisenhall who connected on his second home run in his first four games last night for Cleveland. He went 3-4 last night and is 5-13 with three RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base. He should see most of the time at 3B while Jack Hannahan is sidelined so he makes a solid stop-gap in the short term if you need a replacement or bargain fill-in.
SS–Willie Bloomquist-Ari: (4.4%) He’s not a flashy shortstop and doesn’t have elite power or speed, but Bloomquist is a solid option if you need everyday batting average and runs scored numbers. He’s hit all season a the top of the D-Backs order and yesterday went 2-5 raising his average to .273. He has 21 runs scored in his first 40 games and does has 12 extra base hits although he’s yet to hit a home run. He’s a decent but not spectacular option if you need production from a middle-infield or utility role.
OF-Quintin Berry-Det: (4.3%) It will be fascinating to see what Detroit does when Austin Jackson returns with Berry hitting so well from the leadoff spot. He raised his average to .364 with his second 3-5 game in a row. Last night he had a single, double, and triple while scoring two of the Tigers four runs. In just 10 games at the Major League level, Berry has five steals, 11 runs scored, five extra base hits, and three RBI. His long-term outlook is murky with Jackson’s return leaving him with no position, but there’s no way the Tigers would take his bat out of the lineup if he stays this hot.
OF-Daniel Nava-Bos: (21.4%) Speaking of fill-ins swinging a hot bat and making things interesting long-term for their clubs, Nava has been crushing the ball in his time filling in for Cody Ross-Jacoby Ellsbury-Carl Crawford. He should have the rest of this month to show his worth before the injured players start returning. With games like last night, he may not be going anywhere. He hit in the second spot in the lineup and went 4-5 with three doubles, three runs scored, and an RBI. He raised his average to .314 and has 22 hits (12 for extra bases) in 22 games. He has two home runs, 16 RBI, and 16 runs scored. Especially if he hits near the top of the lineup, Nava is a great pickup for the rest of the upcoming month.
OF-Tony Gwynn Jr.-LAD: (1.7%) Gwynn will once again step in for the injured Matt Kemp and should get most of the playing time in CF for LA. Last night with led off for the Dodgers and went 2-4 with a double, walk, and two stolen bases. He’s batting .286 on the year with 14 RBI, 14 runs scored, and seven steals. If you need a speed/scoring outfielder, Gwynn’s a good pickup for the next couple weeks.
AL Starting Pitcher-Felipe Paulino-KC: (35.8%) In four of his six starts he’s allowed no runs. His other two starts were both on the road against decent offenses (Baltimore and Chicago). He’s totaled 37 innings with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He went six shutout innings yesterday against Oakland while striking out five and allowing just three hits and three walks. He has 39 K’s in 37 innings and is one of the top pitching pickups in fantasy baseball in AL-only and mixed leagues.
NL Starting Pitcher-Mike Leake-Cin: (1.9%) Leake struck out a season-high seven and pitched seven innings allowing just one earned run on four hits at Houston. He has allowed one earned run in three of his last four lowering his ERA from 7.11 to 4.95. He has 38 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and is worth a look in good matchups as long as he stays hot.
Relief Pitcher-Ernesto Frieri-LAA: (45.3%) Amazingly, Frieri still hasn’t allowed a hit since coming to the Angels after 13 games. He’s struck out at least a batter in every appearance and has a total of 27 in 13 innings. He picked up his third save of the season last night and looks to be the choice although he and Scott Downs may continue to share some chances.