It was another full night of action across the big leagues last night giving us the usual amount of heroes and goats that baseball usually does when there are 15 games on the schedule. There were blowout wins by the Yankees, Braves, D-Backs, Angels, and Cubs. Not all the games lacked late-inning drama though, as the Orioles, Nationals, Padres, and Dodgers scored late to get wins.
If your fantasy team is coming up on the wrong end of blowouts or even of close games, it may be time to make a change to your lineup. At Sleeper Central, you can find a lineup of productive players who are helping their teams get on the right side of the scoreboard and are available in over half of ESPN leagues (percent of ownership included). These players are just some of the options that can offer your team a boost as you pursue the championship. For more options, check out our archive and make sure to drop a bookmark and come back each day for another lineup of underowned, underrated productive players.
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C-Jarrod Saltalamacchia-Bos: (38.5%) Salty hit his fourth home run in his last nine games while going 3-4 with a double as well and a walk and a strikeout. He raised his average to .279 and is becoming one of the best hitting catchers in the Major Leagues. If you need a catcher, he’s a great pickup and he’ll look to continue his roll as a four-of-five day starter for the Red Sox.
1B-Matt Adams-Stl: (9.1%) After scuffling for the past week, Adams connected on his second home run of the year as part of his 2-4 night last night. He drove in three and scored two runs as he raised his average to .294. He’s a tough call to make at this point since he’s shown flashes but has lacked consistency in his first 15 games in the Majors. If you need a power 1B, he’s worth a flier but he’s not a established commodity at this point.
2B-Ryan Theriot-SF: (1.0%) Continuing to thrive in the no. 2 spot in the Giants lineup, Theriot went 3-3 with a double, two walks, a run scored, a stolen base, and three RBI. He’s stolen two bases in the last two days and is hitting .261 now with seven RBI, eight runs scored, and a .324 OBP. He’s firmly entrenched in the two-hole and is worth a look if he can continue this pace at the top of the Giants lineup.
3B-Elian Herrera-LAD: (0.9%) Herrera continues to prove his value to the Dodgers at the top of the lineup and keep his name near the top of Philadelphia’s public enemy list after his second game-winning hit in as many days in Philadelphia. After driving in the winning run on Papelbon Monday, Herrera went 2-4 last night with a double and two RBI in the Dodgers 2-1 win over Cliff Lee. He’s batting .304 with nine RBI in his first 20 games played and his positional flexibility (2B, 3B, OF) is an asset both to the Dodgers and his fantasy owners.
SS–Andrelton Simmons-Atl: (0.7%) It’s still extremely early in Simmons career having just played three games in the Majors, but he’s showing some promise at the plate after going 3-4 with a triple and three RBI last night. He’s 4-12 since being called up and could be the missing piece in the lineup for Atlanta if he can hit. He’s been seen more as a defensive prospect as he’s played in the minors, so his success may not be sustainable long-term. Consider this an early warning on him since he’s going to ge the chance to play everyday for Atlanta.
OF-Colby Rasmus-Tor: (47.6%) Rasmus moved to the number two spot in yesterday’s lineup and responded going 5-5 with a double, home run, three RBI, and four runs scored. He raised his average to .247 and has seven home runs and 24 RBI with 25 runs scored and three stolen bases in three attempts. If he can stay near the top of the lineup, he’ll turn into a great addition. After a horrible start he’s rebounded to hit .357 with four long balls in his last ten games.
OF–Justin Maxwell-Hou: (0.1%) Manager Brad Mills is trying to Maxwell opportunities at the plate. Both the good and bad of Maxwell’s offensive game was on display last night as he went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI as well as two strikeouts. He has 29 K’s in 76 at-bats but has connected on five home runs, two in his last two games. He’s scored 14 runs and driven in 15 in limited action, but will be worth a look if he gets more consistent playing time.
OF-Michael Saunders-Sea: (8.3%) In his last eight games, Saunders has raised his average 40 points and after last night’s 3-4 is hitting .268. He had a double and home run last night giving him six long balls and 20 RBI for Seattle. He’s been a solid CF while Franklin Gutierrez has been sidelined and will probably move to a corner outfield spot when Gutierrez returns to keep his bat in the lineup.
AL Starting Pitcher-Garrett Richards-LAA: (1.0%) Pitching in place of the injured Jered Weaver, Richards gave up just a run on four hits in seven innings of work to get the W in his first MLB start of the year. He struck out eight walking just two and only the Saunders home run spoiled a shutout. He may not be able to sustain this kind of success based on his Triple-A performance, but is worth a look as a spot starter with the Angels lineup starting to produce and Richards seeming determined to stake his claim to a spot in the rotation.
NL Starting Pitcher-Lucas Harrell-Hou: (0.5%) Harrell got a quality start and a win last night limiting the Cardinals to four runs (three earned) and eight hits in six innings. He didn’t walk a batter and only struck out one, but did enough to move his record to 5-4 even in a tough matchup. He’s a matchup spot starter and is especially good at home while getting knocked around a bit on the road.
Relief Pitcher-Clay Hensley-SF: (0.3%) Hensley has already appeared in 25 games this season pitching 21.1 innings with a 1.69 ERA. He earned his sixth hold of the season last night shutting down the Padres for an inning while picking up a pair of strikeouts. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 appearances and is becoming an important part of the Giants reworked bullpen without Brian Wilson.