Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: The Playoff Push
Whether you are fighting to make the playoffs or sitting atop the standings, it is always good to know a few quiet players making a little noise this year. These guys will help your team down the road and get you that extra stat here and there to bolster your starting lineup come playoff time. After each name is the player’s team, position, and percent owned in CBS Fantasy Baseball leagues to help you go right to the waiver wire and snatch these diamonds in the rough.
Jon Jay, OF, STL, 33% owned
J.J. the Jet Plane took over outfield duty after Ryan Ludwick was shipped to San Diego. He’s a high average run scorer with a great batter’s eye. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s hitting second in the order right in front of Albert Pujols too. In July, Jay raised his batting average from .318 to .383, and in August he is hitting .317 with 10 runs and four XBH in 11 games. He’s a safe, reliable outfielder that can help in all leagues.
Neil Walker,2B/3B, PIT, 54% owned
Jose Tabata, LF, PIT, 41% owned
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT, 62% owned
Yo Ho, Ho, Ho, its a Pirate’s life for me! These three buccaneers have been crushing the ball lately. Although they might already be owned in deeper leagues, Walker, Tabata, and Alvarez are killing the ball and hugely contributing to the blossoming Pittsburgh offense.
Neil Walker—11 R, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB, .336 AVG
Jose Tabata—23 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 SB, .327 AVG
Pedro Alvarez—14 R, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 0 SB, .274 AVG
The lines above show their stats for the past 30 days. My advice is, if you need runs, speed, and average, go for Tabata. For power and the most well rounded player, Alvarez is the go to guy. If your team needs hits and a consistent infield bat, add Walker.
Chris Denorfia, CF, SD, 6% owned
One of my favorite sleepers for the rest of 2010. Denorfia, in 31 games through July and August, has 22 runs, eight HR, 21 RBI, four SB, and a .307 AVG. Even with San Diego’s crowded outfield, Denorfia seems to play everyday at all outfield positions. He shows no signs of stopping, and finds ways to continually be an offensive threat even in Petco Park. With San Diego in the heat of a playoff race, it only helps this Padres player the rest of the year.
Felix Pie, LF, BAL, 20% owned
It’s been a rough year for Baltimore, but Lord and Savior Buck Showalter seems to have turned not only the club around, but outfielder Pie as well. Felix has shown great signs of power, speed, and average since the Showalter Revolution.
Whether it’s a coincidence or not, it’s hard to ignore Pie’s recent numbers, hitting .328 in August with two HR, 10 RBI, and three SBs. Buyer beware though, Pie hits .177 lifetime against lefties. Depending on your league, Pie is a great pick up, but may be an even better spot starter when facing RHP.
To the skeptics out there who believe it’s a fluke, Pie is a career .288 hitter in August and September combined.
Omar Infante, 2B/3B/SS/OF, ATL, 47% owned
If you need a versatile bat in your lineup who can hit for average and swipe some bags, go get Infante while he’s still available. No matter what, the Braves always seem to find a place for him on the field each night. Infante hit .429 in July and is hitting .348 in August. Don’t expect power or RBI numbers though. Even with Martin Prado’s return from the DL and Atlanta’s Derrek Lee addition, Infante should continue to see playing time in a productive Braves lineup.
* Ryan Raburn, 2B/OF, DET, 16% owned
Before reading, notice the asterisk. Sure, Raburn is a sleeper, but I happen to think it’s somewhat fluky. If you have the room and the need for power, I say go ahead and grab him. Four HR in a five game span seems shaky though. Like I said, be careful, ride the streak and soak up Raburn’s surge, but the first sign of a power outage should send him to your bench or even back to free agency. Treat him as a Stash-and-Trash, or heck, trade him and sell high while he still has value.
Angel Sanchez, SS, HOU, 2% owned
Danny Valencia, 3B, MIN, 10% owned
Brooks Conrad, 2B/3B, ATL, 3% owned
Chris Snyder, C, PIT, 24% owned
You can follow Tyler Becker on Twitter at @fantasyprodigy for fantasy questions, advice, or just to say hello! He attends New York University for Sports Management… it’s the closest major they had to fantasy sports.
Who are you picking up off the wire for your run to the playoffs?
Leave a comment and let us know, or reply to us on twitter @TheFantasyFix
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