Roto Riteup: April 11, 2019

We’re a “Glass Half Full” type of group here at the Roto Riteup:

On the Agenda:
1. Two-Dong Games
2. Various News and Notes
3. Streaming Pitchers


Two-Dong Games
Khris Davis

Congrats to Davis for hitting his 200th home run of his career! With that bomb he’s now tied for first in home runs with Cody Bellinger and……..Jay Bruce! He leads all players in home runs since 2015 as well, reminding us all just how special his power is. We’ve seen his Exit Velocity, Barrel%, xwOBA, and Hard-Hit% all fall slightly in a limited sample thus far, but it’s nothing to worry about. He hit .218 with six home runs in April last year, and has already hit that mark 10 days into the month. Excited to see if he can hit 50-55 this year.

Jose Altuve

Altuve matched his total from April last season in one game last night. The lone worry about him is the stolen base output – he posted his worst total in that category since 2011 last year. He’s had a recent knee injury and only had one stolen base heading into May last season as well, so maybe things will start to trend up in that area as the season goes on. If not, we still have a strong five-category contributor who’s hitting the ball harder than ever before, with by far his best Barrel%. It’s too early to make proclamations, but it’s safe to say that 20 HR (likely a fair amount more) is easily back in play here.

Tommy Pham

***Major BIAS ALERT*** The love of my life has been tremendous since he put on a Rays uniform. He currently holds the Rays franchise record for consecutive games on base (45), and is in the 93rd-percentile in Hard-Hit% despite not hitting a long-ball until yesterday. The narrative with Pham is he’s constantly dealing with injuries, but he’s surpassed 530 PA in each of the last two seasons. He’s tied for second in stolen bases (5) and is in the top-25% in Exit Velocity, Hard-Hit% (already noted), Sprint Speed, xBA, and xwOBA. The 31-year old is primed to have potentially a career year – and as a Rays fan – I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

Various News and Notes
Austin Meadows went 3-for-5 with two extra-base hits (one home run, fourth of the season) three RBI, two runs scored, and a walk against the White Sox on Wednesday. He should be 100% owned at this point. He’s leading off, has a nice blend of power/speed, and is the healthiest he’s been as a professional ball player.

Marcell Ozuna rebounded from a horrendous play on Tuesday to go 3-for-4 with a double, two-run home run, and two runs scored in a win against the Dodgers. The funny thing is he was caught at first base after hitting a single to right field. Alex Verdugo threw the ball, “MLB The Show” style to first base after seeing Ozuna overcommit and freeze rounding the bag – catching him before he could get back.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr has been promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. He’s fully recovered from his oblique strain and should be ready to contribute to the Blue Jays and fantasy teams in short order. He’s going to a beast right out of the gate, try to acquire him for anything less than a top-50 player.

C.C. Sabathia will make his 2019 debut against the White Sox this Saturday. Jonathan Loaisiga will be the odd man out but is worth watching in case he gets another opportunity in the Yankees rotation. Domingo German is a stud and should be owned everywhere.

Max Scherzer is at risk of missing Saturday’s start against the Pirates due to his right ankle ailment.

Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and Miguel Andujar all did some baseball activities yesterday. They all have different timetables – stay tuned for more info as they start to ramp things up. Gary Sanchez was out of the lineup yesterday and said he’s dealing with, “tightness in his legs.” He’s day-to-day.
Matt Boyd continued his early Cy Young bid on Wednesday (I’m kidding, or am I?) – holding the Indians to one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks over six innings. He should be owned in all leagues and is creeping up the starting pitcher rankings with each start.

Danny Duffy is starting to ramp things up after a bout with his shoulder injury from last year:


We received an Alex Bregman update yesterday:


With Jon Lester being placed on the 10-day IL, Tyler Chatwood will be receiving some starts in his place. His first one will be against the Angels on Sunday.

Christian Walker struck out all four times he was up on Wednesday – the seventh time he’s done so in 11 AB this week. This is part of his game. People who put in a big FAAB bid last Sunday should not panic obviously.

After allowing 3 ER in 0.1 IP on Tuesday, Jose LeClerc came in during a non-save situation on Wednesday and completely unraveled. He allowed 1 ER and got one out (five batters faced), walking one, hitting two, and giving up a single. LeClerc had to be pulled as Kyle Bird had to come in to notch a save. LeClerc has always had some issues with his control/command, so this isn’t anything new. However, we need to keep close eyes on this because he’s still fairly new to this role, and there’s a decent possibility that last year was the aberration. I still love him and think he possesses as much upside as almost any closer, but we need to see him get a couple of clean outings under his belt before we feel alright about it in the short term.

Tyler Glasnow, Nick Margevicius, and Trevor Richards all had strong outings respectively on Wednesday. Glasnow was a strong mid-round pick in drafts and is performing marvelously so far this season (I loved the trade last season when it happened). Margevicius has a 1.69 ERA thus far, but even if you look at his SIERA (3.69), he’s looking awfully serviceable. The former seventh round pick who hadn’t pitched above A-ball is worth speculating on in 15-team mixed.

Let’s hope Bruce can come back in short order. As I stated above, he’s tied for the league lead in home runs, and has found a considerable amount of value despite doing little else thus far.

Travis Shaw exited Wednesday’s game against the Angels after being hit in the hand by a Felix Pena pitch. He stayed in the game initially, but is currently day-to-day.

Jimmy Nelson pitched in an extended Spring Training Game yesterday!

His stuff was looking good, as cited by the legendary “Pitching Ninja.”

He should be picked up in almost any format if he’s available and you have room.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)

A Pitcher for Today: Spencer Turnbull at CLE
Looked good in his last start and gets the anemic Indians offense.

High Risk Option: Jeff Samardzija vs COL
Colorado is down a lot of offensive talent and I still believe in Daddy Shark… Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Michael Pineda vs DET
Pineda’s been keeping things on the ground, getting a ton of whiffs, starting ahead in the count, and posting strong results thus far. The Tigers offense is dead last in RPG so far. It’s a match made in heaven.

High-Risk Option: Trent Thornton vs TAM
I obviously don’t love choosing a starter against my squad, but Thornton has had a stellar first two starts, and blanketed under all of the success is a league-average Rays offense. They have the propensity to strike out as well, and Thornton has 15 K in 11 IP with a 12% Swing-Str%.

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: April 11, 2019 by Mike Werner!

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Fantasy Baseball and Tampa Bay Rays enthusiast. Restaurant manager by day, fantasy analyst by night. Contributor to Rotographs, Baseball HQ, Fantasy Pros, and co-owner of Friends with Fantasy Benefits. Follow me @MikeWernerFWFB.

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Jackie T.
Jackie T.

Wait – 50-55 HRs for Jay Bruce?

Jackie T.
Jackie T.

Sorry, reading failure.