Roto Riteup: April 14, 2015

With tax season rapidly closing, my only advice on the matter is to watch Sunday’s Last Week Tonight about the IRS. In fact, watch all of the LWT’s, as they are all available on YouTube.

On today’s agenda:
1. Keep an eye on Devin Mesoraco
2. A jolt of speed from Desmond Jennings
3. Take note of Kendrys Morales and Mark Teixeira
4. Streaming Pitcher Options

Keep an eye on Devin Mesoraco
Yesterday the 26-year-old catcher underwent an MRI in an attempt to discover the cause of the pain in his hip. It was his second consecutive missed day, though Cincinnati Reds skipper Bryan Price believes Mesoraco will be back soon. If the club decides to place Mesoraco on the disabled list, Alex Avila would make a more than adequate replacement in just about any format. Avila is available in roughly half of both ESPN and CBS formats plus 70% of Yahoo! leagues.

A jolt of speed from Desmond Jennings
After a disappointing 2014 campaign where he stole just 15 bases, Jennings is up to three on the year already. In yesterday’s game he swiped a pair and is yet to be caught stealing. Jennings has certainly fallen from graces for many, but his speed appears to be intact and is now in a prime batting position for other counting stats. He’s hit sixth once this year, however Jennings seems to have locked down the fifth spot, so despite his lack of big-time power, he could bring some RBIs. One can find Jennings available in 50% of CBS leagues and over 70% of Yahoo! and ESPN formats.

Take note of Kendrys Morales and Mark Teixeira
Don’t look now, but both Morales and Tex cracked home runs yesterday, their second and third respectively. Morales is off to a ridiculously hot start — fueled by his .478 BABIP — but his .500 on-base percentage is boosted by his five walks. His current 14.7% walk rate is more than double his career average, and while it is too early to definitively call this a legitimate change in approach, at worst Morales is a platoon hitter or quietly efficient DFS guy. As a switch hitter, Morales is much more effective against right-handed pitchers, thumping them for a .277/.333/.477 line or 118 wRC+. His triple slash falls across the board when facing a southpaw to a more pedestrian .261/.308/.422 and 98 wRC+. For someone who should be very cheap in DFS or widely available in tradition fantasy realms, Morales is worth a look. He has exclusively hit fifth and should continue to do so, regardless of the pitcher matchup. Morales is free to own in over 70% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, though CBS owners have mostly snapped him up and he is available in one-in-three leagues there.

Similar to Morales, Teixeira is a switch hitter who also bats in a prime spot, but Tex is best when digging in against a left-hander. Unfortunately Teixeira has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past few seasons, though his early returns in 2015 appear to be promising. His .238 AVG isn’t anything to get excited over, however a .393 OBP and .714 SLG certainly are. Again like Morales, the (very) early plate discipline stats are great for Tex, as his six walks against three strikeouts shows his batting eye remains intact. Last year his 21.5% strikeout rate was the highest of his career but still managed to post an 11.4% walk rate, right in line with his career average. For OBP leagues or as a value play at first base in daily leagues, don’t overlook the 35-year-old slugger when the Yankees are due to face a lefty.

Streaming Pitching Options
If you enjoy streaming pitchers, tune into the Roto Riteup for recommendations each and every day.

A pitcher for today: Anthony DeSclafani at CHC (Jake Arrieta)
I was thoroughly impressed from DeSclafani in his previous outing and believe he can post another solid game today. He’s available in over 70% of three major fantasy sites.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Brandon Morrow vs ARI (Chase Anderson)
Morrow posted an incredible seven shutout innings in his season debut while strikeout seven. He may not repeat that level of success, but against an Arizona Diamondbacks team that hasn’t hit right-handers very well this season, Morrow is a solid play for a win and a handful of K’s. He can be picked up in over half of CBS leagues and over 90% of ESPN and Yahoo! formats.

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: April 14, 2015 by David Wiers!

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Mike W.
Mike W.

In regards to Avila, would you rather own him or Stephen Vogt in a standard league? I have Vogt as my Yan Gomes replacement, but would like to upgrade if possible.


I am an Avila fan, but based on usage, Vogt has the upper hand. Avila is in a hard platoon, sitting against lefties. Vogt looks like he’ll only sit when he needs rest. Plus, if injuries develop, Vogt has experience playing other positions to keep him in the lineup. Avila’s pop hasn’t proven to be good enough to outweigh the PT difference for me.