Roto Riteup: April 23, 2015

Yesterday saw Avengers: Age of Ultron go live in theaters in select European countries, with more joining the list throughout the coming week. In my amateur opinion the first Avengers was grand and raised expectations for the follow up. In a week we’ll see if the hype was worth it as the domestic release is May 1.

On today’s agenda:
1. Hotter than Kolten lava
2. A (far too early) Steven Souza humble brag
3. Alex Guerrero, pinch hitter
4. Streaming pitching options

Hotter than Kolten lava
I can hear your groans from here, but by now you should know how much I love my bad name based puns. Moving on, Kolten Wong is hitting for a scorching .325/.396/.475 line after yesterday’s 3-for-4 game where he cracked his first home run of the season. Three weeks into the season is clearly in the realm of small sample size, but Wong does have six walks — plus two IBBs — against five strikeouts. Prior to last night’s game Wong was getting ahead of pitchers 1-0 almost 55% of the time compared to his 42.9% career average. His .333 BABIP is sure to regress but if he can maintain some of this improved batting eye, Wong’s value may reach a new high.

A (far too early) Steven Souza humble brag
Yours truly was buying Souza stock over a month ago, and Souza has rewarded my faith thus far. Sure, a .407 BABIP isn’t going to last forever, however he has already banked four home runs and four steals. He’s hit exclusively second all season, outside of one pinch hitting appearance. Factor in a double digit walk rate and Souza could reach the 20-20 plateau I had him pegged at. As expected, his strikeouts have piled up and his 35.6% K% is bound to drive his AVG down sooner rather than later. Souza has also been caught stealing twice already, so hopefully the Tampa Bay Rays don’t get too cautious with his base running. Despite these flaws, Souza’s ownership has soared in ESPN leagues, up almost 78% over the past week. Unfortunately it seems as though the early window to grab him has passed, but if the strikeouts continue to mount, his current owners may get frustrated and drop him. Keep the faith in Souza, as I had him rated at a .250 AVG from the beginning, as I picked him up for the counting stats anyways.

Alex Guerrero, pinch hitter
It’s somewhat surprising to see Guerrero already hitting three home runs despite irregular playing time. It is downright incredible that of this three dingers, two have come in pinch hitting appearances. He’s appeared at third base and left field, though for now is eligible only in the outfield for Yahoo! and CBS leagues and 3B for ESPN. Our depth charts page has him appearing at second and short as well, though perhaps not enough to gain eligibility in default leagues. If he can regularly crack the competitive Dodgers lineup, look to grab him where you can. He’s available in 70% of CBS formats and over 90% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. For daily fantasy, even if Guerrero doesn’t get the start, he is cheap enough at $2,700 on FanDuel and $2,900 on DraftKings to warrant a start when in need of a budget play. In both DFS sites he can be plugged in at second base and in DK shortstop is available to him as well.

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

A pitcher for today: Mike Bolsinger at SFG (Ryan Vogelsong)
Bolsinger has shown an ability to miss bats in the upper minors and looks to build upon that success against the Giants. Add in his 50% ground ball rate in the minors and Bolsinger could be a very nice stream starter. The powerful Dodgers offense will dig in against a struggling Ryan Vogelsong so a win could be in order for Bolsinger as well. He’s available in over 98% of the three major fantasy sites.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Josh Collmenter vs PIT (Gerrit Cole)
The right-handed Collmenter will face off against a Pirates side which has struggled against righties in the early part of the season. Their collective 77 wRC+ ranks 26th in baseball and is tied for the seventh highest K%. Collmenter is free to stream in 67% of CBS leagues and over 80% of ESPN and Yahoo! formats.

You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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With a good start does Bolsinger stick in LA?