Roto Riteup: August 16, 2019

Mom the meatloaf!

On the Agenda:
1. Various News and Notes
2. Injury Quick Hits
3. Streaming Pitchers

Various News and Notes
Bryce Harper only tallied one hit in four at-bats against the Cubs yesterday, but it was a big one.

The home run was his 25th of the season, and seventh in the month of August. Harper is striking out more than ever thus far (26.5%), but he continues to hit the ball hard, and will likely finish with a little over 30 home runs with an exceptional OBP (374).

The Indians offense came to play against the Yankees on Thursday, scoring 19 runs on 24 hits with nine home runs. A few of the key hitters were:

Greg Allen (hitting second): 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, four runs, and four RBI
Allen hit .313 in the month of July (48 AB) and is currently posting a .343/.378/.571 line with a stolen base and two home runs over 35 AB in August. He went 21-for-25 in stolen base attempts last season, and continues to own top-notch speed. He’s worth a grab in AL-Only leagues.

Jose Ramirez: 2-for-3, two runs scored, six RBI, two home runs

There’s not much to say about J-Ram right now. He’s posted a 152 wRC+ in the second half (prior to yesterday’s games), and with Thursday’s home run, he’s now up to 19 for the season to go along with 24 SB.

Carlos Santana: 3-for-5, a double, two home runs, three runs scored.

The two bombs give Santana 29 for the year. He’s hitting .290/.413/.553 with a 148 wRC+ and incredible plate skills (15% BB, 17% K). Santana needs just six more home runs to beat his previous career high of 34. In his 10th season, Santana has a real chance of having his best statistical year.

Honorable Mentions:

Yasiel Puig returned from his three-game suspension and went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI. He’s now hitting .362/.412/.553 with a home run, eight RBI, and two stolen bases in 47 AB as an Indian.

Roberto Perez went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a two-run home run. After amassing only 21 home runs over five seasons in the big leagues prior to 2019, he’s now up to 20 bombs this year. His Barrel% and Exit Velocity are both up, and I’m seeing no reason he can’t continue to hit home runs the rest of the way.

Jonathan Loaisiga lasted 2.2 IP, allowing 4 ER with 4 K and 0 BB. It was his first time back to the majors after missing over three months of action. He’s an interesting starter to keep an eye on the rest of the year – could be a serviceable streaming option.

Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger both smashed home runs in their respective contests, and became the first two players to tally 40 home runs this season.

Andrew Heaney yielded three earned runs over seven innings pitched, striking out six and walking none in the Angels win over the White Sox on Thursday. Outside of a pair of home runs allowed to Jose Abreu, Heaney was very strong. This was only his second start since returning from the 10-day IL, but he’s looking good and could be a serviceable arm for fantasy owners down the stretch if he can stay healthy.

The “Matt duo” in Oakland combined to go 5-for-8 with four home runs, five runs scored, and six RBI against the Astros.

Olson and Chapman have combined to hit 20 home runs in the second half thus far, with Chapman in particular swatting five over his last six games.

Corban Joseph received his second consecutive start over Jurickson Profar and proceeded to go 2-for-3 with a home run. Like I mentioned yesterday, he’s demolished the Triple-A level this season and will get an opportunity on a team that’s competing.

After logging a pair of strong starts to begin his tenure with the Astros, Aaron Sanchez was pummeled to the tune of six earned runs over five and a third innings pitched (four home runs allowed) against the Athletics – striking out three and walking two. I continue to bang the drum for him the rest of the year, and however long he stays with Houston.

Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley both hit a pair of home runs yesterday.

Correa is on pace to post his best month of the season, and Brantley continues to be a machine at the plate despite only hitting 18 home runs thus far.

Derek Rodriguez shut down the Diamondbacks in his return to the Giants rotation (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB). He should get at least one more turn before possibly giving way to Johnny Cueto and others.

Michael Pineda surrendered three earned runs over five innings pitched with six strikeouts and one walk against the Rangers in his return from the injured list.

Pete Alonso and Amed Rosario had tremendous nights in an eventual win over the Braves.

Alonso is great and is obviously owned in the majority of leagues, but Rosario has been crushing it since July and continues to be available. With his speed and added improvement at the plate, he could really help fantasy owners down the stretch.

The scorching hot trio of Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman, and Ronald Acuna all combined for five home runs on Thursday.

Sonny Gray posted 10 strikeouts and three walks over five shutout innings against the Cardinals. That’s now the third-straight start that he hasn’t allowed a run, and he’s been absolutely lethal since the calendar turned to June.

Yu Darvish was exceptional against the Phillies over seven innings yesterday, and he’s now tallied eight strikeouts or more in five of-his-last seven overall.

Caleb Smith rebounded from a clunker against the Braves in his last outing to hold the Dodgers to one earned run over five innings pitched – striking out four and walking three.

Mallex Smith swiped his league-leading 33rd and 34th stolen bases against the Tigers on Thursday. Dee Gordon also got in on the action – going 1-for-2 with his 17th steal.

Giants starting pitching prospect Logan Webbe will more than likely start on Saturday according to Farhan Zaidi (president). He;s worth speculating on.

Injury Quick Hits:
Johnny Cueto has an outside chance of making it back this month after throwing 36-of-49 pitches for strikes, allowing four hits and one earned run (home run) in a rehab start with High-A. Tyler Beede could be getting the boot fairly soon, so for now we should assume that Cueto would take over Beede or Derek Rodriguez’s spot.

Rhys Hoskins is headed for X-Rays on his hand after taking a pitch off the hand in the ninth innings yesterday. He should be considered day-to-day for now.

Jon Heyman reported that Mac Scherzer has been “mentioned” as a possible candidate to return this Sunday against the Brewers.

Susan Slusser of the San Fransisco Chronicle mentioned that it could be “difficult” for Sean Manaea to be inserted into the Athletics rotation if everyone is pitching well. He’s still a solid stash.

Tommy La Stella continues to have no timetable in his return from a leg injury.

Nelson Cruz could begin on-field hitting as soon as today if things continue to improve.

Dansby Swanson did some fielding drills yesterday, but is still far from returning to the Braves

Rich Hill threw 50 times from 120 feet and is slated to resume mound work next week. The Dodgers want Hill in the bullpen, but he’ll need a few appearances in the minors before he’s ready.

Giancarlo Stanton continues to not be expected back until September.

Robbie Ray has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms. Jon Duplantier was recalled from Triple-A – he could fill in while Ray is sidelined.

Brandon Morrow threw live BP, but it’s not guaranteed he can make it back this season, if at all.

Willians Astudillo is expected to go on a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola.

Chris Taylor has also been cleared for rehab games, and is a nice sneaky player to keep your eye on.

Luis Severino will face live hitters on Sunday, and could be sent to throw a simulated game next week.


Streaming Pitchers (Less than 50% owned)

Pitcher for Today: Vincent Velasquez vs SD
SD offense ranks 20th in wRC+ (90) against RHP, tied for last in K% (26.4%) against RHP, and will be without their best player (arguably). Velasquez has allowed three earned runs or less in four-straight.

High Risk Options: Mike Leake vs SF, Adrian Houser at WAS

Pitcher for Tomorrow: Ryan Yarbrough vs DET, Dinelson Lamet at PHI

High Risk Options: Anthony DeSclafani vs STL, Jose Suarez vs CHW

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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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Also, Dave Roberts said Rich Hill will be in bp when he returns, just fyi.