Roto Riteup: July 3, 2012

Zach brought you the Roto Riteup over the weekend and I’m bringing you this Tuesday morning edition. We like to keep our readers on their toes.

Chris Davis might be ready to go on one of his streaks. He has two homers in his past four games now, and has tallied six total hits in those games too. The last time he hit a home run was coming off of a four game, three homer streak. And before that it was a four home runs in eight games string. Going back to the very beginning of the season, Davis his four homers in another seven game span. If you need a power boost for the short term, I’d pick him up. Davis is available in over half of the Yahoo! leagues, despite being a fringe bat with 1B, 3B and OF eligibility. He won’t be your team’s savior, but for a one week flier, maybe he cranks out four homers for you. ESPN leagues are a similar story, where is owned in about half the leagues.

• Including last night, Wilin Rosario now has five homers in his last 10 games. We’ve been beating the Rosario drum for a couple of weeks now, but I guess no one is listening just yet. He is available in 75% of Yahoo! leagues and over 80% of ESPN formats. Serious question: do not very many of our readers play in in two catcher leagues? I prefer them, personally. Even if you play in single catcher leagues, I would still stream my catcher position. I wouldn’t waste a draft pick in a shallow league on a player who only plays five out of every seven games.

• Speaking of more rookie catchers, Yasmani Grandal blasted another home run last night. After he popped two long balls in his first ever MLB game, I assumed a lot of people would take notice. Clearly they have not. He is owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! leagues and his ownership rate in ESPN formats is a pitiful sub-5%. In two catcher leagues he is a must own, and if you have a crummy catcher in a single catcher league, I’d drop whomever you currently have and roll with Grandal.

• Last night Rickie Weeks got a hit and drew a pair of walks. It isn’t much, but he hasn’t reached base three times in a game since June 17. Weeks is clearly having the worst season of his still young career, and it is hard to pinpoint why. I don’t have enough words to fully dig into him right now, but one of the starkest contrasts that I see in Weeks’ numbers is his batted ball profile. For pulled ball for his career, Weeks hit .400. This year he is down at .213 on pulled balls. I do know that his RoS ZiPS is good for a .330 wOBA. For someone as talented as Weeks is, with the kind of history of production that he has, I can’t believe that he is owned in barely half of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. If a fed up owner dropped him, I’d snap him up in a hurry.

Jeff Samardzija is still mowing down opposing batters. Last night he held the Braves to a single earned run on five base runners, while striking out 11 in the process. His ERA is still pretty high, even after this gem of a start, up at 4.77. Good thing since you’re here on Fan/RotoGraphs, you are too smart to look at ERA in such a small sample size. Samardzija’s FIP and xFIP are almost perfectly in line with each other, at 3.44 and 3.43 respectively. Given what we (think we) know about pitching, I’d absolutely target Samardzija in the second half of the year. Even without his curveball, he appears to be just fine. I dare say that he’s a top 25 pitcher in the NL now. Get his ownership rate above the measly 34% in Yahoo! and laughably low 24% of ESPN leagues.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Today: Andrew Cashner at ARI
Sure, pitching in Arizona isn’t the ideal ballpark, but I’m a believer in Cashner.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jake Arrieta at SEA
Arrieta’s ERA is ugly at 5.81, but he’s actually pitched a lot better than that number suggests. His FIP and xFIP are just about at 4.00, and pitching in Safeco is a struggling starters dream come true.

A Hitter for Today: Anyone in the KC at TOR game.
No, really. Anyone. Vin Mazzaro brings his career 4.96 FIP into the Rogers Centre to square off against Brett Cecil and his 4.77 career FIP. Mazzaro’s HR/9 is 1.18, an awfully high number until you place it against Cecil’s 1.37 mark. Expect long flies and short pitching leashes.

We hoped you liked reading Roto Riteup: July 3, 2012 by David Wiers!

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As far at catchers go, I play in a 12 team mixed league with one catcher. Do a lot of people really play in two catchers leagues? I don’t know many people that do. If you’re in an AL or NL only league it’s probably really tough to do that since there are probably barely enough catchers to go around. Even in a 12 or 14 team mixed league pickings get pretty slim. I think a two catcher league is for the more hard core of fans that really want to have almost all major league starters rostered in their league.

I like the idea of streaming catchers, but at least in my case I’m in a league that limits you to four moves per week, so pretty much everyone uses them on steaming starters or picking up a position player they need. I never really draft catchers either except maybe in the last round. This year I started out with Ramon Hernandez and since he’s been hurt I’ve been using Ryan Doumit.

I’m not saying most leagues operate like this, but just giving one reader’s take on why Rosario’s ownership numbers might be lower… Plus people may be a bit concerned by his splits. His OPS against righties is only .757.