Roto Riteup: June 17, 2015

Congrats to the USWNT on their win yesterday and taking the group of death. Now to the round of 16 and beyond!

On today’s agenda:
1. Brock Holt’s big day
2. Thoughts on Alex (Chi Chi) Gonzalez
3. Doug Fister to return tomorrow
4. Streaming Pitching Options

Brock Holt’s big day
Holt made two outs yesterday, one at the plate and once on the bases as he was caught stealing second. Fantasy owners should be forgiving as Holt hit the for the cycle for the first time in his professional career. The 4-for-5 day brought his triple slash to an impressive .309/.400/.454, however a .388 BABIP is bound to come back down to earth. He does own a career .341 BABIP, so .388 isn’t quite as outlandish as one may initially think, but count on Holt hitting closer to .280 for the rest of the season. That average — plus his double-digit walk rate — make him valuable in just about any fantasy format. Factor in Holt’s ability to be plugged into a variety of spots around the infield and outfield, and Holt is a near perfect super-utility type. In Yahoo! he can be plugged into every field position other than catcher. Standard CBS leagues don’t have him available at first base (or catcher), though Holt is only third base and outfield eligible in ESPN settings. Yesterday he hit leadoff, however it was just the fifth time Holt has done so and the first time since May 16. He’s mostly settled in as the No. two hitter in the lineup, a place where his solid on-base skills can be best utilized. His highest ownership rate among the three major sites sat at a modest 21 percent, something that is likely to change. For leagues where he can be plugged in at shortstop, do so. According to his Wikipedia page, Holt went to Stephensville High School in Texas. He is now Steve Holt in my mind.

Thoughts on Alex (Chi Chi) Gonzalez
Both starting pitchers in the Dodgers versus Rangers matchup lasted at least eight innings, though both settled for a no-decision. Gonzalez has allowed three runs in 30 innings thus far, but his 0.90 ERA isn’t likely to last for a number of reasons. The estimators aren’t nearly as friendly to Gonzalez’s game given his 12 walks to 10 strikeouts. With a 4.17 FIP and 5.04 xFIP as well as never posting a minor league K/9 north of 8.0 at any point, Gonzalez’s fantasy ceiling is limited. To his credit, Gonzalez is a strong ground baller, posting a 51.9 percent ground ball rate in his minor league career. Account for his .183 BABIP and there are some very real red flags with Gonzalez’s ERA. Entering yesterday’s start his 6.5 percent swinging strike rate is tied to his poor strikeout rate, and he managed just four whiffs on 105 pitches last night. I do like him as a long-term fantasy option, but not more than a SP4 type unless he refines his current pitches or adds a new one to generate more strikeouts. Gonzalez is already owned in over 40 percent of ESPN or Yahoo! leagues and over 65 percent of CBS formats. In redraft leagues I’d be selling high right now.

Doug Fister to return tomorrow
Via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, the Nationals will activate Fister for Thursday’s start. The 31-year-old has seen his strikeout rate tumble in four consecutive seasons and it was never terribly high to begin with. Fister has been a good source for ratios despite the modest strikeouts, but with a velocity that has dipped 3 mph since 2011, I’m worried about him. He’s already owned in more than 65 percent of the three major fantasy sites, something I was surprised to see. Fister matches up against against the Rays, a team that hasn’t exactly lit up right-handers, so hopefully he can get back to his former self. Even with the favorable matchup, I’m not sure I’d start him.

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

A pitcher for today: Tommy Milone vs STL (Carlos Martinez)
The Cardinals haven’t figured out the password to the hitting southpaws just yet, as they own a collective 86 wRC+ against them this season. Milone isn’t flashy, however I think he’ll toss a quality start today. He’s available in more than 90 percent of the major fantasy sites.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Mat Latos at NYY (CC Sabathia)
Latos was masterful in his start last week, fanning 11 and allowing just one run in seven innings. While the Yanks have hit pretty well, the Marlins have demolished southpaws with a 115 wRC+, tied for second best in baseball. I’d expect a handful of strikeouts and a likely win for Latos tomorrow. He can still be picked up in about 50 percent of CBS or Yahoo! leagues and over 65 percent of ESPN settings.

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

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Hi Dave,

Can you see any reason why I need to hang on to Maybin and/or Aoki in 10-team Roto where OBP and TB are categories? My starting OFs are Brantley, CarGonzalez, JD Mart, Yelich, Betts. I’ve literally had bench HRs from the OF I chose to bench on 5 straight days. I’ve been carrying the extra OFs waiting for Yelich and Betts to get it together, but now the OF shuffling is leading to me missing Stats.

What would you advise? Thanks!

Stuck in a Slump
Stuck in a Slump

With that many extra bodies, why not platoon them by favorable park factors and pitcher handedness? That should be able to eliminate some of the problems you’re facing.

Mike W.
Mike W.

Agreed, especially CarGo.

I also have a hard time ranking Yelich above Maybin or Aoki ROS. It’s close between Aoki, but I think Maybin is going to be quite a bit better than Yelich as long as he can stay healthy. Yelich is just hitting WAY too many ground balls for me to buy into a rebound this year. If he starts lifting the ball, then I will buy into him some.


That’s the thing: I’ve been platooning them and they keep hitting HRs off relievers that favor their handedness after I sat them again like-handed starters. And also subverting park factors. It’s wildly frustrating.