Roto Riteup: June 17th, 2012

Happy Father’s Day! What could be a better gift to your old man than printing off today’s Roto Riteup and giving it to him? Don’t answer that.

• Yesterday afternoon Pedro Alvarez powered his ninth and tenth home runs of the season. That’s the good news. The bad news is that his batting average is still below .200 and his on-base is still below .280. In three separate stints of over 200 PA’s in the major leagues, Alvarez has at least a 30% strikeout rate in each one. Given that strikeout rate tends to normalize around the 150 PA threshold, it seems as though Alvarez is just a low contact, high strikeout guy at this point in his (still young) career. Even with his solid power, he is owned in just 10% of Yahoo! leagues and an even lower rate of 6% in ESPN due to these warts. If you’re desperate for help in the power department and you can burn average, Alvarez could be a help. His BABIP is currently 60 points below his career norm, so his triple slash should bounce back once that regresses. If he can continue to show this type of power for a full season, he could make for a sneaky pick up. A Mark Reynolds-lite. For sub 10% ownership rates, that isn’t too bad.

• Speaking of the Pirates infielders, Neil Walker has been on fire so far in June. After a miserable May where he “hit” .238/.292/.356 his June line is a much more appealing .316/.339/.491. He has already matched his May runs scored totals in just over half a month of June so far too. If Walker can keep his current stolen bases pace, already seven on the year, then he instantly becomes a quietly effective fantasy player. ZiPS has him down for abotu 50 RBI and 50 runs scored the rest of the way, but I’d take the under on the RBI’s and the over on the runs. For the past 12 games he has been moved back to second in the lineup after hitting fifth for a short spell. He is owned in 49% of Yahoo! leagues but is up to 80% of ESPN formats. The ESPN number is a little inflated by recent moves, as he took a 17% jump in the past week. If you need MI help (and who doesn’t?) I’d take a flier on Walker.

Chase Headley just keeps hitting and drawing walks. His current .352 wOBA would represent his highest single season mark in the major leagues. His 14.7% walk rate is a 3% jump up from last year’s previous career high. Yes, he hits in the black hole of MLB ballparks, but even then he has smacked eight doubles and a pair of home runs at home. Last year he had 10 doubles and one homer all year long at Petco. ZiPS predicts another nine stolen bases yet to come, and it is (somewhat remotely) possible that he reaches the much coveted 20 stolen base mark this year. He’s owned in barely half of Yahoo! leagues and barely 70% of ESPN formats. When you consider how shallow, injured or ineffective third base has been this year, it is amazing that Headley is still floating out there. I’d pick him up if I need CI help.

• It was announced yesterday afternoon that the Boston Red Sox have placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation. He was at first expected to only be scratched from today’s start, but after further examination from the team’s training staff, the team is going the conservative route. Beckett may not have the same fantastic ERA as last year, but his 3.57 FIP last year closely resembles his 3.78 FIP this year. His SwStr% did take a bit of a dip, but not enough to to account for a loss of almost 1.50 K/9. The biggest issue at hand was the loss of almost 1.5 mph on his fastball from 2011 to 2012. Hopefully that can be attributed to nothing more than this bout with shoulder inflammation. I wouldn’t drop him yet, but keep an eye on any updates to his situation. They have yet to perform an MRI, so that may very well discover something previously unknown.

• Even though he was given an extra three days of rest between starts, Brandon Beachy (who has the lowest ERA in baseball) was forced out of the game in the fourth inning with elbow pain in his throwing arm. The team has yet to move him to the disabled list, as they are waiting for tomorrow’s MRI before taking action. Even in his breakout 2011 season that had 169 strikeouts in 141 2/3 inning, Beachy landed on the disabled list. It looks like this will be another year of less than expected innings out of him. Like Beckett, keep a close on eye on the news surrounding Beachy.

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: Max Scherzer vs COL
I’m a believer in Scherzer’s strikeout ability. I like his chances against the Rockies, a team that ranks in the bottom half of road K% and BB%.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: J.A Happ vs KC
The Royals may not strikeout much, but they don’t walk much either. Happ gets plenty of K’s but struggles with walks on occasion. I think he’ll have a big day.

A Hitter for Today: Kevin Youkilis vs CHC (Paul Maholm)
Youk has to break out of his funk sooner or later. Hitting against Maholm sounds like the cure to any hitting woes.

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

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
lester bangs
11 years ago

Regression fail. You don’t want Alvarez’s BABIP to “regress.” Use a different word. Don’t try to force it.

11 years ago
Reply to  David Wiers

He ought to have a degree in statistics, too. Regression to the mean (e.g. career BABIP) goes both ways.

lester bangs
11 years ago
Reply to  David Wiers

I think you’re underrating Family guy. Scores very well on xESO, which is expected esoteric humor.

Regression can be in either direction, but the standard definition sides with a moving back. But yes, it is semantics.

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

11 years ago
Reply to  lester bangs

Perhaps lester bangs idiocies will regress to the mean by end of season.