Roto Riteup: May 23, 2023

I would like to report a theft:


On the Agenda: 

  1. Sleeper and the Bust DK Contest
  2. Closer Chaos
  3. Quick Hits
  4. Various News and Notes
  5. Streaming Pitchers


Sleeper and the Bust DK Contest

On most Tuesday’s and Friday’s and some other days, Paul Sporer and I will be doing a $5 draftkings game for anyone that is interested. 


Closer Chaos

Brusdar Graterol threw 1.1 innings at the end of the game versus the Braves to register the save for the Dodgers on Monday. Evan Phillips came into a tough spot in the fifth inning and ended up with the win. The Dodgers bullpen is a committee with Phillips leading it for the most part, but it will continue to change hands until the Dodgers trade for a top tier closer at the deadline. 


Quick Hits

Eric Lauer was placed on the IL with a shoulder injury. There is no timetable for his return. 


Various News and Notes
Javier Baez went 3-for-6 with a home run in the victory over the Royals on Monday.

Baez has been up and down this season, but since getting benched on April 13th, he is hitting .276 with four home runs and three stolen bases and has kept his strikeout rate under 20%. He is making good contact in the zone as well. Baez’s approach will always have him as a high risk/high reward player, but things have improved for the Tigers shortstop.

Jose Caballero went 1-for-4 with a home run in the victory over the Athletics.

Caballero is hitting .276/.371/.431 with two home runs and six stolen bases in 70 plate appearances this season. He has played well enough to move Kolten Wong to the bench and is not a full time player at second base. He is making nice contact in the zone, walking and not striking out. He could find himself moving up the lineup if he continues to keep these skills up.

Mickey Moniak went 2-for-4 with a home run in the victory over the Red Sox on Monday.

Moniak has been on fire, hitting .429/.448/.893 with three home runs and two stolen bases since being called up. Unfortunately the underlying numbers haven’t been very good with a below average zone contact rate, a 20% swinging strike rate, and a 44% O-Swing. This is just a hot streak, but he will likely go back to being irrelevant at some point in the near future.

Tucupita Marcano went 2-for-3 with a home run and a stolen base in the victory over the Rangers on Monday.

Marcano has quietly been pretty good for the Pirates, hitting .268/.350/.437 with two home runs and two stolen bases. He has carved out a regular role with Oneil Cruz out for the majority, if not the rest of the season. There isn’t a ton of power in the bat, but he can run and he makes a lot of contact. He is a sneaky middle infield option for deeper formats.


Streaming Pitchers (Under 50% in CBS)

Pitcher for Today: None

A few interesting high risk options, but none that I really trust. 

High Risk Options: Bobby Miller at ATL, Kyle Bradish at NYY, J.P. France at MIL, Brayan Bello at LAA, Rich Hill vs TEX, Marco Gonzales vs OAK. 


Pitcher for Tomorrow: Brandon Bielak at MIL

Bielak continues to pitch well and the Brewers aren’t a team I am afraid of. 

High Risk Options: Tylor Megill at CHC, Matthew Boyd at KC, Ranger Suarez vs ARI, Steven Matz at CIN. 

For those of you that would like to see how these picks play out, I have a doc I put together to track the stats from my recommended pitchers. It does not include the “High Risk Options.”

Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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Backdoor Slider
8 days ago

I keep seeing things about the Dodgers trading for an elite closing option.
Phillips had a 1.14 ERA in 63 IP last season, and has a 2.00 ERA this year. Both seasons he has a ~11 K/9 and ~2 BB/9.
Can you tell me who they’re getting that is more elite than this?

8 days ago

Yeah, it’s an easy narrative. It’s not just the relief pitchers themselves that allegedly like clearly defined roles.

Of course that also includes team management. If you have a bullpen by committee and they blow a big game, well, the story goes that it’s because you didn’t have a CLOSER to come in and seal the deal. Whereas if you have a CLOSER and he blows it then that’s just the way baseball works sometimes and that’s an easier story to sell to irate fans.

8 days ago

Given the LAD front office shares quite a bit of the Rays’ DNA, maybe they’ll settle on keeping things this way and not bother trading for a “closer”, especially since the Rays (and seems a few others) are proving how successful that can be…

They certainly have other holes/weaknesses they should probably fill before the backend of their pen anyway…

8 days ago

I’m with you on this. And it’s not just these numbers, the peripheral stats are excellent too (e.g., xFIP of 2.53). I can see LA getting another good RP, but it might be cheaper to get someone who is not a “name,” and he doesn’t necessarily need to pitch in the 9th.