Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: August 9, 2014

Apparently August 9 is book lovers day. So crack open a good book — and maybe a beer — while enjoying your Saturday afternoon.

On today’s agenda:
1. Brandon Belt to the disabled list
2. A big day from J.J. Hardy
3. Thoughts on J.P. Arencibia
4. A potential date for Michael Pineda’s return
5. The daily five

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Brandon Belt to the disabled list
After returning just a week ago from the seven-day DL, the San Francisco Giants once again placed Belt on the concussion DL yesterday. He had been showing some concussion like symptoms and the move was made to put him on the shelf. No timetable was given for his return just yet and given the unpredictable nature of concussions, I wouldn’t expect to see him again too soon. In the meantime the Giants will hand over the first base job to Michael Morse who is currently hitting a cool .276/.329/.467 with 15 dingers. Morse is available in just 12% of ESPN leagues and 20% of CBS formats but Yahoo! leagues lag behind at a 62% ownership rate.

A big day from J.J. Hardy
Last night Hardy went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and a walk against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is hitting a near career high .281 thus far, however his trademark power has been mostly absent. Despite the big night, Hardy has just six home runs in 434 plate appearances this season. I still worry about his current .333 BABIP against his .278 career mark and if you plug him in your lineup, I’d expect more power than AVG from him. His batted ball (read: ground ball and fly ball) rates are still close to his career average but prior to yesterday his minuscule 3.3% HR/FB rate was well below his 10.8% career average. If you’re in the hunt for a shortstop eligible player with a little pop and someone has already beaten you to the Baez punch, try Hardy. He can be picked up in over 25% of ESPN and CBS formats as well as nearly 40% of Yahoo! leagues.

Thoughts on J.P. Arencibia
Many fantasy owners —  myself included — gave up on Arencibia and threw him back into the waiver pool after his horrendous start to the season. The Texas Rangers even demoted him in mid-May, however since they recalled him on July 18 he has been on fire. Even before he hit his eighth home run of the year yesterday he has hit .250/.333/.578 in 72 PAs. To fully highlight the differences between Arencibia’s first and second halves, he posted a 4 — yes, four — wRC+ and a 149 (prior to last night) wRC+ respectively. Since July 20 he hasn’t hit lower than sixth in the lineup and even hit third yesterday. Count on lots of strikeouts from Arencibia but if you’re hurting for power from the catcher position, he can certainly hit some dingers. Once can find Arencibia available in over 75% of the three major fantasy sites.

A potential date for Michael Pineda’s return
The New York Yankees may activate Pineda from the 60-day DL for a start against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. No official word has been handed down from the club just yet, however the timetable would fit. Pineda hasn’t been on a major league mound since April 23 and has made a mere four starts since the end of the 2011 season. If he does return, I would grab him but I’d probably keep him on the bench for his first start back. It’s getting to be too late in the season to allow a questionable pitcher to get torched for something like six runs in 1.2 innings. Despite his talent, injuries have taken their toll on Pineda and has worn fantasy owner’s patience thin. He is owned in 64% of CBS formats already however his Yahoo! (26%) and ESPN (10%) rates lag far behind.

The daily five
Starting pitcher: Cole Hamels — $11,100
Yes, Hamels is expensive but he is up against the Mets and they kind of stink against left-handed pitching. Their 90 wRC+ against southpaws is tied for the fourth worst mark in baseball. Factor in their 24.6% strikeout rate against lefties (worst in the league) and I expect Hamels to post a big day.

Starting pitcher: Tim Hudson — $7,100
Huddy will be facing the Kansas City Royals and their 21st ranked 89 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.

Infielder: Adrian Gonzalez — $3,800
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be facing right-hander Mike Fiers today. Both Gonzalez on his own and the Dodgers as a team really put the hurt on righty pitchers.

Outfielder: Leonys Martin — $3,300
This is a bit a of a budget pick as I feel bad for spending so much on Hamels. That being said, Martin will hold the platoon advantage over Scott Feldman today

Other hitter: Jordy Mercer $3,600
Mercer blasts southpaws and he’ll be up against the lefty Eric Stults today. Okay, you got me…this is another budget pick.

Remaining budget: $21,100

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