Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: July 19, 2014

Today is the 20th anniversary of NOFX releasing their album “Punk in Drublic.” For me the most significant track is Jeff Wears Birkenstocks? mostly because it was a featured track on NCAA Football 06. I still play that game and I have three different schools on the 2014 season. I probably shouldn’t brag about that.

On today’s agenda:
1. The return of Carlos Beltrán
2. Scooter Gennett continues to hit
3. Danny Salazar to return Tuesday?
4. Quick thoughts on Danny Santana
5. The daily five

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The return of Carlos Beltrán
Yesterday the New York Yankees activated Beltrán from the seven-day concussion disabled list. He promptly went 2-for-4 and even stole a base. His overall .220/.274/.407 line is brutal however he owns a .228 BABIP that should go up, I’m not overly concerned for Beltrán. If you’re in need of outfield help I wouldn’t be shy about adding him to my lineup. Beltrán is available in almost 40% of both CBS and Yahoo! formats and over 50% of ESPN leagues. He’ll probably get a few extra days off here and there even as a DH, but overall Beltrán does have plenty to offer a fantasy team.

Scooter Gennett continues to hit
The Milwaukee Brewers may be platooning Gennett regularly but at least he is on the strong side of the platoon. The lefty hitting second baseman cracked his eighth home run of the year last season and managed to draw a walk to bring his line up to an impressive .309/.348/.491 on the year. Prior to yesterday’s game his triple slash against right-handed pitchers was a robust .335/.372/.528 in 271 plate appearances, certainly useful in just about any fantasy format. Gennett hasn’t fared nearly as well against same-handed pitchers as his .118/.143/.147 this year equates to a -29 wRC+ in 37 PA’s against southpaws. As long as you can strictly sit him against lefties, Gennett is a great player to own. He is still available in 30% of CBS leagues, 40% of ESPN leagues and 60% of Yahoo! formats.

Danny Salazar to return Tuesday?
To say the Cleveland Indians rotation is in flux would be putting it kindly. The club has entered the second half of the season with just four starters listed on their official depth chart page at the time of writing. With Justin Masterson on disabled list plus a double header today, manager Terry Francona left open the possibility of Salazar making Tuesday’s start against the Minnesota Twins. It’s no secret I love Salazar — who doesn’t swoon over his 11.24 K/9 in Triple-A thus far? — and if he does get recalled, I’d absolutely spot start him. The Twins have a mediocre 94 wRC+ against right-handers, ranking 14th in baseball. I think if Salazar returns he’ll post a big day. One can pick him up in over 60% of the three major fantasy sites.

Quick thoughts on Danny Santana
Leadoff hitter and owner of a .398 BABIP Danny Santana was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to yesterday’s game. Santana has six steals against being caught once in 38 games this year but I expect him to run some more as the season goes on. He nabbed 30 bags in Double-A last year though he was caught 13 times. Without drawing many walks, just a 4.7% walk rate thus far, and a bat heavily reliant on BABIP to maintain value, I’m concerned about his fantasy value going forward despite the upside in steals. If Santana hits .265 with a dozen steals the rest of the way he is basically a poor man’s Rajai Davis, albeit a version of Davis who is eligible at shortstop. As much as I like cheap steals — especially from the shortstop position — I don’t love Santana this season. If you’re hurting at SS/MI he makes for a decent option though I can’t talk myself into believing his .328 AVG is for real. He is available in over 80% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues as well as 60% of CBS formats.

The daily five
Starting pitcher: Corey Kluber — $8,700
Kluber is quite good. The Detroit Tigers offense is quite good as well. I believe Kluber and his nearly 11% swinging strike rate will prevail.

Starting pitcher: Marcus Stroman — $6,800
I could watch Stroman’s slider to Eric Hosmer (not to mention Hosmer’s reaction) all day. Instead I think I’ll pick Stroman to post a great outing against the Texas Rangers and their 27th ranked 84 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.

Infielder: Adrian Gonzalez — $4,300
My steady first base pick. Gonzalez is up against the righty Joe Kelly and Gonzalez owns a 134 wRC+ against right-handers this season.

Outfielder: Michael Brantley — $5,000
Brantley and the Cleveland Indians will be hitting against the right-handed Drew VerHagen, making his major league debut. The Tribe own a 109 wRC+ mark against righties, good for fifth best in baseball. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

Other hitter: Jason Kipnis — $4,600
Another left-handed Cleveland hitter. I need Kipnis to wake up in the second half and hopefully this is the start.

Remaining budget: $20,600

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Mike Wimmer
Mike Wimmer

What do you make of Alexi Ramirez going forward? I knew his April and May production wouldn’t last, but he has fallen off a cliff in terms of production over the last month or so. Just bad luck or something more troublesome?

Also do you like Xander Boagerts or Jed Lowrie more going forward? Another owner is offering me that trade as he is frustrated with Boagerts and I haven’t exactly been pleased with Lowrie as my SS either, though he has shown signs of life the last two weeks or so.