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Roto Riteup: September 22, 2015

I’m late to the Rick and Morty party, but man, that show slays me. My favorite episode thus far is probably Meseeks and Destroy, though Total Rickall is a pretty outstanding story too.

On today’s agenda:

1. Yadier Molina‘s busted thumb
2. The Good Samardzija shows up
3. Streaming Pitching Options

Yadier Molina‘s busted thumb
If it seems like the Cardinals have been hit with a lot of injuries lately, you wouldn’t be wrong. Between Matt Holliday still nursing a hamstring to Randal Grichuk‘s shoulder woes and Matt Adams still not playing full games in the field, the Cards starting position players are pretty banged up. Adding Molina to the list of injured players is the latest, and arguably one of the gravest. He’s caught 134 games — of which he started 131 — however given his torn ligament in left thumb, we may have seen the last of Molina until the playoffs. For fellow Yadi owners scrambling for a replacement, I just picked up Tom Murphy. After his home run on Monday, Murphy is up to 22 dingers on the year between Double-A, Triple-A and the bigs. Don’t count on great rate stats from him, however playing at home this week gives him a chance to shine in Coors Field. After this home stint the Rockies are on the road in another hitter friendly park in Arizona then San Francisco to wrap up the season, so other than the final series, he’s hitting in favorable parks. Murphy is available in 98 percent of CBS formats and over 99 percent of Yahoo! or ESPN leagues.

The Good Samardzija shows up
After scuffling through a lot of innings this year, Jeff Samardzija pitched a gem in the opener of a double-header in Detroit. He allowed a lone hit and zero walks to go with six strikeouts during his complete game shutout. The Shark needed just 88 pitches to finish the nine innings, with 10 pitches going for swinging strikes. Even with the terrific outing he owns a modest 5.04 ERA/4.18 FIP/4.30 xFIP on the year, and while you can’t expect only one of 22 balls in play to fall for a hit every start, it’s at least a good sign from Samardzija after he tossed five clunker starts in a row. Unfortunately the remaining schedule for him doesn’t get any easier as he’ll pitch in Yankee Stadium in his next start before hosting a rematch against the Tigers in Chicago for his season finale. For a more complete breakdown of his season, be sure to check out Mike Podhorzer’s write up of Samardzija from last week.

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

A pitcher for today: Robbie Ray at LAD (Alex Wood)
The Dodger offense looks good against lefties on the year, however they’ve been pretty average in the second half. I like Ray’s changeup and yeah, he burned me in his previous start, yet I’m still confident he’ll gets some whiffs and be effective today. He’s a bit of a risky start, but Ray is available in 70 percent of CBS settings and more than 90 percent of ESPN or Yahoo! formats.

A pitcher for tomorrow: Marcus Stroman vs NYY (Ivan Nova)
Ain’t no brakes on the Stroman hype train! For some reason he’s still unowned in half of CBS leagues, 60 percent of ESPN formats and 70 percent of Yahoo! settings. The Yanks have a strong offense, but I’m breaking character and going with a “momentum” pick here. It helps that Stroman is pretty darn good.


Roto Riteup: September 18, 2015

Yesterday Son Heung-min scored his first two goals for Tottenham. Sure it was in the UEFA Europa League and not the Premier League, but still. Via UnitedFaxMachine from Reddit — which is a 10/10 name given the David de Gea transfer fail — we have Son’s first goal and his second.

On today’s agenda:
1. Bad news for Jung-ho Kang
2. Matt Moore‘s strong outing
3. Welcome back, Jorge Soler
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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Roto Riteup: September 17, 2015

Well, Chelsea won their Champions League opener, however Arsenal didn’t. I guess that makes it a good-but-not-grand day.

On today’s agenda:
1. Joe Panik placed on 60-day disabled list
2. A two-dinger day for Jayson Werth
3. Joe Kelly‘s shoulder issue
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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Introducing A New Award, Sort of

This is the best rookie class for fantasy baseball nerds in a long time, possibly of all time. Between hitters like Miguel Sano, Joc Pederson, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa and pitchers ranging from Roberto Osuna to Lance McCullers, Noah Syndergaard and Raisel Iglesias et al. Rather than focus on the rookies that win roto-MVP awards or fantasy Cy Youngs, and since I’m a big fan of self-deprecation, I’ll be focusing on the rookies I gambled and whiffed on. I’m tentatively calling it the “Sigh, young” because sometimes I would see what my young players did and just audible sigh. Prospects can break your heart. If I were more clever, I’d think of a separate award for hitters and pitchers, but alas, I am not. Perhaps the comment section will help. I’ve limited the player pool by only including rookie hitters with a minimum of 100 plate appearances or rookie pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched.

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Roto Riteup: September 16, 2015

Yesterday both Manchester City and Manchester United lost their opening games of the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League. If Arsenal and Chelsea both find ways to lose today, this may be my favorite stretch of soccer since the the USWNT won the World Cup earlier this summer.

On today’s agenda:
1. Khris Davis is socking dingers again
2. Drew Hutchison moved to relief
3. Welcome back, Matt Holliday
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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Roto Riteup: September 15, 2015

Today’s Roto Riteup was penned while I listened to my vinyl of Brand New’s Your Favorite Weapon. If that isn’t the closest thing to a hipster-esque sentence written here at FanGraphs, I don’t know what is. Something from Cistulli, maybe.

On today’s agenda:
1. Chase Anderson‘s innings limit
2. Quick thoughts on Wilin Rosario
3. Streaming Pitching Options
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Roto Riteup: September 11, 2015

One of my favorite — possibly my very favorite — bands, The Wonder Years, was on the ESPN Music podcast on Thursday. They spoke about their new album, No Closer To Heaven, their tours, the vinyl resurgence and on a number of other things as well. I didn’t personally love the album (I like their previous work, specifically The Upsides and Greatest Generation more), but I would still rate it as a solid B, maybe B+.

On today’s agenda:
1. Rangers tab Alex Gonzalez for Sunday
2. Matt Holliday‘s pending return
3. Ariel Pena possibly sticking in the rotation
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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Roto Riteup: September 10, 2015

I don’t usually get too personal in these digital pages, but yesterday afternoon’s post was my 500th here at RotoGraphs. Yeah, it’s an arbitrary number, and not to toot my own horn (that obviously isn’t my normal self-deprecating style), it’s pretty nifty. For what it’s worth, thank you to the readers and commenters. I wouldn’t be here without you.

On today’s agenda:
1. Jose Fernandez to start Saturday
2. Only two more starts for Matt Harvey?
3. Welcome back, Matt Adams
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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Relievers Who Could Start Down the Stretch

It’s September, so innings limits, pitch limits, etc. tend to be a topic of discussion. Some teams are going the way of a six man rotation a la the Mets (well, until Matt Harvey gets shut down for the regular season) or moving starters to the bullpen such as the Nationals and Joe Ross. Regardless of the route teams decide to opt for, here are a few relievers who I suspect will get at least one or two starts in the final weeks.

Tyler Lyons, Cardinals — This is the first name that jumps to my mind when I think of RP/SP guys. He’s already made seven big league starts, and while the Cards aren’t set on a hard limit for Carlos Martinez, both he and Jaime Garcia would probably benefit from an occasional extra day or two of rest, or even a skipped start. Lyons is largely unowned, and is available in over 98 percent of CBS, ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. For someone who owns a 8.07 K/9 (20.2 percent) and a 4.39 FIP/3.91 xFIP in 100 1/3 innings career as a starter, he has uses in deep leagues where you’re looking for a win.
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Roto Riteup: September 9, 2015

Sixteen years ago today Sony Sega launched the Dreamcast console in North America. It sported a 56k dial up modem for my very first taste of online gaming. Sure it was laggy and pretty terrible, yet it was still a landmark event in video game history nonetheless.

On today’s agenda:
1. Bad news for a pair of Yankees
2. Marcus Stroman to return Saturday
3. Welcome back, Corey Dickerson
4. Streaming Pitching Options
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