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Roto Riteup: August 12, 2012

Today’s Roto Riteup is being written by an author who is watching his favorite team blow another leader against the White Sox.

• Well now, it appears as though John Jaso is enjoying a (very) small power surge. He now has hit a home run in back-to-back games and is getting more playing time as of late. At the time of writing he is 1-2 on the day. He is still buried on the team’s official depth chart, but keep an eye on his playing time. In only 320 (and counting the rest of this game) PA’s, Jaso has an excellent .381 wOBA. Much of that is tied to his outstanding 33:36 walk to strikeout ratio, but if you play in OBP leagues he is worth owning, sporadic playing time aside. His fantasy counting stats aren’t impressive but that is more due to a lack of playing time than a lack of talent. If you’re hurting at catcher (and who isn’t?) then you may find value in Jaso. He is available to be picked up in 97% of Yahoo! leagues and 99.8% of ESPN leagues. Those numbers are tough to read as a lot of leagues are just single catcher formats, but Jaso deserves better than this.

• After launching a pair of homers on Friday, Chase Headley popped another one yesterday. He is finally getting more recognition in ESPN formats where is ownership is over 90% but his Yahoo! ownership rate is still barely 70%. Assuming you play in an active league I doubt that he is available to be picked up, but he could make for a solid trade target. Rumors of Headley being traded were quite common around the deadline and that is because he is a good and still young player. If you can swing a trade for him for the final weeks of the season, go ahead and do so. He’s shown no signs of slowing down as his lowest monthly wRC+ is 114 back in May. He is a steady producer that isn’t being properly valued. That is the definition of an under-rated player (and ideal fantasy trade target) in my book.

• In his first start since being activated from the 15-day disabled list, Johan Santana got absolutely shelled. Santana didn’t make it out of the second inning and was charged with eight runs. He didn’t give up any home runs though, so it could have just been the BABIP gods showing their wrath. There is still reasons to be cautiously optimistic with him, as both his SwStr% and K% is the highest that is has been since 2007. He may not be an ace anymore, but prior to today’s game his ERA/FIP/xFIP was 3.98/3.97/3.97. What you get is what you see there. His rest-of-season ZiPS is right in line with those numbers and I’d be happy to have that for another six starts. He’s owned in about 70% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, but I’d expect that number to drop after last night’s game. I’d pick him up if only to stream him.

Ivan Nova managed to whiff 10 Blue Jays batters in a 5-2 victory yesterday evening. Nova’s ERA and FIP still isn’t pretty, but he’s managed to significantly increase his SwStr% and subsequent K% from last year. His xFIP is a much more attractive 3.80, as he currently sports the fourth highest HR/FB% of any qualified starter. He’s owned in just 60% of both Yahoo! and ESPN formats and he is worth a look as I think wins will begin to come his way again.

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: Yovani Gallardo at HOU
I like Yo-Ga in the afternoon. And maybe some Minute Maid juice afterwards! I’ll just show myself out after those…

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Anibal Sanchez at MIN
I’m still on the Sanchez bandwagon, especially in that ballpark.

A Hitter for Today: Garret Jones vs SD (Ross Ohlendorf)
Jones hits right-handed pitching quite well and I expect him to have a good day. He should be pretty cheap in FanGraphs: The Game too.