Roto Riteup: July 16, 2012

Today’s Roto Riteup is quite good. I think. That decision is entirely up to you.

• Ben Sheets is back, baby! After missing all of last season, Sheets started yesterday’s game for the Atlanta Braves, looking sharp as ever. Sheets struck out five batters over six innings, walking one and allowing only two hits. Sheets hasn’t pitched a full season since 2008, and that was more of a blip then the end of the road. While he wasn’t great in Oakland last year, he still has decent stuff and should be able to perform decently in the NL East. Grab Sheets in NL-only leagues before somebody else does.

• Jed Lowrie has been one of the better fantasy shortstops in baseball this year, but now he’s on the DL with a sprained ankle. Replacing him will be Marwin Gonzalez, a name likely not familiar to fantasy owners. Gonzalez hasn’t had much of an offensive track record — even in the minors — but he did put together a decent batting average in both Double-A and Triple-A during the 2011 campaign. Best case, Gonzalez can hit .275 with a couple of steals in Lowrie’s absence. Unless you’re desperate for a short-term shortstop, this isn’t the way to go.

• Fantasy owners are going to have to seriously look at what to do if they own Justin Upton. Upton seems to seriously be on the trade block, and it looks like there will be a couple of teams lining up to send the Arizona Diamondbacks a tantalizing offer. The Pirates have plenty of goodies to offer the D’Backs, but that would be bad news for roto owners. ‘Zona is great for hitters, but PNC in Pittsburgh is very, very bad for right-handed hitters.

• Chris Sale’s arm may fly off his body any minute now, but his performances are well worth the risk. Sale managed eight innings against the Royals yesterday, striking out four and allowing ten hits.

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: Chris Tillman at MIN
Let’s go Tillman, let’s go! Clap clap!

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jair Jurrjens vs SFG
Jurrjens has been O.K. since coming back to the majors, so let’s all give him some love.

A Hitter for Today: Casper Wells at KCR (Jonathan Sanchez)
Wells should really be playing every day, but he’ll be playing today against a lefty.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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Andrew McCutchen: 1.295 OPS against lefties, facing lefty Jeff Francis in Colorado tonight. My guess is he’ll be worth whatever he costs in FG: The Game.