Today’s Roto Riteup might be a little more brief than the norm. I’d like to say that it is because I’m watching the free HBO weekend that is currently going on, but that would be a lie. The truth is that I am enjoying the other major league passion of mine, Major League Gaming. Today marks the final day of MLG’s Spring Championship, so go watch some StarCraft II already!
• So what if I told you that the leader for shortstops with 2.6 WAR who happened to lead the SS position in home runs was available in one third of Yahoo! leagues? It sounds pretty crazy huh? Well Jed Lowrie is exactly that. Somehow he still only owned in 67% of Yahoo! formats. For the love of cake, pick him up and play him if he is still available! His ESPN ownership rating is a full 100%, so to my colleagues in Yahoo! leagues: wake up already.
• Andrelton Simmons hit his first career major league home run last night. Power was never the strongest part of his game, but it is nice to see that he does possess the strength to knock one out. The ZiPS RoS on him isn’t too pretty but I think he has a chance to surpass those numbers. He might go off for a .280 average with lots of doubles and he’ll probably end the season with more triples than homers. Keep an eye on him. Simmons should be available in 95% of leagues.
• Justin Masterson may be back on track. Yesterday he held the Cardinals to just six hits over seven innings. More importantly, yesterday marked the second start in a row where he didn’t walk an opposing batter. His last three starts have been a total of 19 innings and 17 strikeouts against just three walks allowed. Although his ERA, FIP and xFIP are all above his career norms, I think that maybe Masterson is finally turning the corner. Perhaps most importantly is that his velocity is back up in the 92 mph range throughout May and June so far. I would pick him up if he’s out on the waiver wire, but I would spot start and be cautious against good lineups.
• I think my new favorite player might be Mike Trout. He got on base three out of five times last night, scored every time he reached and stole two bases along the way. If he wasn’t an Angel or if I wasn’t an A’s fan I would probably buy his shirsey. I guess I’ll settle for having him on one of my fantasy teams.
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: A.J. Burnett vs KC
The Royals don’t strike out much, but they walk even less. I think that bodes pretty well for Burnett.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Edwin Jackson at TOR
Jackson is still a pretty good pitcher. How he is available in 40% of Yahoo! leagues is something I don’t understand. I wouldn’t even just stream him; I’d roster him.