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Roto Riteup: May 24th, 2012

Today’s Roto Riteup is the perfect way to wake up this morning. Go ahead and eat that cereal while I dish out some baseball insight for you to digest.

• The 2012 Red Sox have experienced a catastrophic amount of injuries to their outfield. Everyone that was supposed to roam the Fenway outfield from big fantasy names to the waiver wire pickups seems to be on the disabled list. The silver lining to this situation for certain fantasy owners is that the (usually) slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has started four games in right field, including two straight days. The significance in Yahoo! leagues should be clear: Gonzalez is now one more start away from gaining RF and OF eligibility. Manager Bobby Valentine doesn’t think that Gonzalez will start hardly at all at home in the outfield, just on the road in smaller right fields. Keep a close on eye where Gonzo appears on road trips. Position flexibility with a talent like Gonzalez’s is much sought after.

• The Cardinals are another injury ridden team and Matt Carpenter is the latest name to add to their disabled list. Yesterday Carpenter was placed on the 15-day DL with a back strain. A bit of a surprise this year, Carpenter was fantasy relevant for his 15 extra-base hits and a batting average of almost .290. Given that Carpenter is now on the DL and that even if he was healthy he may not get all of the starts at first base, I would go ahead and drop him.

• With Carpenter now out at least two weeks, Lance Berkman out until after the All-Star break and Allen Craig still on the DL with a hamstring injury, Matt Adams seems to be the de facto first baseman. Adams’ ability and fantasy relevancy has been covered by my FanGraphs colleagues already so I shall merely leave you with his ownership ratings. Currently he is owned in 17% of Yahoo! formats and just 10% of ESPN leagues. I’d say that the starting first baseman for the team that has scored the most runs NL is worthy of a pick up.

• Did you know that Jason Grilli now ranks 3rd in K/9 of all qualified relievers? His BB/9 is an ugly 4.76, but if you play in a holds league then Grilli is a must pick own. His 10 holds this year tie him for 3rd most in MLB. This is Grilli’s second year in a row of posting a double digit K/9 and an ERA below 2.50. Last night he faced three batters and recorded three strikeouts. His walks will inflate his WHIP but his strikeouts and holds are legitimate.

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: Dan Haren at SEA
Don’t let the 4.37 ERA and 1-5 record fool you, Haren is still a top tier pitcher.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Tim Hudson vs WAS
I have a well recognized weakness for ground ballers in general and Huddy in particular.

A Hitter for Today: Freddie Freeman at CIN (Homer Bailey)
In 2012, six out of seven of Freeman’s homers have come at the expense of right-handed pitchers. Bailey’s current 1.51 HR/9 rate ranks 106th out of 118 qualified starters this year.