Today marks the first day of the Roto Riteup being published a full seven days a week! We decided that it was cruel and unusual punishment to tease you all with a Riteup just five days a week.
• If you live in the Chicago area, please give Ryan Dempster a hug. After another fantastic pitching performance yesterday of 7 1/3 innings of one run ball with six strikeouts, Dempster ended up taking the loss as the Cubs were shut out by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Assuming you’ve all seen the meme of “Bad Luck Brian” (and if you haven’t, where have you been?), I think it is high time that someone with more creative chops than I create a Bad Luck Ryan meme. Dempster is now 0-3 on the year despite a sparkling 2.14 ERA and 2.68 FIP. When someone is pitching as well as Dempster is, the wins will come with time. We all know how
much little control a pitcher has over his run support, so my advice is to simply maintain the faith.
• It appears as though there could be the beginnings of a platoon situation at first base for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The left-handed Lyle Overbay is currently hitting a scorching hot .357/.448/.571 so far this year. Conversely, the right-handed hitting Paul Goldschmidt is off to a disappointing .248/.321/.376 start. No official word has been given about this just yet though. For those of you looking for a desperate buoy of batting average, Overbay is a reasonable option. His BABIP won’t stay at .429 all year but he is showing his best BB:K ratio since 2005. Keep a close eye on his and Goldschmidt’s playing time.
• In case Eno didn’t convince in you in the off season, Lucas Duda is trying to make a case for himself now. In yesterday’s win over the San Diego Padres, Duda popped his fourth homer of the year and batted clean-up for the 18th time in 37 games. With his high walk rate and mediocre average, Duda is a better bet in OBP leagues than standard 5×5. That being said, even if his AVG never goes above .270 hitting behind David Wright will have its benefits. Wright currently sports the best OBP in baseball, at an unthinkable .495. Even when Wright slows down, Duda will have plenty of RBI chances. He is owned in just 53% of Yahoo! but 70% of ESPN leagues. If he’s available in your league, I’d pounce.
• Jason Hammel is back to being the Jason Hammel of old. Well, not old as in previous years, but old as in his first five starts this year. Yesterday Hammel got back on track by holding the Kansas City Royals to six scoreless innings while striking out seven and allowing just five hits and a walk. I have personally upgraded Hammel from spot starter to guaranteed starter in the one league that I picked him up in. With a FIP and xFIP of 2.69 and 3.04 being heavily influenced by his fantastic 10.1% SwStr% and his 57% ground ball rate, I think this is a case where Hammel’s improvement is tangible.
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: Johan Santana vs SD
Santana might not be the Santana of the mid 2000’s ilk but his 3.24 ERA can pitch for me any time.