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Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: April 29, 2014

With all due respect to Mr. Zach Sanders, the Tuesday Roto Riteup is better than Monday. It is also definitely the best RR day that begins with a T.

On today’s agenda:
1. Bryce Harper to miss two months
2. Josh Reddick could be on the upswing
3. Another quality start from Tyler Skaggs
4. The Daily Five

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Bryce Harper to miss two months
No sense in burying the lede on this one. After sliding into third base head-first, Harper has apparently tore his ulnar-collateral ligament in his right thumb. Though the Washington Nationals have not officially confirmed the report, it is being said Harper is set to undergo surgery at some point today and isn’t expected to be ready for action again until early July.

The injury opens the door to Nate McLouth potentially hitting his way out of a his season long funk. Currently sporting a .118/.286/.235 line with one home run and zero steals, the left-handed hitting McLouth could get the majority of the playing time in Harper’s absence. Last season McLouth stole a personal record of 30 bags while only being caught seven times, however sparse playing time and poor hitting hasn’t allowed for even one steal attempt this year. He is available in just about every league in CBS, ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.

Josh Reddick could be on the upswing
After a very rough first two weeks of the season Reddick has been hitting much better over the past 14 days. Including yesterday’s 3-for-4 game he is now hitting .372 over the past two weeks but with just four extra base hits. We’re still well withing small sample size range and to cut the already short season in half with separate two week chunks isn’t something one would expect here on the digital pages of RotoGraphs. That being said, there are signs of adjustments and improvements. Part of last season’s woes can be attributed right wrist that benched him on the DL two separate times in 2013. Following off-season surgery, Reddick felt no pain in his wrist and his power should translate to home runs again soon.

Early season stats are showing pitchers are once again working Reddick away, something is no surprise for a pull hitter like Reddick. Right now he has four hits to opposite field after getting all of 15 oppo hits last season. Yes, Reddick has hitting the ball on the ground more often than we’ve seen before, but he’s  been able to squeeze the ball the other way, something his .333 BABIP doesn’t account for. I’m not yet convinced we’ll see another 30 home run campaign from Reddick, but I am liking what I see thus far. If he can continually hit the ball on the ground to opposite field while still elevating the ball into the air when given the opportunity, we may see his power numbers return but this time with a much better overall batting average.

Another quality start from Tyler Skaggs
For the third time in five starts Skaggs has tallied a quality start. His fastball velocity was once again sitting in the low 90’s while touching 94, a big step up from his 88 mph fastballs last season. This year Skaggs has lengthened his stride again after shortening it last season, essentially going back to what was working for him as he shot up through the Arizona farm system. Yesterday he held the Cleveland Indians to four hits and just one walk while fanning six. The lone walk is a great sight after walking a combined seven hitters in his previous two starts. His strikeout rate isn’t quite what I hoped it would be yet nor is his swinging strike rate, but I trust his stuff and think the strikeouts will come. For now I’d be happy to roster Skaggs and to start him at home and on the road in favorable parks/matchups. Skaggs is available in over 70% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues though just 25% of CBS formats.

The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez — $9,300
I’m sorry Astros fans, I keep picking against your team and its 24% strikeout rate.

Starting Pitcher:  Matt Cain — $7.800
The San Diego Padres have scored the fewest runs in baseball and have struck out at the seventh highest rate.

Infielder: Buster Posey — $4,200
Facing off against a not-very-tough lefty in Eric Stults favors Posey. By a lot.

Outfielder: Jose Bautista — $5,100
Speaking of lefties that aren’t tough, Joey Bats goes up against Jason Vargas today.

Other Hitter: Starlin Castro — $3,500
Castro is hitting against Alfredo Simon, someone who can’t possibly continue to dance through the rain drops. Simon’s 1.30 ERA is betrayed by his 4.31 xFIP and 4.36 SIERA.

Remaining Budget: $20,100

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