Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: April 8, 2014

Today I’ll be at my first live major league game of the year. assuming we’re not counting spring training. Look for me in the crowd in Chicago as the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Cubs.

On today’s agenda:
1. A.J. Ellis to have knee surgery
2. John Lackey‘s strong start
3. Matt Moore‘s elbow soreness
4. The Daily Five

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A.J. Ellis to have knee surgery

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Ellis will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. It is the same knee Ellis had surgery on after the 2012 season. Apparently Ellis had been receiving “lengthy treatment” after each game and attempting to slide into home in yesterday’s game was the last straw. The club hasn’t announced a time frame or even a surgery date, though it is anticipated it will be a four to six week recovery period. Ellis didn’t offer much in terms of fantasy value outside of OBP leagues and his likely replacement, Drew Butera, offers even less.

John Lackey’s strong start
Facing the visiting Texas Rangers, Lackey cruised through seven frames on 95 pitches and allowed just one unearned run. He scattered five hits and a pair of walks while striking out five Rangers. Lackey was able to generate 14 whiffs, 10 of which came on his slider. To date, it seems as though Lackey has decided to largely forgo his changeup in favor of a mostly fastball/slider combination. As per BrooksBaseball, Lackey only threw four non-slider or non-fastball pitches yesterday. His season to date shows a similar pitch selection with his fastball and slider combining for over 90% usage. Whether or not this becomes viable long term is still to be determined — expect opposing managers to stack the lineup with lefties to force more changeups — but for now be aware of his low BABIP and finicky pitch selection. If you own Lackey, I’d look to sell high.

Matt Moore’s elbow soreness
After lasting 4.1 innings against the Kansas City Royals, Moore visibly winced on the delivery of his 78th pitch. Thus far tests have proven inconclusive, however Moore is scheduled for an MRI this morning. After the game Moore was optimistic and said hopefully the pain he felt was merely a hyperextension. Missing time due to soreness in his throwing arm isn’t new to Moore, as he missed all of August last season with it. Hopefully the tests come back negative and Moore won’t miss more than a handful of starts.

The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: James Paxton — $7.800
In his first outing — that happened to be against the Los Angeles Angels that he’ll face today — Paxton was outstanding. Let’s hope for another eight strikeout day.

Starting Pitcher: Aaron Harang — $6,500
Yes, Harang is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he’s facing a New York Mets team that is currently leading the league in strikeout rate by a wide margin.

Infielder: Troy Tulowitzki — $5,200
No need to justify Tulo, especially when he is slated to face off a left-handed pitcher and is playing at Coors Field.

Outfielder: Andrew McCutchen — $4,900
I just want to see him hit a home run live.

Other Hitter: Anthony Rizzo — $4,300
See above.

Remaining Budget: $21,300
Going cheap on Harang pays off here, as you now have over $4,000 per player to finish filling in your roster.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of DraftKings. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

16 Responses to “Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: April 8, 2014”

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  1. quinceleather says:

    i really look forward to the morning write-ups and thanks. Everyone seems to hate lackey, he would have went undrafted in all my standard leagues but I drafted him, usually after Peavy was taken. It’s his second season off TJ, and last year he had flashes of excellence and was pretty solid. why all the hate? And, just a pet-peeve of mine–lots of people are saying sell-high on all sorts of players–bonifacio, Trumbo, and now lackey…how is that possible? everyone knows the sample size is “skewing” results and so no one is willing to pay the value. Would you really be “selling high” on lackey here if he duplicates last year’s results? I would think u sold low, because no one is going to give u anything in return. I could say the same about Trumbo. And ESPN has this whole bona-fide thing with bonifacio, so who is going to pay anything for that? sorry. its early and I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet. I want to reiterate I LOVE the morning write up!

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  2. Chicago Mark says:

    I like the write up too. It does seem a little early to try to sell anything. Although I’ve had multiple offers for my Kimbrell already. I tried like the devil to trade my $14 Chris Davis for his $5 Trumbo and a piece. He wouldn’t do it. I really felt the move to Arizona along with Davis regression would move Trumbo very close in HR’s and BA. It’s a nice start to that.

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  3. quinceleather says:

    I think Trumbo will have a nice year. so if he hits 35 HR, and u sell after 5, unless u get 30+ in the deal with a higher BA, what’s the point? would u swap Trumbo for Soriano? that would be a push, I think….
    I think davis will get hot, even with regression he should be fine

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    • Chicago Mark says:

      Sorry, sorry, sorry! I tried like the devil to make this deal….during the off-season. I ended up trading my $14 Davis, contract ending after 2014 for his $6 Carlos Gomez, contract ending after 2015. Very happy with it even disregarding 2014 starts.
      Additionally, I wouldn’t trade my Trumbo for his Soriano. Sori much closer to down turn from age. Trumbo has some ability for upward numbers yet due to change of scenery and age.
      Last, my thoughts were Trumbo could push to 40+ homers in Arizona (LAA stadium suppresses) and Davis would regress to 45ish. Close enough if I could have gotten a piece. We were very close to me getting Kipnis at $9. Also, I think the BA’s will be a push between the two. Last, Trumbo has dual 1B and OF eligibility.
      Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the bad first post info.

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  4. FeslenR says:

    so sad about all these young pitching prospects falling like fruit flies :(

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    • David Wiers says:

      We’re still hoping TJS isn’t needed! No new info has broke on him just yet, so we’ll just have to sit on our hands. And yes, Parker, Moore, Medlen, Beachy…the arms are adding up.

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      • FeslenR says:

        they’ve been getting hurt much more in recent years, haven’t they?

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      • David Wiers says:

        I think Passan had an article about recent pitcher injuries about three weeks ago or so. It was a solid read, not a ton of analysis, but good info/quotes. And yeah, for as many medical advances, there seems to be a ton of injuries over the past 10 years or so.

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  5. Walkswith4Balls says:

    If you were I would you pick Paxton in hopes he’s decent to good all season or should I go with the ageless wonder Buerle? I’m looking for at least a short term solution to the backend of my rotation. Thanks.

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  6. atoms says:

    I think Federowicz is likely to get some starts for the Dodgers at catcher to help replace Ellis, but he’s not likely to be fantasy-relevant, either.

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    • David Wiers says:

      He was just called up, but yeah, I doubt if he plays any key role for all but the very deepest NL-only leagues. It’d have to be a 14-teamer, 2-catcher NL-only league.

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  7. Ol' Abner says:

    Did anyone’s bold predictions have Trumbo hitting more HR’s than Hamilton’s stolen bases?

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