Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: August 19, 2014

Tomorrow will be the 25th anniversary of the show “Saved by the Bell” debuting. Somewhat surprisingly — though probably due to legal reasons — the intro proved tricky to find in any decent quality. Linked is the best I could do.

On today’s agenda:
1. The return of Mookie Betts
2. Welcome back, Brandon Phillips
3. Dustin Ackley‘s second half
4. The daily five

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The return of Mookie Betts
Yesterday the Boston Red Sox recalled Betts from Triple-A while sending down Jackie Bradley Jr. in order to make room on the 25-man roster. Betts hasn’t shown his rate stats or speed in his two other stints in the majors this year, however he has accrued just 44 plate appearances thus far. I like him to post a worthwhile batting average alongside a serviceable on-base percentage thanks to his walk rate, just don’t expect much power. He managed to go 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored while hitting eighth in the lineup. The most likely scenario is for Betts to continue hitting from the bottom third of the lineup, but that may present the option for him to run more. For now he is available in 75% of CBS leagues and over 95% of ESPN and Yahoo! formats.

Welcome back, Brandon Phillips
The Cincinnati Reds activated Phillips from the 15-day disabled list prior to yesterday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Although Phillips went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts, he does offer some pop from the middle infield. In standard 5×5 leagues his career .272 batting average — and .272 AVG this season — bring value, however his poor walk rate hurts him in OBP leagues. Phillips may be far removed from his 30 home run 2007 season but he can still connect on the long ball. He’s hit at least 18 home runs in seven straight seasons and owns a 10.9% HR/FB% for his career. If you’re looking for power from your second baseman then Phillips could be your guy for the last six-ish weeks of the season. One can find him free to grab in approximately 40% of leagues for the three major sites.

Dustin Ackley’s second half
If AVG from your 2B/MI/OF slot is needed, give Ackley a second look. Yes, his seasonal .247/.293/.375 line is ugly, however his second half (arbitrary endpoint alert!) is a big improvement. Prior to yesterday’s 3-for-4 game Ackley has been hitting a cool .298/.322/.474. I’m not entirely convinced Ackley has turned a major corner yet as his .319 second half BABIP, while not crazy, is still 30 points above his career average. One thing the stats are saying is Ackley seems to be more aggressive. This year his 43.8% swing rate is the highest of his career as is his 62% Z-Swing%. Courtesy of StatCorner he seems to be striking out looking less often than ever, just 4.3% this year. He still isn’t drawing many walks at the major league level and the now 26-year-old has turned off many fantasy owners with poor seasons following his 2011 campaign. He hasn’t hasn’t hit lower than second in the lineup since July 27 and seems to have settled into the two-hole, at least for the time being. I don’t love him as an OF, but in deeper leagues or as your MI he does have some value. He is available in just 20% of ESPN leagues, 33% of CBS formats but 60% of Yahoo! leagues.

The daily five
Starting pitcher: Hisashi Iwakuma — $9,900
Iwakuma gets the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that kind of stinks against right-handed pitchers. Their 27th ranked 84 wRC+ bodes well for Iwakuma.

Starting pitcher: Scott Kazmir — $8,200
Not just a homer pick to try and get my favorite team to break their losing streak, I really do like Kazmir. Or I just dislike the Mets and their inability to hit southpaws. Okay, it’s a little of column A, a little of column B.

Infielder: Kyle Seager — $4,300
Seager is facing the wild A.J. Burnett in Philly today. I think he’ll sock a dinger.

Outfielder: Josh Willingham — $4,300
He’ll have the platoon advantage (at altitude) against Tyler Matzek.

Other hitter: Khris Davis — $3,700
Davis will be up against the lefty J.A.  Happ and Davis tends to crush southpaws.

Remaining budget: $19,600

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

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Would you drop Gregory Polanco for Josh Willingham or Mookie Betts in a 12 team mixed roto, David? Thanks!