Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: July 18, 2014

Ten years ago today HBO aired the first episode of “Entourage.” The show played a sizable role in my young adult life and I still drop quotes from time to time. With the film set to be released next summer, I’m sure I’ll end up binge-watching all eight seasons at some point.

On today’s agenda:
1. Dexter Fowler to return soon
2. Javier Baez, second baseman?
3. After today, go get Trevor Bauer
4. The daily five

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Dexter Fowler to return soon
Unfortunately Fowler won’t be back in action today as some had hoped, though I still think he has value and is worth grabbing. He may not call Coors Field home any longer but he owns a .270/.377/.396 line this year. Fowler has shown an uptick in his walk rate as well as trimming his strikeout rate down two points below his 22% career average. I doubt he’ll continue to hit .270 however his on-base percentage shouldn’t be doubted. With a 12.5% career walk rate I love him as a cheap flier in OBP leagues. Despite hitting leadoff (or at least in the top third) of a lineup, Fowler is still available in over 50% of CBS formats, 60% of Yahoo! leagues and nearly 80% of ESPN formats.

Javier Baez, second baseman?
Yesterday Baez started in a spot in the field other than shortstop for the first time in his professional career. No, I’m not counting his DH appearances. Baez got the nod at the keystone in yesterday’s Triple-A game. Our very own Marc Hulet noted Baez may make the big leagues at a spot other than shortstop, specifically:

“The young infielder has all the ingredients necessary to be an all-star for the Cubs, regardless of where he ends up — shortstop, third base or even the outfield.”

If playing the new defensive position hurt his bat, it had a strange way of manifesting itself as Baez went 2-for-4 with his 15th home run of the year. No word whether or not second base becomes permanent, a regular occurrence, a temporary move or merely an experiment from the Chicago Cubs, but even if Baez gets moved off of shortstop, his bat alone carries plenty of value. If Arismendy Alcantara gets moved to center field then I expect Baez to be recalled as the Super-Two status is no longer a concern this year. I’m hurting at second base and middle infield in a league so I grabbed Baez in a speculative move. I hope I’m right.

After today, go get Trevor Bauer
Bauer will be up against the Detroit Tigers and their fourth ranked 110 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, thus the caveat in the title. I do like what I’m seeing from Bauer and as Jeff Sullivan noted, Bauer is throwing more strikes. Although that article is from over a month ago, Bauer’s 63% strike rate is close to his 65% rate posted back in June. He is still a fly ball pitcher and his control may never be labeled as “pinpoint” but the 23-year-old pitcher still has enough fantasy upside to be worth owning in any 14-team league and 12-team leagues with deep rosters. In standard 12-teamers I’d feel fine streaming him — other than today — in most match ups. Bauer is already owned in 66% of CBS leagues however he is largely available in Yahoo! (15%) and ESPN (5%) formats.

The daily five
Starting pitcher: Bartolo Colon — $7,300
Colon gets to face the weak hitting San Diego Padres at Petco today.

Starting pitcher: Trevor Cahill — $5,900
It’s double down day at Dave’s discount den! Cahill is a right-hander up against the Chicago Cubs, a club that is second worst against righties, above only the Padres.

Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt — $5,800
Goldy won’t hold the platoon advantage over Edwin Jackson today, though it shouldn’t matter. I’m not worried even though it’s true for his career Goldschmidt hits right-handed pitchers worse than opposite-handed pitchers. His .284/.371/.500 line against righties suits me just fine.

Outfielder: Yasiel Puig — $5,400
Puig will be hitting against Lance Lynn, but Puig has hit right-handed pitchers better than lefties. I’m hoping for a home run and the ensuing bat flip.

Other hitter: Matt Joyce — $3,900
Joyce will hold the platoon advantage in Minnesota over Kyle Gibson.

Remaining budget: $21,700

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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3 Responses to “Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: July 18, 2014”

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  1. Jason says:

    Funny how you have to include Baez’s DH appearence. You just know that some nerd would go out of his way to point that out.

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  2. Nathan says:

    Regarding Baez, are you speculating that he’ll be recalled as a September call-up, or does his move to 2nd signal that it could possibly be more like late-July? I really hope it is the latter, because I could use the middle infield depth as well!

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