Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: July 5, 2014

I hope everyone had a grand day yesterday! Between eating, baseball (including a massive trade by my favorite club, the Oakland Athletics) and having a beer or two, yesterday was a grand time for yours truly. I’ll leave the fantasy implications of the trade to smarter minds but I can’t imagine two starting pitchers ever complained about going from Wrigley Field to the Coliseum, even when factoring in the NL to AL difference.

On today’s agenda:
1. A glance at two Mets hitters
3. Brandon Belt‘s return
4. Logan Morrison‘s hitting
5. The daily five

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A glance at two Mets hitters
The Lucas Duda roller coaster is once again open for business! I’ve bought tickets to it while it was low and saw it go up, then down, then back up and well, you get the picture. The 28-year-old owns a career 118 wRC+ and this season he is quietly surpassing that. Currently hitting .250/.345/.472 with 13 dingers and 43 RBI, Duda is making himself fantasy relevant (again). I can’t be the only person who has quit on Duda  either. Despite his solid numbers he is widely available in most leagues. His 48% ownership rate in CBS is by far his highest mark as both ESPN (30.7%) and Yahoo! (16%) lag far behind. Duda is eligible in the outfield as well as first base and should be platooned in either position whenever possible.

The second Mets hitter to check out is Travis d’Arnaud. Since being recalled from Triple-A, d’Arnaud is hitting a cool .303/.361/.485. Surely his .375 BABIP has helped fuel his impressive batting line, and yes, I’ll stop calling you Shirley. With a strong walk rate and an excellent minor league track record/prospect pedigree, I still like d’Arnaud in two catcher leagues of any depth even with the ugly seasonal numbers he’s posted thus far. He’s owned in 41% of CBS leagues already however his ESPN and Yahoo! ownership rates are both below 5%.

Brandon Belt’s return
Yes he was held hitless in his first major league action in nearly two months, but seeing Belt back on the field for the San Francisco Giants is a welcome sight. With a pair of games at Bay rival Oakland early next week, Belt may get eased back into action with a day or two of DHing. Any weekly league should feel comfortable placing Belt back into the starting lineup. Prior to his injury it seemed as though Belt was destined to break the 20 home run mark for the first time in his major league career. Even if he falls short of 20 dingers, his batting average, on-base percentage and RBIs make him a valuable fantasy asset. Belt is owned in over 85% of leagues in the three major fantasy sites but it is possible to grab him while his value is low. His 5.6% walk rate is nearly half of his career rate and his .294 BABIP is 40 points below his career average. If his current owner in your league is frustrated by his .256 batting average I’d test the waters and try to buy low.

Logan Morrison’s hitting
If you can’t get Belt in your league and are still in need of first base help, take a look at LoMo. Since being recalled just over a month ago he has hit .269/.326/.474 with four long balls and 14 RBI. His 119 wRC+ over that time frame would look pretty good on most rosters. Morrison holds more value in OBP leagues than standard 5×5 formats as his AVG will never impress, but he does have a little bit of pop. He’s been hitting fifth more often than not in recent weeks and has even hit cleanup three times. If he continues to get RBI opportunities then look for his counting numbers to take off. I don’t love him in 12-team leagues — unless the rosters are expanded considerably over the norm — but any format deeper than that and I’d pick him up and give him some playing time as a flier.

The daily five
Staring pitcher: Gio Gonzalez — $10,800
I like his match up against the Chicago Cubs today, despite their 10th ranked 104 wRC+ against southpaws, as they also own the highest strikeout rate against left-handers at 25.5%.

Starting pitcher: Anibal Sanchez — $8,900
Sanchez is up against a solid Tampa Bay lineup but I think he’ll be just fine at home.

Infielder: Freddie Freeman — $4,700
Facing a right-hander in Mike Bolsinger bodes well for Freeman today as he’s hit righties at a 143 wRC+ clip this year.

Outfielder: Corey Dickerson — $4,400
Dickerson and the Colorado Rockies are at home against the homer prone Dan Haren.

Other hitter: Garrett Jones — $3,700
Jones will hold the platoon advantage over a struggling Shelby Miller.

Remaining budget: $17,500

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With Corey Hart back, would you rather speculate on Hart or LoMo as a short-term Brandon Moss replacement in an AL-Only?