Today is Friday the 13th. If you happen to be the superstitious type, or maybe one that happens to believe in hokey religions, just know that Han Solo thinks otherwise.
On today’s agenda:
1. Angel Pagan is still hitting, still available
2. Another week in the boot for Allen Craig
3. Mark Reynolds keeps hitting
4. The lateness of Adam LaRoche
Angel Pagan is still hitting, still available
When we last took a look at Angel Pagan he was coming back from a stint on the disabled list. Since then, Pagan has posted 15 hits in 10 games as well as stealing two bags and scoring six runs. He is up to a .284/.336/.397 line and should be grabbed wherever possible for the home stretch. Pagan is available in 62% of both ESPN and CBS formats and 68% of Yahoo! leagues.
Another week in the boot for Allen Craig
Following up on last Friday’s Roto Riteup, we have an update via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goold reports that Allen Craig will be in a soft walking boot for another week. The St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that Craig will return some point later this season, but time is running out. If Craig is still eating up a roster spot in your redraft league, it seems as though it is time to find a replacement first baseman.
Mark Reynolds keeps hitting
Even before yesterday’s home run is factored in, Mark Reynolds was hitting an impressive .281/.361/.516 as a member of the New York Yankees. His batting average may be a complete illusion thanks to a .375 BABIP, but the power shouldn’t be doubted. Sure, he is up to 23 strikeouts in 22 games now, but we can look past a slugger’s terrifying truth and watch him sock a few dingers.
Not only does he have a solid lineup around him, but Reynolds also has a favorable schedule for the rest of the season. The Yankees travel to the hitter friendly parks of Toronto and Boston followed by the Bronx Bombers going home for a six game home stand. They’ll then finish out the season’s final three games in Houston against the worst pitching staff in baseball. Reynolds could provide a serious jolt of power in the closing weeks. He is available in 57% of CBS leagues and 72% of both Yahoo! and ESPN formats.
The lateness of Adam LaRoche
It’s widely believed in some fantasy circle that Adam LaRoche is a slow starter. To be fair, LaRoche’s 2004, 2006-10, and 2012 seasons all support this theory. In those years (in varying amounts of playing time, of course) LaRoche hit for a higher wOBA in the second half, occasionally much higher. This season appears to be the exception to the rule, as LaRoche’s first half 107 wRC+ is currently outpacing his second half sub-100 wRC+ mark.
A brutal month of July saw him hit for a 38 wRC+ in 97 plate appearances. August was a slight improvement, as the needle moved up to a 96 wRC+ in 104 PA’s. LaRoche must have seen his shadow coming out of the All-Star break, as his first half reputation continued another eight weeks into the second half. September might have been the wake up call that we’ve been waiting for as now LaRoche has heated up over his past 11 games. Not even including yesterday’s 2-for-4 performance that delivered his 20th home run, LaRoche was hitting .321/.487/.500 since the calendar flipped to September. Small sample size issues abound, however LaRoche can still help with his power and his position in the batting order. He’s shuffled around the middle of the lineup some, but he has hit clean up four times this month already.
Despite his recent hot streak, LaRoche is still widely available. His ownership rate is just 64% in CBS leagues, 57% in ESPN formats, and 50% in Yahoo! leagues. If one is looking for a first base eligible replacement for Allen Craig, LaRoche or Reynolds could be it. In a vacuum LaRoche is probably the better player, however given Reynolds’ schedule and his third base eligibility, the scales tip slightly in his favor.
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