Roto Riteup: September 14, 2012

Today’s Roto Riteup was filmed in front of a live television audience. Just kidding. But I guess I could set up my webcam for you guys…

• Looking for a middle infielder with some pop and some speed? If so, then Kelly Johnson could be the player for you. Johnson swiped two bags yesterday, putting him at 13 on the year. He currently has 14 homers, so a 15-15 season is within his reach. Johnson’s rate states aren’t going to impress anyone, but at this point in the season counting stats are usually easier to gain points in than rate stats. If you happen to play in a Head-to-head league, then A. I’m sorry and B. tell your league to switch to rotisserie next year.

• Since his massive power output in June, Trevor Plouffe has just two home runs since July 2. He hit one of those home runs last night. Ideally, this would be the start of another hot streak, but it seems as though the league has caught up to Plouffe. If you’re in dire need of lineup flexibility with the upside of a couple homers, Plouffe is ideal. Given that he is eligible at SS, 2B, 3B and OF in Yahoo! leagues, his ability to play all over the field coupled with his power potential makes for a solid waiver wire pickup. His ownership rate in Yahoo! is just 31% and his ESPN rate is 26%.

• In his first start in 10 days, Jered Weaver seems like he hasn’t missed a beat. His final line of seven innings, nine strikeouts, 0.00 ERA and 0.43 WHIP plus the win is everything you could hope for. He seems to be healthy enough to be an automatic start against anyone, anywhere again.

• Another starter who I am cautiously optimistic about is Phil Hughes. In yesterday’s win over the Boston Red Sox, Hughes lasted seven and one third innings while striking out seven batters and not allowing a run. This makes back-to-back wins for Hughes. I’d be careful where I play him, as he does tend to be a bit homer prone, but he deserves to be owned in more than 50% of Yahoo! leagues and 59% of ESPN leagues.

• Yesterday marked the return of Jed Lowrie to the Houston Astros’ lineup. He missed more than eight weeks and figures to be eased into the lineup by playing every other day. While being on the shelf for over two months, his ownership rate in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues plummeted below 20%. For a quality — if not somewhat transient — shortstop addition late in the year, Lowrie is still worth owning.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Today: Mike Fiers vs NYM
Fiers is good, the Mets, well, they’re the Mets.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Jarrod Parker vs BAL
Homer pick. I won’t even deny it.

A Hitter for Today: Edwin Encarnacion vs BOS (Daisuke Matsuzaka)
Edwin just hit his 40th homer of the season yesterday. I like him to hit his 41st today.

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Brandon Warne

Keep in mind Trevor Plouffe hit both of those home runs in games in which I was in attendance. I won’t be back at Target Field again until the Yankees series.