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Roto Riteup: September 18, 2012

With apologies to the Pirates and Cubs fans, I am writing this Roto Riteup before that game is over. To be fair, the first pitch was at 11:38 and I’m an old man who needs his sleep.

• My preseason hopes for Domonic Brown haven’t come to fruition, but he is hitting better as of late. After his 2-for-4 game yesterday — that included another home run — Brown is up to a .340 on-base percentage and a 103 wRC+. Ideally over the course of a full season Brown could hit double digit home runs, plenty of doubles and triples as well as stealing enough bases for it to matter. As for this season, Brown should be free to grab in almost every league.

• Before the events of last night’s 3-for-4 game, B.J. Upton had been hitting a mere .213 for the past two weeks. The silver lining of that terrible average is that he also powered seven home runs over that span. With the addition of four steals to that tally, that makes his average much more tolerable. Upton has more or less settled into the role of a 20 home run, 30 stolen base guy. His walk rate on the season is still below his career average and that seems to be pushing down his stolen base opportunities and his runs scored. He is still an automatic start given his power and stolen base potential, but he certainly isn’t doing his fantasy owners any favors with his poor average and sub-.300 OBP.

• Despite last night’s poor performance, Justin Smoak has hit much better as of late. Before last night’s game, Smoak’s past 14 games read like a fantasy first basemen’s numbers should read: a .320 AVG with a pair of home runs in just 25 plate appearances. No doubt that his home park hurts his offensive out put, but even on the road he is hitting just .227/.299/.406. With his recent hot streak it seems like Smoak might be worth picking up, but you’re playing with fire. Smoak is owned in just 3% of ESPN leagues and 7% of Yahoo! formats for a reason.

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: Wei-Yin Chen at SEA
Typical “solid pitcher in action at SafeCo” pick.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Trevor Cahill vs SD
Cahill is having his best season so far, including his 2010 season where his ERA was just 2.97. He is in the midst of his best K%, HR/FB% and GB% yet, and he is pitching against a less than threatening lineup.

A Hitter for Today: Shin-Soo Choo vs MIN (P.J. Walters)
Walters has struggled tremendously since his return from the disabled list and Choo is a quality hitter. I like him to have a big day today.