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Roto Riteup: September 22, 2012

Despite the postponed (and yes, I almost typed “post ponied”) game, today’s Roto Riteup is not postponed at all.

• Catchers that posses even a modicum of hitting ability at the major league level is a rare and glorious event. Furthermore, for those catchers to be available in over 50% of both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues is unheard of. Well, except in the case of Jonathan Lucroy. Yesterday’s home run makes for 10 on the season now, and those 10 have come in just 312 plate appearances. He is still riding a career high BABIP this season, but his career BABIP is .318. There hasn’t been a significant change in his batted ball rates, so don’t expect the .321 batting average to be around for much longer. That being said, there aren’t many games remaining for Lucroy. If you’re in need of catcher help, and I know I am, then Lucroy is your guy.

• After his two hit, two steal day yesterday, the good news is that Justin Upton has locked up a second straight 15-15 season. The bad news is that last season he was 31-21. To pile on the bad news, Upton’s slugging has plummeted 100 points and his average and on-base percentage has slid backwards as well. All told, instead of hitting at a 139 wRC+ pace like 2011, this year Upton is hitting at a much more human 106 wRC+. Depending on where/what price you kept him at, his ups and downs make for an intriguing keeper situation. I would wait out the off-season as much as possible and find out if he gets dealt after the Winter Meetings.

• Between them, CC Sabathia and Jarrod Parker combined for 16 innings, 18 strikeouts, one run and just 11 base runners against 58 total batters faced. Crazy good on both sides. While it is good to see C.C. get back on track, it is great to see Parker really come into his own here in a tough start in Yankee Stadium 2.0 and despite it being just one start, this has to give his draft stock next year some serious momentum. His ERA and FIP now stand at 3.40 and 3.39 respectively. I’ll be looking to grab Parker next year. A lot of savvy owners, 44% in both Yahoo! and ESPN leagues, have already grabbed him. If for some reason he is still available, the schedule shakes out to Parker making two more starts. While unlikely given the health situations of their other starters, the A’s may opt to rest Parker down the stretch. He has a total of 190 innings pitched in 2012 thus far. Even before we include innings pitched in the playoffs, (I hope I didn’t just jinx my A’s) Parker has already shattered his previous high of 136.1 innings.

• The 11th most valuable player over the past 14 days, at least prior to last night’s numbers, in standard 5×5 fantasy leagues is a player from the Colorado Rockies. That shouldn’t be too surprising. The surprising part is that it has been Chris Nelson. Over that time frame, Nelson was 21/51 for a .412 average, scored nine runs, drove in eight and even stole a base. For all of that work, plus last night’s 2-for-4 game, Nelson is owned in just 27% of Yahoo! leagues and 42% of ESPN formats.

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: Matt Harrison at SEA
Insert typical line about an above average pitcher making a start in Safeco.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Yovani Gallardo at WAS
The Brewers offense should score plenty of runs against Chien-Ming Wang and Yo-Ga should last long enough to at least get a few strikeouts and the win.

A Hitter for Today: Cody Ross vs BAL (Randy Wolf)
Cody Ross blasts left-handed pitchers. I like him to hit his 22nd home run of the season today.