Roto Riteup: October 3, 2012

Today marks the last day of the fantasy baseball season. To those of you who are in the finals of a head-to-head league or are in a neck and neck race in a roto league, I wish you the best of luck.

• Someone who I feel is consistently under-rated — even by me — is Denard Span. He had a two hit game yesterday afternoon and now his average sits at .285 on the season. He has also stolen 17 bases and while his runs scored is lower than I’d like from a lead-off hitter, he still makes for a useful fantasy cog. Cheap steals and average? Where do I sign? I can usually count on Span being available to grab after a draft, and he is available right now in 87% of Yahoo! leagues and 80% of ESPN leagues.

• For you fortunate owners of James Shields, I hope you enjoyed his complete game, 15 strikeout masterpiece yesterday. The downside is that despite going the full nine and surrendering just a single run, he was stuck with the tough luck 1-0 loss. Shields has set a career high in K/9 at 8.82 and finishes with over 200 strikeouts for the second straight year while also pitching more than 220 innings. He has also set a career best mark in ground ball rate, at 52.3%. The man is a true number one fantasy starter. I look forward to drafting him next year.

• If you were to ask me to name as many 20-home run hitters this year, I don’t think I would have ever guessed Kyle Seager. He managed to hit a rather under-the-radar 20 home runs and 85 RBI’s. Seager has even chipped in 13 stolen bases. Of course, even with the solid counting numbers, his rate stats are pretty atrocious. At the time of writing (the third inning), Seager is sitting at .258/.315/.420. The man makes a ton of outs. That being said, he is SS, 2B and 3B eligible and thus he makes for an intriguing fantasy option for next season. With the fences being moved in at Safeco it isn’t hard to imagine Seager et al flourishing in the more hitter friendly environment.

• Well, Alcides Escobar hit his fifth home run of the year yesterday. He also stole his 34th base. Despite his home run, power is not really a major factor in Escobar’s game. He is hitting .292 thus far, so with a huge extra-inning game today he could possible hit .300 for the season. His strikeout rate is below average, however his walk rate is well below average as well. With thoughts of next season consuming many of us, I expect to have Escobar land on multiple teams of mine. I don’t love his game, but he is a shortstop that is guaranteed playing time and should be a lock for 30 stolen bases.

Chris Davis hit another home run yesterday. That gives him 33 on the year. The rosiest of projections had him at 23 homers and 65 RBI’s with a .258 average. He is up to 85 RBI’s and a .272 average. I don’t know even know anymore. I just know that I love baseball.

Adam Greenberg got his at-bat! Unfortunately, it ended in a strikeout. The crowd gave him a standing ovation before and after his at-bat. Good for them, and good for Greenberg. The entire sequence can be found here.

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: A.J. Griffin vs TEX
You know? Eff it. I’m in full on homer mode with this pick.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Beer
Seriously, go grab a pitcher of your favorite beer and celebrate another amazing year of fantasy baseball. To our under-21 crowd, be a driver for someone. Or go get some kool-aid or something, I guess.

A Hitter for Today: Alfonso Soriano vs HOU (Edgar Gonzalez)
This pick is 100% for my friend Matt V. I hope Soriano goes 2-for-4 with two homers and two horrific strikeouts.

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You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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Mr. Rickey
Mr. Rickey

I’m in 1st place in a 10 team ROTO league with 3 guys breathing down my neck – everyone is within 2 points. It is going to come down to pitching today. Need a W and some Ks – who do you like of these: Wood, Diamond or Hefner? The others are streaming so my alternative is to bench all and bet against the others – second place team has Homer Bailey going, 3rd place has Tillman. Thanks in advance.