Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: April 25, 2014

Today’s Roto Riteup was written on laundry day as well as immediately after I stubbed my toe on the corner of the dryer. Just as my childhood mentor Rocko said, laundry day is a very dangerous day.

On today’s agenda:
1. Miguel Montero: cleanup hitter?
2. James Loney‘s value
3. A bounce back start for Corey Kluber
4. The Daily Five

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Miguel Montero: cleanup hitter?
Yesterday was the eighth time seeing Montero’s name penciled in at the cleanup spot. Of the past 10 games he’s played in, he’s hit fourth all but twice — the other two times he’s batted fifth. If the Arizona Diamondbacks continue to place Montero in a premium RBI producing spot, expect his counting numbers to spike. He’s walked more times than he’s struck out (11:9) and his current .279 BABIP is over 30 points below his career .311 mark.

Put another way, Montero is a left-handed hitter and is currently batting fourth for a club that plays half of its games in a very hitter friendly park. Despite these positives, Montero’s ownership rate hovers around 50% in both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. Only in CBS formats is his 66% ownership indicative of what he’s done thus far. If the 2011-2012 Montero is back, I would be comfortable rolling with him as my primary catcher in 2-catcher leagues or even my solo receiver in 1-catcher formats. I’m buying where I can.

James Loney’s value
Over the past calendar year — at least prior to yesterday’s games where Loney went 2-for-5 — Loney has been a top 50 hitter according to his 119 wRC+ and is ranked 54th in terms of his .339 wOBA. A .298/.351/.422 triple slash is nothing to scoff at. His .322 BABIP over the past year has helped, though it isn’t as if his career .308 BABIP is terribly far away. As long as Tampa Bay can continue to put him in advantageous positions, e.g. playing the platoon advantage, Loney should be able to continue to produce at a solid level.

Even with his strong triple slash over the past year, his counting stats will never blow anyone away. Loney’s power — or lack thereof — is well known and his 13 dingers in 628 plate appearances are nothing to write home about. He may be able to grab a few extra RBIs here and there this season as he has hit exclusively fifth or sixth. If he keeps getting penciled in at the former then Loney can go from a somewhat empty average to a guy who is fringe-playable in standard 12-team mixed leagues and a must own in leagues deeper than that. Loney is currently available in over 65% of CBS leagues, 80% of ESPN leagues and almost 90% of Yahoo! formats. You could probably do worse with your CI slot.

A bounce back start for Corey Kluber
After some up-and-down starts to begin the season, Kluber came out and crushed the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Firing a four hit complete game with 11 strikeouts and zero walks is a gem in anyone’s book. That he did it in 101 pitches is even more impressive. His ERA is still a tough pill to swallow at 3.90 however his 3.14 xFIP is much prettier, plus it reminds me of Pi, which in turn reminds me of pie, which is delicious.

This site isn’t shy about promoting Kluber and I’m the one mixing the kool-aid this time. Somehow people have lost faith in our beloved Kluber, as his ownership rates have plummeted to 10% in ESPN leagues and 50% in Yahoo! formats. The crowd at CBS is yet to waiver, as four out of five CBS leagues have someone owning Kluber. Like Montero, I’m buying wherever I see Kluber available.

The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: Yordano Ventura — $9,300
His name is fun to say and his pitches are even more fun to watch.

Starting Pitcher: Homer Bailey — $8,300
Bailey’s current 25.8% strikeout rate and 10.5% SwStr% are at an advantage when facing the 24.8% strikeout rate of the Atlanta Braves.

Infielder: Miguel Montero — $3,600
I mean, you read the first blurb, right? Montero is at home and is facing the underwhelming Roberto Hernandez.

Outfielder: Shin-Soo Choo — $4,800
Hitting in Seattle is tough, but I don’t think hitting against Roenis Elias and his 4.49 xFIP/4.70 SIERA will be too tough.

Other Hitter: Jason Kipnis — $4,600
I’m crossing my fingers and hoping Kipnis keeps hitting for power or running when he draws a walk.

Remaining Budget: $19,400

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Is Choo playing then?


^this (I don’t think so since latest news is Rangers “hope he can avoid the DL”)