Roto Riteup — Presented By DraftKings: August 5, 2014

Back in the summer going into my sophomore year of high school, a show called “The O.C.” debuted on August 5, 2003. To this day I maintain the first season — maybe the first two seasons — was quite good.

On today’s agenda:
1. Welcome to the show, Javier Baez
2. Brett Lawrie returns today
3. Progress for Masahiro Tanaka
4. Another strong start from Brandon McCarthy
5. The daily five

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Welcome to the show, Javier Baez
After much hype and anticipation, the Chicago Cubs have called up Baez. The plan seems to be to use him at second base and shift Arismendy Alcantara to the outfield. For now — at least in my custom leagues — Baez is eligible at shortstop and he should be plugged in there in as many leagues as possible. He is already owned in 68% of CBS formats and 40% of Yahoo! leagues, but his 1% ownership in ESPN is far too low. Look to grab him in where available and be happy you did. Our own Marc Hulet emphasized Baez’s power potential and rated him the Cubs top prospect prior to this season.

Brett Lawrie returns today
The Toronto Blue Jays will welcome back Lawrie from the 15-day disabled list today. He has been on the shelf since June 22 with a broken finger and figures to get plenty of playing time at both second and third base. Lawrie has already set a personal single season high with 12 home runs in just 281 plate appearances and projects to hit another four (Steamer) or five (ZiPS) dingers the rest of the way. I don’t love his game however he is capable of producing fantasy worthy power numbers in a home park that favored right-handed power hitters last season. One can find Lawrie available in 30% of CBS and Yahoo! leagues as well as 40% of ESPN formats.

Progress for Masahiro Tanaka
Yesterday Tanaka felt no pain after throwing 25 pitches from flat ground. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi was quick with positive words but made sure to temper his expectations. Girardi told reporters “…there is still a long way to go” but didn’t commit to any official timeline. The Yankees sit five games back in the AL East race and just one game behind the second Wild Card slot. The fate of the Yankees season may be hanging from the ligaments of Tanaka’s elbow.

Another strong start from Brandon McCarthy
In lieu of Tanaka himself, McCarthy has done a solid Tanaka impression over the course of his five starts in pinstripes. Including yesterday’s 5.2 inning game with eight strikeouts, McCarthy owns a 2.08 ERA and is up to 28 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. Although it wasn’t technically a quality start, McCarthy remains unbeaten — 4-0 in five starts — as a Yankee thus far. He wasn’t particularly efficient last night as it took him 116 pitches to not even finish the sixth inning. That being said, allowing just one unearned run to the second highest run scoring offense in baseball is nothing to scoff at. McCarthy is a worthwhile spot starter and is available in 75% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues and 35% of CBS formats.

The daily five
Staring pitcher: Felix Hernandez — $12,700
Even though Clayton Kershaw is also starting today, I can’t justify the extra $1,800. King Felix is up against the Atlanta Braves and their inability to hit right-handed pitching (25th ranked 86 wRC+). Kershaw is up against the Angels and their top rated offense against southpaws, a 124 wRC+.

Starting pitcher: Dallas Keuchel — $6,600
Keuchel is a great bargain and he gets to face the Philadelphia Phillies and their 10th highest strikeout rate against southpaws.

Infielder: Javier Baez — $4,000
This was could have been seen coming a mile away. On top of being a great prospect, he’ll have the platoon advantage today against Brett Anderson.

Outfielder: Seth Smith — $3,600
Smith is up against the right-hander Phil Hughes today and we all probably know Smith is posting a 121 wRC+ against righties this season. He’s a great buy while still keeping your budget in check.

Other hitter: Derek Norris — $3,700
Another platoon matchup favoring the hitter, I like Norris against Drew Smyly today.

Remaining budget: $19,400

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