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The Daily Duel: Risky Rickie

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Tip of the Week - Be wary of the weather reports

There are two sides to this strategy here. While you should never break a Cardinal rule and make sure none of your players are a late scratch (looking at you Ryan Braun), knowing the weather report right before game time is equally important. Iíve preached the obvious before Ė know what the chances are for a rainout. If thereís 60 percent or more chance of a rainout, donít risk it. However, this week Iím going to stress the opposite: be willing to take a chance on an iffy game. Starting with last Friday there were three or four games that had a 40 percent chance of rain at the time of the first pitch. All four played. Fast-forward to yesterday (Tuesday) and there were four games delayed by rain with only the Chicago rivalry getting called. That game was also the likely one to avoid as it had multiple hours of 60 percent or higher chance of rain. The others were all around 40 percent and were played out. Iíd be careful in heads-up or 50/50 but in a tournament format where many players are checking the weather, taking a chance on a game with a 40 percent or less chance of rain could pay off for you.

Value Players Looking To Rebound

Here are some players who have seen their value drop significantly due to poor production in the season thus far. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. That being said, most of these players have a track record of success or enough pedigree that they should be able to turn their season around sooner rather than later and have good value in the near future as a result.

Rickie Weeks, MIL, $2500 Ė Trust me; I know what a disaster this season has been for Weeks. So can Rickie turn it around? I donít see why not. His strikeout rate is up but so is his walk rate, a six-year high of 12.4 percent. Thatís helped keep his OBP at .285, which while thatís nothing great, isnít completely terrible given his low batting average. Next, Weeks did a similar dance last season, as he started slowly with his worst OPS month being May. He went on to recover and had an .800 OPS over the second half of the season. Weeks is a long shot to use right now outside of a cheap ďpot-oddsĒ play, but if he heats up be ready to snag him before his price becomes too inflated.

Ian Desmond, WAS, $2500 Ė If during the spring you were looking for the Ian Desmond Fan Club President, you would have to look no further than me. Not only did he put up outstanding numbers for a shortstop last season with 25 home runs and 21 stolen bases, he did it in only 130 games. Desmond is off to a much slower start this season, putting him on pace for 18 home runs and 15 stolen bases. With so many games left in the season, Desmond has more than enough time to improve those numbers. His numbers arenít too far off from last season and while he likely wonít hit .292 again due to a ton of strikeouts, he should still hit for a respectable average.

Chase Headley, SD, $2900 Ė Headley had a rough start to the season, landing on the DL with a fractured thumb, but his numbers so far - .262 BA, four home runs, 15 runs, 14 RBI and three stolen bases in 36 games Ė arenít too bad. Those numbers should pick up as the season goes on and Headley is one of the rare third baseman who has power and can steal bases. Ideally, itís better to use Headley on the road, as he hit 18 of his 31 home runs and stole 12 of his 17 bases away from Petco last season.


On Fire

These players have been some of the hottest hitters in the league recently. They are worth considering putting into the lineup regardless of the price they cost. Hot streaks donít always last, but one of my rules is if a playerís smoking the ball, thereís no reason to sit him down.

Kendrys Morales, SEA, $4000 Ė It would be tough to find a hotter hitter right now than Morales Ė he had hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games heading into Tuesday nightís game. During that span Morales has gone 26-for-67 with three home runs, 11 runs and 15 RBI. Morales will continue to hit in the three hole with Michael Morse hitting cleanup and providing him protection.

Matt Carpenter, STL, $3500 Ė Carpenter isnít a sexy pick as he doesnít have a ton of pop or speed, but he is a good contact hitter. He entered Tuesday night with a six-game hit streak (10-for-26, .384), and his .375 season OBP has landed him in the leadoff role for the Cardinals. He should rack up points reaching base and score a ton of runs with the big bats of St. Louis hitting behind him.

Carlos Gomez, MIL, $4200 Ė Itís interesting that heading into this season there was a question as to who should be drafted first, Gomez or B.J. Upton. Despite having similar skill sets (decent power, great speed, poor batting average), Upton went at least a few rounds earlier than Gomez. That so far has proved to be a mistake based on the play of both individuals. Gomez currently leads his team in home runs (10) and is second in both stolen bases (9) and batting average (.331). Oddly, Gomezís advanced stats Ė BB rate, K rate, contact rate Ė are all in line with last yearís stats except his ISO (73 points higher) and his BABIP (91 points higher).

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