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The Daily Duel: Chase Cheap Production

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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Newbies

Teams continue to call up players plus some veterans come off the DL in this week's "Newbies" section. It's important to track everyone coming back into their team's lineup as they could make for sneaky plays in tournament formats if your opponents aren't keeping track of them.

Tommy Medica, SD, $3000 -
Another team holding auditions for next season, the Padres have been giving regular playing time to Medica at first base and in the middle of the batting order. He doesn't have the greatest pedigree but hit 18 home runs at Double-A this season in only 320 plate appearances. He's hit the ground running for San Diego, reaching base safely in all seven games in which he's appeared and hitting safely in six of those seven games. Medica also has two home runs during that span and carried a .956 OPS into Tuesday night's tilt against Pittsburgh.

Marc Krauss, HOU, $2400 -
Krauss, like most of Astros, has split his season between Houston and Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Astros appear to be giving him an extended look for the rest of the season to see if the 25-year-old fits into their plans for next season. He has a .879 OPS over the last week and was slotted in the cleanup spot Tuesday night. In a small sample size (116 major league plate appearances) he has hit better against right-handed pitching on the road.

Value Players Looking To Rebound

Here are some players who have seen their values drop significantly due to poor production. You might be surprised at some of the names and how much their stock has fallen. That said, for most of these players there is either 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.

Adrian Gonzalez, LAD, $3400 -
Gonzalez hasn't shown the power most thought he would have had since he left Petco Park. His price has dropped to the current value after only having a .672 OPS but that includes a home run Monday night, a sign he could be getting back on track. Gonzalez is tied for the 15th highest-priced first baseman, and his splits suggest he's best used at home against right-handed pitching.

Pedro Alvarez, PIT, $3000 -
Alvarez is the 17th highest-priced third baseman, which doesn't make a ton of sense. While he strikes out a good amount, he still has the second-best home run mark for the season (33), only behind that Miguel Cabrera fellow. His .606 OPS over the last week has dropped his price but expect his production to pick up soon with the Pirates in the middle of the playoff race.

Adam Jones, BAL, $3300 -
Jones only has a .572 OPS over the last week, giving the Baltimore slugger a discounted price. You wouldn't think it given the general splits, but Jones as a right-handed hitter hits righties better than lefties. The fact that he hits better at home comes as no surprise and with Chris Davis now hitting in front of him he should have even more RBI opportunity. Next Tuesday the Orioles finish out the final six games of the season at Camden Yards.

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 their price. Hot streaks do not always last, but one of my rules is if a player is smoking the ball, there is no reason to sit him down.

Salvador Perez, KC -
Perez has been one of the hottest-hitting catchers the last month, hitting seven home runs with 27 RBI over the last 30 days, good for a 1.030 OPS. During his short three-year career with the Royals, Perez has been markedly better against left-handed pitching and surprisingly hit much better home than on the road. If you're playing in season-long leagues as well, remember him come draft day after carefully looking at his second-half production.

Chase Utley, PHI -
While the Phillies have fallen far short of expectations, Utley for one is still showing up every game. He now has a .994 OPS over the last week with two home runs and 12 RBI over the last week. Utley came into the season discounted due to his injury last season and age but has exceeded expectations this season. As a point of reference, the RBI and home runs have been more than Jason Kipnis and Robinson Cano added together, while Utley has been much cheaper than both.

Hunter Pence, SF, $5500 -
Pence has arguably been the hottest hitter over the last week posting an insane 1.653 OPS. That stat includes six home runs and a whopping 20 RBI, seven of which came in one game. His numbers are right in line with what he's done on a yearly basis throughout his career (sans last season), though he clearly hits much better on the road as this season's stats would suggest (home - .797 OPS, away - .886 OPS).