Roto Roundup: Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson and others

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's roto action, including Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw, Miguel Cabrera and others.

Fake Teams offering Daily Fantasy Baseball League advice for Draft Kings

In case you missed it, I added Dug Fister as the Fake Teams DFS expert for daily fantasy baseball leagues played on Draft Kings. Dug is not his real name, but that is his name on Twitter and Draft Kings, so he elected to stick with that name for consistency.

Dug will be offering advice a daily basis on what players you should consider when setting up your rosters over at Draft Kings. Here is his advice for Thursday night's games:

DFS Draft Kings Lineups for Thursday April 24th

And here is an introduction to daily fantasy sports over at Draft Kings:

Introduction to Daily Fantasy Sports

Let us know whether you are playing daily fantasy leagues, and where you are playing.

Fake Teams offering Shandler Park monthly league advice

Dave Morris Jr. came to me with an idea on offering advice on the new monthly fantasy baseball leagues that are hosted over at Shandler Park, the new site created by industry expert Ron Shandler. I thought it was a great idea, so Dave will be offering his advice on a monthly basis for the monthly leagues over at Shandler Park.

Below is a link to his introductory article on the monthly leagues:

Shandler Park Monthly Game Overview

Corey Kluber dominates the Royals

Indians starter Corey Kluber was a favorite "sleeper" of many fantasy writer this offseason. I traded Glen Perkins for Kluber and Astros catcher Jason Castro this offseason, so, yeah, I liked him as well. But Kluber didn't start the season I would have hoped, giving up five runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings in his first start of the season. He pitched well in his next two starts, giving up five runs over 13.1 innings, but then struggled in his last start, giving up four earned runs and 12 base runners in 6.2 innings vs the hot hitting Blue Jays.

Yesterday, we saw vintage Kluber, as he tossed a complete game, four hitter in the Indians 5-1 win over the Royals. Kluber needed 101 pitches to complete the game, walking none, striking out 11 and inducing 12 ground ball outs. That mix of strikeouts and ground ball outs is what we drafted Kluber for back in March. The win moves his record to 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and a 30-6 strikeout to walk rate in 32.1 innings. Kluber faces the Angels in Anaheim in his next start next Tuesday. He is owned in just 10% of leagues right now, so the time is now to grab him off your league waiver wire.

For more on Kluber and the Indians, make sure you check out Let's Go Tribe, SB Nation's Indians fan site.

Who gets called up first: Oscar Taveras or Gregory Polanco?

I was having this conversation with Daneil Kelley and a few followers on Twitter yesterday. The conversation started with me tweeting that with the Cardinals struggling to score runs this season, calling up Oscar Taveras to provide a spark to their offense could be a real possibility in the next few weeks. The conversation covered several issues, including where Taveras play, who sits if he is in the lineup, among other issues/questions. With Allen Craig and Matt Holliday beginning the year in a slump, it is quite possible the Cardinals call up Taveras once he shows his right ankle is healthy. He left Tuesday night's game after rolling his right ankle running to first base, and coincidentally, he played center field on Tuesday night. Taveras returned to the Memphis lineup last night and went 1-4, playing left field.

The Twitter conversation then moved to asking who would be called up first this season: Taveras or Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco. It is an appropriate question, as both teams are struggling to score runs this season, and both could provide a spark to their respective teams' lineups.Neither player is really blocked at the moment. Only Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos stand in the way of Taveras, but once Taveras proves he is ready, the Cardinals will make room for him in their lineup. Some way, some how. The same goes for Polanco. The Pirates are more concerned with service time issues with Polanco than the Cardinals are with Taveras, but if they keep losing games like this, and not scoring runs, Polanco is just a phone call away.

As it stands right now, It would not surprise me to see both called up in mid-May or sooner. When do you think both will be called up? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Round'em Up

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make his first rehab start at High A Rancho Cucamonga later tonight, and according to Ken Gurnick from MLB.com, he is scheduled to throw 55-65 pitches, and could be activated next week:

Manager Don Mattingly would not say how soon Kershaw might return to the Dodgers' rotation, but neither would Mattingly confirm who would start for him next week in Minneapolis, where the Dodgers open a three-city trip.

On Wednesday, Mattingly said Kershaw would need at least a second rehab start before being activated. Kershaw will probably lobby to return immediately if Friday night goes well. He is expected to make 55-65 pitches and his next day to pitch would be Wednesday.

I will do my best to write or tweet if Kershaw will be activated next week as soon as I hear about it. For those in weekly transaction leagues, you will may want to wait a week before activating him. I own him in the Tout Wars mixed league and may gamble and activate him anyway.

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce has seen his RBI totals increase in each of the last three seasons, and his home run totals in the 30-34 range over the same time period. As a result, he has become one of the more consistent fantasy hitters in the game. He won't offer a high batting average, but you are drafting him for his power. This season, Bruce has added a speed component to his game. Shocking right? Yesterday, Bruce went 0-3 with a walk and his fourth stolen base of the season. That's right, Bruce has four stolen bases and is on pace for 29 stolen bases. I doubt we see him steal 29 bases this season, but could he put up a 30 home run season with 15-20 stolen bases? I don't think it is out of the question, as it appears manager Bryan Price is giving the green light thus far.

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has been a bit of a disappointment through the first three and a half weeks this season, but he is warming up at the plate over the last few games. Yesterday, he went 2-4 with three RBI, raising his slash line to .250-.3-5-.408 with 2 home runs, 5 runs and 13 RBI in 76 at bats thus far. Over his last three games, he is 6-13 with a home run, two runs scored and six RBI. His owners expected a better start to the season, but I think he will be the old Miggy come Memorial Day weekend. Stay patient.

Padres third baseman Chase Headley strained his right calf in last night's game vs the Nationals and will head to the 15 day disabled list. Not good for his owners, especially since Headley has struggled in a big way this season, hitting just .186-.250-.314 with two home runs, five runs scored and seven RBI.

The Yankees spent a lot of money on center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, but the early returns indicate he might be worth it. Or, at least close to worth it, depending on how you look at it. Last night, Ellsbury went 3-6 with a walk, a run scored and three RBI in the Yankees 14-5 win over the Red Sox. Ellsbury raised his slash line to .337-.391-.482 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 13 runs, 11 RBI and 8 stolen bases in 83 at bats. He is currently on pace for close to 100 runs scored and 60 stolen bases.

A's third baseman Josh Donaldson enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, and he is off to a hot start to the 2014 season, proving that his breakout was no fluke. Last night, Donaldson went 3-4 with two home runs, two walks, three runs and four RBI in the A's 10-1 win over the Astros. Donaldson raised his slash line to .289-.343-.567 with 6 home runs, 18 runs, 18 RBI and a 20-8 strikeout to walk rate in 97 at bats thus far. He is the A's best hitter over the last season plus, and he should rise in midseason rankings if he can keep this up.

Fantasy Rundown

For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.

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