Roto Roundup: Jose Abreu, Danny Salazar, Collin McHugh and others

Bob Levey

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action, including Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Abreu, Omar Infante, Danny Salazar 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 today's games:

DFS Draft Kings Lineups for Saturday April 26th

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

Adrian Gonzalez finds his power

After hitting under 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez appears to have found his power stroke. On Saturday night, he launched his National League leading 8th home run of the season in the Dodgers 6-3 win over the Rockies. On the season, Gonzalez is hitting .309-.362-.649 with 8 home runs, 18 runs and 22 RBI in 25 games played.

He is hitting more fly balls this season (40%) but only slightly more than last season's 39% fly ball rate. But, so far this season, more of his fly balls are landing in the seats, as his home run per fly ball rate (HR/FB%), is currently sitting at a career high 27.6%, which is probably unsustainable. Then again, he mentioned earlier this season that his shoulder feels better than it has in several years. According to Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, Gonzalez has hit four of his eight home runs to left or left-center field thus far, something we were used to seeing him do before his shoulder surgery a few seasons ago.

Gonzalez is on pace to hit 50 home runs, which will not happen, but I see a return to the 30 home run level barring another injury.

For more on Gonzalez and the Dodgers, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.

Jose Abreu breaks rookie record for RBI in April

It appears 29 teams in major league baseball missed the boat on White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. On Sunday, Abreu went 2-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI in the White Sox 9-2 win over David Price and the Rays. Abreu is now hitting .262-.330-.631 with 10 home runs, 20 runs and 31 RBI in just over 100 at bats. He has been quite the power hitter thus far in 2014, as he now leads the majors with 10 home runs.

With the four RBI, Abreu broke Albert Pujols rookie record for RBI in the month of April. Back in 2001, Pujols drove in 27 runs in April and the record has held since then. Abreu is proving to be an elite power hitter thus far, but, like many other rookies, he will struggle at some point, and I will be interested to see how he responds to a prolonged slump.

For more on Abreu's amazing April, make sure you check out South Side Sox, SB Nation's White Sox fan site.

Bryce Harper: To miss more than 15 days?

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper left Friday night's game after injuring his left thumb sliding head first into third base on a bases-loaded triple.  On Sunday, the team placed Harper on the 15 day disabled list, and according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the team fears he could be out longer:

Though the full extent of his left thumb injury remains unclear, the Nationals placed left fielder Bryce Harper on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb sprain after he visited a hand specialist and received an MRI on Saturday.

Harper will see another specialist - Dr. Thomas Graham of the Cleveland Clinic - for a second opinion on either Monday or Tuesday, which should determine the complete nature of Harper's injury and how long it will keep him out. The Nationals' worst fear is ligament damage of the kind that shelved Los Angeles Angels slugger Josh Hamilton for six to eight weeks.

"Doesn't look good," one person familiar with the  situation said.

That sounds like the worst case scenario, but if he misses six to eight weeks like Hamilton, outfielder Nate McLouth benefits the most, as he is the Nationals fourth outfielder at the moment. But we won't know the extent of the injury until Monday or Tuesday, so those of you in weekly transaction leagues have a decision to make as to how much FAAB to spend on McLouth. I bid $25 $12 of my $100 FAAB last night in the Tout Wars mixed league, and got him for $1 as no other owner bid on him. I am a little surprised at that, to be honest.

For more of the Nationals fan's reaction on the Harper injury, make sure you check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Nationals fan site.

Round'em Up

Mets starter Dillon Gee is one of the more underrated starters in the game, and yesterday he shut out the Marlins over eight innings, giving up just three hits, walking four and striking out six in the Mets 4-0 win. Gee needed 110 pitches to get through eight innings, moving his record to 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 27-13 strikeout to walk rate in 40.2 innings in his six starts thus far. He has given up two runs or less in each of his last three starts.

I was a little hesitant to advise readers to go out and grab Astros starter Collin McHugh after he struck out 12 Mariners in his first start of the season, filling in for the injured Scott Feldman. Well, I think it is time to roster McHugh if you are in a deep AL only or mixed league, especially after he limited the A's to one run on two hits, three walks and seven strikeouts in the Astros 5-1 win on Sunday. McHugh is now 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA, 0.52 WHIP and a 19-3 strikeout to walk rate in 15.2 innings. He is owned in 13% of leagues right now and I have a feeling that will rise before his next start. He is slated to pitch next Saturday at home vs the Mariners, but the Astros have yet to confirm when his next start will be wil Feldman due to return from the disabled list this week.

Royals second baseman Omar Infante is not one of the higher ranked fantasy second baseman drafted on draft day, but he does one thing well, and that is hit for average. Yesterday, he showed that he can help in the RBI category as well, as he went 2-3 with a walk home run, and six RBI in the Royals 9-3 win over the Orioles. Infante is have a decent start to the 2014 season, hitting .279-.344-.407 with two home runs, nine runs scored, and 17 RBI in 86 at bats.

Indians starter Danny Salazar was another hyped young starting pitcher this offseason, but he has failed to live up to the hype so far in April, but yesterday, he did his best to turn his season around. Salazar limited the Giants to one run on five hits, one walk and eight strikeouts in seven innings,but did not factor in the decision. His start was by far his best outing of the season. Prior to Sunday's performance, Salazar had given up 14 runs and 26 base runners in 12.2 innings over his last three starts, failing to reach the fifth inning.

Back in March, I predicted that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro would have a bounce back season in 2014, and he is off to a good start. Yesterday, Castro batted cleanup, going 3-4 with two home runs and two RBI in the Cubs 4-0 win over the red-hot Brewers. Castro is now hitting .292-.320-.448 with four home runs, 11 runs, and 11 RBI in 96 at bats this season. His career high for home runs is 14 back in 2012, and he is well on his way to topping that in 2014.

Our own Daniel Kelley wrote about Rangers starter Matt Harrison earlier this week, advising you to pick him up if available in your leagues. Yesterday, Harrison returned from the disabled list to make his first start of the season, and he looked good. He limited the Mariners to two runs on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts in six innings, and was in line for the win, but the Rangers bullpen blew the lead and the game. Harrison will make his next start on Saturday vs the Angels in Anaheim.

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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