Roto Roundup: Sonny Gray, Troy Tulowitzki, Oscar Taveras and others

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Monday's roto action, including Sonny Gray, Troy Tulowitzki, Oscar Taveras 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 Tuesday April 29th

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.

What prospects should be on your radar?

Now that the Astros have called up prospect George Springer, are you looking for who the next top prospect to be called up and possibly impact your fantasy roster? Well, Jason Hunt has you covered in his weekly Buy and Hold series.

Every Saturday morning, Jason updates his top 10 prospects who are nearing a call up. So, if you are in a league where you can roster a prospect in your bench spot, you need to check out this piece every Saturday morning. Here is his latest:

Buy and Hold: Week 4

In addition, new Fake Teams writer Kylan Easterling published his thoughts on which prospects are next in line to be called up for each MLB team:

Team by team: Next prospects in line

Bryce Harper out till Juiy

In case you have not heard, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will miss at least the next two months due to thumb surgery needed to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. I wrote about the fantasy impact of his injury last night:

Bryce Harper to have thumb surgery: Fantasy Impact

For those of you who play in shallow mixed leagues, your league waiver wire is probably full of guys you can add to replace Harper over the next two months, but those in deeper mixed leagues and NL only leagues, the pickings are probably very thin, so hopefully a player like Nate McLouth was still available for you to pick up yesterday after the news broke.

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

Sonny Gray tosses complete game shutout

A's starter Sonny Gray has the potential to be one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and we ranked him as such in our consensus preseason rankings back in February. Last night, he showed us some of that potential by throwing the best game of his young career, tossing a complete game shutout of the Rangers in Texas. Gray limited the Rangers to just three hits and a walk, while striking out six and inducing 15 ground ball outs.

According to FanGraphs PitchFX data, Gray is using his two seam fastball (17% vs 14%) and slider (9% vs 3%) more this year than last, and is using his fastball (51% vs 40%) less than in 2013.

Gray is now 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 3.24 xFIP, a 1.15 WHIP, and a 37-14 strikeout to walk rate in his 41 innings on the mound this season. He is inducing ground balls at a near elite 54.4% rate, and is limiting the home run ball (0.22 HR/9), so his three walks per nine innings hasn't hurt him to this point. If he can get his walk rate down below three, Gray has the skill set to have a near ace-like season for his owners in 2014.

For more on Gray's complete game shutout, make sure you check out Athletics Nation, SB Nation's A's fan site.

Round'em Up

I ranked Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez as my #1 fantasy shortstop for 2014, but Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is showing me how wrong I was in my ranking. Last night, Tulo went 3-3 with two walks two doubles, a home run, two runs and three RBI in the Rockies 8-5 win over the Diamondbacks. Yes, Tulo filled up the box score. Tulo is now hitting .366-.476-.720 with 6 home runs, 22 runs, 20 RBI and a 13-19 strikeout to walk rate. With Carlos Gonzalez struggling badly behind him, I am surprised he isn't walking more than he has thus far. I would be surprised to see him get another pitch to hit in this series vs the Diamondbacks after Monday night's performance.

White Sox second baseman Marcus Semien is doing his best to stay up with the big league club now that Gordon Beckham has returned from the disabled list. Batting in the ninth spot in the White Sox lineup last night, Semien went 1-3 with a walk, a double, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base in the White Sox 7-3 win over the Rays. Semien is now hitting just .230-.293-.381 with 3 home runs, 18 runs, 15 RBI and 3 stolen bases in his 123 plate appearances thus far. Amongst qualified second baseman, Semien ranks in the top ten in runs, home runs, RBI and stolen bases, and has more home runs, runs scored, RBI and stolen bases than Robinson Cano at this point. Semien's problem is the high strikeout rate. He is striking out in 29% of his at bats right now, and walking in 8% of his at bats, but he showed much better plate discipline in the minors, so he may just need more time for this to show up in the big leagues.

Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras was not called up yesterday, but AAA teammate Randal Grichuk was. The Grichuk call up appears to be more of a temporary move by the Cardinals, as Jon Jay will continue to get at bats in center field. What this does, though, is open up center field for Taveras at AAA Memphis. He has played there over the last few games, and last night he went  2-4 with double and a home run, and is now hitting .321-.367-.560 with 5 home runs, 15 runs and 15 RBI in 90 plate appearances. I think Taveras only needs to show his ankles are healthy and that he can play center field adequately and he will get a call up to help the struggling Cardinals lineup. Their lineup needs more pop at the moment, and Taveras can provide that along with a solid batting average. He may not get called up till June, but I would not be surprised to see him called up in May should the Cardinals offense continue to struggle.

Indians third baseman/designated hitter Carlos Santana has been the definition of a struggling hitter in April, but his performance last night might be the start of a breakout for him. Santana went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI in the Indians 6-3 win over the Angels last night. The performance improved his slash line to .140-.308-.240 with two home runs, ten runs and six RBI in 86 at bats this season. His 21-21 strikeout to walk rate tells us he still owns an excellent eye at the plate, and his .159 batting average of balls in play prove that he has been very unlucky with batted balls, so he was due for a night like last night at the plate. He just needs to go on a nice hitting streak to get his slash line to a more respectable level for his fantasy owners.

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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