Roto Roundup: Carlos Martinez, Joey Votto, Steve Pearce and others

Brian Kersey

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's roto action, including Joey Votto, Carlos Martinez, Steve Pearce and others.

Fantasy Football Rankings

In case you missed it, we will be covering fantasy football this season. Actually, we have already started our offseason coverage with rankings and fantasy team previews. Below you will find our early offseason position rankings:

2014 Position Rankings

Quarterback

Running Back

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Defense/Special Teams

Joey Votto still hurting

Reds first baseman Joey Votto is having another disappointing season at the plate for his fantasy owners. A top 5 fantasy first baseman in the preseason, Votto is hitting just .259-.398-.415 with 6 home runs, 32 runs scored and 22 RBI in 264 plate appearances. He missed time earlier in the season due to a distal quad strain, and from what John Fay from the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, he is still bothered by the injury. Here is more from Fay:

It was painful to watch Joey Votto at the plate as the Reds' road trip ended. Votto would swing and his left leg would collapse. He grimaced after each swing.

Votto's knee/quad is obviously bothering him. How much? He won't say. Votto has been reluctant to talk about his injury.

But the visual and statistical evidence says Votto is nowhere near healthy. You have the grimaces. Votto has always choked up on the bat with two strikes. Now, he's doing earlier in the count and more exaggeratedly -- his lower hand was a good four inches up the handle during at-bats in San Diego.

Here are quotes from a scout on Votto's swing this season:

"You look at the numbers (this year), he's hitting .248 against right-handed pitching with .750 OPS," a scout said. "That's amazing if you think about the whole dynamic of what he is. It's mind-boggling.

"He has more of an upper-body, handsy type swing. Not whole of lower half, not a whole lot of driving the baseball."

The Reds are discussing placing him back on the disabled list to rest the knee, but they are in a wild card race, and I am sure Votto will want to be on the field as much as possible. That's just the type of player he is. But, fantasy owners may want to temper expectations for Votto going forward. The power will be non-existent, so you just have to hope he can hit .300, gets on base and scores some runs.

For more on Votto and the Reds, make sure you check out Red Reporter, SB Nation's Reds fan site.

Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion: Triplets

I was checking out FanGraphs hitter leaderboard during lunch yesterday and came across this when I sorted by home runs:

Edwin Encarnacion: 26 HRs, 57 runs, 69 RBI, .281-.369-.599

Jose Abreu: 26 HRs, 45 runs, 67 RBI, .280-.331-.624

Nelson Cruz: 26 HRs, 50 runs, 68 RBI, .278-.348-.566

The top three leaders in home runs are having very similar seasons to date.All three have 26 home runs, 67-69 RBI and a .280ish batting average. Going forward, I see Encarnacion and Abreu battling it out for the MLB home run title, assuming they can stay healthy.

Keep in mind, though, that Abreu has put up very similar stats while playing 12-14 less games, so his HR/AB stats are a little better than that of Encarnacion and Cruz.

Round'em Up

If you are looking for a starting pitcher to replace an injured or ineffective starter on your roster, you may want to take a look at Cardinals young starter Carlos Martinez. Yesterday, Martinez took the hill on the road vs the Giants, and limited the refurbished Giants lineup to one run on 5 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts in 5 innings in the Cardinals 7-2 win. The win moved his record to 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 3.68 xFIP, 1.32 WHIP and a 46-23 strikeout to walk rate in 53 innings. He has won two of his last three starts with a 15-5 strikeout to walk rate in 14.1 innings, but is owned in under 4% of leagues right now.

Tigers ace Max Scherzer had little trouble with the Rays lineup on Thursday night, as he limited them to just one run on 2 hits, a walk and struck out 7 in 8 innings in the Tigers 8-1 win. After giving up 10 runs in 4 innings back on June 17th, Scherzer has given up just 4 earned runs over his last three starts, with a 28-4 strikeout to walk rate in 21 innings. The win moved his record to 10-3 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 139-33 strikeout to walk rate in 119.1 innings on the season.

The Orioles designated for assignment outfielder Steve Pearce earlier this season, and re-signed him in late April. Now, Pearce is playing every day and helping the Oriioles pursuit of first place in the AL East. Last night, Pearce had a big day at the plate, going 4-5 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases in the Orioles 5-2 win over the Rangers. Pearce has been very productive in his 157 at bats this season, hitting .338-.391-.618 with 10 home runs, 22 runs scored, 29 RBI and 4 stolen bases. Pretty damn good for a guy grabbed off the waiver wire in May.

Dodgers ace Zack Greinke doesn't get much love from fWAR for some reason, but he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball, fantasy or reality. Last night, Greinke limited the Rockies to just 2 runs, one earned, on 9 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings in the Dodgers 3-2 win. The win moved his record to 11-4 with a 2.66 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and a 119-22 strikeout to walk rate in 111.2 innings. Greinke has given up two runs or less in 14 of his 18 starts this season, but has gone 7+ inning just 7 times thus far.

Fantasy Sports Network is Coming Soon!

That's right, there is a new Fantasy Sports Network that is close to going live, and will be available on your cable providers real soon.

FNTSY Sports Network is the first television network to have live studio programming, call-in shows, panels, celebrity and expert drafts, reality programming and on-site commentary from sports venues, all specifically targeted towards the estimated 40 million people who play fantasy sports annually and on a daily basis.

Make sure you check out their site Fantasy Sports Network and check out all they have to offer.

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Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more fantasy baseball, and football, content, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, as they provide links to some of the best fantasy content on the internet on a daily basis.

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