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Roto Roundup: Hector Olivera, Brandon Morrow, Dee Gordon and others

Ray offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Saturday's MLB action, including Hector Olivera, Brandon Morrow, Dee Gordon, Corey Kluber and others.

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Hector Olivera: Playing in a month?

Ken Rosenthal from FoxSports mentioned in this pre-game video update yesterday that Dodgers infielder Hector Olivera is playing simulated games in the Dominican Republic, awaiting his visa approval. In the video, Rosenthal mentions that Olivera could be ready to play third base for the Dodgers in 3-4 weeks.

The Dodgers have started Justin Turner over a healthy Juan Uribe at third base in each of the last two games, so it makes one wonder if the Dodgers are slowly pushing Uribe to a bench role/late inning defensive replacement with Olivera about a month away from playing. That said, you have to think the Dodgers will give Olivera some time in AAA once his via is approved to get him some real game action.

The Dodgers lineup could look like this come the All Star break:

LF - Carl Crawford/Alex Guerrero/Scott Van Slyke

CF - Joc Pederson

RF - Yasiel Puig

3B - Hector Olivera

SS - Corey Seager

2B - Howie Kendrick

1B - Adrian Gonzalez

C- Yasmani Grandal

I asume Olivera is available in all leagues with the exception of the deepest of keeper and dynasty leagues right now. If you can stash him on your bench for the next month or so, it might be a good time to grab him off of your league waiver wire. If you play in a league where FAAB is used, you can get him relatively cheap right now while he isn't on the radar.

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

Roto Roundup

The Phillies are pretty bad team, this we know. But, coming into the season, I felt that every fifth day Cole Hamels would give them a very good chance at a W, as he is one of the best pitchers in the game. Well, he hasn't shown that so far in 2015. Yesterday, Hamels got knocked around by the Marlins, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts in 6 innings of work. The loss moved his record to 1-3 with a 4.14 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 38-19 strikeout to walk rate in 37 innings in his six starts. In addition to the high walk rate, Hamels has given up 8 home runs this season, but 7 of those game in his first three starts of the season. I own Hamels in one of my NL only keeper leagues and have been frustrated with how he has started the season, but remember that he struggled to open the 2014 season as well. Here is a look at his monthly ERAs from 2014:

April: 6.75

May: 3.71

June: 1.23

July: 1.94

August: 2.73

Sept.: 1.96

His owners have to hope that he can improve in the coming weeks as he did last year at this time. I read on Friday that the Phillies had Charlie Manuel scouting the Red Sox High A minor league team this weekend. With the Red Sox pitching woes, you have to think that they are a perfect fit to trade for Hamels by the trade deadline, if not sooner. A package headlined by Hnery Owens or Manuel Margot should get a deal done. Margot is currently hitting .319-.378-.500 with a home run, 17 runs scored, 7 RBI and 9 stolen bases in 19 games in High A.

One of the Marlins hitters who performed well vs Hamels yesterday was second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon was on base in all five of his plate appearances, going 3-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. The big game improved his slash line to .440-.463-.510 with 15 runs scored, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 17 attempts. The average will come down, but Gordon is on pace to score 100 runs and steal 70+ bases. I think he is a slam dunk for 50+ stolen bases, but 70 steals seem to be a stretch, factoring in how often he gets thrown out and that he won't be getting on base this often going forward.

Lost in yet another loss to the Astros was the fact that Mariners DH Nelson Cruz just keeps hitting home run after home run. Yesterday, he went 3-4 with 2 home runs and 2 RBI in the Mariners 11-4 loss. Cruz just seems to be getting better and better even after his PED suspension a year and a half ago. Through 24 games, Cruz is hitting .347-.392-.811 with 13 home runs, 17 runs scored and 25 RBI, and is leading the American League in HR, RBI, OPS and SLG at the moment. Those who panned the Mariners for signing him in the offseason are eating their words in the short term. Long term, they will probably be right.

Indians starter Corey Kluber had a huge breakout season in 2014, winning the AL Cy Young award over Felix Hernandez, winning 18 games with a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts. This season has been very different, as he has struggled in each of his last three starts. He struggled again on Saturday, giving up 5 runs, 4 of which were earned, on 8 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 5 innings in the Indians 11-4 loss to the Blue Jays. Kluber has given up 14 runs on 31 hits over his last 15.1 innings in his last three starts. On the season, Kluber is 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 1.36 WHIP and a 39-9 strikeout to walk rate in 39 innings. Kluber has been unlucky this season, as his .366 BABIP and 63% strand rate indicates, and he is limiting the free pass and inducing ground balls at a 50% rate right now, so things should turn around for him in the coming weeks. If you can trade for him for .80 on the dollar, do so. Heck, pay market value for him, his peripheral stats say betters days are ahead for him.

It should be an unwritten rule that if you are a starting pitcher looking to re-establish your value on the market, you sign with the Padres. Brandon Morrow did just that this offseason and has pitched very well in four of his five starts thus far, including last night, where he gave up just 2 runs on 7 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Padres 4-2 win over the Rockies. Granted, he has made four of his five starts at home, and his only blow up start came in Coors Field, The win moved his record to 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA, 3.57 FIP, a 1.09 WHIP, and a 23-7 strikeout to walk rate in 33 innings. He has given up two runs or less in four of his five starts, and has pitched at least six innings in each of his starts. He is owned in just 41% of leagues right now, so you should grab him off of our league waiver wire and stream him when he pitches at home, where he is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in fours starts thus far.

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