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Roto Roundup: A.J. Pollock, Joey Votto, Chris Heston and others

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Ray shares his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Tuesday's roto action, including A.J. Pollock, Chris Heston, Joey Votto and others.

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A.J. Pollock: Top 10 outfielder?

One of the bigger surprises of the 2015 fantasy season is the performance of Diamondbacks outfiedler A.J. Pollock. We ranked Pollock as out 51st ranked outfielder in our consensus rankings back in the preseason, and he is easily exceeding that ranking through the first two months of the season. It helps that he hits in one of the better hitting environments in the game in Arizona, and that he hits in front of possibly the best hitter in the game right now in Paul Golschmidt. Ok, maybe best fantasy hitter, but he is up there.

Back to Pollock. Looking at his stats through 56 games this season, they are almost identical to his 2014 season stats (75 games):

2014: .302-.353-.498, 7 HRs, 41 runs, 24 RBI, 14 SBs, 287 PA

2015: .321-.369-.495, 7 HRs, 40 runs, 27 RBI, 14 SBs, 236 PA

Pretty wild, huh? His walk and strikeout rates are virtually identical as well. His line drive rate, HR/FB% and Hard hit% are all up vs last season, so he is making harder contact when he does barrel the ball. ZiPS projects him to basically duplicate his season to date stats for the rest of the season, so he is on pace for 14 home runs, 84 runs scored, 55 RBI and 27 stolen bases according to ZiPS.

On the other hand, ESPN projects him to hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bases. Should he be able to meet those projections, he could be a top 10 outfielder by the end of the season. Or maybe higher.

For more on Pollock, make sure you check out AZ Snake Pit, SB Nation's Diamondbacks fan site.

Chris Heston tosses a no-no

Giants starter Chris Heston pitched the game of his life last night at Citi Field in New York. Despite hitting three batters, Heston no-hit the Mets, walking none and striking out 11, so he was three HBP from a perfecto. Heston has been a tough pitcher to own this season, as he seems to alternate a good start with a blow up start. Here's proof:

April 18th - 7.2 IP, 5 H, ER

April 24th - 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 ER

May 1st - 6.1 IP, 5 H, ER

May 6th - 5 IP, 11 H, 5 ER

May 12th - 9 IP, 2 H, ER

May 17th -  2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER

May 23rd - 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER

May 28th -  7.1 IP, 4 H, ER

June 2nd - 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER

June 9th -  9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER

See what I mean? How can you own this guy? Just based on the trend, you have to bench him in his next start.

The no-hitter moves his record to 6-4 with a 3,77 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 3.21 xFIP, 1.19 WHIP, and a 66-18 strikeout to walk rate in 74 innings. His ERA has fluctuated between 3.72 and 4.33 over his last five starts, so this might be what to expect from him going forward.

For more on Heston and the Giants, make sure you check out McCovey Chronicles, SB Nation's Giants fan site.

Roto Roundup

it appears Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka has come back even stronger after missing about a month earlier this season. Last week, he dominated the Mariners, giving up just one run on 3 hits, no walks and 9 strikeouts in the Yankees 3-1 win. Last night, he limited the Nationals to one run on 5 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts in the Yankees 6-1 win over Max Scherzer. Tanaka is now 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 2.94 xFIP, a 0.80 WHIP and a 39-7 strikeout to walk rate in 36.1 innings. He has given up one run or less in four of his six starts this season, but he comes with injury risk. But while healthy, he might be a top 12-15 starter in baseball.

Remember how so many people were praising Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in the first week of the season? Haven't heard much from them since. The Red Sox moved their struggling outfielder to the eighth spot in their lineup where he went 0-3 with a walk, and is now hitting .237-.298-.368 with 5 home runs, 24 runs scored, 25 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 228 at bats this season. His .255 batting average of balls in play says he's been unlucky thus far, but his 28.4% hard hit% indicates he hasn't been making a lot of hard contact. His plate discipline stats indicate he doesn't swing outside the zone much, he makes a ton of contact, and doesn't swing and miss much, so it could just be a matter of time before he starts to get it going at the plate. Stay patient.

Bett's teammate Eduardo Rodriguez has made quite the first impression in his first few starts in the big leagues over the last few weeks. Last night, Rodriguez shut out the Orioles on 3 hits, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts in 6 innings of work, but didn't figure in the decision in the Red Sox 1-0 loss. Rodriguez is now 2-0 with a 0.44 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and a 21-7 strikeout to walk rate in 20.2 innings in his three starts. You don't need me to tell you that now is the time to sell high on him if you own him, but most owners will take one look at his ERA and know that this won't continue.

Red first baseman Joey Votto had a huge April, hitting over .300 with 7 home runs and 17 RBI, but slumped a bit in May, hitting .253 with just 2 home runs and 7 RBI. After his huge night at the plate last night, he seems to have righted himself, as he went 3-4 with 3 home runs, 4 runs scored, and 4 RBI in the Reds 11-2 win over the Phillies. Votto is now hitting .300-.406-.560 with 13 home runs, 32 runs scored, 35 RBI and 5 stolen bases. He has hit in 8 of his last 10 games with 5 home runs, 12 runs scored and 13 RBI.

The Rangers have had their share of pitching injuries over the past two seasons, and one of the arms that they have used in their rotation to replace Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and others is Nick Martinez. Last night, Martinez limited the Athletics to just one hit, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts over 6 scoreless innings in the Rangers 2-1 win. Martinez out-dueled A's ace Sonny Gray to move his record to 5-2 with a 2.65 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 4.82 xFIP, a 1.30 WHIP and a 43-24 strikeout to walk rate in 71.1 innings. The advanced ERA measures indicate he is due to regress from here, and he is probably a streaming starter in most 12 team mixed leagues right now.

Astros shortstop prospect Carlos Correa made his first major league start on Monday night and last night he hit his first home run in the Astros 4-2 loss for the Astros. Correa went 2-4 with the home run, 2 RBI and his first stolen base as well. Manager A.J. Hinch is batting him sixth in the Astros lineup right now, which makes sense for the 20 year old. I imagine it will just be a matter of time before he is hitting in the three hole in their lineup though.

The Cardinals received some bad news yesterday on two fronts. Outfielder Matt Holliday landed on the disabled list with a grade 2 quad strain, which means he has a partial tear in this right quad, and will rest for two weeks before being reevaluated. If the quad doesn't improve, he could opt for surgery. In either case, he will be out longer than two weeks.

Starter Lance Lynn complained of forearm tightness after Sunday's start against the Dodgers, but he said after the game that he would make his next start. That probably won't happen as he is being sent back to St. Louis for an MRI. You know the next step, right? Hello Dr. James Andrews. He is scheduled to make his next start on Saturday, but with the way things are looking, a DL stint looks more probable.

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