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Roto Roundup: Steven Matz, Jon Lester, Matt Wieters and Others

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Alex offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Thursday's roto action, including Steven Matz, Jon Lester, Matt Wieters and others.

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Steven Matz gets the call

The New York Mets will call up top pitching prospect Steven Matz, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Matz, 24, has struck out 94 batters in 90 1/3 innings (15 appearances, 14 starts) at Triple-A Las Vegas with a 2.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, not an easy feat for any pitcher in a notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark. The left-hander, who has held bats to a .213 BA, is expected to join the Mets rotation - although the team hasn't officially announced anything. The Mets could go to a six-man rotation with Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, Matz, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon, or they could bump someone into long relief - most likely Niese.

Matz is the No. 54 pitching prospect, according to MLB.com, who has a mid-90s heater, topping out around 96, an above average to plus changeup and a good curve. He was a second-round pick in the 2009 draft (72nd overall), but injuries - including Tommy John surgery - delayed his minor-league progress by about two years. Last year, the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was dominant in Double-A, posting a 2.19 ERA and 4.93 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings with 69 strikeouts.

With news that Matz could be on his way, you'll want to immediately scoop up the southpaw in the majority of leagues - think 12- or 14- team leagues. The Mets were careful with his innings in the minors so he could come up and immediately provide meaningful innings in New York. Many pegged Matz as a potential No. 3 before the season started, but his improvements at the next level has some thinking he can be a No. 2. The Mets won't announce their rotation until Friday, but you should go ahead and make the speculative add before your league mates beat you to the punch. He can be a difference maker down the stretch. His control slipped a bit this year (4.9 percent walk rate in 2014, 8.6 percent in 2015), but the smooth-throwing lefty needs to be owned in leagues with more than 12 teams.

Update: According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, Matz will indeed get called up by the Mets on Friday. Rubin also says to expect "some sort of six-man rotation" with Matz. That means Niese will stay in the rotation for now, but he could eventually be moved to the bullpen in a long-reliever role.

Roto Roundup

While the rumor that Matz is getting the call swirls and swirls around the Big Apple, Jacob deGrom went out and pitched another gem for the Mets, tossing eight scoreless innings against the Brewers with seven strikeouts and no free passes. deGrom has overcome a couple of bad April starts beautifully, and he now owns a 2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 100/18 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings. Could deGrom be a top-10 starting pitcher by the end of the season? He'll get the Cubs next, a team that likes to swing and miss.

One offseason signing that isn't paying off, at least so far, is Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs. Lester hasn't been awful, but he also hasn't been the guy the Cubs thought they were getting when they signed the 31-year-old veteran to a six-year, $155 million contract. The signing made too much sense then, but the results haven't been there. On Thursday, Lester lasted only four innings against the Dodgers, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five. Lester was all over the place, and the performance raised his BB/9 to 2.72. Lester now owns a 4-6 record, 4.03 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 86/27 K/BB ratio in 89 1/3 innings. Lester looked like he put a bad April behind with a strong May, posting a 1.76 ERA, but he's allowed 17 runs in five June starts (6.23 ERA). Lester still owns a 3.57 FIP and 3.31 xFIP, but that matters little to fantasy owners and panicky Cubs fans. Last year's sub-3 ERA was probably a tease, but I still expect to see Lester post a sub-3.50 ERA the rest of the way in the National League. Adjust your expectations going forward for Lester, who no longer looks like a fantasy ace, but don't sell too low.

Matt Wieters hasn't been healthy in a long time, but the Orioles catcher is trying to shed the label of an "injury prone" player, if there is such a thing. On Thursday, Wieters, who played in only 26 games in 2014, connected for his third home run in 15 games, raising his slash line to .292/.321/.604, including four doubles, nine runs scored and 10 RBI. From 2011 to 2013, Wieters was a valuable asset: a 20-home run catcher capable of scoring 60 runs and driving in another 80. He's never hit for a great batting average (.254 career hitter), but his power at the catcher position still plays. Will you take another chance on Matt Wieters?

Doug Fister bounced back from his first start off the disabled list with seven scoreless innings against he Braves, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out four. The 31-year-old, who owns a 4.15 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in nine starts, seemed underrated for years, but he hasn’t been the same pitcher since leaving the Tigers. His strikeout rate continues to fall, and – entering Thursday’s start – opponents were hitting .293 against the right-hander. There are many more pitchers worth owning Fister, and I would leave him to deep leagues.

Cameron Maybin stayed hot Thursday, going 2 for 4 with a double in a loss to the Nationals. The 28-year-old outfielder has been a pleasant surprise for the Braves this season, hitting .288/.361/.401 with six home runs, seven doubles, 36 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 250 plate appearances. Maybin is on pace to pass his career high of nine home runs in 2011. That year with the Padres, he also stole 40 bases and scored 82 runs. He’s shown better plate discipline this year, walking more than 10 percent of the time and striking out in 17.9 percent of his plate appearances (down from 20.6 percent in 2014 and 22.3 percent in his career). If Maybin can just stay healthy, a 10/20 season is certainly within reach. His HR/FB rate of 15 percent is way above his career rate of 8.7 percent and likely not sustainable, but he should continue to be a nice No. 4 outfielder in standard formats.

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