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Roto Roundup: Manny Machado, Danny Salazar, Kolten Wong, and others

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday's roto action, including his thoughts on Manny Machado moving to shortstop, Kolten Wong, Danny Salazar and others.

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The 2015 fantasy football season is only a few weeks away and our fantasy football writing team updated their position rankings for standard and PPR leagues last week, and you can find them, and more, in the link below:

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Roto Roundup

With the way things stand now, I would probably rank Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in my top two fantasy third baseman for 2016, and might rank him at #1 at the position ahead of Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. Maybe. But, I might rank him at #1 at shortstop as well, as the Orioles gave him a start at short last night. It remains to be seen if he plays more than a few games there, but with shortstop J.J. Hardy a free agent at the end of the season, it behooves the Orioles to see if Machado still has the range to play the position on an every day basis. If they are serious about the move, it is quite possible he could get the 10 - 20 games to make him shortstop eligible in most leagues in 2016. Machado is having a breakout season and is on pace to hit 30 home runs and steal 20 bases this season. Should he reach those projections, he will be a first round pick for me in 2016 drafts.

The Phillies are putting out a pretty bad lineup on a day in and day out basis, with the hope, I hope, to land the #1 pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr.has made some pretty good trades this season and the farm system looks a lot better than it did at this time last season. I bet their farm system will be ranked among the top 10 in the game when rankings come out late in the offseason. All that said, the lineup they fielded last night struggled against a Mets starting pitcher. No, it wasn't Jacob deGrom, or Matt Harvey or even Noah Syndergaard.  It was the old man Bartolo Colon. Colon shut out the Phillies on 4 hits, a walk and struck out 9 over 8 innings in the Mets 3-0 win last night. The win moved his record to 12-11 with a 4.42 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 125-21 strikeout to walk rate in 161 innings of work.

I was pretty high on Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong coming into the season, as he was coming off a 12 home run, 20 stolen base campaign in just 433 plate appearances last season. I felt that he had a 15 home run, 25 stolen base season in his bat, and legs, but so far he has underperformed my optimistic projection for him back in the offseason. Through 125 games in 2015, Wong is hitting .259-.319-.389 with 11 home runs, 63 runs scored, 51 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 521 plate appearances. He currently ranks among the top 10 fantasy second baseman in the following categories: home runs, runs, RBI and stolen bases, but lags in the batting average category, ranking 16th in BA thus far. He is a top 10 second baseman, for me, heading into 2016 drafts, as there might be a little more pop in the bat.

The Blue Jays have been one of the hottest teams on the planet in August, as they are leading the majors in runs scored and their run differential, according to ESPN, is approaching 200. That's a pretty wide margin through the first five months of the season. So, it stands to reason that not many pitchers have been able to hold down the potent Toronto lineup. That is, until last night, as Indians young starter Danny Salazar limited the Blue Jays to just two runs on 6 hits, walking one and striking out 10 in 7 innings in the Indians 4-2 win. The win moved his record to 12-7 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and a 172-42 strikeout to walk rate over 151.1 innings. He has given up two runs or less in six of his last seven starts, and is striking out more than 10 batters every 9 innings, while minimizing the free pass to 2.50 BB/9. He appears ready for a breakout season in 2016 working under the tutelage of pitching coach Mickey Calloway.

Padres starter Tyson Ross pitched one of his better games of the season last night, shutting out the Rangers on 3 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts over 7 innings in the Padres 7-0 win. The win moved his record to 10-9, with a 3.27 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 176-74 srikeout to walk rate over 165 innings. Ross is striking out more than a batter per inning, is inducing ground balls at an elite 63% rate, but has a real problem with the free pass. If he can get his walk rate to near 3.00 BB/9 like last season, he is a top 25 - 30 starter pitching in Petco. He currently ranks 12th in limiting hard contact allowed, and combine that with the strikeout and ground ball rates, he has pitched to 14th highest fWAR this season.

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