Jesus Hamilton Christ, has anyone ever been that hot? After contributing a .467 AVG with 9 HR and 18 RBI this last week, if you Hamilton owners somehow managed to lose your matchup I feel bad for you son, you got 99 problems and a bitch ass offense is one of them. Anyone who owns Hamilton, Beltran, and McCutchen and lost should probably just give up on anything that possesses any element of chance. You’re cursed. For fantasy owners who aren’t blessed and don’t have a player (or 3) who turns into God doing a Babe Ruth impression for an entire week, and/or you’ve got a spot in your lineup you need to fill due to injury or a slump, at this point in the season you’ll need to employ the services of a player with some warts or who has otherwise underperformed.
Enter Ryan Roberts, week 7′s Creeper. Owned in 36% of ESPN leagues and 29% of Yahoo leagues as of Sunday evening, he’ll get 7 games on the road in the coming week, with 4 (more likely 3) scheduled to come against LHP. The four lefties scheduled to face Roberts and the Dbacks are Clayton Kershaw, Jamie Moyer, Danny Duffy, and Bruce Chen. To paraphrase Al Michaels, Danny Duffy left Sunday’s game with an elbow, the second time in less than a month that he’s dealt with tightness; I can’t imagine he’ll take his turn in the rotation. Chen is a favorable matchup for Roberts, a pitch-to-contact lobber allowing plenty of flyballs (47%) and line drives (20%) to right-handed bats. Moyer scouts very similarly (42% FB, 20% LD), and features a fastball that is slower than the speed limit in some areas of Texas and Utah. Pitching in Coors, he’s the most likely target for a Roberts HR this week.
Despite a minor league track record of strong BABIPs, Roberts has suffered a below average mark of .277 in the big leagues, thanks in part to a high flyball tendency. He also falls victim to the infield pop-up from time to time, and if you pop-up with any regularity your average will suffer. He does hit his fair share of line drives, though – 20.4% career – and with a K% a notch better than league average (17.8% career, 15.9% this season), a blessing from the luck fairies would leave him with a .280 AVG or so. In OBP leagues, his 11% career walk rate makes him a more reliable option. As is pretty standard for RHH, Roberts fares well against opposite-handed pitching, sporting a .265 AVG with 14 HR in 325 career AB.
With 3, perhaps 4 LHP on the ledger and Coors on tap, this week is as good as any for Roberts to have a couple of hits fall in and a flyball or two find the bleachers to correct his early season misfortune (.213 BABIP, 5.6% HR/FB). Hitting 6th and 7th in recent games may limit his runs potential a bit, but just might be a green light to steal a base or two in order to create some offense at the bottom of the order. Rickie Weeks owners wary of his wrist ailment or those with a rotating MI spot should look to Roberts to supply a solid return on their investment.