Julio Urias (LAD) - The Dodgers are calling up their top propsect (#2 in MLB) to make a start against the New York Mets tonight. Urias has completely dominated in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) this year, posting Kershaw-esque numbers with 44 strikeouts and a 1.10 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 41 innings. The 19-year old is only 5'10'', but he can touch upper 90's with his fastball and also mixes in a curveball and a change-up. Urias has good control, as evidenced by his low walk totals in the minor leagues, but he does have some work to do in the command area. Lacking natural movement, Urias usually keeps his fastball low and on the corners of the plate. However, scouts have mentioned Urias sometimes has difficulty with hitting his spots as the game wears on. Nonetheless, Urias should generate lots of strikeouts and a fair amount of groundballs immediately. In terms of usage, expect the Dodgers to treat him with kids gloves. As the Dodgers' starting pitchers gets healthy, we may see Urias shift to the bullpen to preserve his arm later this season. Regardless, Urias should be owned universally as we catch a glimpse of what he brings to the table, just don't deplete your FAAB budget in single-season leagues.
Jung-Ho Kang (PIT) - Kang went 3-for-5 with a double and a couple RBI on Thursday. Since being activated off the DL, all Jung-Ho Kang has done is crush the baseball. In 55 plate appearances, Kang has a hard hit rate of 52.9%, a mark that's nearly double the league average. Kang hit clean-up on Thursday and that's a spot where we have seen him a lot recently. If Clint Hurdle continues to bat him 4th, it will be a huge boost to his overall fantasy value and production. Kang is seemingly being overlooked in many leagues, but he deserves consideration as a top-5 player at the 3rd base position. Moving forward, pay close attention to his hard hit rate. Anything in the high-30's is extremely good and points to continued progression for the Korean slugger. Looking towards tomorrow's DFS slate, Kang is fairly priced at $3,500 on FanDuel, but he has the split advantage against Cole Hamels and he gets an extremely favorable park shift. Since the Rockies are at home and Hamels is a pretty good pitcher, the Pirates will likely go under-owned. Kang and his teammates would make for a sneaky stack in FanDuel tournaments tomorrow. On DraftKings, he's cash game viable at only $3,100.
Carlos Gonzalez (STL) - Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-4 and hit his 6th homerun of the season. CarGo has been mired in a slump recently, but he now has multi-hit games in 3 of his last 4 contests and we could be seeing the beginning on one of his infamous hot streaks. Like many Rockies, Gonzalez is a better hitter at home than on the road, and Colorado has been on an extended road trip over the last 2 weeks. The Rox return home tomorrow and will face Matt Cain and the Giants in Coors. At only $3,500, CarGo is a near must play on FanDuel tomorrow, but also deserves consideration at $4,500 on DraftKings.
Trevor Story (COL) - Trevor Story also hit a homerun for the Rockies on Thursday night, gving him just his 3rd in the month of May. However, I can't emphasize enough that 14 of his 20 games played in the month of May have come on the road. Of those road games, 12 of them came in extremely favorable pitchers parks (PIT, STL, SF, & SD). We're certainly seeing pitchers exploit Trevor Story's weaknesses as evidenced by the 12% swinging strike rate and 33% strikeout rate, however, he continues to mash the baseball. His 43% hard hit rate ranks among the league leaders and his 14% soft hit rate is well better than league average. The batted ball quality metrics actually support his 22% HR/FB ratio and we should continue to see the balls fly out of the yard as he travels back home. Right now (literally, before tonight's game) is the best time to try to acquire these Rockies hitters. Like CarGo, Story is a nice option in the daily space tomorrow, although he's priced up significantly higher than Gonzalez. Story is $4,200 on FanDuel and $5,400 on DraftKings. Considering that he's facing a same-handed pitcher, this makes Story more of a tournament play than cash game option.
Jose Fernandez (MIA) - Jose Fernandez completely dominated the right-handed heavy Rays on Thursday, striking out 12 batters over the 7 innings while allowing just 1 run and 1 walk. Throughout his career, Jose Fernandez has always pitched better at home than on the road. This season, however, Fernandez has managed to shake off the struggles and has pretty even splits no matter the ballpark. The challenge that we're facing with Fernandez is that he's failing to pitch deep into games. Averaging less than 6 innings per game, Fernandez is striking out a boatload of guys while he's pitching (36% K-rate), but it's coming with the sacrifice of higher pitch counts. So far this season, Fernandez has been fortunate to notch 6 wins despite the shortened games, but continuing to leave games in the 6th inning will threaten future win opportunities.
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