Francisco Liriano-Blue Jays-SP
Francisco Liriano went 5.1 IP and gave up 0 ER on 4 H, 1 BB, and 6 K's against the Red Sox. Liriano has one really bad start and two good starts to begin the year. Liriano finished the year strong for the Jays and looked like a very nice bargain on draft day. The strikeout stuff is still there for Liriano (32% K, 13% SwStr) but he needs to improve his control (17% BB). A factor that goes overlooked is that Liriano is a much better pitcher with Russell Martin behind the plate. His two best years in Pittsburgh were with Martin behind the plate. Liriano lives outside the zone but this year he is throwing just 28% of his pitches in the zone. Having Martin behind the plate helps steal more strikes with his pitch framing ability. Keep an eye on Liriano and Martin to determine if he is worth picking up/holding onto.
Rick Porcello-Red Sox-SP
Rick Porcello went 7 IP and gave up 0 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Blue Jays. The reigning Cy Young winner has not pitched well to start the year. He has a 5.32 ERA (3.74 xFIP) over his first four starts. He has been hurt by a .385 BABIP and 64% LOB. His strikeout rate is up to 23% and his walk rate has stayed consistent at 5% BB. His tick up in strikeouts is backed up by his 12% SwStr, which is up from 9% a year ago. It is still a small sample, but you shouldn't be concerned with Porcello at this point. The skills still look good.
Felix Hernandez went 6.1 IP and gave up 4 ER on 12 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Marlins. Hernandez has pitched well to start the year. He has a 3.65 ERA (2.80 xFIP) with 20 K to 1 BB over 24.2 IP. Hernandez focused on gaining strength in his lower half over the offseason in hopes of rebounding in his age 31 season. He hasn't gained any velocity back, but he has changed his pitch mix. He is throwing his changeup less and curve more. This will keep hitters off-balance and make him less predictable. Hernandez has a league average strikeout rate, but he can still be a fantasy asset due to his groundball tendency and low walk rate. His days as a fantasy ace are long gone but his career is not over.
Mitch Haniger was 3-4 with 3 R and 4 RBI in the win over the Marlins. Haniger is rewarding fantasy owners who took the gamble on him late. He is hitting .323 with 4 HR and 15 RBI. He is striking out 25% of the time, which makes it likely that his average will come down but his 15% BB is encouraging for his long term relevancy. He is pulling the ball in the air and hitting it hard (34%). This is good news for his power going forward. He has the ability to come close to a 25 HR/10 SB season, which would be tremendous value from where he was drafted.
DFS Value Play of the Day
Tim Beckham Jr.-Rays-SS
Tim Beckham Jr. normally finds his way into the lineup versus left-handed pitching. He is also very cheap and has excellent career numbers against left-handers. He has a career .320 wOBA and .200 ISO against LHP. This is backed up by a 36% Hard contact rate as well. He is a nice value play against LHP Daniel Norris Fanduel: $2,500
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