Robbie Ray (SP-ARI): Ray took the no-decision after allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts over six innings vs. the Dodgers. Outside of Vince Velasquez, is there a more frustrating pitcher to own in fantasy that Mr. Ray? After posting 3.67 walks per nine last season he's posting a 5.89 rate through three starts in 2017. Hard hits and homers are also hurting his chances to pitch deeply into games and factor into decisions, but there is no denying his elite stuff as indicated by his 13 percent swinging strike rate. He's a must start in all but the shallowest of formats because of the strikeout potential, but until he harnesses the control, treat him as a unique number four starter.
Chase Anderson (SP-MIL): While Eric Thames and Ryan Braun provided the offense, Chase Anderson contained the Cubs bats and earned the win after allowing two earned runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts over five innings. While his 85 percent strand rate and .250 BABIP indicate a course correction looms, I wouldn't expect a dramatic one. The former D-back has figured something out and is a must-own in standard formats. His increase in velocity has lead to a swinging strike rate hovering around the magic 10 percent zone, while his 62 percent first-pitch-strike rate and improved ground ball rate are allowing him to turn over lineups and pitch out of jams more successfully. Buy.
Austin Hedges (C-SD): Hedges went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, a double, and a walk against the Braves. After going hitless in his first eight games to start the season, Hedges has now hit safely in four straight, including homers in back-to-back games. The former top catching prospect rebounded last season, posting a .326/.353/.597 line at AAA with 21 homers in 82 games. The plate discipline continues to be a concern for Hedges, however, and the challenges with learning how to manage a MLB staff will keep his developmental plate full during his first full season. The verdict: use sparingly in points and head-to-head leagues, start in 15-team mixed leagues, roster and hold if possible in all standard formats for breakout potential. Oh, and as for keeper leagues, he may be the best young catcher to own alongside Cleveland's Francisco Mejia.
Albert Almora(OF-CHC): Almora went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. While the youngster is tearing the cover off the ball and displaying an excellent approach at the plate, he's only seen 21 plate appearances so far this season while sharing time in the OF with John Jay and Jason Heyward. And it's a shame, especially for fantasy purposes. Almora posted a .303/.317/.416 line in 80 Triple-A games last season with four homers and 10 stolen bases before handling himself quite well during limited action down the stretch with the Cubs. He's a must-own in deeper points leagues for the potential upside should more playing time arise, and those in deep keeper formats should pounce. The skills are for real and will one day play. The question is when.
Jose Peraza(2B-CIN): Peraza is off to a slow start, but his .250 BABIP is well underrepresented with his 90 percent contact rate and batted ball profile that plays well with his elite speed. The speedster posted a .328 wOBA last season while stealing 13 bases against righties. Ubaldo Jimenez handled right-handers to the tune of a .308 wOBA last season, but he walked 41 in 83 2/3 innings and allowed 19 stolen bases in 20 attempts to such hitters. While the DFS universe may stack the Reds lefties, don't forget about Peraza, who is priced reasonably at $3100 on FanDuel. This could be his breakout game.
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