Mike Foltynewicz went 3.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 3 BB, and 1 K's against the Pirates. Foltynewicz posted a 4.31 ERA over 123.1 IP a year ago with a 21% K rate. The biggest improvement made for him was a big jump in control. He walked just 6.7% of batter's. He also posted a 10% SwStr, which suggests that he could see a jump in his strikeout rate. He has a plus fastball and slider with a change-up that got above average whiffs. Pitching in the National League in a good home park is going to help Foltynewicz out. If he can continue show growth in his K% and GB% with increased command could result in a true breakout season for the 25-year-old despite the poor start today.
Ivan Nova went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 6 H, 0 BB, and 4 K's against the Braves. Nova was excellent for the Pirates last year after coming over from New York. He will be below league average when it comes to strikeouts (18%), but he makes up for it with a low walk rate (4%) and a lot of ground balls (54%). He will continue to benefit from the National League, a good home park, and excellent defense. Nova throws 62% first pitch strikes, which helps him get into pitcher's counts more often. He also saw a jump in his SwStr last year, which could lead to a couple more strikeouts. If he could get to a league average strikeout rate it would be a huge boost to his value. Either way, Nova is a very solid end to your fantasy rotation.
Hyun-Jin Ryu went 4.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Rockies. Ryu has only made one start at the major league level over the past two seasons due to injury. Prior to missing all of the 2015 and most of the 2016 season with shoulder injuries. Ryu had posted back to back seasons of a sub 3.40 ERA with league average strikeout rates (21% K) and excellent control (6% BB). He also got a lot of ground balls (49% GB), which allows him to perform well without true strikeout stuff. Ryu is in a great situation with the Dodgers. He has an excellent pitch framing catcher in Yasmani Grandal and the Dodgers are one of the top teams in the National League. The real question when it comes to Ryu is can he stay healthy and how many innings will he be able to throw? At this point enjoy what you get out of Ryu and worry about injury aspect later.
Gregory Polanco was 0-5 and left eight men on base in the Pirates 5-4 win over the Braves. Polanco is 1-9 to start the year after missing time at the end of camp with a shoulder injury. Polanco was a popular pick in drafts this year drafts based upon his power/speed upside. Polanco hit .258 with 22 HR and 17 SB last year. He has a league average strikeout rate and an above average walk rate. Polanco should see a rise in his batting average provided that he stays healthy. He should also threaten with a 25 HR/25 SB season. Do not panic on the Pirates left fielder. He will be just fine going forward.
DFS Plays of the Day
Wilmer Flores crushes right-handed pitching. Over the past two seasons (200+ PA) Flores has a .330 ISO with a 177 wRC+ against LHP. The power versus left-handed pitching is backed up by his batted ball data (46% FB and 31% Hard). He will likely bat in the middle of the order against LHP Adam Conley at a significant bargain. Fanduel: $2,500
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