Kyle Hendricks went 5.1 IP and gave up 0 ER on 6 H, 2 BB, and 5 K's against the Yankees. Hendricks is sporting a 3.51 ERA (4.72 FIP), which is a far cry from his 2.13 ERA (3.20 FIP) a year ago. The main culprit has been a doubling of his walk rate from 5% to 10%. He has also seen a drop in his strikeout rate as well. Hendricks does not have elite velocity, so he relies on command and pitches out of the zone. Opposing hitters are making 74% contact out of the zone compared to 63% last year. His SwStr% is down from 10% to just 6.2% this year. The good news is that he is still getting 49% GB and has one of the best defenses in the league behind him. If he can improve his command, we could see much better outings from Hendricks but do not expect anything close to what he did last year.
Lance Lynn went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 4 H, 2 BB, and 6 K's against the Braves. Lynn has a 2.04 ERA (4.34 FIP) through 35.1 IP coming off a missed year due to Tommy John surgery. Lynn's velocity is down from 2015 by roughly 1 mph and his pitch mix has changed as a result. He is throwing his fastball less and his slider more. He is sporting a league average 21% K and 8% walk rate. He is benefiting from a .225 BABIP, when his career BABIP sits at .306. Everything else looks in line with his past numbers, so it is unlikely that he continues to have an ERA under three. He will likely regress back towards his career ERA of 3.30 with decent strikeout totals.
Maikel Franco was 1-5 with a strikeout against the Nationals. Franco is hitting .229 with 5 HR and 25 RBI. The batting average looks ugly but the underlying skills suggest good things are coming. He has lowered his strikeout rate to 14%, which is well below league average. He is hitting the ball hard at 37% but hasn't had many fall in for hits (.224 BABIP). It is concerning to see his fly ball rate drop below 30% but the rest of his skills look rock solid. He is not chasing balls out of the zone and is hitting the ones in the zone hard. Now is the time to buy low on the young third baseman.
Joey Votto was 0-1 with four walks and two runs scored against the Giants on Friday. Votto has been great to start the year. He is hitting .267 with 9 HR and 25 RBI. The average is down from what he normally does but the added power has made up for the difference. He has also reduced his strikeout rate to 13%, while maintaining his excellent walk rate and upping his power. His average is creeping up and it should considering he has a .231 BABIP, while his career mark is .356. Votto is an elite hitter in a great hitters park. The time to buy low on Votto is closing fast.
DFS Value Play of the Day
This is a friendly reminder that Wilmer Flores crushes left-handed pitching. He has a career .358 wOBA and .250 ISO against LHP. He also has a 46% FB rate against LHP, which is good for power. LHP Wei-Yin Chen has given up 42% FB and 1.43 HR/9 to RHB over his career. Flores will have the platoon advantage with a plus lineup spot against a pitcher that struggles with home runs. He represents tremendous value without sacrificing matchup. Fanduel: $2,300
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