Paul Blackburn, SP, OAK
Blackburn posted his second excellent start in a row to begin his career, this time allowing 1 ER in 7.2 IP against the Mariners. However, he did not strike out a single batter. Not one of the 28 batters he faced. So right now, Blackburn stands with an 0.66 ERA, but only 4 K's in 13.2 IP and a 95.2% LOB%, resulting in a 5.44 xFIP. Don't let the two nice outings trick you into putting him on your fantasy team.
Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
Brantley went 2-5 with a 3B and 3 runs scored on Thursday and despite his power outage this season, his BA is still north of the .300 mark at .304. It's always hard relying on a guy just for the BA category, considering how volatile the statistic can be. This is especially true of Brantley now that his K% has increased to 14.7%, which is still excellent, but not close to the 8.4% mark that he put up from 2014-2015. He does have consistently high LD-rates, and his Hard% has improved this season so he can maintain a high BABIP but probably not the .345 mark that he has right now. The real question is will the power ever return for Brantley, who hasn't homered since April after hitting 5 in the season's first month. Right now, he's just not hitting flyballs, as his 26.1% FB% is a career-low. That's fine if he chooses to stick to line drives and ground balls, but it isn't good from a fantasy perspective. He will need to add some more lift to his swing to go back to being the 5 category producer he was a few years ago.
Alex Colome, RP, TB
Colome pitched a scoreless 9th inning against the Red Sox on Thursday, allowing 1 hit and striking out 1 to record his 23rd save of the season. It was an important outing for Colome who has struggled mightily of late, allowing runs in each of his previous 5 outings. Over that 5 game stretch, Colome allowed 10 ER's in 5 IP with 2 HRA's and a 5:6 K:BB ratio (although to be fair, 4 of the 6 BB's were intentional). He hasn't looked the same this year as he was in his dominant 2016; his K% has plummeted from 31.4% to 21.0%, his BB% has increased from 6.6% to 9.6% and his FB% has skyrocketed from 29.7% to 42.1%. It will probably take another couple of blown saves for the Rays to make a change at closer, but with the Colome's been pitching that doesn't seem so unlikely to happen. Tommy Hunter, who pitched a scoreless 8th on Thursday, would appear to be next in line for saves, although Brad Boxberger has looked good since coming off the DL last week and did save 41 games for the Rays in 2015.
Jean Segura, SS, SEA
Segura went 4-4 on Thursday, incredibly his 3rd 4-hit game in the last 5 games, a stretch in which he's gone 14-23 (.609) to raise his season average to .354. His BA will obviously regress as he can't maintain a .406 BABIP, but he does make excellent contact so he should still provide a good BA going forward. His other numbers though are not likely to match last year's totals, as he's behind last year's pace in HR's and SB's even when accounting for his time missed on the DL. He doesn't hit enough FB's (29.3%) to have a realistic shot at approaching 20 HR's again and he's only 9-16 in SB attempts after going 33 for 43 in 2016. He'll still contribute modestly in all categories, but for now, the 20 HR, 33 SB campaign he had a season ago stands as a career year.
Yolmer Sanchez, 2B, CWS
Sanchez has had more success against RHP's this year with a .281 BA and 14 of his 19 XBH's. He's one of several White Sox to target in Coors Field on Friday, but he'll be one of the few LH bats against RHP German Marquez who has allowed a .346 wOBA to LH-hitters this season. DraftKings Value Play Salary $3,800.
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