J.T. Realmuto was 3-4 with his 12th HR and a walk against the Reds. He is hitting .313 with 12 HR, 46 R, 43 RBI, and 5 SB. Realmuto is a legitimate .290-.300 hitter given his ability to make contact (16% K) and control the strike zone (8% BB). He has also shown more power this year setting a career high in home runs with 12. His batted ball profile back ups the increased power output with increases in his fly ball percentage, hard contact, and pull percentage. Realmuto is currently the #3 catcher in ESPN's player rater behind only Salvador Perez and Buster Posey. He is a catcher that contributes in all categories and now has a proven track record of success.
Michael Wacha went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Diamondbacks. Wacha through 19 starts has a 3.71 ERA (4.00 SIERA). He had pitched extremely well this month coming into the game with a 2.36 ERA over 26.2 IP so tonight was not a surprise. Wacha has struck out 31% of batters this month with just 3% walks. His strikeout rate on the year is up to 24%, which matched with 46% GB turns Wacha into a very interesting fantasy starter down the stretch. His swinging strike rate is up to 10%, which is another positive for the right-hander. The underlying skills look good and he could be a difference maker down the stretch provided he stays healthy.
Julio Teheran went 4.2 IP and gave up 8 ER on 7 H, 2 BB, and 5 K's against the Phillies. Teheran through 21 starts has a 5.09 ERA (5.08 SIERA). His strikeout rate has dropped from 22% last year to 17% this year, which is well below average. His swinging strike rate has decreased as well to 9%. He is giving up more contact, which has resulted in a home run problem. He is giving up 1.79 HR/9 this year. This has tanked his traditional surface stats (5.09 ERA). The bad news is that his underlying skills don't point to things getting better for the 26-year-old righty.
Robbie Ray went 1.2 IP and gave up 0 ER on 1 H, 1 BB, and 2 K's against the Cardinals. He left the game early after taking a line drive off the head. Ray through 20 starts has a 3.15 ERA (3.88 SIERA). His strikeout rate is 31%, which is backed up by an excellent 13% swinging strike rate. His walk rate is still high at 12% and he still gives up home runs (1.2 HR/9) but he has kept his ratios in tact with an 84% left on base rate. He is not as good as his traditional stats suggest and is more likely closer to a 4.00 ERA type of pitcher. However, the strikeouts still make him an extremely valuable fantasy asset.
DFS Value Plays
Kike Hernandez is a great option if you are looking to save money. He normally bats towards the top of the order against left-handed pitchers. Hernandez has a career .380 wOBA and .266 ISO against LHP. His mound opponent, Ty Blach, gives up a lot of contact (12% K) raising Hernandez's floor. Fanduel: $2,300
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