Jeff Hoffman(SP-COL): Jeff Hoffman won after allowing three runs on four hits (two homers) and three walks with four strikeouts over seven innings vs. the Reds. The right-hander entered the contest having allowed 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings at home, but he was able to navigate his way through a tough Reds lineup by inducing nine ground outs. The combination of his 66 percent first pitch strike rate and 10 percent swinging strike rate will play in any venue, and if he can continue to increase his ground ball rate at home, he'll turn himself into a must-start week-to-week in standard leagues. I love the stuff and the makeup. Buy.
Raimel Tapia(OF-COL): Raimel Tapia went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, a double, a triple and two runs scored Monday vs. the Reds. With Ian Desmond going on the DL and David Dahl's recovery coming along at a glacial pace, Tapia should continue to receive consistent at-bats for the Rockies. While he possesses below-average power, Tapia can contribute across the other four categories in the loaded lineup. His 85 percent contact rate and 8.5 percent swinging strike rate are impressive marks for a rookie, and I sense with time he'll continue to improve his stolen base efficiency. Put it all together and treat Tapia as a solid #5 OF in standard formats.
Ivan Nova(SP-PIT): Ivan Nova lost after allowing four runs on seven hits (two homers) and one walk with one strikeout over six innings against the Phillies. While he has been a valuable fantasy asset in the first half, now could be the time to sell high on Nova, especially in ROTO formats. His 3.24 ERA/4.16 xFIP suggests that regression is in order. And his 4.82 K/9 hurts many teams that don't have enough strikeout upside at the top of their rotations. Nove remains a points league dream, but if he doesn't fetch fair value in ROTO formats, he is best used in those as a streamer for weaker matchups with strikeout potential.
Stephen Piscotty(OF-STL): Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI vs. the Marlins. The power has yet to show up for Piscotty, who only has six homers hasn't gone deep since June 18. But I see a great buying opportunity here. Piscotty has raised his fly ball rate two-percentage points from last season to 38 percent while maintaining a 32 percent hard hit rate. He's also demonstrating a more patient approach at the plate, walking 14 percent of the time while chasing pitches out of the zone 28 percent of the time. Playing time may grow murkier with Grichuk back and Fowler's return looming, but I believe in the skillset.
Joe Ross(SP-WAS): Overall, Ross has pitched better at home in 2017 (.337 wOBA allowed in 42 2/3 innings vs. a .411 mark in 20 2/3 innings on the road). He has been working on his mechanics and incorporating a third-pitch more effectively, and the results have followed with three runs and 12 strikeouts over his last 13 2/3 innings. The fact that he has struggled against left-handers (with Duda and company on tap) coupled with the Mets' success on the road may keep his ownership down, making this a solid tournament play at $8500. Overall stats can be deceiving, especially with pitchers that are constantly working on mechanics and arsenal. Live in the now!