Mikie Mahtook was 2-4 with his 7th HR and 2 R against the Pirates. On the year Mahtook is hitting .295 with 7 HR, 30 R, 26 RBI, and 2 SB in 244 PA. He has quietly been very good since J.D. Martinez was traded to Arizona opening up a spot for him in the lineup. He doesn't walk much (6% BB) but the biggest improvement has been a reduction in his strikeout rate from 27% for his career to 21.7% this year. Mahtook has always had a nice combination of power and speed in the minors but was never able to transfer it to the majors. He is 27 years old but the adjustments in his ability to make contact and hard contact (40%) warrant picking him up in mixed leagues.
Marco Estrada-Blue Jays-SP
Marco Estrada went 7 IP and gave up 0 ER on 5 H, 3 BB, and 6 K's against the Yankees. Estrada through 24 starts has a 4.85 ERA (4.45 SIERA). The traditional ERA is not good but there are positives for Estrada if you look at his underlying skills. The strikeout rate is up to 24%, which is backed up by an increase in his swinging strike rate to 12%. His biggest issue has been his luck on batted balls. He is a flyball pitcher so there is going to be very little room for error. He has given up 1.47 HR/9 this year which has been part of the problem. Hitters are also having more luck against Estrada this year with a .309 BABIP, which might not seem high but his career mark is .262 being a flyball pitcher. Expect some normalization of his batted balls, but at this point he is better than his ERA but still just a league average fantasy starter.
Danny Salazar went 5.1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 7 H, 4 BB, and 8 K's against the Rays. Salazar through 14 starts has a 4.15 ERA (3.43 SIERA). As bad as things were before he got sent down his overall numbers have rounded into shape. He is posting excellent strikeout numbers (33% K, 16% SwStr). In the second half he has been on a roll posting a 1.35 ERA with 39% K and the key stat, 7% BB. Salazar is looking every bit the ace that he has shown in flashes. Tonight he struggled with command but did not let things unravel despite not having his best stuff.
Blake Snell went 6.1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 4 H, 2 BB, and 4 K's against the Indians. Snell through 15 starts has a 4.69 ERA (5.20 SIERA). The biggest issue for Snell has been his lack of control at the major league level. He has now made 34 starts at the major league level. The strikeout stuff has been there with 22% K and 11% swinging strikes but he has struggled with control 13% BB. Over that same time period due to the excessive pitch counts he has averaged just 4.87 IP per start over his major league career. Until he has shown for an extended period of time at the major league level that he can control the zone, he is going to struggle. That is someone that belongs on the waiver wire and not on your rosters despite his talented upside.
DFS Value Play
This is not a cash game play but if you are looking for a cheap low owned SP#2 on Draftkings take a look at Jose Urena. On the year he has a 3.70 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 16% K. The strikeout rate isn't typically what you want but Urena is pitching at home in a very pitcher friendly park in Miami and gets the Rockies on the road. They are the second worst team by wRC+ standards on the road behind only the Phillies. Draftkings: $6,600
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