Justin Smoak-Blue Jays-1B
Justin Smoak was 0-3 with a run scored and a walk against the Astros. He started off the year red hot and has not slowed down. On the year he is hitting .301 with 30 HR, 64 R, 74 RBI, and 0 SB. The increase in power and average is a direct result of his change in approach. He has cut his strikeout rate from near 30% rates to 20% this year while maintaining his above average walk rate (11% BB). He was someone who always showed power and the ability to make hard contact he just needed to make more contact to let his skills play. Everything he has done this year looks legit and hopefully, he maintains his strikeout rate going forward.
Carlos Rodon-White Sox-SP
Carlos Rodon went 7.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 0 BB, and 11 K's against the Red Sox. Rodon through 7 starts has a 4.66 ERA (4.45 SIERA). He is just getting back into the swing of things after missing most of the year with an injury. Rodon has pitched better than his traditional numbers indicate. He is still missing bats (28% K, 12% SwStr). He has struggled with control over his short career and this year it is especially bad at 14% BB. The easiest way for him to get his walk rate under control is to get ahead in counts because he is registering just 50% first pitch strikes. This is essentially a lost year for Rodon, but he is still just 24 year old and has the ability to miss bats. He could be a nice buy low candidate in dynasty and keeper leagues for next year and tonights start is a reminder of the upside.
Alex Bregman was 1-5 with his 13th HR against the Blue Jays. On the year he is hitting .272 with 13 HR, 58 R, 38 RBI, and 12 SB. He has shown tremendous skill growth this year after a good showing last year. His strikeout rate has fallen to 16%, which is well above average. He is showing more speed and could be a 20 HR/20 SB threat in future years. He has a good feel for what he is doing at the plate with very few swinging strikes and he doesn't go out of the zone often. Bregman has been red hot over the past two weeks hitting .354 with 4 HR, 13 R, 8 RBI, and 3 SB.
Justin Verlander went 7 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 0 BB, and 10 K's against the Orioles. Verlander through 23 starts has a 4.20 ERA (4.71 SIERA). He has had an up and down year. His strikeout rate has fallen to 22% after finishing last year at 28%. The walks are up from 6% last year to 10% this year. Swinging strike rate has fallen from 12% to 9.5%. Verlander is becoming more hittable and when batters do make contact it is hard contact (36%). His velocity is fine and his pitch mix hasn't changed. Things are not looking promising for the 34 year old despite the nice outing tonight.
DFS Value Play
Mikie Mahtook has benefited the most from J.D. Martinez being traded. He has been hitting near the middle of the Tigers lineup and holding his own. On the year he is hitting .286 with 6 HR and 2 SB in 70 games. He will have the platoon advantage in a plus park against LHP Wade Miley. This is a nice matchup against a pitcher that gives up a lot of contact (18% K) and home runs (1.4 HR/9). Fanduel: $3,000
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