Yan Gomes (C-CLE) - Catcher is a super-thin position this year given the ugly performances by the likes of Jonathan Lucroy and the disappointing season by Willson Contreras among others. Gomes has been pretty disappointing himself, clocking in at .224/.318/.362, but in OBP leagues, I guess that's not all bad. Gomes had a two-run double in three at-bats on Thursday and looking through his stats, one stands out - a 10.6 BB%. Considering that mark has been under 3.5% the previous two seasons, that's pretty good progress from a guy who is likely merely keeping the spot warm for baseball's #1 catching prospect, Francisco Mejia. Gomes is much better against LHP (DFS alert!), but he should continue to play at least 60% of the time, with Roberto Perez picking up the other starts.
Corey Kluber (SP-CLE) - Kluber took a step forward in his bid for the AL Cy Young on Thursday, tossing a complete-game three-hitter against the Yankees, allowing one run and one walk while fanning 11. Kluber beat Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41) in Gray's Yankee debut, and the strikeouts were the ninth time in 10 starts in which Kluber posted double-digit strikeouts, and on the year, Kluber's 172:28 K:BB in 123.2 innings is beyond elite. If Kluber hadn't have missed a month earlier this year, he's likely be a candidate for 300 strikeouts, he's been that good. Kluber, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel are right there in terms of the Cy Young race.
Sonny Gray (SP-NYY) - Gray made his Yankees debut Thursday in a loss to the great Corey Kluber and the Indians, but Gray was fine, allowing four runs (two earned) over six innings while walking three and striking out six. Going from the A's to the high-visibility environment in New York could be troublesome for some guys, but that shouldn't be an issue for a talent like Gray. He has a 1.59 ERA in his last seven starts while lowering his ERA from 4.84 to 3.41 in that span. Compared to last year when Gray posted an ugly 5.69 ERA, his 8.8 K/9 represents his best strikeout rate since his 2013 rookie season, while his HR rate has been cut in half compared to 2016. He's ideally not a #1
starter on a contending team, but as a solid #2, you could do far worse.
Chris Tillman (SP-BAL) - At the time Tillman was traded from Seattle to Baltimore way back in 2008, he was Baltimore's #2 prospect behind Matt Wieters. Tillman came over along with Adam Jones in the deal involving Erik Bedard in case you forgot. Thursday, Tillman continued to make that trade at least slightly less lopsided for the Mariners, allowing seven runs (five earned) while recording just six outs, walking two, and strikeout out just one in seeing his ERA jump to 8.10. Tillman doesn't appear to have a number that isn't ugly - the ERA, the 2.04 WHIP, 16 HR and 51:34 K:BB in just 66.2 innings while allowing hitters to bat a Gwynn-like .352 against him. Tillman's next appearance will likely be out of the bullpen or in the Triple-A rotation.
Francisco Lindor (SS-CLE) - Lindor hit HR #18 on Thursday, giving him three long balls in his last four games and raising his slash to .272/.330/.475. Lindor of course has sacrificed speed for power this year, as he's already notched his career-high in home runs, but after .350+ OBPs the previous two seasons, his OBP is down and he's swiped just seven bases after stealing 19 the year before. Lindor is still just 23, so he could still be a 20+ steals guy going forward if he so chooses, but he should still approach 25 home runs and double-digit steals. He's striking out just 13% of the time, so I'd expect the batting average to continue to climb given he's been a .300 hitter in each of his previous two seasons.
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