Cole Hamels(P-TEX): Hamels won after allowing one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over six shutout innings against the Astros. While his control issues have prevented him from going deep into games and earning decisions consistently, Hamels continues to miss bats and limit the damage, as his strikeout rate is up over eight-percentage points from last season. While the underlying numbers support the uptick in k-rate, Hamels' fastball has lost some zip and effectiveness, and as a result, his hard hit rate has increased. I think he'll be a viable number four starter, but be careful about expecting anything more for the rest of the season.
Dustin Fowler(OF-OAK): Fowler went 1-for-5 with one run against the Yankees. Fowler earned his first start and hit since being called up by the Athletics on Wednesday. The 23-year-old was carrying a .310-.333-.484 line with eight steals and three homers through 30 Triple-A games. While I see him needing time to adapt to MLB pitching and hone his plate discipline, Fowler has shown the ability to make consistent contact on the ground, which allows him to use his plus speed. He should receive nearly everyday at-bats at CF, and with his potential to steal bases, he's a must-add in the majority of standard ROTO leagues.
Kevin Gausman(P-BAL): Gausman won after allowing two runs on 11 hits and no walks with six strikeouts over 7.1 innings vs. the Rays. After allowing six earned runs in his first start, Gausman hasn't allowed more than three in a start since and has allowed three runs over his last 22 innings. Since the first start, Gausman has induced more grounders and weak contact, gaining more velocity on his fastball along the way. His control problems have resurfaced as indicated by his 51 percent first pitch strike rate, so he's likely to remain volatile. But, the numbers should be there by season's end.
Tyler Skaggs(P-LAA): Skaggs looked in control yet again vs. the Twins, needing only 78 pitches to get through the first five innings before running into some trouble in the sixth inning. Still, Skaggs has allowed four total runs over his last three starts, and he is once again making gains with his control. Key to his success this season appears to be the 10-percentage point spike in his groundball rate from last season, which is a direct result of his increased usage of the two-seamer. At 26, the left-hander looks more confident, is missing more bats, and has become a solid middle-rotation fantasy starter. Buy
Michael Fulmer(P-DET): Priced at $6900, Fulmer looks like a solid play across the board vs. the Mariners today on DraftKings. Fulmer has allowed a .285 wOBA at home this season after allowing a .261 there in 2017. While he may not bring elite strikeout upside, his k-rate is up nearly three-percentage points from last season thanks to an 11.2 percent swinging strike rate. Seattle is 24th in offensive production on the road, and with Fulmer's ability to induce grounders and weak contact, I see a high floor today as well.
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