J.D. Martinez-Red Sox-OF
J.D. Martinez was 1-3 with a two-run home run against the Orioles but he did leave the game early with a stomach illness. On the year Martinez is hitting .344 with 13 HR, 29 R, and 38 RBI. He has been everything that the Red Sox and fantasy owners dreamed of. Some will point to his 26% K as a reason why he won't continue to hit .300+ but he finished last year hitting .304 with a 26% strikeout rate. Martinez is able to hit for both power and a high average due to his all-fields approach and hard contact (54%). His batted ball data backs up everything he is doing. His expected batting average is .329 and his expected slugging is .699 which is higher than his current .644. Martinez has been incredibly hot of late with 5 HR and 13 RBI over his last eight games
Kevin Gausman went 4.2 IP and gave up 6 ER on 8 H, 2 BB, and 6 K's against the Red Sox. Gausman came into today's game with a 3.18 ERA with a 14% K/BB ratio over his first 51 IP and left with a 3.88 ERA. He has done a good job of limiting walks 6%, which is important for him given his 1.41 HR/9 and lack of strikeouts (20% K). The strikeouts have the potential to trend upwards given his 12% swinging strike rate and batters chasing 34% of his pitches out of the zone. The lack of strikeouts despite good stuff comes back to his 52% first-pitch strike rate, which means that he is not getting ahead of hitters allowing his swing and miss stuff to play. Gausman's realistic outcome for the rest of the season is more likely closer to his SIERA (4.07) than his ERA coming in today's game. He needs to get ahead of hitters, improve his strikeout rate, and give up fewer homers while pitching in the AL East. This is a mighty task for the right-hander. Gausman will be matched up with the White Sox next turn, which is an easier matchup than the Red Sox.
Aaron Sanchez-Blue Jays-SP
Aaron Sanchez went 4 IP and gave up 4 ER on 5 H, 4 BB, and 8 K's against the Athletics. Sanchez came into the game with a 4.08 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and 16% K. His profile is concerning, especially the 1.47 WHIP. That is mostly due to 12.1% BB, which a huge concern given his overall lack of strikeouts. The other concern for Sanchez is that he has primarily become a two-pitch pitcher. He is throwing his FB 65% of the time and his changeup 28%. This profile does not typically lead to strikeouts and leaves him prone to batted ball luck. Sanchez's underlying skills (5.09 SIERA) suggest that he is going to struggle like he did today going forward if he doesn't improve the walk rate and/or up the strikeouts. He represents a candidate to sell before things get worse. Sanchez's next matchup is with the Angels at home.
Manny Machado was 1-4 with 2-run HR in the ninth against the Red Sox. Machado is off to a fantastic start to his walk year in Baltimore. He is hitting .339 with 14 HR, 26 R, 40 RBI, and 2 SB. The skills behind the early surge are legit as he is striking 12% of the time while walking 12%. Machado has hit the ball harder than last year (92.6 mph) and upped his launch angle from 13.5 to 16.3 to back up the increase in fly balls 48%, which has resulted in league-leading 14 HR's. There is nothing to not like about Machado as he is an elite fantasy option at the top of his game.
Teoscar Hernandez-Blue Jays-OF
Teoscar Hernandez sat on Thursday with a sore back and is considered day-to-day. On the year Hernandez is hitting .272 with 7 HR, 20 R, 18 RBI, and 3 SB. He is striking 24% of the time which may seem like a lot but it is an improvement for the 25-year old making his .272 AVG more likely than the .230 AVG he was projected for, given his 30%+ strikeout rate in the past. His expected batting average based on his batted ball data is .314. This is encouraging given his power potential (43% Hard, 39% FB). His power is also backed up by more concrete stats like his above average exit velocity of 93 mph and his 15-degree launch angle. His speed has not played like many have thought at the major league level but he has the potential to finish the year with 25+ HR and 15+ SB with respectable average making him extremely valuable in fantasy leagues.
DFS Value Plays: SP Ivan Nova-PIT (DK $6,400) & 2B Rougned Odor-TEXT (DK $3,300)
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