Lance McCullers Jr.-Astros-SP
Lance McCullers Jr. went 7 IP and gave up 0 ER on 1 H, 2 BB, and 8 K's against the Indians. McCullers Jr. has turned things around recently and has a 3.20 ERA (3.44 SIERA) through his first 10 starts. His strikeout rate is above average at 27% and that is backed up by an above average 14% swinging strikes. He also does an excellent of inducing weak contact by inducing 61% GB. He is an elite talent playing on a great team. McCullers has pitched well to begin the year but the scary part is that his skills suggest that things could get better.
Jake Odorizzi went 5.2 IP and gave up 1 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 10 K's against the Brewers. Odorizzi has pitched well for the Twins this year. He has a 3.17 ERA through his first ten starts. Not a lot has changed about Odorizzi other than that he has been outperforming his advanced metrics (4.65 SIERA). His strikeout rate is still around league average at 22% and he walks too many guys at 10% BB. He also has an issue with home runs (1.68 HR/9). Odorizzi is giving up 36% Hard contact which does not go well with 51% FB. The only real change for Odorizzi is that he is using his slider more (+8%) but that has not resulted in more swing and misses outside of today's start. The future could be rough for Odorizzi once regression sets in.
Reynaldo Lopez-White Sox-SP
Reynaldo Lopez went 8 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 2 BB, and 8 K's against the Rangers. Lopez has a 2.98 ERA through his first nine starts. This was one of Lopez's best starts of his young career. The ERA looks great but the underlying skills do not support it going forward. He has a below average strikeout (16%), walk (11% BB), and swinging strike rate (9%). He is also giving up 34% Hard contact and 1.36 HR/9. His skills support an ERA closer to his SIERA (5.50) than his what he has currently. There is no denying that he has top notch stuff but he needs to be able to command better like today before he sees a true breakout.
Shohei Ohtani went 7.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 9 K's against the Rays. Ohtani has lived up to the hype and more so far this year. He has a 3.35 ERA over his first 40.1 IP. He has elite strikeout upside with 33% K and 16% swinging strikes. The only concern is that he is going to be limited innings-wise so he will not reach elite strikeout totals due to a low number of innings pitched. There will be days that he does not have command of his elite stuff (10% BB) but if he is healthy and on the mound, Ohtani is an above average/elite fantasy starter. Not to mention that he is hitting .321 with 6 HR in 84 AB's.
Dustin Fowler was 1-4 with 1 R and 2 RBI against the Blue Jays. Fowler led off in this one which if it were to become a regular thing would be huge for his overall value. Fowler has not produced much (.207/.294/.414) but his underlying skills suggest better times will be coming. His BABIP is just .200 despite 43% Hard contact. Based on his batted ball data over that time period he should have had a .261 AVG. He has also put the bat on the ball with just 13% K. Fowler also has shown a good eye at the plate with 13% BB. He is someone that over the course of a full season has 20 HR/20 SB potential. Better times will be coming for the young outfielder.
DFS Value Plays: SP Masahiro Tanaka (DK $8,900) & OF Robbie Grossman (DK $3,000)
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