Shohei Ohtani (SP-LAA)
Rain delays should not be allowed during Ohtani starts. DON'T DEPRIVE US OF SHO-TIME!!! There were actually two delays in Wednesday's game, the second of which effectively ended the rookie's night. He left with a no-decision after pitching 5 innings of one-run ball while walking 3 and striking out 5. In all but one game, the Japanese sensation has struck out at least a batter per inning. However, Wednesday was his second start with more than two walks. His pitches were moving a little more than usual and he was producing a higher spin rate so it's possible he didn't have as great a feel for the strike zone. That could be the result of skipping his spot in the rotation last week and him showing a little rust. Nonetheless, as long as he's out there, he's a must-start in fantasy due to his incredibly high ceiling.
Sam Gaviglio (SP-TOR)
Making his third straight start, Gaviglio was once again solid yet far from spectacular. In 6 innings at Fenway Park, the Ashland, Oregon native gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, including 2 home runs with 4 strikeouts. Gaviglio was acquired via trade by the Blue Jays as more of a depth piece, but with an injury to Marcus Stroman and general ineffectiveness throughout the rotation, the former Royal and Mariner could see plenty of starts. He's a pitch-to-contact pitcher who's actually getting more swings and misses this year than 2017. His chase rate is up significantly and hitters are making less contact. With more hitters swinging out of the zone, it's nice to see Gaviglio throwing more first-pitch strikes. Take this all with a grain of salt. It's a small sample size (21.2 innings), but the 28 year old was pretty solid in AAA this year before his callup and on Wednesday, he actually got the Red Sox to swing and miss 10 times. He's on a bad team and plays in a tough division, but if he holds onto a spot in the rotation, he could provide some streaming appeal.
Greg Allen (OF-CLE)
Greg Allen had a nice week. Filling in for the injured Bradley Zimmer, the speedy outfielder has a modest 5-game hitting streak, which includes a walk-off home run. On Wednesday, Allen hit leadoff for the first time in his career and went 2-5 with a run scored. Zimmer started his rehab assignment so he will likely be back within the next week, but the Indians seem to like Allen (he started 15 of the last 18 games). Perhaps more important than his bump in batting average, Allen's plate discipline has been much better through his recent streak. With only three strikeouts in the last five games, Allen is lowering his ghastly K-rate, now down to 27.9%. He didn't strike out too much in the minors so I would expect that number to continue its decline. He actually has an impressive 9.8% soft contact rate. Yes, he hits the ball on the ground a lot, but he's actually upped his line drive rate to 24.3% and he has plus speed so you don't want him hitting too many fly balls. He's 25 years old so it's not like he's a baby, but if Allen could find semi-regular playing time (and maybe he's a trade piece?), he could make for a nice roto pickup.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF-BOS)
Most of the time a 5-game hitting streak isn't something to get too excited about, but when you're Jackie Bradley Jr. and you're hitting .196 with a .301 slugging percentage, you find your mini celebrations. Bradley actually had a pair of hits, including a double, in Boston's 6-4 win over Toronto. I think the struggles are really getting to JBJ between the ears. His swinging strike rate is a career high 14.3%. His contact rate is down as is his hard hit rate. Even if his BABIP improves from .264, it isn't going to help enough to make Bradley fantasy relevant. While his plate discipline has been much better over the past week, he still isn't hitting the ball very hard and there is little reason to believe the toolsy outfielder can get anywhere near his career best 2016 numbers. There should be no hesitation to cut bait.
Wade LeBlanc (SP-SEA) - DraftKings: $5,500
This is a great price on LeBlanc at home. The Rangers have the 3rd-highest strikeout rate against lefties and they're really bad away from Arlington. LeBlanc has been solid through his first five starts only allowing five runs in 26.1 innings. The danger is always getting pulled early, but the likelihood of a low stress, high win probability outing is too good to pass for this price.
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