Alex Bregman was 1-3 with a run scored against the Yankees. Bregman is in the middle of a slow start to his 2018 season. His value skyrocketed throughout draft season to the point where he was being taken in the back half of round two and early third round in 15 team mixed leagues. Bregman is hitting .252 with 1 HR, 12 R, 12 RBI, and 3 SB. The plate skills are still solid with more walks (20) than strikeouts (19). His 14% strikeout rate is well above average and it's not like he is hitting the ball softly either with 25% line drives and 31% Hard contact. Bregman started slowly a year ago hitting .256 in the first half and then followed that up with .315 the rest of the way. The skills are excellent so it is only a matter of time until Bregman gets hot.
Masahiro Tanaka went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 5 H, 3 BB, and 5 K's against the Astros. Tanaka has a 4.39 ERA which is not great on the surface but the underlying skills (3.41 SIERA) suggests that he will be much better going forward. His strikeout rate is very solid at 26% which is backed up by 14% swinging strikes. Tanaka has always had excellent control (career 4.7% BB) and this is especially important considering he pitches in the AL East and Yankee Stadium. He would be a good buy-low candidate if someone was willing to move on after a so-so start.
Chris Devenski pitched the eighth inning Thursday afternoon in the Astros loss. He struck out all three batters that he faced. On the year he has a stellar 0.68 ERA with a 17/2 K:BB ratio over 13.1 IP. On top of the excellent ratios and strikeouts, Devenski has 1 W and 2 SV. He is one of the most valuable relievers in fantasy and has more value than your back-end starters in deeper mixed leagues. Since he entered the league in 2016 he has 13 W, 9 SV with a 2.28 ERA, 218 K, 48 BB over 201.1 IP.
Jorge Soler was 1-4 with his 4th HR and finished the game with 3 R, 1 RBI, and 1 BB against the Tigers. On the year Soler is hitting .312 with 4 HR, 12 R, 10 RBI, and 0 SB in 115 PA. He has shown good plate skills this year with a 16% BB and 25% K. He is also hitting the ball hard (42%) when he makes contact. The biggest improvements have been that he is chasing less out of the zone (20%) and making better contact (80%) within the zone. These are all positive signs for the 26-year old outfielder. He needs to be on mixed league rosters until he gets hurt or his plate discipline skills deteriorate.
Lance McCullers went 7 IP and gave up 3 ER on 5 H, 3 BB, and 5 K's against the Yankees. McCullers has a 3.73 ERA but his SIERA is 2.85, which suggest that he has pitched better than his traditional numbers suggest. He has elite strikeout upside with 31% K and 14% swinging strikes. McCullers also does an excellent job of limiting hard contact by inducing 62% GB with his plus curve and the movement on his fastball. The concern with McCullers has never been his skills it has been his ability to stay on the field. He has yet to top 125 IP at the major league level but could be in for a monster season if he were able to go 175+ IP. The Astros lineup will also lead to a lot of wins as well.
DFS Value Plays: Jedd Gyorko ($3,500) and Adam Duvall ($3,800)