Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves - Ozzie Albies scored all three of the Braves' runs Tuesday including his 14th homer of the season. Albies has been incredible this season slashing .286/.329/.586 with 34 RBI and six stolen bases to go along with those 14 homers. The power growth of Albies is an incredible tale with him posting a .048 and .096 ISO in his first two stops in rookie ball and four years later he has a .300 ISO through 220 plate appearances. If he can keep up this power production it will be extremely impressive though as he is sporting an 18.6% HR/FB rate and his average exit velocity is just 87 MPH (2 MPH behind the league average) but he's hitting 40% of his batted balls as fly balls and at a 17 degree launch angle which is five degrees above the league average.
Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals - Luke Weaver continues to rebound from his rough second half of April with his second straight quality start, this time tossing seven innings allowing three runs (two homers) and striking out eight batters. The eight punchouts are his season high and he's struck out 6+ in two straight starts for the first time since 4/8 and 4/13. Weaver used his changeup heavily (over 20%) in each of his first five starts and in his then abandoned it for two starts before returning to it (over 30%) in his last three starts. Both last season and this season the changeup is his best pitch by Fangraphs Pitch F/X data and in Tuesdays' start, he generated six swinging strikes on the change and also had another seven changeups called strikes. Weaver goes as his changeup goes, and as long as he doesn't deter from it he's going to be a solid fantasy option.
Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates - Jameson Taillon was tagged for six earned runs, eight total, over six innings to take his second loss of the season. Taillon's ERA now sits at 4.56 with a 4.14 FIP, but his underlying numbers look awfully similar to his 2016 rookie year where he posted a 3.38 ERA and 3.71 FIP. Before we look at the similarities there is one stark difference that can explain while the ERA and FIP numbers have ballooned and that would be his walk rate. In 2016 he walked 4.1% of batters and this year he's at 7.8% which is the exact same as 2017. The similarities are shocking though as his exit velocity against (87.9 vs 87.2 MPH) and his launch angle against (7.2 vs .7.5 degrees) and while the exit velocity is similar, batters are registering hard contact against him at the lowest rate of his career. His fly ball rate is 14.6% this year and it was 15.5% in 2016 while posting ground ball rate both over 50%. In both years too he allowed around a hit per inning so this only difference in the numbers is literally the walks. More runners are on bases so more runners can score when he allows a long ball. If he can reign in the walks we have a fantasy stud again.
Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals - Marcell Ozuna hasn't been what the Cardinals had hoped the had acquired in the offseason but he's started the week off great going 5-for-7 at the plate to begin the series with the Royals. Ozuna is slashing .253/.295/.331 on the year with just three homers to start the season but has the highest barrel% of his career, the highest average exit velocity of his career, and also the largest average launch angle of his career. Combine that with just a 7.5% HR/FB rate and it will easily explain a slow start. He's registering hard contact on 47% of his swings but has a 50% ground ball rate, a number that's now increased two seasons in a row. He makes for an extremely interesting buy-low candidate based on his batted ball profile and the theory of positive regression.
Brent Suter, Milwaukee Brewers - Like scraping the bottom of the DFS barrel? Well, Brent Suter may just be the option for you on DraftKings at $4,000 vs Arizona on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks currently have a not so nice 69 wRC+ against lefties for the season and against anyone throwing a ball over the last two weeks they have a 49 wRC+. The team simply is not hitting anything right now and it could be time to take advantage to save some money on an arm and then load up on bats.
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