Paul Goldschmidt (1B-ARI)
Is this just a slump or a serious reason for concern? After going 0-3 with two walks on Saturday, Goldschmidt still doesn't have a hit since April. His last home run was three weeks ago and he's striking out nearly 50% more than his career average. His hard hit rate is below 40% for only the second time since 2013 and he's not pulling the ball with much authority. However, he is still top-20 in MLB in barrels and his line drive rate is actually at career-high marks. In part, Goldy is being dragged down by a 17.4% HR/FB ratio. Nonetheless, the strikeouts are a concern. His swinging strike rate is the highest since his rookie season and his BABIP is right in line with career averages so that's not likely to change. Goldschmidt had a "down year" in 2016 (if you can call .297/.411/.382 a down year) and his numbers this year look a lot like those, maybe even a little worse. The big first baseman has never hit below .286 in a full season so it's hard to believe his average will continue to hover in the low .200s, but an ISO that is now just below .200 and a K-rate above 30% is extremely concerning. Coming into the season Goldschmidt dropped in ADP as people learned about the Chase Field humidor, and maybe that was justified. He's a 148 wRC+ on the road versus 97 at home in 2018. The strikeouts are a problem both at home and on the road, but his power is squashed at Chase. If you can still recoup 1st or 2nd round value, try to deal the struggling superstar.
Nolan Arenado (3B-COL)
Arenado hit his 8th home run on Saturday and his 4th in the last four games. The solo shot in the 1st inning hit the Big Apple in centerfield and was the perennial All-Star's only hit of the game, but it was good enough to extend his hitting streak to six games. Arenado hits everyone and everywhere, but it is nice to see five of his eight home runs on the road. The dinger came off lefty Steven Matz and just furthered Arenado's massacre of southpaws. He has a career .404 wOBA, but he's taking it to another level in 2018 with a .507 wOBA vs. LHP. The DFS sites rightfully price him incredibly high, but he's pretty much money-in-the-bag against lefties who throw low in the zone. Keep that in mind when rostering the powerhouse 3rd baseman in your daily leagues.
Zack Greinke (SP-ARI)
Greinke watched his fine effort on Saturday waste away as Yoshihisa Hirano blew the Diamondbacks 3-1 lead, costing the Arizona ace his 4th win of the season. Houston only mustered a solo home run by George Springer, but the Astros did what they do, working Greinke's pitch count into triple digits so the DBacks had to go to the bullpen early. Greinke's velocity still remained in the high 80's/low 90's, the lowest since his second major league season. Yet his swinging strike rate is actually up. He's getting more called strikes within the zone and he's developing more movement on his heater than last year, which would make sense with the decreased velocity. Evan after Saturday's one-run outing, his ERA is at 4.10, but his xFIP is a satiable 3.03. With his strikeout rate at the highest of his career and his walks way down, Greinke may be reinventing himself before our eyes.
Starlin Castro (2B-MIA)
Castro was an offensive force on Saturday, going 2-4 with a double, home run and 3 RBIs in Miami's 6-0 win over Cincinnati. The homer was Castro's first of the season. The low power totals threaten his streak of seven consecutive seasons with at least 10 home runs. Right now, the only reliable stat Castro is providing in a standard 5 x 5 league is batting average. He is walking more than usual (9%) so that is helping in OBP leagues, but in the Marlins' bad offense, he's not scoring a lot or driving in a lot and has only one home run and one steal. Castro obviously won't reach the 18.5 HR per season average he had in his two years with the Yankees in large part because he went from one of the best home run hitting parks to one of the worst. Also, he's surrounded by a significantly downgraded lineup and so he is not seeing very hittable pitches. While he is sporting a career-high hard hit rate, he's pounding it into the ground more (nearly 57%). There's not a lot to get excited about with Castro, but he probably won't hurt you.
Ronald Acuña Jr. (OF-ATL); DraftKings: $4,900
DraftKings is onto this. I'm all about stacking the Braves against Suarez. The Braves hit lefties better than any team in the majors, and it's not even close. Because Acuña is hitless in his last two games and because Blach just shut the Braves down, people might be off the rookie, but don't be fooled. In 2017, Acuña slashed .378/.408/.600 vs. southpaws. He has the potential to go off in this game. The only problem is he's higher priced than I'd like. An Albies/Acuña stack is so appetizing but that will bite off a good portion of your salary. More people will be on Albies so if you have to choose between the two, roster Acuña.
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