Trevor Story was 1-4 with a double against the Mets. Story is having a monster season following a disappointing 2017 season in which he was injured. Story is slashing .266/.338/.525 with 16 HR, 40 R, 56 RBI, and 9 SB. He has shown skills growth this year with a big drop in his strikeout rate from 34% to 27% while maintaining a 9% walk rate. Story is also 9 of 11 stealing bases which means that he is likely to continue to get the green light. Story has been unreal at home this year hitting .325 with 13 HR, 24 R, and 39 RBI. This only really matters for head-to-head leagues. Story owners can breathe easier knowing that Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to take Story's spot this year.
Zack Godley went 6 IP and gave up 2 ER on 4 H, 3 BB, and 5 K's against the Pirates. Godley has a 4.64 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 83.1 IP. He has taken a major step backward after having a breakout year in 2017. His strikeout rate is down from 26% to 23% and his walk rate has jumped from 9% to 11%. Both of these are bad signs, not to mention his home run rate jumping from 0.87 HR/9 to 1.28 HR/9 and hard contact increasing from 32% to 36%. Godley is going to be a league average type or worse type of fantasy starter until he can improve his command, which is not a given. He does have a very nice matchup next time out on the road against the Marlins.
Brandon Nimmo was 1-5 with 1 RBI and 2 K's against the Rockies. Nimmo has continued to play well in the month of June hitting .279 AVG with 6 HR, 13 R, 13 RBI, and 2 SB. The concern is that his strikeout rate has jumped to 34%, which makes his .282 season average likely to come down. He is still walking at an above average rate (13% BB) which makes him a borderline elite player in OBP leagues due to his .407 OBP in addition to his power/speed combo (12 HR/7 SB). Nimmo is hitting the ball hard (42%) and in the air (43%) which makes his power output believable and he is 7 of 9 on the base paths making it likely that he gets to 15+ SB with regular playing time.
Joey Votto was 0-3 with a run scored and a walk against the Cubs. On the year Votto is hitting .295 with 7 HR, 37 R, 36 RBI, and 1 SB. The biggest concern for Votto owners is the lack of power. He has just 7 HR and a .151 ISO after posting three straight seasons with an ISO above .225. Votto is hitting the ball hard (40% Hard) but his fly-ball rate has dropped from 38% to 29%. If anyone can fix his batted ball profile in the middle of the season it is Joey Votto. He has hit better in June with a .310 AVG but still just one home run. His next three series will include two at home and one in Atlanta which are both favorable parks for left-handed bats. Let's hope he finds his power stroke as summer officially hits.
Bryce Harper was 1-1 with 1 R, 1 RBI, and 2 BB against the Orioles. Harper is hitting .213 through 72 games. The good news is that his counting stats are still there with 19 HR, 42 R, 45 RBI, and 6 SB. He is hitting the ball hard 42% of the time but has a .204 BABIP. Harper does get shifted a lot but a .204 BABIP is extremely low given how hard he is hitting the ball and his career BABIP is .314. It's also the third lowest BABIP in the entire league. This is eerily similar to the season Manny Machado had in the first half of last year. He was hitting the ball well but wasn't seeing the results. Stay the course through the rough times because the counting stats are still there and he has the skills to get hot quick and post monster numbers the rest of the way. His batted ball stats say he should have had a .269 AVG which is a positive for him going forward. Harper's rest of season projections put near a 40 HR with 10+ SB, which you can live with a low batting average.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Adam Duvall (CIN) $3,500 and 1B/3B Wilmer Flores (NYM) $3,500
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