Jose Abreu-White Sox-1B
Jose Abreu was 0-4 with an RBI against the Cardinals. Abreu is having a disappointing 2018 season. He is hitting .253 with 12 HR, 42 R, 51 RBI, and 1 SB. Abreu has been a model of consistency through his first four seasons in the majors. You could reasonably pencil in a .300 AVG with 30 HR and 100 RBI. Abreu would have to have a monster second half to reach those numbers. His skills are in line with his career average from his strikeout rate to his walk rate. The only statistic that sticks out is his .286 BABIP which is well below his career average of .329. Abreu is someone to buy low on and could see a huge boost in his fantasy value if he were traded to a contending team.
Sonny Gray went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 8 K's against the Orioles. Gray has been a huge disappointment for the Yankees and fantasy owners with his 5.46 ERA over 90.2 IP. The underlying skills suggest that he has been unlucky in terms of results (4.46 SIERA) but still a below average starter. His strikeout rate is below average at 20% but his 10% swinging strike rate suggests he has room for improvement. He needs to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters given his first pitch strike percentage (56%) is below average and below his career average of 60%. His best pitch is his curveball (1.4 pitch value) and his worst pitch is his fastball (-6.9 PV). Falling behind in the count requires Gray to use his fastball more and his curve less which is not ideal. Gray has a solid track record of success and time to turn it around but he needs to do so immediately.
Jordan Zimmerman went 6.2 IP and gave up 4 ER on 11 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Rays. Zimmerman came into today's game with a 3.51 ERA and a 3.64 SIERA which is quite an improvement over his 5.48 ERA over the past two seasons. The skills have come back for the 32 year old. His strikeout rate is up to 25% which is backed up by an increase in his swinging strike rate as well (10.2%). He is also getting more swings outside of the zone (34%) which is another indication that his stuff has improved. Zimmerman is also showing his plus command with just 4% BB. There is a lot to like about the right-hander heading into the second half of the season despite today's poor start.
Kevin Kiermaier was 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 R, and 1 RBI against the Tigers. Kiermaier has been a major disappointment this year between injuries and his production when healthy. On the year he has a .175 with 2 HR, 17 R, 7 RBI, and 6 SB through 31 games played. He was someone coming into the year that had potential to go 20 HR/20 SB while not killing you in the batting average department. The only value he has provided has been stolen bases. It is a small sample size but his strikeout rate is 31% which is well above his career average of 20%. He's not chasing more out of the zone but simply is having a harder time making contact. This could be a mechanical issue or a result of his injury. It is hard to roster Kiermaier currently given his struggles but he is one of the few bats impact bats on the waiver wire given his stolen base upside and power potential. He's worth the stash if you have an open roster spot if not he is someone to keep an eye on.
Jeimer Candelario was 0-4 with two strikeouts against the Rays. Candelario is in the middle of a slump. He has hit .140 with a 28% strikeout rate and .213 OBP over the past 14 days. On the year, Candelario is hitting .225 with 12 HR, 43 R, 33 RBI, and 1 SB. He has shown increased power this year (.201 ISO) which is a result of a change in his batted ball profile (35% Hard, 42% FB). He has also shown an increased walk rate (11% BB) which is also a plus but he has turned himself into more of a three outcomes player than the all-around solid skill set he displayed in the minors. He is someone that could have a strong second half given that his contact, zone contact, and hard contact have all risen this year despite a low average.
DFS Value Plays: SP Kyle Gibson (MIN) $6,700 and OF Shohei Ohtani (LAA) $4,200
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