Edwin Encarnacion was 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, and 1 BB in the win over the Tigers. On the year Encarnacion is hitting .235 with 24 HR, 54 R, and 73 RBI. The average has cratered but the HR and RBI are right there for what you expect from Encarnacion. The concern is that he is getting older (35 years old) and the plate skills are starting to slip. His strikeout rate has risen to 23% and his walk rate has fallen. He has had been 90+ in five of the last six years but won't reach those totals due to a .316 OBP. His swinging strike rate has increased and he is chasing more out of the zone which are both bad signs. Encarnacion is still going to provide power for the rest of this year but going forward we have to worry about his production.
Nathan Eovaldi-Red Sox-SP
Nathan Eovaldi went 7 IP and gave up 0 ER on 4 H, 0 BB, and 5 K's against the Twins. Eovaldi was traded to the Red Sox for LHP Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi has a 3.80 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 64 IP. The underlying skills for the 28-year-old look solid as ever. He has a career high strikeout (24%) and career low walk rate (3.6%). His swinging strike rate is up to 11% to back up the jump in strikeouts. His biggest issue has been the long ball (1.74 HR/9). The hope is that now he has three legit pitches with the addition of a slider/cutter to counteract the straightness of his fastball and splitter. He is going to take a hit moving from Tropicana to Fenway in terms of pitch factors but he also doesn't have to face the Red Sox lineup anymore and gets to face his former team. His fantasy value will stay about the same in a Red Sox uniform and he has displayed better skills than at any point in his career.
Dylan Bundy went 7 IP and gave up 3 ER on 4 H, 0 BB, and 7 K's against the Rays. This was your prototypical Bundy start with strikeouts and homers. Bundy on the year has a 4.53 ERA and 1.30 WHIP across 115.1 IP. There is a lot to like about Bundy from a skills perspective including his 25% K, 8% BB, and 13% SwStr. The one thing he can't avoid though is the home run given his flyball tendency (47% FB). Bundy is giving up 1.91 HR/9 on 16.2% HR/FB which is unfortunately not that far off from his career average (13%). Pitching in the AL East against offenses like the Yankees and Red Sox aren't going to help the bottom line either. At this point, his production is not going to match our expectations for him unless he figures out his home run issue.
Carlos Rodon-White Sox-SP
Carlos Rodon went 7.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 6 K's against the Blue Jays. Rodon has a 3.24 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 58.1 IP since coming back from shoulder surgery. He had pitched well prior to today's start with three straight starts of 6 IP or more with 2 ER or less so this now makes four straight (6 IP+, 2 ER or less). The concern despite the positive results is the lack of strikeouts (21%). His fantasy value has been tied to his strikeouts throughout his career so for them to disappear is concerning. His swinging strike rate is not great either at 9%. The good news is that over his last four games he has 27 K in 28.2 IP. It is a small sample size but he seems to be getting better the further he gets away from shoulder surgery. The risk is there for Rodon (4.57 SIERA) but he has the skills to succeed and could be a fantasy asset down the stretch if he continues to improve especially in the strikeout category.
Jake Bauers was 1-3 with a HR (7), 1 R, and 2 RBI against the Orioles. Bauers is hitting .243 with 7 HR, 30 R, 25 RBI, and 3 SB through 46 games. He may not hit for average because he pulls the ball a lot (50%) into the shift and strikes out 25% of the time but he does have a good eye with 13% BB. This makes him more valuable in OBP formats. He also has an unusual power/speed combination at first base. Add in the dual eligibility in the OF and Bauers is a valuable fantasy asset. The ceiling isn't sky high but he does provide production across the board minus AVG and the Rays seem to trust him because he is hitting third in their lineup.
DraftKings Value Plays: 2B Jason Kipnis (CLE) $3,700 and 1B Logan Morrison (MIN) $3,900
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