Zack Wheeler(SP:NYM): Wheeler won after allowing two runs on four hits (one homer) and one walk with eight strikeouts over seven innings against the Marlins. The right-hander has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, allowing four runs over his last four starts with a 27:4 K:BB ratio over 27 innings. He has introduced a split-finger this season, which has enabled him to keep hitters off balance as indicated by an 11 percent swinging strike rate, a 34 percent chase rate, and a 27 percent hard contact rate, all career best marks. The former blue chip prospect has all of the pedigree; now with full health and lots of confidence, he looks to have finally arrived.
Johan Camargo(3B-ATL): Camargo went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBIs vs. the Brewers. Camargo never showed this type of power in the minors, having never hit more than four homers in a season. However, he's up to 13 homers and an ISO of .193 to go with a .262-.346-.455 line, and at 24-years-old, has taken charge of the hot corner in Atlanta. While the homer-to-fly ball rate is a bit overstated at 16 percent, his 38 percent hard hit rate to go along with a solid batted ball profile and plate discipline metrics give me confidence that his emergence is mostly legit. It'll be interesting to see what the Braves do when Austin Riley is ready, but Camargo may push his timeline back. I'd have no issue deploying him as a CI or utility option in standard formats and giving him a slight boost in points and OBP formats.
Austin Hedges(C-SD): Hedges hit his 9th homer of the season vs. the Phillies. That's five homers over his last 11 games for Hedges, who has upped his season line to .257/.313/.453. Is this a different man than the one who hit .214 last season? Can we trust him in standard leagues? The fact that he's lowering his swinging strike and chase rates by nearly four-percentage points from last season while elevating his hard hit rate to 36 percent gives me great confidence that what we are seeing is real. Remember: catchers take longer to develop offensively. At 25-years-old, Hedges looks to be putting things together at the plate, and now is the time to buy.
Kyle Hendricks(SP-CHC): Hendricks took a no-decision after allowing two runs on eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts over six innings vs. the Nationals. While a repeat of his career-year in 2016 is unlikely, Hendricks has also been a bit unfortunate this season as indicated by his 16 percent HR-FB rate. The drop in his fastball velocity and effectiveness the past two seasons is concerning, however, so while I do see some positive regression in his future, I also believe his name will likely continue to make him overvalued in fantasy circles. Unless I'm buying for 75 cents on the dollar of draftday cost, I'm staying away down the stretch and in keeper leagues.
Jack Flaherty(SP: STL): Flaherty ($9600) looks like a solid play today on DraftKings for his matchup at the Royals. Flaherty brings a 30 percent K-rate and a solid .288 wOBA allowed with a 3.06 ERA on the road. The Royals are 27th in total offense and Kaufmann Stadium is rated favorably as a pitchers park this season by Park Factors. If you work Nola and Flaherty into your lineups, it should afford you plenty of cash to spend up on hitting.
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