Andrew McCutchen was 1-4 with an HR (11) and a walk against the Padres. McCutchen is hitting .258 with 11 HR, 53 R, 44 RBI, and 9 SB. His overall numbers are lackluster but the shift to AT&T Park has hurt his HR totals and the Giants offense has not been good which has resulted in low counting stats for McCutchen. He has stolen nine bases which are a nice boost to his overall value. The skills are still very solid with 21% K, 12% BB, and 46% Hard contact. A slight change in his launch angle could unlock some more of his power considering he is hitting the ball hard (46%) but has 26% LD which has resulted in a 9% HR/FB which is well below his career 13% HR/FB. A trade would have been nice for his fantasy value but it didn't happen.
Jameson Taillon went 6.2 IP and gave up 3 ER on 7 H, 2 BB, and 2 K's against the Cubs. Taillon has pitched extremely well since the beginning of June. He has a 3.21 ERA since June 1st over 67.1 IP. The improvement comes in large part the introduction of a slider to his repertoire. He has thrown the pitch 22% of the time since the beginning of June and has gotten 16% whiffs on the pitch. His strikeout rate during that time has been 24% which is up from the 22% prior to that. The real difference has come in his overall results and has given him a strikeout pitch to use against both RHB and LHB. He has a good curve but it mainly induces ground balls and not strikeouts. Taillon is someone to buy for the rest of the year as an above average fantasy starter.
Dereck Rodriguez went 7 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 3 BB, and 7 K's against the Padres. Rodriguez has been excellent for the Giants through 66 IP. He has a 2.59 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. The surface stats look great but the underlying skills point to regression. His advanced ERA indicators like SIERA (4.26) suggest things could get rough. Rodriguez struggles to miss bats (19% K and 9% SwStr) which is a concern when giving up 42% hard contact. He has benefited from luck in the batted ball category but his home park will help protect him a little bit. He is still maturing as a pitcher after coming up as a position player so there could be room for growth but he would need to find a way to miss more bats. Ride the hot streak but be ready to jump off when the struggles come.
Jon Lester went 5 IP and gave up 4 ER on 7 H, 3 BB, and 3 K's against the Pirates. Lester has gone off the deep end in July with a 6.33 ERA over 30.2 IP. The biggest issue has been command with 12% BB this month. On the year, his numbers are still very solid with a 3.22 ERA but his underlying skills believe in the regression that is taking place (4.71 SIERA). His strikeout rate is down below 20% (19%) and his walk rate has jump up to 9%. It is not a good combination to miss less bats and issue more walks while giving up a career high 34% hard contact. He does have a long track record of success but the skills don't match his overall numbers and this should concern fantasy owners heading into the stretch run.
Kolby Allard went 5 IP and gave up 4 ER on 9 H, 2 BB, and 1 K's against the Marlins. This was Allard's first start in the majors. He is a left-handed pitcher that won't turn 21 until the middle of next month. He had been dominating Triple-A with a 2.80 ERA over 109.1 IP. He has three pitches (FB, CV, CH) that he has the ability to control. He has an advanced feel for his changeup which is going to help him be successful against right-handed batters. His ceiling is somewhat capped considering his strikeout rate was just 19% and he doesn't have overpowering stuff. He is likely going to be a more successful real-life pitcher than in fantasy but does warrant a pick up in most leagues with SP being so weak on the wire in most leagues.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Jose Osuna (PIT) $3,200 and 1B Justin Bour (MIA) $3,700
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