Ketel Marte, 2B (ARI)
Marte struck out three times in five at bats on Saturday. The 25 year old has taken a more aggressive approach to the plate this year. So far it's resulted in the highest hard hit rate (44.4%), the highest ISO (.212), the highest Launch Angle (11.2°) and he's on pace for easily the most home runs in his career. However, he has an uninspiring 81 wRC+ and his lowest wOBA since 2016. The aggressive mindset has taken away his patience. Whereas the last couple years, Marte's OBP was boosted by a walk rate near 10%, this year he is walking 2.3% of his plate appearances. At the same time, his swinging strike rate is a career high. His new approach can benefit and hurt you as a fantasy owner. The power is up, but the OBP is down.
Charlie Blackmon, OF (COL)
Blackmon had his best game of the season on Saturday, going 4-5 with a home run and a triple. After not hitting a homerun in his first 18 games, he now has a long ball in each of the last two. Blackmon hasn't had an ISO under .200 since 2015, but even after Saturday's breakout, his ISO is sitting at .161. He's striking out more and walking less, and making less contact. What's most concerning is his 24.2% soft contact rate (it was 16% last year). Are we seeing natural age regression with Blackmon? One thing I like to look at to help clarify that, and this is far from foolproof, is his success against fastballs. Oftentimes aging players start to show their decline on a fastball. Well, Blackmon's success against velocity is down for the third straight year.
Cole Tucker, SS (PIT)
Not a bad major league debut for the Pirates shortstop. Tucker hit a 2-run homer that proved to be the difference in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over San Francisco. Tucker was called up to replace Erik Gonzalez, who broke his collarbone in a collision with Starling Marte on Friday. The Pirates immediately inserted Tucker into the leadoff position, which makes sense as he has great speed (he stole 47 bases in the minors in 2017) and on-base skills, but on Saturday it was his power that carried the Bucs. He is not going to hit a lot of homeruns, but he could be worth a look in NL-only leagues for his speed alone, especially if Pittsburgh continues to utilize him at the top of the lineup.
Tayron Guerrero, RP (MIA)
Guerrero had another scoreless appearance on Saturday, but it was the sixth time in the last seven appearances he walked a batter. In fact, on Saturday he walked two. He has only allowed three hits in 9.2 innings but seven walks. Meanwhile, his swinging strike rate is excellent at 22% and his hard hit rate is an impressive 27.8%. Guerrero has an electric arm and could develop into a dominant closer, but he has to reduce the walks. Before his breakout 2018 season, Edwin Diaz had a walk rate over 11%. When he brought it down to 6%, he became one of the elite closers in the game. Guerrero's walk rate is currently over 15% and he's not even the closer, but he has the stuff, he has a 0.00 ERA and he could be the closer before the end of the season.
Dereck Rodriguez, SP (SF); DraftKings: $6,600
The top three hitters in Pittsburgh's lineup on Saturday were: a guy making his major league debut and two hitters with averages below .165. Without Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, the Bucs are not a fearsome lineup at all. Rodriguez doesn't walk hitters and so he is tailor-made for a weak-hitting lineup, which the Pirates are. He's allowed three runs in 12 innings with 11 strikeouts over his last two starts, and the low price tag allows you to invest in other parts of your lineup.