Chris Archer went 5 IP and gave up 3 ER on 6 H, 2 BB, and 2 K's against the Giants. Archer came into the game with a 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 34.3% K. The good news is that he is still missing bats at an elite level despite today's lonely 2 K's, which is backed up by 14% SwStr. The concern for Archer going forward is that he has been very fortunate when it comes to BABIP and LOB%. His .259 BABIP is well below his career average of .301 and a 92.6% LOB is not going to last. His biggest issue has been an increase in walks (10% BB) due to a career-low 53% first-pitch strikes. This has also led to him falling behind in counts. Being in hitters counts has also led to 40% Hard contact, which is concerning as well and led to Buster Posey's home run today. Archer has made a change in his pitch mix by throwing more two-seamers and changeups but this isn't enough to outrun his underlying skills which point towards regression. Now might be the time to sell high on Archer in trading leagues.
Robinson Cano was 2-4 with a HR against the Cardinals but he had to leave the game after getting hit on the hand with a fastball from Andrew Miller. The x-rays came back negative but he was wearing a soft cast after the game. Cano has started off slowly with a .235 AVG with 3 HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, and 0 SB. The triple slash is not much better at .235/.286/.412. Uncharacteristically, Cano has been striking out more (22%) and walking less (6%) than his career numbers. This also includes a career-high 12% SwStr. The good news is that he is still hitting the ball with authority with above average exit velocity and hard contact. Cano has been better this past week with a .308 AVG but a 6:1 K/BB ratio. To improve his overall numbers Cano is going to need to go back to the hitter he has always been which is above average contact rates. It is important that we keep an eye on this over the next couple of weeks because he is 36 years old which could mean a decline phase.
Anthony Rizzo was 2-3 with a run scored against the Diamondbacks. Rizzo has had a poor start to the year with a .197 AVG. The good news is that he has 3 HR, 14 R, 11 RBI, and 0 SB which means he hasn't been a complete wash. The underlying skills also suggest that he is getting unlucky and his .208 BABIP is well below his career average of .285. Rizzo is displaying excellent plate skills (17% K, 16% BB) and hitting the ball hard (40% Hard) which signals that he should turn this around quickly. His Statcast numbers are in line with what he has done over his career so now might be the time to buy low on the Cubs first baseman.
Stephen Strasburg went 8 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 2 BB, and 11 K's against the Marlins. This was easily Strasburg's best start this year. He came into the game struggling to start the year with a 5.56 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. The good news for his owners is that better times should continue. He is missing bats with 29% K and 12% SwStr. He also has done a good job of controlling the strike zone with 7% BB and 60% first pitch strikes. Strasburg's biggest issue has been the longball with 1.99 HR/9 which should come down near his career mark of 0.89. He is giving up the same amount of fly balls and has decreased his hard-hit rate which signals his home run rate should come down. Strasburg skills-wise was a buy-low candidate but today'start probably knocked that out of the window. He does get a home start next time out against the Padres, which should be a good matchup for him.
Noah Syndergaard went 5 IP and gave up 4 ER on 8 H, 2 BB, and 5 K's against the Cardinals. Syndergaard has had a disappointing start to 2019 with a 5.90 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. His 3.03 SIERA suggests that his skills are still excellent and he has pitched better than his traditional numbers indicate. He is still missing bats with 30% K and 12% SwStr along with excellent control (5% BB). Syndergaard also does a good job of limiting hard contact with 53% GB. He is a great buy-low candidate if anyone is willing to move an upper echelon starter in today's climate. He gets the Brewers next time out at home which is a much better matchup than in Miller Park.
DraftKings Value Plays: 2B/OF Garrett Hampson (COL) $3,900 and 3B/OF Jeff McNeil (NYM) $3,700
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