Trevor Bauer went 6 IP and gave up 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 8 K's against the Rays. Bauer has been struggling of late with 22 ER over his last five starts prior to today's game. On the year he has a 4.11 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 76.2 IP. The strikeouts are still there with 27% K but his control has not been. His walk rate has spiked to 12% and his home run rate has jumped from 0.46 HR/9 last year to 1.17 HR/9 this year. His hard contact given up has spiked as well from 36% to 41%. The ever tinkering Bauer came into the year with a changeup that he was confident was going to make him an even better pitcher. He is throwing it more which means he is throwing his slider and curve less which has not been successful. In fact, he has lost the feel for his curve which is part of his poor results. Keep an eye on his pitch mix over the next couple of starts to see if he starts using his off-speed pitches more which could result in him going on a run similar to last year.
Rafael Devers-Red Sox-3B
Rafael Devers was 2-4 with 1 R, 1 RBI, and 1 SB against the Astros. Devers has been excellent at the dish this year hitting .330 with 7 HR, 37 R, 30 RBI, and 7 SB. The stolen bases have been the biggest surprise considering his sprint speed is league average and he hadn't stolen more than five bases above Single-A. He has shown a big improvement in his plate discipline this year by upping his walk rate from 8% to 9.1% and lowering his strikeout rate from 25% to 15%. Expecting his power to surge does not look likely this year as his fly balls have dropped from 39% to 27% but if he is going to hit .300+ you aren't going to complain with good counting stats in the Red Sox lineup.
Max Kepler was 2-4 with his 12th HR and 4 RBI against the White Sox. Kepler has been incredibly hot as of late with a .588 AVG with 2 HR/1 SB over the past week. On the year, Kepler is hitting .276 with 12 HR, 35 R, 33 RBI, and 1 SB. The underlying skills are great as well with 10% BB, 15% K, and .265 ISO. One change he has made this year is being more aggressive (+7%) swing percentage which is a positive for someone that has good contact skills and power like Kepler. This could be the breakout year we were all expecting from Kepler.
Jake Odorizzi went 5.1 IP and gave up 0 ER on 1 H, 1 BB, and 9 K's against the White Sox. Odorizzi has been excellent so far this year with a 2.16 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. The concern is that his underlying skills are not that much different than the 4+ ERA pitcher we had seen the past two years. He is benefiting from a .238 BABIP and 82% LOB. Yes, the strikeouts are up from 23% to 25% but his walk rate is still elevated at 9% and he still plays a dangerous game with 49% FB in today's environment. So far, the home run has not hurt him (0.62 HR/9) but that number is likely to come up and his ERA will as well. Odorizzi is someone to continue to ride the hot streak but keep in mind that regression is likely to set in.
Clint Frazier was 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI against the Royals. Frazier initially struggled when he came back from the IL but he has hits in five of his last six games and has 3 HR and 1 SB over that same time period. On the year, he is hitting .275 with 9 HR, 20 R, 27 RBI, and 1 SB in 142 PA. He has an aggressive approach at the plate (26% K, 7% BB) which is going to lead to a lower batting average in the .250-.260 range but the power is legit (41% FB, 39% Pull, 36% Hard). He will also play every day while both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are out with injuries and it doesn't hurt that he will be hitting in one the leagues better offenses.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Eloy Jimenez (CWS) $3,800 and 2B Tommy La Stella (LAA) $3,800
This is just a small sample of our daily analysis, join our member area for over 80 daily player updates sent to your inbox every morning and track your team online. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3