Trevor Bauer (SP-CLE)
Bauer tossed a complete game shutout Sunday scattering 4 hits while striking out 8. Bauer (5-6, 3.41 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) has now tossed two quality starts in a row after having a few rough outings over the past month. He was on his game vs a weak Tigers lineup, throwing 21 first pitch strikes and inducing 11 groundballs during the 117-pitch outing. 2019 has seen a bit of a decline in his strike out rate (11.34 K/9 last year vs 9.88 this year) and his flyball rate is up to 38% - not terrible but he has had his bad outings when he give ups the longball - and the advanced numbers even show he is a bit lucky that his ERA is as low as it is (4.55 xfip entering play Sunday). Nevertheless, Bauer still eats up innings and is a great play every time he takes the mound.
Jason Kipnis (2B-CLE)
Kipnis had a nice game Sunday going 3-5 with his 3rd home run of the season, while driving in 3. It has been a rough season for Kipnis who has been especially bad in June hitting just .111 (4-36) before Sundays Outing. This is the 3rd year in a row he has put up below-league average numbers and his 45 wrc+ makes it very difficult to recommend rostering him in any format. He has seen a slight decrease in his contact rate each of the past 3 seasons and his swinging strike rate is at a career high 10%. His struggles the past two seasons were somewhat attributed to his change in batting style approach where he increased his flyball rate to 44%. The change to bring that number back down hasn't helped much as he has now traded those flyballs for groundballs (33% last year vs 45% this year) and it has not yielded positive results.
Brandon Lowe (2B-TB)
Lowe went 2-3 with his 15th home run of the season. Lowe continues to rake in June hitting .333 with an OPS over 1.000 and has picked up 7 extra base hits. Overall, he has had a very nice .293/.350/.560 line with 31 extra base hits and is showing off his great skillset that allowed him to progress rapidly through the minors. Lowe hits the ball very hard (only 11% soft-contact rate) but the knock at least for the foreseeable future will be his plate discipline. His .394 babip signals that the average may end up closer to something like .260 instead of .290 and his walk to K rate are near the bottom of the league (6% BB rate; 33% K rate). That being said he has multi positional eligibility in most fantasy formats and is currently on pace to hit 30+ home runs and approach 100 RBIs - which makes the strikeouts something the Rays and fantasy owners alike can overlook for the time being.
Rafael Devers (3B-BOS)
Devers came through in the clutch Sunday for the Red Sox going 2-5 with the game winning home run in the 11th inning. Despite hitting 21 home runs last season it was still a bit of a disappointing season for the top prospect, but he appears to have righted the ship thus far this year. He is already more than halfway to his home run total last year with his 11th one of the season Sunday and has also driven in 45 runs and stolen 8 bags to really round out his .306/.362/.502 line. He has drastically cut down his strikeout rate from last year (24% to 16%) which has been aided from him cutting down his swinging strike rate 2% as well to 11%. Look for Devers to approach 25 home runs and 100 RBIs, with an outside shot at 20 stolen bases as well.
Mike Trout (OF-LAA)
Trout went 2-4 with his 19th home run of the season. While his average (.285) is a little below what fantasy owners expect, it is hard to find much wrong with a player who holds a ridiculous 1.069 OPS as he does in addition the speed he offers with the 7 stolen bases. He is sporting nearly identical splits across the board in 2019 as in his past seasons but may be the smallest bit of unlucky as his .290 babip, while good, sits well below his career .350 mark. As that starts to normalize he should pull the average back up to .300 while he looks for his second career 40-home run season, and first since 2015.
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