Fletcher went 0-4 with a walk against the Blue Jays on Monday. Fletcher has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels this season as the 25-year-old added a little power to his already strong pate discipline and contact skills, making him a weapon in L.A.'s lineup and a valuable fantasy asset. Nobody will confuse Fletcher for a power hitter -- his 84.8 MPH average exit velocity ranks in the bottom 10% of the league -- but his soft contact rate is down to a respectable 17.1%, and his contact quality has been strong with a 35% line drive rate. Fletcher's calling card is his contact ability though; although Fletcher rarely swings (35.8% swing rate), he makes contact at a league best 93.6% rate with a ridiculous 97.2% z-contact rate. Fletcher's 2% home run rate might fall over the rest of the season, but his high contact, patient plate approach gives him a high floor, and the modest power that he's added has made him a legitimate breakout player this year.
Miley allowed three runs over 4.1 innings with six strikeouts against the Reds on Monday. Miley has been playing well again this season and took a 3.14 ERA into Monday's game. Miley has continued to increase the usage of the cutter that served him well last season, but it's been less effective and owns an average exit velocity of 89 MPH (five MPH higher than last season). Miley's underlying numbers in general shouldn't inspire much optimism among fantasy owners as the 32-year-old owns less than desirable plate discipline and contact profiles with a 70% z-swing rate (30% o-swing rate), 78.1% contact rate, and sub-10% swinging strike rate, but he's been doing something right as his .363 xSLG is strong. In particular, Miley has induced ground balls at a high rate (1.02 GB/FB ratio) while limiting line drives to a 21% clip, though his 88.8 MPH average exit velocity is mildly concerning considering his .265 BABIP. Expect Miley's ERA to climb over the rest of the season, but he should continue to be productive as long as he keeps the ball on the ground.
Cruz doubled and struck out against the Red Sox on Monday. Cruz has been excellent once again this season, and the 38-year-old has shown few signs of decline even as he approaches his 40th birthday. Age certainly hasn't affected Cruz's ability to hit the ball hard as he's posted a blistering 94.1 MPH average exit velocity and stellar 19.3% barrel rate, though his contact skills have been slightly worse than usual this season. Still, Cruz's swinging strike rate has rebounded to his career levels since the calendar turned to June, and there's little to suggest that his relatively poor start to the season (in regard to his contact and swinging strike rates) will carry through the year. Expect another elite season from Cruz, and lock him into lineups with confidence.
Lynn allowed one run over seven innings and struck out nine against the Indians on Monday. Despite what his 4.40 ERA might suggest, Lynn has pitched well so far this season and took a 3.03 FIP into Monday's game. Lynn's FIP is largely driven by his low walk rate (6.6%) due mostly to his fairly pound-the-zone approach (44% zone rate), but his strikeout numbers have also been solid (25.4% strikeout rate) and are supported by a 10.6% swinging strike rate (though his plate discipline profile suggests that his strikeout rate will likely fall over the rest of the season). More encouraging is Lynn's batted ball profile; the 32-year-old has posted an 86.4 MPH average exit velocity and stellar 3.7% barrel rate, indicating that his .350 BABIP should drop significantly over the rest of the year. Lynn has benefited from an increase in velocity and change in pitch mix this year (carry-overs of trends that helped him find success with the Yankees last year), so expect him to pitch well over the rest of the year and buy low if you can.
Sogard went 2-4 and scored against the Angels on Monday. Sogard spent nine games in the minor leagues this season but hasn't looked back since joining the major league roster and took a .847 OPS into Monday's game. There's a lot to like from Sogard's game; the 33-year-old boasts a strong plate discipline profile and rarely whiffs (93.5% z-contact rate, 89.3% contact rate, 3.9% swinging strike rate) while hitting to all fields and keeping the ball off the ground (35% line drive rate). Sogard doesn't offer much power (85 MPH average exit velocity), but his 16.8% soft contact rate isn't bad and his high line drive rate and ability to hit to all fields should help him maintain an above average BABIP. Expect a .280-plus batting average with few strikeouts, a high walk rate, and decent but below average power. Sogard will likely see his home run rate fall, but his overall performance appears to be mostly sustainable, and he should continue playing well through the rest of the year.
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