HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
Dylan Cease (CWS) - The White Sox called up prospect Dylan Cease to start against the Tigers on Wednesday. After tallying two quick outs in the first inning, Cease made things interesting by walking three straight batters before giving up a two-run single and walking his 4thbatter of the inning. He managed to settle down after the first inning and finished with a line of 5.0 IP, 4H, 3ER, 4BB and 6K. The White Sox even held on to give the rookie his first win. Moving forward, Cease has mixed league appeal and should be added in all formats, but for keeper purposes, think of his as a mid-rotation type of arm.
Francisco Lindor (CLE) -One of the under-the-radar disappointments this fantasy season has been Francisco Lindor. The shortstop dealt with a pair of foot injuries in Spring Training, causing him to near about a month of the regular season. Prior to the injury, Lindor was being drafted as high as third overall in fantasy drafts. Lindor is slashing .287/.347/.489 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases, a line that would be considered excellent by most people's standards, but after 38 home runs in 2018 and a HR/FB rate that's largely identical to 2018, there's plenty of concern about the drop is home run production. The cause? A 6% trade off between groundball rate and flyball rate. With relatively flat hard hit rates, the drop in flyballs is obviously leading to fewer home runs. It's a shift that can be remedied in the 2ndhalf, but it's an interesting trend to watch.
Chris Sale (BOS) -It's just not Chris Sale's season. For the second start in a row, Chris Sale allowed 5 earned runs, only this time he did it by allowing 3 home runs to Lourdes Gurriel, Danny Jansen and Brandon Drury. The raw "stuff" hasn't necessarily been an issue for Sale as his 14% SwStr% and 35% chase rate still indicate dominance, but opposing hitters are simply making better contact against him this season (albeit still with just a 78% in zone contact rate) as he has allowed a 32% hard hit rate (highest of his career) and a 53% medium hit rate. In fact, his 15% soft hit rate is the lowest since 2012. The All-Star break might be what the doctor ordered.
Willie Calhoun (DAL) - The Dallas Morning Newsreported on Wednesday that rookie Willie Calhoun has been working at both second base and third base during pre-game workouts. Calhoun was actually a second baseman in the Dodgers organization before joining the Rangers organization, but it's intriguing development since the unexpected revival of Hunter Pence has caused a bit of a playing time squeeze in Texas. Calhoun has hit very well this season for the Rangers, slashing .313/.352/.567 with a strong 45% hard hit rate. His 5.8% swinging strike rate and 94% in-zone contact rates prove the plate approach is a real skill.
Domingo German (NYY) -The Yankees activated Domingo German from the injured list on Wednesday and he started against the Mets. German has been arguably the Yankees best starting pitcher this season and the skillset is certainly there to support the breakout. German picked up right where he left off, posting a line of 6IP, 5H, 1ER, 0BB and 6K. His 14% swigning strike rate and 36% chase rate are a big reason he's able to post strikeout numbers in the mid-20's and contact rates that pace the best starters in the league (72%).
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