Kyle Schwarber (OF-CHC) had a monster day against the Brewers on Sunday, going 3-3 with a pair of longballs and 7 RBI. The 26 year-old now owns a .228 average on the year to go along with 24 longballs and 54 RBI. Fantasy owners keep waiting for Schwarber to take the next step forward, but his profile for three years now has been pretty consistent - a sub-.240 average and nice pop (30 and 26 homers in 2017 and 2018, respectively). He's trimmed his strikeout rate over the last 2 years (down to 26.5% in 2019), but his hard-hit rate is down a tad (to 39%) from last season (40.2%). This could be what Schwarber is.
Luis Urias (2B-SD) continued to struggle against big-league pitching, going 0-4 with a strikeout against San Francisco on Sunday. Urias has dominated Triple-A pitching in 2019 (.315 average, 19 homers, 50 RBI, and 7 steals in 339 plate appearances), but has looked lost in the majors, as he's now batting just .063 with a double and 7 runs scored through 61 plate appearances. He's never struck out much in the minors, but that figure sits at 23% so far in 2019, and he's managed just a 29% hard-hit rate when he has put the ball in play. Just 9.7% of batted balls have been liners while 61.3% have ended up on the ground. If you've been stashing him in hopes that he will make a difference down the stretch in 2019, it's looking more and more like you can pull the plug on that.
Juan Soto (OF-WSH) went 1-5 with a 2-run homer against the Dodgers on Sunday. The 20 year-old has followed up his strong 2018 debut (.292-22-70) with a solid if unspectacular 2019 campaign in which he's batting .285 with 18 longballs and 66 RBI while chipping in 7 steals. Although his hard-hit rate has barely moved north (up to 35.3% from 34.8%), he's traded a bunch of grounders (down to 42.1% from 53.7%) for liners (up to 23.6% from 17.5%) and flyballs (up to 34.3% from 28.8%). Although one would hope for and expect improvement for such a young player, it's encouraging that he's continued to walk a lot (15.1%) and not whiff a ton (21.4%) while posting an identical .225 ISO and a quality average in his second season in the majors.
Walker Buehler (SP-LAD) struggled against Washington on Sunday, surrendering 7 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 3 walks while recording 6 strikeouts. But it's been a strong sophomore campaign overall for Buehler, who now owns a 3.38 ERA, 10.08 K/9, and 1.47 BB/9 on the season. His 3.12 FIP indicates that a bit of bad luck may be slightly suppressing his overall numbers, as his 66.4% strand rate sits about 12% below the clip that he posted last season. While his overall line might seem like a step back from what he did in 2018, he has improved in some key areas. For example, his K/9 is up slightly from 9.9 and his walk rate is down significantly from 2.42.
Raisel Iglesias (RP-CIN) gently shut the door against the Rockies on Sunday, giving up 2 hits but no runs while striking out 1 over an inning of work to earn the save. The 29 year-old has now saved 2 games in a row after Michael Lorenzen earned a save on July 20th while Iglesias returned from the paternity list. Iglesias hasn't exactly been stellar in 2019, as his ERA sits at 4.50 and his 4.61 FIP says he's been just about that bad. While he records plenty of strikeouts (11.86 K/9), his 3.89 BB/9 is a career worst and opposing batters have logged a career-high 36.9% hard-hit rate against him. He's struggled quite a bit of late, as he's surrendered runs in 3 of his last 5 outings. If he falters much more, Lorenzen is poised to pick up his save opportunities.
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