Jason Heyward, OF, CHC
Heyward went 2 for 5 with a triple and a home run on Sunday afternoon. He now has 17 homers and has his average up to .276 on the season. The addition of Nicholas Castellanos figures to take a little bite out of Heyward's playing time at some point, but right now the 29-year-old outfielder is playing so well that the Cubs can't afford to sit him. He is batting .333 over the past eight contests and he plays gold-glove caliber right/center field. Heyward has been striking out a lot more this season than last (19.2% in '19, 12.3% in '18), yet his numbers are much better this season because the quality of his contact has vastly improved. His LD% is up 2.8% from last season, and he is popping out with much less regularity in 2019 than he did in 2018 (-7.4% IFFB%). Heyward is owned in just 40.7% of ESPN leagues and could be worth a pickup; especially if he continues to bat leadoff.
Caleb Smith, SP, MIA
Smith gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits and four walks on Sunday afternoon in Tampa Bay. The southpaw is now 7-5 with a 3.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP on the season. Those overall numbers for 2019 are good, however Smith was much better earlier in the season. In his first nine starts Smith posted a 2.38 ERA while striking out 12.06 batters per nine and giving up 1.19 HR/9. Since then (Sunday's start not included) he has posted a 4.70 ERA, struck out 9.82 batters per nine, and has surrendered a whapping 2.04 HR/9 across eight starts. Despite his recent struggles, Smith is still a viable fantasy option as he boasts a 10.85 K/9 ratio in 102.0 innings and has only failed to pitch 5+ innings once in his 18 starts this season.
Donovan Solano, SS/2B, SF
Solano hit a pair of homers and drove in the Giants' only two runs during Thursday's contest in Colorado. Solano continues to produce since getting the promotion to the big leagues at the beginning of May. The two home runs were just his third and fourth of the season, but he is batting .343 with a .366 wOBA in his 147 plate appearances. Solano has never had much success in his previous stints in the majors but he has been hitting an amazing amount of line drives (36.4% LD%) this season and it has him producing impressive numbers. It's unlikely that the 31-year-old will be able to keep this up, but he is available in virtually every league right now (99.8% of ESPN leagues) and he has dual position eligibility (2B/SS), which is a nice bonus.
Noah Syndergaard, SP, NYM
Syndergaard threw 7.0 innings of one-run ball on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. He only struck on three in the game, but he was able to secure his 8th win of the season by allowing just three hits and one walk. While Thor hasn't been the dominant starter that fantasy owners hoped he would be here in 2019, he has been pretty solid. He doesn't wow you with strikeouts (8.94 K/9), but he keeps the ball on the ground (48.6% GB%) and in the park (.89 HR/9) better than most. Syndergaard's ERA is now 3.96, which isn't bad, especially when you notice that his xFIP is actually a touch lower than that on the season (3.94).
Josh Donaldson, 3B, ATL
Donaldson hit a home run and extended his hitting streak to seven games on Sunday afternoon. The resurgent superstar went 2 for 3 on the day and now has 26 dingers on the season. Donaldson doesn't boast an incredible average (.259), but his patience at the plate has him getting on-base at a solid .371 clip this season. He has been better at identifying, and swinging at, pitches inside of the zone this season. His 2019 Z-Swing% of 72.3% is 4.6% higher than his career average which probably correlates to how much better he is hitting the ball this season. Donaldson's Hard% is 47.1% so far this season, which would be the highest mark of his career by over 6.0% if he were to keep it up.
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