Manny Machado SS (BAL) - I know fellow analyst Joe Hettler was pretty adamant that fantasy owners should not overrate Machado based upon a few good games when he was initially called up. Time has proven Joe to be wise as the 20 YO is simply overmatched at this point. Machado has run into a few extra base hits to give him an impressive .296 ISO, but that will not last considering his ISO at AA was only .172. Furthermore, his plate discipline has been awesome. He has a 21.8 K% and a pathetic 1.8 BB% to give him a putrid EYE of .08. If you need more evidence than that, check out Machado's LD rate of 9.5% which is about half of what the league average is. Machado is a future stud at a position where studs are at a premium, but it's just too soon for him to be counted on to provide fantasy or real life value.
Max Scherzer SP (DET) - Scherzer lowered his ERA to 4.13 with a stellar outing yesterday, allowing just 1 ER over 7 IP. He struck out 9 and only walked 2. Scherzer's K% is tantalizing at 29.4%, and he should remain one of the best source for strikeouts the rest of the season. However, don't expect Scherzer's ERA to ever match his xFIP. In this case Scherzer's ERA is 4.13 while the xFIP is a much more stellar 3.23. The problem is Scherzer's HR/FB rate is pretty consistently above league average (11.6% for his career, 14.3% this year). Since Scherzer is more FB oriented (career 40.2 GB%, 37.3% for career) his elevated HR/FB rate matters more than it would for the average pitcher. He's still a really good pitcher, but the ERA stat will disappoint for a guy with an outstanding K rate and 3.58 K/BB ratio.
Andy Dirks OF (DET) - In deep leagues, Andy Dirks is a really good cheap source of runs. Like Mark Ellis in yesterday's NL report, Dirks' value was shown to me by fellow analyst Drew Dinkmeyer. Dirks is entrenched as the 2-hole hitter for Detroit when they face right handed pitching, which Dirks owns (.355/.395/.529). Obviously this is important as there are a lot more right handed starters than left handed starters, and Dirks still is in the lineup against lefties, albeit further down in the order. With those stats against righties, though, and hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on those days, Dirks is a really sneaky-solid source for run scoring.
Colby Rasmus OF (TOR) - Rasmus is my value play for daily leagues today. On most websites he should be cheap as he has really been scuffling lately. However, he is matched up against David Phelps tonight in Yankee stadium, which according to Fangraphs is the best place for left handed homers. Phelps is giving up 1.13 HR/9 and is a lot worse against left handed batting (.798 OPS allowed) than he is against right handed batting (.554 OPS allowed).
Rafael Soriano RP (NYY) - Soriano earned his 33rd save of the year, closing out the final 4 outs of the game for the Yankees. While Soriano has done a good job of improving upon both his K and BB rates from a season ago, his 2.5 run drop in ERA has more to do with a huge reduction in his HR/FB rate from 8.3% to 1.9%. I don't expect Soriano to be mad down the stretch, but his career HR/FB rate of 7.3% shows that his current level of production is unsustainable. Don't be surprised if he blows a September save or two by giving up homers and has ROS ERA above 3.