Chris Sale (SP-CHW): Despite picking up his 10th win of the season, Chris Sale struggled yet again, allowing 5 earned runs on 11 hits in 6 innings against the Royals. I'm concerned. While he has kept the hard hit rate below league average, his swinging strike rate is down from 14.6% to 8.9%, his chase rate has plummeted from 34.8% to 28.6%, and his first-pitch strike rate has dipped 5%. Something isn't right with Sale and the surface stats are masking his struggles.
Jose Abreu (1B-CHW): Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI but his OPS sits at .716. After two years of elite production that earned him consideration in the 2nd round in most drafts, Abreu has fallen off a cliff in 2016. The peripherals suggest you should extend a helping hand to Abreu and reel him onto your squad for a resurgent second half. His current BABIP is 75 points below his career norm despite a similar batted ball profile and a hard hit rate that has only dropped 2% to 32%. His batted ball speed numbers have actually improved from 2015, suggesting his 10% HR/FB rate is due for some serious positive regression.
Matt Andriese (SP-TB): Matt Andriese allowed 3 earned runs and 12 baserunners in 5 and 1/3 innings, but the Rays bats backed him up for the W. I'm not a believer and if you can get someone in your league to buy the surface stats, pounce. His control and groundball rate will keep him out of significant trouble, but Andriese doesn't miss enough bats and doesn't induce enough weak contact to make him worth the price for DFS or worth the anything more than a streaming option at home against weaker lineups in standard mixed leagues.
Steven Wright (SP-BOS): Steven Wright didn't allow an earned run in 7 and 1/3 innings against the Twins and picked up his 7th win. While knuckleballers can be fickle and lose feel in an instant, Wright is a must play in all formats. His .254 BABIP and 3.9% HR/FB rate portend some negative regression, but I'm not counting on a significant amount. This isn't a league average pitcher we are talking about and he has the stuff to defy the peripherals.
James Paxton (SP-SEA): Thanks to a tweak in his arm slot, James Paxton has experienced an uptick in his fastball velocity to over 98 MPH on average. As a result, he has posted a 34% K-rate and a 5% BB-rate over the past two starts. While there is plenty of risk here, the FanDuel price is right at $7300 for his home matchup against the Rangers, who are 24th in road offense and stacked with plenty of high-K lefty bats to feast on.