Julio Teheran (SP, Atl): Teheran was nearly perfect on Sunday, firing a complete game 1-hit shutout against the Mets with no walks and seven strikeouts. He needed 120 pitches to go the distance, picking up only his third win of the season. The only blemish for the day came on a single from Michael Conforto in the third inning, and he saw his ERA drop to 2.66 on the season with the terrific start. While there's no question Teheran has been a very pleasant surprise this season, not only maintaining that strong ERA but also increasing his strikeout rate by nearly a K per inning, there's also many signs that regression will hit him sooner or later. He's had a highly fortunate .206 BABIP and stranded base runners at an 81.6% clip, which brings his FIP to a much murkier 3.84 ERA. He has also managed to accomplish this success while allowing the hardest contact of his career at 36.1% and with his velocity down a mile per hour from last year, his average fastball velocity now sitting at 90.2 MPH. Wins will continue to be a struggle as long as he's pitching for the Braves, so the savvy Teheran owner will use this outing as a "shining example of what a super-ace Teheran is" and sell high, high, high. His next scheduled start is a home matchup, again with the Mets.
Brandon Belt (1B, SF): Belt belted his 10th homer of the season, finishing 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Belt has drastically reduced his strikeout rate this season, dropping a whopping 10% from 2015 to 16.4%, which is extremely impressive given he's also increased his walk rate by 5.9% to 16%. That's a nearly even 44:45 BB:K ratio, and that combined with a .305/.418/.540 slash makes for one of the least talked about breakouts of the 2016 season. His .235 ISO is the best he's ever posted in the majors as well. He's cut a whopping 6% off his chase rate and upped his contact rate by 4.7% which backs up his plate discipline gains, so the only possible knock on the 28 year old lefty is his lengthy injury history. Nothing predicts future injury like past injury as they say, and he's had some pretty sever concussion issues in the past. Aside from the injury risk, he's looking like a guy who's finally ascending into the upper tier of fantasy first baseman.
Archie Bradley (SP, Ari): Bradley nabbed his third win in seven starts as he threw six innings, allowing only one unearned run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts against the Phillies. His ERA still sits at 4.83 for the season, which is quite justified given his poor walk rate (4.39 BB/9) and propensity to give up the long ball (1.54 HR/9). He's a guy that can pile up the strikeouts (44 in 41 IP this season), but his ceiling is capped until he can find a third pitch. He tossed 64 fastballs and 21 curveballs in this start, and without a changeup or some sort of third pitch to keep lefties off balance, he'll always be at risk of getting clobbered. He still has lots of potential at 23 years old, but for this season he should only be spot started in favorable starts. His owners will want to avoid him as he heads to Coors Field for his next start.
Scooter Gennett (2B, Mil): Gennett hit his sixth home run of the season off of Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, finishing 1-4 on the day. Gennett has had a bit of a different season than expected. He's increased his walk rate by 6.2%, literally doubling his rate from 2015, while also seeing his strikeout rate balloon as well, from 17.4% to 23.4%. The six homers already match what he did in 391 plate appearances last season, and in only 205 this year. There hasn't been a huge change in his batted ball profile, but he has managed to increase his hard contact rate from 22.1% to a more league average 31.3%. He's chasing fewer pitches outside of the zone this season but his contact rate is also down by 6.1%, so he appears to be swinging for the fences a bit more while he improves his pitch recognition. Perhaps the biggest boon to his value would be an ability to hit lefties; he was a horrid .114 against them last season in only 36 plate appearances, and in 40 PA's this year he's actually hit lefties better than righties, with a .273 BA against left handed pitching. Not for nothing, he's also 3-4 in stolen base attempts as well, so we are looking at a potential double-digit HR/SB middle infielder even though he missed a chunk of the season sitting on the DL. He's going to be hitting in the two hole in the Brewers lineup most days and is worth an add in most leagues.
Michael Taylor (OF, Was): Taylor stuffed the stat sheet on Sunday, homering twice and stealing a base. He finished 4-4 and also hit a double for good measure. Taylor has been a huge tease in his young career. He can put together games like this where he looks like he can do everything, but he's got very poor plate discipline and will also go through prolonged cold stretches. His 30.2% strikeout rate goes a long ways towards keeping his batting average down in the lower .200's, though this big day boosted him up to .243/.279/.402 on the season. He's on pace for another double-digit homer and steal season, but the batting average and counting stats are going to be very poor, and he won't see consistent at-bats until there's another injury to the Nationals outfield. He's not relevant in standard mixed leagues, and he's very hard to own in points leauges that subtract points for strikeouts.
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