Brian Flynn (SP/RP, KC): Flynn fell to 1-1 after a rough start against the Indians. Moving from the bullpen to take Chris Young's spot in the rotation, Flynn made his first MLB start since 2014. He allowed three earned runs on four hits and a walk in two and one-third innings, striking out only one batter. He threw 43 pitches but they clearly didn't get him deep into the game, and if the Royals decide to give him another start or two, he will be let loose for larger pitch counts. It's an experiment best left to the Royals and not fantasy players at this point, as they try to catch lightning in a bottle twice after what Danny Duffy has managed to do upon his transition back to a starting role. Flynn has seen his swinging strike rate leap to 13% this season as a reliever, with 26 K's in his 28.2 innings this season. Should he make another start, he'll face the Angels at home.
Danny Salazar (SP, Cle): Salazar struck out seven in six and two-thirds innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) and walking only one batter as he improved to 11-3 on the season. It was a welcomed bounce back effort after he gave up six earned runs in five and two-thirds innings in his previous start against the Yankees, and it was his first quality start since June 29th against the Braves. His numbers on the season are still terrific, with a 10.10 K/9 and 2.75 ERA, but the 3.80 BB/9 is troubling and will continue to keep him from pitching deep into games as his pitch count rises early. His FIP also has him due for some regression, albeit only to 3.25, based on his fortunate .277 BABIP and 81.4% strand rates. He has been much better this season at limiting the long ball, an issue that has done him in in the past, and if he does regress in that department they're going to hurt much worse with men on base from the extra walks he's allowing this season. So while's there's the potential for a blow up start, he still can get out of a jam with a strikeout. He's not worth selling high based on regression. His next scheduled start will be at home against the Nationals.
Dallas Keuchel (SP, Hou): Keuchel cruised early and ran into trouble late, finishing with two runs allowed in six and a third innings of work. He struck out six and walked three in the outing. He was pulled with two men on in the seventh inning for Ken Giles, who promptly allowed a two-run double. Overall though, Keuchel owners have to be pleased with his recent performance as this was his sixth consecutive quality start dating back to June 18th. He hasn't had any dominating outings though, and his ERA still sits at 4.70 on the season. That should continue to fall throughout the second half, and his owners should expect numbers more in line with his 3.56 xFIP as long as he keeps the ball in the yard and strands a few more runners. He'll get the Yankees at home in his next start.
Starlin Castro (SS, NYY): Castro homered out of the seven hole off of Vance Worley, his 11th home run of the season. He would finish the day 2-4 with two runs and four RBI. Castro has failed to live up to the renaissance season many expected from him this season upon switching teams, but he has managed to meet his 2015 home run total in 60 fewer games. The stolen bases are still gone as he's only attempted two steals this year, and his slash is right about in line with his 2015 numbers, sitting now at .261/.296/.410. His swinging strike rate is actually at an all-time high at 10.2%, as is his chase rate of 36.6%, which has led to a small increase in his K% from last season, up to 17.1% now. Given that he's still not walking (4.3% BB%) his OBP will continue to sit around .300 and push him down in the order, also limiting his R/RBI opportunities. His 13.2% HR/FB should creep down a little bit towards his career 7.4% mark as well, so all told Castro is and will continue to be a mediocre middle infield option.
Jose Quintana (SP, CHW): Quintana worked out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth inning to finish with six innings of one run ball against the Mariners, striking out seven and walking three. His ERA fell to 3.13 with the start, and Quintana just continues to be one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball. His 8.15 K/9 is solid but not elite and that keeps him from being an ace, but he's been under a 3.36 ERA for three seasons running now and this is shaping up to be his fourth consecutive 200 inning season. He's quietly one of the easiest pitchers to own in all of baseball, and while he's been a little fortunate with a .287 BABIP and 79.3% strand rate, he simply doesn't put many men on base or allow a lot of home runs. That allows him to limit the damage when he gets knocked around a bit and pile up the quality starts. He'll have a home date with Detroit in his next start on Sunday.
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