John Lackey went 6 IP and gave up 5 ER on 7 H, 2 BB, and 9 K's against the Pirates. Lackey came into the game with a 3.50 ERA (3.83 SIERA) and left with a 3.70 ERA. Lackey has upped his strikeout rate to 25%, which boosts his fantasy value. The increased strikeout rate is backed up by his improvement in his SwStr (11.4%). Lackey will continue to be an above average fantasy pitcher and should be in line for an above average amount of wins playing for the Cubs. Don't lose faith in the 37 yr. old for the Cubs.
Trea Turner was 0-4 with against the Mets. Turner is up in place of Ryan Zimmerman, who went on the 15 day DL. At this point it does not look like Turner has a definite starting spot, which is a shame. Turner hit .302 with 25 SB at Triple-A this year. Turner needs to be picked up due to his ability to steal bases, which has become extremely rare in fantasy baseball. If Turner can find consistent playing time, he would quickly rise up the SS ranks due to his ability to get on base and steal bases. He needs to be owned everywhere in case he finds a full time position.
Steven Matz went 7 IP and gave up 3 ER on 6 H, 4 BB, and 5 K's against the Nationals. Matz now has a 3.38 ERA (3.45 xFIP) with a 23% K. Matz will continue to deal bone spurs in his left elbow. There is no telling if it will become a serious injury or whether he'll be fine going forward. Outside of the injury concern, Matz has been an above average fantasy starter. He has an above average strikeout rate (23%), groundball rate (53% GB), and walk rate (5% BB). All of these factors back up his 3.41 ERA.
Daniel Murphy was 1-4 with his 17th HR and 2 RBI (66) against the Mets. Murphy continues to have a very fine season for the Nationals and he also continues to destroy his former team. Murphy is hitting .348 with 17 HR and 66 RBI. Murphy has shown that his power outburst from the post-season was legit as he has posted a .244 ISO this year. He also has a profile for power (43% FB, 40% Pull). Murphy is having a career year and owners should just enjoy the ride.
Gio Gonzalez went 5.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 4 H, 4 BB, and 3 K's against the Mets. Gonzalez's ERA now sits at 4.70 with a 4.00 xFIP. The strikeouts are there for the left-hander (23.4%) and his control hasn't been bad (8% BB). However, he has been leaving too many pitches over the middle of the plate, which has resulted in 22% LD and 34% Hard contact. Gonzalez needs to improve his command in the zone to lower the ERA, but at this point a complete turnaround is looking unlikely. He has a 4.50 ERA in July after posting a 6.95 ERA in June. Things are not looking good for the 30 yr. old left-hander.
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