Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, BOS
After a rough first two months to the 2017 campaign, Bradley turned it on in June slashing .353/.431/.578 for the month. He's off to a good start in July as well, going 4-10 with a 2B through the first two games. Bradley suffered from a low BABIP early in the season despite a relatively good Hard% so the improvement shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The most impressive thing about Bradley's season thus far is the strides that he's made against LH-pitching, improving from a .244/.313/.360 slash line in 2016 to .380/.466/.680 through 58 PA's this season. The sample size is still small but it's noteworthy that his K% against southpaws has dropped from 25.3% to 19.0% while his BB% has increased by 3% and his Hard% by 6%. If the improvement against lefties holds up, Bradley could chip in a helpful BA in addition to plentiful counting stats.
Mike Fiers, SP, HOU
Fiers was pulled after 4 innings against the Yankees on Sunday having already thrown 105 pitches in the game. During those 4 innings however, he was quite effective, allowing no runs on just 2 hits, while striking out 7 and walking 4. Which makes you wonder, how is it possible to throw 105 pitches in 4 innings while allowing just 6 baserunners? But that's what happened. Going deep into games has been a problem for Fiers this season as he has only completed 6 innings in 7 of his 16 starts. He has been very successful recently though with a 2.20 ERA and 43:16 K:BB ratio through 41 IP over his last 7 starts, a vast contrast to the 5.21 ERA he posted through his first 9 outings. But the most incredible thing about Fiers season is this: Over his first 9 starts, he allowed a whopping 18 HR's, good for a 31.0% HR/FB. In his 7 most recent starts, he has not allowed a single HR! True, he's been keeping the ball on the ground a bit more, but that type of split is still hard to believe. The homeruns will have to come back at least a little bit and it's hard to trust Fiers as a season-long fantasy asset.
Jose Leclerc, RP, TEX
After the Rangers announced that Matt Bush would be removed from the closer role, Leclerc was considered one of the options to see save opportunities. That obviously wasn't going to be the case on Sunday as Leclerc entered with the Rangers leading by one to start the 8th inning. He then allowed a BB ad a 2-run HR to take the loss in the ballgame, and one would think that would only lessen the likelihood of him seeing save chances in the near future. Leclerc has an elite 14.25 K/9 this season and his 20.2% SwStr% entering Sunday's game led all of MLB (!) but he has struggled with control throughout his young career and right now his BB/9 sits at 5.25. He'll probably need someone else to blow a save or two befor getting another chance.
Jose Ramirez, 3B, CLE
As if to justify being the starting 3B for the AL All-Star team, Ramirez has a huge game on Sunday going 3-4 with 2 HR's, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored. He has turned it up a notch since late May, hitting .392 with 9 HR's, 18 doubles, 2 triples, and 38 runs scored over his past 36 games. He has even improved his already excellent contact rate with a 7.8% K% over that span. To go along with the elite contact rate, Ramirez has improved his Hard% from 26.8% last year to 35.2% this season which makes his high BABIP more sustainable and of course has led to an increase in power. Instead of regressing after last year's breakout, Ramirez has blossomed into a fantasy superstar.
Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA
This season has been a bit of a struggle for Seager, but he's picked it up a bit recently with 3 HR's in his last 8 games. He's been fine overall against RHP's with an .803 OPS against them entering Sunday's game, and despite playing in a pitcher friendly park, he has hit 7 of his 10 HR's at home. This makes for a nice matchup when the Mariners host the Royals and RHP Ian Kennedy on Monday, as Kennedy has already allowed 16 HR's this season and has allowed 1.72 HR/9 against lefties since 2015. DraftKing Value Play Salary $4,300.
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