Ian Happ (CHC) - The Cubs' rookie second baseman, Ian Happ, enjoyed arguably the best game of his short career on Sunday. Happ went 3-4 with a pair of homeruns, 4 RBI and a stolen base. Up until today, Happ had been a solid contributor for a rookie player, but he hadn't done much to stand out as anything more than a replacement level player. Entering Sunday's contest, he was hitting .252/.322/.523 with 10 homeruns, 23 RBI and 22 runs scored in 173 at-bats. His 31% hard hit rate is nothing more than league average, although his 15% soft hit rate is slightly better than the average mark. Regardless, his 12 homeruns on the season is a pace which he has never done at any level in his professional career, which obviously also means his HR/FB rate is a little out of whack. Look for regression to the homeruns in the second half and perhaps an even lower batting average on the back of his terrible 17% swinging strike and 31% strikeout rates.
Jake Arrieta (CHC) - Jake Arrieta has been a frustrating player to own this season, going on a stretch of a few good games, only to see those performances wiped out by one horrible start. That pattern continued on Sunday when he twirled a gem against the Cincinnati Reds despite extremely favorable hitting conditions in Great American Ballpark. With that said, it was the same ballpark where Arrieta threw his no-hitter in 2016, so he obviously enjoys pitching in Cincinatti. Arrieta finished the day going 7 innings allowing just 1 hits, 2 walks and striking out 6 for the win. He threw 69 of his 100 pitches for strikes and was dealing for most of the day. One interesting thing to note about Arrieta has to do with his schedule over the first half of the season: After managing an ERA nearly 1 run lower at home than on the road in 2016, Arrieta has started just 5 of his 17 starts at home to begin this year, which he has also managed to pitch with an ERA nearly a run lower yet again in the Friendly Confines. Hopefully the schedule becomes friendlier for Arrieta in the second half and he can draw more home starts. In the meantime, pay close attention to where Arrieta is pitching before rolling him out in your fantasy leagues.
Jake Lamb (AZ) - Jake Lamb went 1-for-4 on Sunday afternoon. As the stats predicted, Lamb has cooled down considerably over the last several weeks. His current performance isn't necessarily because he's been bad, it's more because he was on an unsustainable tear, especially considering his decent, but not great, 36% hard hit rate. His HR/FB rate has fallen to 25% over his recent stretch, which is still a litter high considering his total barrels and hard hit percentage, but with an improved batting eye (walk rate up to 13% this year), he has managed to significantly improve his contact percentage, which should continue to grant him plenty of RBI opportunities in the offensive friendly Chase Field.
Tommy Pham (STL) - Tommy Pham went 1-for-3 with a 2-run home run and a walk on Sunday night. Pham has been just one of many waiver wire darlings in fantasy leagues this season and continues to thrive in an everday role with St. Louis. Entering Sunday's game, Pham was slashing .282/.371/.469 with 9 homeruns and 9 stolen bases in just 51 games. For all your folks who love "on-pace for" statistics, that means he's on pace for a 30/30 season. Pham has always hit the ball hard in his limited playing time at the major league level, posting hard hit rates of 38%, 43% and now 34% this season. For that reason, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Pham is doing so well this season. Look for him to continue rewarding his fantasy owners with both speed and power along with a decent batting average over the second half.
Marcell Ozuna (MIA) - Ozuna was voted as a starter in the all-star game and rewarded his fans with a double homerun effort on Sunday afternoon. Ozuna finished the afternoon going 3-for-6 with 2 home runs, 4 RBI and also a golden sombrero for striking out 3 times. It was the 3rd time that Ozuna has hit multiple homeruns in a game this season and coincidentally, also the 3rd time he also struck out 3 times. Ozuna's 24 barrels are excellent, but they still likely don't support his 28.9% HR/FB rate. Here at Fantistics, we called Ozuna's breakout and you as the subscriber are likely the beneficiary of that call, and while we don't expect a steep fall off, now might not be a horrible time to see what Ozuna can fetch you via the trade market.
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