Corey Kluber (CLE) - Corey Kluber continues to be punished by the regression monster. On Monday, Kluber lasted just 4 innings after allowing 7 runs (3 earned) on 9 hits, including a home run and a walk. He managed to strikeout just 2. After starting his first 14 games with a 1.99 ERA propped up by an 89% strand rate (despite stark decreases to his swinging strike and other plate discipline metrics), his last 7 starts, including Monday night, have resulted in a strand rate below 70% with a 5.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 8 homeruns allowed and just a 19% strikeout rate. The warning signs have been there for Kluber all season. He has been getting hit harder with more consistency (hard hit rate and contract rate metrics are all worse), while simultaneously fooling batters less (chase rate and swinging strike rate metrics are down), but sequencing had been on his side. As his fortunes normalized (as they always do unless a skillset or injury occurs), his numbers regressed closer to what they should have been all along. Moving forward, Kluber's future starts look brighter than his last third, but realize you're getting a pitcher with second or third round production, not the first round type of production you drafted.
George Springer (HOU) - George Springer is slashing just .170/.295/.234 over the last month despite a solid 14% walk rate and 19% strikeout rate. His 31.5% hard hit rate isn't great, but it should be positively impactin him BABIP in a way that results in a number better than his current .208 mark. Springer is still seeing the ball well, evidenced by an 81% contact rate, 8% swinging strike rate and 89% zone contact rate, but the hits haven't fallen. Manager AJ Hinch hasn't pulled him from the leadoff position yet, which is a positive thing. The stats point to this simply being luck and small-sample size driven, so hang in there and wait for him to break out.
Evan Gattis (HOU) - After a massive months of May and June, Gattis has scuffled in the month of July, hitting just.183/.266/.415. His contact rate has fallen to just 75% over the last 30 days, but on the bright side, when he is making contact, he is hitting for power since 9 of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases. Gattis has never been an average hitter, but the batting average drag is a tough one to swallow since the league continues to drag down the league-wide average. He'll continue to be a fine source of homeruns and RBIs, but his hard% of 34% is barely above league average so don't expect a repeat of May or June anytime soon.
Rougned Odor (TEX) - Don't look now, but Rougned Odor has quietly been one of the best offensive performers in all of baseball over the last 30 days. Odor came into the All-Star Break red hot and picked up right where he left off this past weekend. Over the last month, he has slashed .318/.384/.523 with 5 home runs, 11 RBI, 16 runs scored and best of all, 7 stolen bases. He's still not walking much (6%), but his strikeout rate of 26% is much more manageable and thanks to Delino Deshields struggles, he has found himself hitting near the top of the Rangers' batting order recently.
Eduardo Escobar (MIN) - Eduardo Escobar hit his 3rd triple of the season and notched yet another multi-hit game. While he's not generally thought of as a top fantasy option, Escobar does lead major league baseball with 36 doubles. His 14 homeruns and 60 runs batted in are more than serviceable and his slashline of .275/.336/.511 is actually a relatively rare sight in the day and age of the three true outcomes. While last year's 20 homeruns on a 13% HR/FB rate and 31% hard hit rate were a little on the light side, he's more than supporting his 12% HR/FB rate this season with his 39% hard hit rate.