Jack Flaherty (SP - STL) Flaherty pitched well but earned his seventh loss of 2018 in the Cards 3-0 loss to the Dodgers Friday. The 22-year-old went six innings, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out eight and walking two. In 138.1 innings Flaherty has 168 strikeouts, for a 10.93 K/9. Opposing batters are hitting at just a .248 clip, while he is stranding 83.5% of runners. Friday's outing lowered his ERA to 2.86, but FIP says he hasn't been quite as good as the numbers indicate, sitting at 3.76. It has been an impressive run, but based upon his minor league numbers, it will be tough to keep this pace up. Even if there is a bit of a drop off, Flaherty is an excellent target for the middle of your rotation in 2019 drafts.
Christian Yelich (OF - MIL) Yelich went deep in the Brewers 7-5 win over the Pirates Friday. Yelich is making a case for the NL MVP with impressive stats across all categories. He owns a .314/.383/.554 line with 29 home runs, 88 RBI, 100 runs and 19 steals. Metrics are just as impressive. His 149 wRC+, .398 wOBA and .366 BABIP further make his case. It's amazing what a change of scenery, and culture can do for a player. Yelich figures to rocket up draft boards heading into 2019 drafts. Did I mention he's just 26?
Rhys Hoskins (OF - PHI) Hoskins did some yard work in the Phillies 14-2 beatdown of the Marlins Friday. The Philly slugger bashed his 31st longball of the season and was 2 for 5 on the night. On the season, Hoskins is slashing .253/.362/.506 with the 31 homers, 91 RBI and 84 runs scored. Overall, his numbers are about what owners could expect to get for their investment, if they didn't expect the pace from last season to continue. His double-digit BB% will always make him a top option in OBP formats, and his .250 average is a fair trade off for the home run pop he provides. His .370 wOBA and 133 wRC+ illustrate how big his role is in the Phillies offense, and at age 25, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
J.T. Realmuto (C - MIA) Realmuto was the offensive leader as the Marlins fell to the Phillies 14-2 Friday. The All-Star catcher went 1 for 3, with the hit being a solo home run, his 21st on the season. With a .284/.348/.505 line, the 21 homers, 71 RBI and 69 runs, it has been another solid offensive season for the NL East cellar dwellers. His 4.7 WAR illustrates how important he is to the Marlins, and why he was the subject of trade rumors much of the first half of the season. At age 27, he is entering his prime, and has never had more value than he does currently. It would make sense for the Marlins to trade for him, and it also makes sense for a contender to pony up an enticing package for the best catcher in the game.
Max Scherzer (SP - WAS) Cy Young contender Max Scherzer had less than his best stuff as the Nationals fell to the Braves 10-5 Friday. In just four innings, Scherzer allowed six earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six and walking three. The six runs were a season high, and coincidentally were the most he had allowed since September 13th of 2017 where he allowed seven earned, also to Atlanta. The outing is one of the few blemishes on yet another stellar season for the 34-year-old ace. His ERA sits at 2.53 with 277 strikeouts in 206.2 innings pitched. He has yet to show any signs of slowing, and there's no reason he shouldn't be one of the first pitchers off the board in 2019 as he remains one of the few true aces in fantasy.
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