Byron Buxton was 1-3 with his first home run against the Orioles. Buxton hasn't lit the world on fire but he has had a strong start to 2019. He is hitting .270 with 1 HR, 12 R, 10 RBI, and 6 SB. The average and steals are a plus with counting stats taking a hit from batting 9th most games. The one disappointment has been the 1 HR. He has been hitting the ball hard (49% Hard, 92.9mph) and in the air (53% FB) so it is only a matter of time until the HR's start coming. Despite just one home run he still has a .197 ISO and .789 OPS so the XBH have been there. They just haven't gone over the fence. Buxton has also cut his strikeouts in the early going to 20% which if that sticks he is going to be a five-category contributor.
Tyler Glasnow went 6.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 9 K's against the Red Sox. Glasnow has been downright dominant through his first six starts. He has a 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 26% K, 5% BB, 12% SwStr, and 50% GB. He has all the makings of an elite pitcher. The biggest difference this year has been the improvement in his walk rate from 11% last year to 5% this year. This has been fueled by increasing his first pitch strike percentage from 58% to 68%. He is still a two-pitch pitcher so that leaves the margin of error small but his upper 90's fastball at the top of the zone and his hammer curve have been a dominant 1-2 punch. He gets the Orioles in Camden Yards next time out.
Chris Sale-Red Sox-SP
Chris Sale went 7 IP and gave up 2 ER on 4 H, 3 BB, and 8 K's against the Rays. Sale has been a hot topic to start the year whether it has been his health, velocity and/or his ineffectiveness. The biggest difference in his underlying skills is the drop in his strikeout rate from mid 30's to 23% this year. He is still showing good control, it is just a matter of getting the strikeouts back for the left-hander. This could be a result of decreased velocity. His fastball has picked up since the beginning of the year but it is sitting at 92.5mph which is lower than the 94mph he averaged the past two seasons. To offset the loss in velocity Sale has been using his fastball less and slide/changeup more often. He looks to be a mindset or sequence change away from going back to being an elite starter.
Matt Boyd went 6 IP and gave up 2 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 9 K's against the White Sox. Boyd has been better than even his biggest supporters hoped for coming into the season. He has a 3.13 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 31% K, and 7% BB. The incredible part is that his 31% K is backed up by 16% SwStr which is elite. This is mostly due to increasing the usage of his slider which is an elite pitch with 43% O-swing and 21% SwStr. The ERA is likely going to come up into the mid 3's due to being fortunate on home runs in the early going with 0.57 HR/9 compared to a career 1.48 HR/9. He also struggles with fastball command at times and has only two pitches but the strikeouts look legit making him a great fantasy value.
Yandy Diaz was 2-4 with a double and a triple against the Red Sox. Diaz has taken over as the Rays everyday third baseman. He is hitting .289 with 7 HR, 18 R, 16 RBI, and 0 SB. Diaz has strong underlying skills with 15% BB and 18% K. He has quickly become a darling of the fantasy community because he was always someone who hit the ball hard but right into the ground making him a slight change away from fantasy relevance. This year he has 7 HR but the skills haven't changed all that much. He's still hitting 57% GB and is sporting a 33% HR/FB. This screams regression even with the juiced ball. Diaz will continue to be valuable due to his average and everyday playing time but believing in his power uptick is hard to do based on his peripherals.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Ian Desmond (COL) $3,700 and SP Yonny Chirinos (TBR) $7,900
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