Mike Clevinger, SP, CLE
Clevinger dazzled for the Indians on Monday, allowing just 1 hit in 7 shutout IP, while striking out 12 and walking 3. Clevinger has moved up the SP ranks by posting back-to-back seasons with a sub-3.20 ERA and a K% over 25%. He was even better in the 2nd half of last season when he upped his K% to 28.6% en route to 2.31 ERA across 78.0 IP, and he looks to continue that dominance in 2019. One area he could still improve in his BB-rate - in 2018, he lowered his BB/9 to a still high 3.86. He was much improved against righties in that area last season (2.18 BB/9), but still struggled against lefties (3.91 BB/9). He will probably need to limit the walks further to truly move up into the ace category.
David Hess, SP, BAL
Hess was remarkable in his first start of 2018, striking out 8 in 6.1 no-hit innings against the Blue Jays. This comes as somewhat as a surprise after Hess had a lackluster rookie season in 2017 in which he posted a 5.51 xFIP and 6.45 K/9. The one negative thing about Hess' dominant performance was that he still allowed a lot of FB's; through two appearances this season (one start, one in relief), his GB% sits at a miniscule 13.3%. This was a problem for him last year too when he allowed a 46.5% FB% and 1.92 HR/9. I'm open to the idea of Hess breaking out this season, but I'm not close to there yet.
Trey Mancini, OF, BAL
Mancini hit his 2nd HR of the season on Monday and his hot start to the season (8-16) has helped propel the Orioles to a 3-1 record. After a breakout 2017, Mancini was pretty bad last year hitting .242 with a .715 OPS. Unfortunately, his high strikeout rate (career 24.0% K%) will make it hard for him to improve his BA that much, and while he did hit .293 in 2017, it's hard to expect him to repeat (or even come close) to his .352 BA from that season. It's also hard to expect him to surpass the 24 HR's that he's hit each of the past two seasons when he carries a FB% under 30%. His GB ways have carried into the early goings of 2019 as well, with a 66.7% GB% through the first 3 games. Not that 24 HR's is bad, but a 1B/OF with no speed, a mediocre BA, and a ceiling to his power potential doesn't carry a whole lot of value in fantasy. He'll probably have to join the FB revolution if he wants to really improve his overall numbers.
Gary Sanchez, C, NYY
Sanchez homered for the second day in a row on Monday, as he tries to put a disappointing 2018 in the rearview mirror. Sanchez hit a disastrous .186 last season, which can mostly be blamed on an extraordinarily low .197 BABIP. This marked a drop in BABIP of over 100 points from his previous two seasons and is directly correlated to his league-low (if he had qualified) 14.3% LD%. The good news for Sanchez is that his LD% is almost certain to rise this season, and the other good news is that his power remained steady even throughout his nightmarish campaign. If he stays healthy, he should have a good shot at another 30-HR season in 2019, and that alone would probably lock him in as a top-3 catcher. Considering that he was drafted at a discount this year, he has an excellent chance of providing value for his owners.
Justin Smoak, 1B, TOR
Smoak has smoked RHP's over the past couple of seasons with an OPS north of .850 against them in both 2017 and 2018. On Tuesday, he'll get to face Orioles' RHP Andrew Cashner who allowed 15 HR's and a .508 SLG to LH-hitters last season. DraftKings Value Play Salary $4,200.
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