Justin Smoak-Blue Jays-1B
Justin Smoak was 1-2 with 1 RBI and 2 BB against the Rockies. Smoak is hitting .240 with 12 HR, 27 R, 33 RBI, and 0 SB. On the surface, it looks like a down year for Smoak but it looks like poor luck (.244 BABIP). His underlying skills are excellent with 17% BB, 19% K, and 50% Hard contact. Smoak has picked it up of late hitting .310 with 6 HR over the past two weeks. He is someone to buy low on right now. Smoak has a six-game home schedule this week against the Yankees and Diamondbacks.
Lucas Giolito-White Sox-SP
Lucas Giolito went 7.1 IP and gave up 0 ER on 5 H, 0 BB, and 9 K's against the Indians. Giolito is right up there with Matthew Boyd as one of the best values at SP so far this year. He has quickly turned his career around by improving his mechanics which has led to increased velocity and control. Giolito has a 2.54 ERA and 0.95 WHIP across 67.1 IP. The skills behind the breakout are excellent as with 29% K, 13% SwStr, and 9% BB. He's doing a better job of missing bats and limiting hard contact (0.53 HR/9, and 21% Soft). Giolito looks like the pitcher we all thought he would be coming up as a prospect.
Renato Nunez was 1-3 with a walk against the Giants. Nunez has been red hot over the past two weeks (.362 with 8 HR). On the year, he is hitting .250 with 15 HR, 31 R, 35 RBI, and 0 SB. The power is legit given his underlying skills (47% FB, 54% Pull, 43% Hard) but so is his strikeout rate (25% K, 13% SwStr). The average is not going to be great but given his home park and power profile he could hit 35-40 HR if he gets full time playing time the rest of the way. This is a concern given that he is not a good defender at third base but the Orioles are not contenders so they should see what his bat can do over the course of a full season.
Nomar Mazara was 2-4 with 1 R, 1 RBI, and 1 SB against the Royals. Mazara is hitting .271 with 8 HR, 33 R, 31 RBI, and 2 SB through 220 PA. His skills have taken a step forward this year. His strikeout rate is above average (19%) and he is making a ton of hard contact (46%). This is backed up by above average exit velocity and barrel% according to Statcast. His biggest adjustment so far has been a major drop in his GB% from 55% a year ago to 49% this year which isn't great but it is trending in the right direction. Mazara was being platooned at one point but a rash of injuries to the Rangers OF has put him back in the lineup every day and he has been playing well so that should not change.
Chris Bassitt went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 6 H, 1 BB, and 1 K's against the Astros. Bassitt has been a pleasant surprise for both the Athletics and fantasy owners. He has a 3.42 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through 47.1 IP. Bassitt has shown the ability to miss bats this year (28% K, 11% SwStr) which helps his shaky control (10% BB) play up. Despite the positive steps forward he has taken this year there has been a bit of luck involved including a .235 BABIP and 85% LOB. There is going to be regression setting in at some point but if he pitches to his SIERA (3.74) then he would still be a very valuable fantasy starter.
DraftKings Value Plays: SP Eric Lauer (SDP) $7,300 and 2B Kike Hernandez (LAD) $3,900
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