Ketel Marte, SS, ARI
Marte went 4 for 6, with a pair of doubles, on Thursday afternoon against the Rockies. The hot-hitting Marte now has four consecutive games with three or more hits, and it's his fifth game in a row with at least two hits. He now has an incredible 23 hits (44 AB) over the last ten games, which has rapidly improved his average to .305 on the season (was .268 on June 9th). Marte is breaking out in a big way right now; his 20 homers in 2019 are already a career best, and he on pace to shatter all his other career marks as well. Marte's strikeout/walk rates and plate discipline percentages haven't improved at all this season, but he has been hitting the ball in the air more and hitting it with more authority. His GB% is down 8.8% from a season ago and his Hard%-Soft% split is a fantastic 44.6%-12.0% so far this season. Additionally he has significantly lowered his popouts (-5.5% from 2018) and is sporting a ridiculous 21.5% HR/FB.
Nick Pivetta, SP, PHI
Pivetta got roughed up by the Nationals on Thursday night; he gave up six runs and allowed 10 baserunners (7H, 3BB) in the outing. After a pair of very promising outings to start the month (0 ER in 6.0 IP @ LAD and 1 ER in 9.0 IP vs CIN), Pivetta has given up 10 runs and 15 hits in his last 12 innings. His current 5.54 ERA is amongst the bottom of the league, however his xFIP is a respectable 4.24, so he's not a total lost cause. The problem is that Pivetta gives up a lot of homers and he pitches his home games at Citizens Bank Park, which has been one of the most home run friendly parks over the past few years. Before yesterday's game, Pivetta had only taken the bump away from home twice all season, and his road ERA/xFIP was an impressive 2.84/3.11. In contrast he owns a 5.85/4.29 ERA/xFIP at home in seven starts this season. It's a small sample size, but Pivetta gives up A LOT of home runs (2.15 HR/9 this season, 1.55 career), and is probably going to have a hard time putting together solid outings at Citizens Bank Park as long as that's the case.
Adbert Alzolay, P, CHC
Alzolay gave up one run in 4.0 innings of relief on Thursday night, and picked up a win, in his first big league appearance. It was a very impressive debut for the 24-year-old Alzolay, the only blemish was a Todd Frazier solo-shot in the 9th inning, other than that Alzolay allowed just two baserunners in the contest. The youngster was solid, but not incredible, in Triple-A this season; he owned a 3.09 ERA and 3.49 xFIP in 32.0 innings of work. His 12.94 K/9 down there this season does suggest he has propensity for striking batters out, however, he has been pitching in the minors since 2013 and hasn't posted a K rate nearly that high in any season, at any level. His Triple-A numbers this season also suggest that he has good control (1.69 BB/9) and can keep the ball on the ground (41.7 GB%), but again, his previous minor league campaigns don't exactly support that either. Alzolay has battled injuries for most of his career, but by most accounts he is "healthier than ever" right now, so who knows what he's really got. At any rate, it appears the Cubs won't give Alzolay a spot in the rotation as of yet; they plan on deploying him in long relief, and as more of a 'bridge' to give some of the starters more rest. Ultimately, it's probably best to give him some time in the Bigs before considering adding him to your fantasy roster.
Adam Wainwright, SP, STL
Fresh off a brief stint on the IL, Wainwright gave up three runs in 5.1 innings of work against the Marlins. He gave up six hits and also struck out six in the 86 pitch outing. Wainwright has shown glimpses here and there that he is a serviceable major league pitcher, however, he is not a serviceable fantasy pitcher any more. His fastball velocity isn't in the 90s anymore (89.8 in 2019) and though his trademark curveball is still good (4.7 wCU), Wainwright's stuff just hasn't been very effective in a while. So far in 2019 his SwStr% is a pedestrian 7.4% and his O-Swing% is 4.9% lower than his career average.
Tanner Roark, SP, CIN
Roark gave up just one run in 6.0 solid innings against the dangerous Brewers offense on Thursday night. His only hiccup of the evening was a fourth inning homer by Christian Yelich; other than that Roark surrendered just two baserunners. The 32-year-old right hander has enjoyed his first season in Cincinnati thus far. His K rate is up 1.78 K/9 and he has cut his HR/9 rate almost in half from a season ago. He currently owns a solid 3.47 ERA, but many things point towards that number rising as the season progresses...he gives up a lot of baserunners (1.32 WHIP), his xFIP is 4.37, and it's unlikely he can sustain his current 6.6% HR/FB rate (considering his career rate is 10.2%). He is available in 88% of ESPN leagues, but owners should be wary about adding him.
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