Mike Soroka, SP, ATL
Soroka won his 13th decision of the season yesterday, limiting the Phillies to just two runs and five hits in 5.0 innings of work. Soroka has been the best rookie starting pitcher this season by miles. His 3.7 WAR is nearly a full point (.9) higher than the closest rookie pitcher and his 169.2 IP ranks third amongst the rookie starters. Soroka's 2.60 ERA actually ranks third lowest among qualified pitchers in all of baseball. What's even more impressive is that in the highest home run producing season in the history of baseball, this rookie's HR/9 ratio is .69--which is tied for the lowest HR/9 across the majors (for qualified starters)...and he is just 22 years of age.
Aaron Nola, SP, PHI
Nola lasted just 5.0 innings against the Braves on Thursday afternoon and was strapped with his sixth loss of the season. He gave up five earned runs on nine hits (two homers) and a pair of walks. Nola has not followed up his breakout 2018 as well as fantasy owners would have liked; however, he hasn't been that terrible either. Despite scuffling recently (15 ER allowed in last 4 starts), Nola has pitched the 6th most innings in the majors this season, while posting an adequate 3.75 ERA (25th) and 3.85 xFIP (24th). Additionally his strikeout rate is a solid 10.07 K/9, which is actually up from a season ago. Nola is just 26 and will have plenty of value going into the 2020 season.
Tommy Edman, 2B/SS/3B/OF, STL
Edman went 2 for 4 with a triple against the Cubs on Thursday night. The rookie utility-man has become a mainstay in the Cardinals lineup this season and has all but taken Matt Carpenter's job here down the stretch. He is now batting .289 with 10 homers and 13 stolen bases on the season. He is a contact hitter (89.1% Z-Contact%) that doesn't swing and miss a lot (8.2% SwStr%), and though he is more valuable from an actual baseball perspective, the 24-year-old should have some fantasy value setting the table for the middle of the Cardinals lineup in the future.
Madison Bumgarner, SP, SF
Bumgarner made his last road start of the season at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon and it didn't go smoothly. The veteran southpaw surrendered five earned runs on nine hits and a pair of walks. Bumgarner is glad to be done pitching away from Oracle Park, as he will finish the season with one of the most divergent Home/Road splits in the majors. In 85.0 innings pitched away from home this season Bumgarner has a 5.24 ERA with an opponent batting average of .280. At home (115.2 IP) his ERA is an excellent 2.80 and his opponents are hitting just .211 off of him. For the season Bumgarner is 9-9 with a 3.86 ERA and a 4.33 xFIP. The 30-year-old did post his seventh 200+ IP season, and his first of the sort since the 2016 season.
Jack Flaherty, SP, STL
Flaherty threw 8.0 masterful innings in the Cardinals' pivotal clash in Chicago on Thursday night. He surrendered just one run on three hits and he struck out eight in the contest. A blown save by Carlos Martinez kept Flaherty from improving upon his 10-8 record, but his it was a stellar effort nonetheless. The 23-year-old has been great this season on the whole with a 2.96 ERA (9th best), 3.74 xFIP, and 10.56 K/9 in 182.1 innings. To the delight of his fantasy owners, Flaherty has really turned it on here down the stretch; he has posted an ERA of 1.07 and K-rate of 11.21 K/9 in his last 92.1 innings pitched.
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