Brandon Lowe played a key part in Tampa Bay's 4-3 win over the Yankees on Sunday, going 1-for-3 with a solo homer and two runs scored. Lowe's third home run of the year tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning, then he scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for good measure. After emerging as one of baseball's top rookies last year with 17 homers, 51 RBIs and an .850 OPS in just 82 games, Lowe has carried over his success with a strong start to 2020. Through 15 games, the 26-year-old second baseman has already tallied eight extra-base hits and 10 RBIs along with nine runs scored and a .939 OPS. Based on his impressive track record in the minors and strong start to his MLB career, Lowe is already one of the game's top hitters at the keystone and projects to be a fantasy asset there for years to come.
James Paxton settled for a no-decision Sunday after allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings against the Rays. After struggling in his first two starts (six runs, 12 hits in four innings), Paxton bounced back with a dominant performance on Sunday. He started strong with six shutout innings before Tampa Bay finally got to him in the seventh, slugging a pair of homers to tie the game and send Paxton to the showers. Despite stumbling at the end, this was still an encouraging outing for Paxton's fantasy owners and a return to form for the talented southpaw, who went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA and 11.1 K/9 rate in his first season as a Yankee last year. When he's on, Paxton can be one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, as he showcased Sunday. He'll look to follow up with another strong outing against a struggling Red Sox outfit in his next scheduled start.
Spencer Turnbull turned in another stellar performance on Sunday, pitching the Tigers to a 2-1 win with seven innings of one-run ball. Turnbull scattered five hits and two walks, striking out four and throwing an economical 92 pitches. After leading MLB in losses as a rookie last year with 17 (against only three wins) and posting a 4.62 ERA, Turnbull has really turned it around in his sophomore season. Over his first three starts, the 27-year-old righty has allowed just four earned runs in 18 innings while yielding just 11 hits and posting an 18:7 K/BB ratio. Interestingly, all three of his starts have come against National League opponents, so it remains to be seen if he can replicate that success against American League clubs. We'll see if he can keep it up in his next scheduled start against the Indians at home, especially given his poor track record against Cleveland (0-5, 5.52 ERA).
Mitch Moreland continued his torrid start to 2020 with another outstanding offensive performance on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs as Boston downed Toronto, 5-3. While several top Red Sox hitters have disappointed to date, including J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Andrew Benintendi, Moreland has been a force in the heart of the order with six home runs, 12 RBIs and a 1.299 OPS. Boston fans have grown accustomed to hot starts from Moreland, only to watch him come back to earth down the stretch, but in this shortened season it's possible his numbers will look much better compared to previous years. His current hot streak has been fluky, however, as six of his 10 hits have left the yard, which is a clearly unsustainable pace. He also has only one double, despite entering the season with a 1.2 2B / HR ratio. Expect more doubles and singles and fewer long balls from Moreland going forward, although he still has the potential to be an impactful fantasy contributor based on his enviable spot in Boston's batting order.
Lance Lynn continued his exceptional start to the season with another strong outing on Sunday, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings against the Angels. Lynn is now 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings across four starts for Texas while allowing just 10 hits. The low hit rate appears unsustainable given that Lynn entered this year with a career 8.4 H/9 rate, but the strikeouts are a continuation of his growing K/9 rate over the last few seasons. Lynn quietly finished fifth in the AL Cy Young voting last year after going 16-11 with a 3.67 ERA in 208 1/3 innings, so his hot start shouldn't be written off entirely. That said, fantasy owners may want to exercise some caution before deploying him for his next start against the Rockies at Coors Field.
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