Zack Wheeler went 6 IP and gave up 2 ER on 6 H, 2 BB, and 2 K's against the Yankees. Wheeler was the Phillies top free-agent signing coming off back to back strong seasons for the Mets. He has the stuff to be an elite starter with a four-pitch mix that includes a plus fastball and above-average off-speed pitches (SL, CV, CH). For him to take the next step in terms of fantasy value he is going to have to increase his strikeouts. This could be done by increasing the use of his secondary pitches and using his fastball less. This is something we need to keep an eye on this season. Even if he doesn't make any changes Wheeler is still going to be an above-average fantasy starter and there is potential for more. He gets a nice matchup against the Orioles next time out if everything lines up.
Elieser Hernandez went 4.1 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 1 BB, and 5 K's against the Orioles. This was Hernandez's first start of 2020. His 2019 surface numbers were not great (5.03 ERA and 1.24 WHIP) but the underlying skills suggest he could be a useful back end of the rotation starter. His 4.43 SIERA is more in line with what you should expect with some room for growth given his skills. Hernandez has shown the ability to miss bats (24% K, 12% SwStr) with good control (7% BB). His slider is excellent with 37% SwStr and .152 AVG against. His ceiling is limited due to his below-average fastball (91 mph) but he can be used as a streamer in daily leagues in the right matchup.
Adrian Houser went 7 IP and gave up 0 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 5 K's against the White Sox. Houser now has a 0.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through his first two starts. He was an intriguing arm coming into the year after a strong 2019 season that saw him post a 3.72 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 111.1 IP. The skills were solid as well with 25% K, 10% SwStr, 8% BB, and 53% GB. He also had a 3.91 SIERA which backed up his success. He is primarily a two-pitch pitcher with his fastball and slider so there are going to be some starts where he gets blown up but the Brewers have done a really nice job managing his starts and times through the order. This is going to help keep his ratios in check but limit his win potential. If everything stays the same he will start against the Twins in Miller Park next time out which is a matchup to avoid if possible.
Yu Darvish went 7 IP and gave up 1 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 4 K's against the Royals. Darvish now has a 2.12 ERA and 0.88 WHIP through three starts. He looks to be building on his brilliant second-half success from a year ago. Darvish continues to miss bats (30% K, 18% SwStr) while showing elite command (3% BB). His command has always been the difference-maker when it comes to his ratios and overall value. The Central Division is a prime spot for pitchers and Darvish is looking like a top 10 overall starter so far and gets matched up with the Indians in Cleveland next time out.
J.D. Davis was 1-3 with 1 R and 1 BB against the Nationals. Davis is hitting .300 with 2 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, and 0 SB. He is playing almost every day and with Yoenis Cespedes opting out, Davis should be in the lineup every day. He is striking out a lot (29%) but it is a small sample and he is showing a good eye at the plate (10%). Davis is also making hard contact (41%) which is backed up by above-average exit velocities (91 mph) and barrel rates (8%). The arrow continues to point up both in terms of playing time and skills for the 27-year-old.
DFS Value Plays: OF Eloy Jimenez ($3,900) and 1B Rhys Hoskins ($3,700)
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