Blake Snell (SP-TB)
Snell tossed 5 and 1/3 shutout innings, striking out 5 Friday. It has been an uneven season for Snell all around who has yet to complete 6 innings. He was on a pitch count early in the season but has been routinely making it to around 100 pitches his last few starts but hasn't been able to pitch deep into games - with Fridays start continuing that trend as he threw just 62 of 103 pitches for strikes. While his 3.23 ERA is not even close to the 1.89 mark he put up 2 years ago, I do still see some parallels to that amazing season. His 87% LOB rate and 3.15 xfip are almost identical to his Cy Young Campaign numbers (88% and 3.16, respectively) and he is still racing up Ks at a 12.03 K/9 pace. The longball has hurt Snell this year as his 2.14 H/9 and 29% FB/HR rate are both career highs. The 1.89 ERA is probably an outlier but Snell is still an elite with pitcher with the ability to rack up double digit punchouts at will.
Gerrit Cole (SP-NYY)
Cole tossed a 7-inning complete game shutout, striking out 9 Friday. Despite a 12.12 K/9 Cole has largely underperformed as the shutout brought his ERA to a more reasonable 3.20 mark; but home run struggles (2.25 HR/9) have given the Yankees win sin just 6 of 10 games he has started. While his K numbers have been on point (7+ Ks 7 times, 12.12 K/9) batters have been barreling his pitches up at a career high 10.2% clip with his hard contact against rate sitting at 43%. Cole sat at a 97.2mph average with his fastball last year and that has dipped to 96.6 - still above his career average but batters have hit him much harder thus far in 2020 - but Fridays strong start was much needed to help the Yankees make up playoff ground.
DJ Stewart (OF-BAL)
Stewart went 0-3 with 3 Ks in Game 1 of the Orioles DH, but went 2-3 with a 2B and solo HR in Game 2, providing the only run of the day for the Orioles. Stewart was on a power surge earlier in the week, bashing 5 home runs in a 4-day period. The .767 SLG% surely will not stay, but the power is encouraging as Stewart had put up double-digit HR and steals from 2017-2019 in the Orioles minor league system. Through 45 PAs he is both walking (24%) and striking out (31%) at ridiculous rates, thanks to limiting his O-swing rate (18%) but having a below-average contact rate (64%). Its hard to read a ton from the limited action, but he is hitting .200 with 11 Ks vs fastballs, while he has gone 3/5 with a pair of HR and 0 Ks vs off-speed stuff - numbers to keep an eye on as September progresses.
Adalberto Mondesi (SS-KC)
Mondesi hit his third home run of the season Friday night and scored 3 runs. Mondesi is on an 8-game hitting streak, in which he has hit all 3 of his home runs in what has been a disappointing season. His .263 avg, 9 home runs and 43 stolen bases last year helped balance out a rough 4.3 walk / 29% K rate but those numbers have gotten even more lopsided this year as he has a 2.9% walk and 31.8% K rate this year as his contact rate (62%) and swinging strike rate (21.3%) are both slightly worse than a season ago. That being said his recent hot streak comes at a great time for fantasy owners, and as always the more he can get on the base the more he can use his electric speed - as he is tied for the league lead with 13 stolen bases despite a sub-.250 OBP - making it all the nicer to see him pick up a few walks.
Mike Trout (OF-LAA)
Trout picked up his 6th multi-hit game of the month Friday night. Trout struggled in Mid-July, but despite the Angels being nearly 10-game under .500 Trout is in vintage form as he has gone 14-32 in August with 12 runs, 4 HR, 7 RBIs and 7 walks, once again making him the man to beat for AL MVP. Under the hood he has been a bit un-Trout like with a .55 BB/K - his lowest mark since 2015. His contact rate is still up slightly this year and if he continues his torrid pace through September, he should take home another MVP. The only negative is he only has 1 stolen base and even in a shortened season that would put him on pace for his first sub-10 stolen base season since 2011.