Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL
Freeman had another huge day against the Nationals on Thursday, going 2-4 with 2 HR's and 4 RBI. Over his last 7 games, Freeman has hit .423 (11-26) with 4 doubles, 5 HR's, and 20 RBI. That's correct, he has 20 RBI in his last 7 games! For the season, Freeman's .333/.450/.635 slash line would all be career bests, as would his 13.8% K%, 48.4% HardHit%, and 92.2 EV. What makes Freeman especially unique is his rare ability to consistently hit a lot of line drives. Over the past 10 seasons, Freeman's 27.8% LD% leads all of baseball, and he hasn't gone under 23.0% in any of those seasons. His 30.2% LD% this season (entering Thursday) ranks 2nd in MLB, behind only Victor Robles. This is one of the main reasons that Freeman has remained so consistent throughout his career. He has hit at least .295 and slugged over .500 in each of his past 4 seasons.
Paul DeJong, SS, STL
DeJong continued his solid season on Thursday going a combined 2-5 with an RBI and 3 runs scored in a doubleheader against the Tigers. It's been an interesting season for DeJong who has hit for a higher average than usual (.299 this season vs. .253 career), but not for as much power, as his .149 ISO is well below his career .213 mark. His 25.3% K% is actually 3% higher than last year and he is currently riding a .383 BABIP so we should expect his BA to come down. Meanwhile, his 44.1% HardHit% and 91.5 EV are career-highs, which makes the decline in power more surprising. Most likely, DeJong will revert back to his usual self, which means a mediocre average and good power for a SS.
Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD
Gonsolin pitched 5 innings in relief against the Diamondbacks on Thursday allowing 3 ER's on 6 hits and 1 BB, while striking out 3. Gonsolin was needed in long relief after Dustin May left the game after 1 inning after getting hit in the foot with a line drive. With May's status in question going forward, and Walker Beuhler having been placed on the IL with a blister, there's a good chance Gonsolin will be returning to Dodgers rotation. Gonsolin has produced an excellent 1.57 ERA and 28:6 K:BB through 28.2 IP, although his xFIP sits at 4.14 and he has gotten a bit lucky with a .225 BABIP and 6.3% HR/FB. Still, if he's starting, he has streaming value, even if he doesn't continue with the ace-like results he's been putting up until now.
Chris Paddack, SP, SD
Paddack left his start against the Giants on Thursday after 2 innings with a mild ankle sprain and is considered day-to-day for now. He had been pitching well during his brief stint on the mound, striking out 4 in 2 IP, while allowing 1 ER on 1 hit. That was a promising sign for Paddack who entered the game with a 4.75 ERA for the season and a 6.20 ERA over his last 5 starts. The Padres were hoping to get a few more starts out of Paddack to get a better idea of what role he should play on their postseason roster, but now that may be in question. The truth is though that his performance actually hasn't been that bad; his 3.56 xFIP is actually half a run lower than last year's mark. He has an elite 52:9 K:BB through 49.1 IP and has been a bit unfortunate with a 23.9% HR/FB (5th highest in MLB). Paddack could very well end up being a huge value in 2021 drafts.
Caleb Smith, SP, ARI
Smith will be activated from the COVID-19 IL on Friday to make his Arizona debut against the Mariners. Smith threw 70 pitches in a practice game recently so he should be ready for a full workload on Friday. He may end up being a total bust, but he could very well provide excellent value for a very cheap price, given his career 9.88 K/9, and that the Mariners rank 26th in MLB with a team OPS of .693. DraftKings Value Play Salary $5,900.
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