J.D. Martinez-Red Sox-OF
J.D. Martinez was 2-4 with his 7th HR against the Mariners. Martinez has been on fire to start the year (.368 AVG with 7 HR, 18 R, 21 RBI, and 0 SB). A lot has been made about his comments about the lack of in-game video last year but got overlooked is that he admitted to not being ready to play after the break. He came into this season dedicated to getting back on track as one of the top hitters in the American League and it is showing. Martinez is combining plus plate skills (21% K and 10% BB) with top-notch quality of contact (49% Hard, 112 maxEV, and 16% Barrels). The only concern with Martinez going forward is health because the skills are rock solid.
Tyler Glasnow went 6 IP and gave up 5 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 10 K's against the Blue Jays. Glasnow was looking like one of the best pitchers in baseball to start the year. He had a 0.73 ERA and 0.65 WHIP across four starts. Today's start bumped his season line to a 2.05 ERA and 0.75 WHIP which is still elite. He is striking out a ridiculous 40% of batters with 8% BB. His 17% SwStr backs up the ability to miss bats. The addition of a cutter/slider has done wonders for Glasnow because he now has a pitch that moves horizontally to complement the plus vertical movement on his fastball and curve. He is also averaging 6 IP per start which would be a huge boost in value because we knew he was good but the lack of innings was a drawback heading into the season. Glasnow's next start will be against the Athletics which is a very nice matchup and should help him continue his climb to the upper echelon of starters.
Jordan Montgomery went 4.2 IP and gave up 3 ER on 4 H, 3 BB, and 5 K's against the Indians. The surface stats (4.57 ERA) tell a different story than his development under the hood. His strikeout rate has jumped to 27% which is supported by a jump in his swinging strike rate (13%). His 3.45 SIERA gives an indication of what is possible for the left-hander. He is having success due to a pitch-mix change in which he is using his fastball less in favor of a true four-pitch mix that includes FB, CT, CB, and CH. He uses all four pitches at least 18% of the time which does a great job of keeping hitters off-balance. His next start is against the Orioles, a great matchup, but it is in Camden Yards, a very hitter-friendly park.
Steven Matz-Blue Jays-SP
Steven Matz went 5 IP and gave up 3 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 7 K's against the Rays to improve to 4-0 on the year. Matz has been excellent to start the year (2.31 ERA and 0.94 WHIP) through four starts. The skills behind the hot start are encouraging as well. He is striking out 27% of batters with a 9% walk rate. He is not going to be able to maintain a .214 BABIP and 84% LOB but his 3.71 SIERA gives a realistic view of what he could be even with regression baked in. The real question when it comes to Matz is health. His next start against the Nationals at home is a good matchup so if he is still available he needs to be picked up.
Yusei Kikuchi went 4.2 IP and gave up 5 ER on 6 H, 3 BB, and 1 K against a tough Red Sox lineup. Through four starts he has a 5.70 ERA and 1.35 WHIP but his 3.93 SIERA shows that he has pitched better than his traditional numbers suggest. The skills under the hood also look good (24% K and 8% BB). He is doing a better job of getting ahead of hitters (67% F-strike) and getting called strikes (31% CSW) which is a positive in addition to him keeping his velocity gains from a year ago. He isn't going to turn into an elite starter but he is someone that could possibly be bought low to fill out the end of your rotation. Kikuchi's next start is on the road in Houston which should have the full lineup back from Covid at that point making it a tough matchup.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Michael A. Taylor ($3,500) and 1B Willians Astudillo ($3,700)
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