Corbin Burnes went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 0 BB, and 10 K's against the Cubs. Burnes is looking even better than his breakout 2020 season which many did not see coming despite being excellent in 2020. His fastball is averaging 97.3 mph which +1.3 mph from 2020. It has been just three starts but he is throwing his fastball less in favor of his cutter and curve. He has a true five-pitch mix which makes it hard for hitters to guess which pitch is coming. Burnes also has the ability to change eye levels with his fastball and curve while also having horizontal movement from his slider and cutter. He has the complete package of pitches to go along with plus velocity. Burnes is one of the best pitchers in baseball which is saying a lot coming from his 8.82 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in 2019.
Tyler Mahle went 5 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 7 K's against the Giants. Mahle has started pitched well to start the year (2.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP). The strikeouts have been there (41% K, 13% SwStr, 31% CSW) but his control has been lacking (16% BB). This is concerning dating back to last year when he walked 10% of batters. Long term, this issue should be fine because he had a track record of good control throughout the minors and is someone that is considered to have good control. Mahle is showing the same pitch mix (FB, SL, CH) that he used to breakout in 2020. The difference this year is that he is showing increased velocity (95.2 mph, +1.4 mph) on his fastball which is a good development if it sticks over the course of the year. His control should improve as he gets used to his increased velocity and new arsenal. His next matchup will be at home against the Diamondbacks.
Travis Shaw was 2-5 with an HR (3), 2 R, and 2 RBI against the Cubs. Shaw is now hitting .297 with 3 HR, 5 R, 12 RBI, and 0 SB. It is a small sample but Shaw has displayed good plate skills (19% K and 8% BB). His Statcast data also backs up most of his .933 OPS (40% Hard and 8% Barrels). The concern for Shaw has been a drastic platoon split. He has a career 111 wRC+ against RHP compared to just 79 wRC+ against LHP. The good news is that the NL Central is made up primarily of RHP and the Brewers currently do not have a better option at third so Shaw will play every day if he is healthy and producing.
Jesse Winker was 1-4 with a single against the Giants. The good news is that Winker is healthy and hitting leadoff for the Reds. He is slashing .391/.440/.609 with 1 HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, and 0 SB. Winker has continued to show plus plate discipline (19% K and 10% BB). He has a ridiculous 73% Hard contact according to Statcast to go along with a 112.6 max EV which is well above league average. Both of these numbers are good for Winker's power development which started during last year's shortened season. Winker has had trouble staying healthy throughout his brief career which is the only thing holding him back from a true breakout in 2021.
Tommy Edman was 1-3 with a walk against the Nationals. Edman is slashing .294/.357/.412 with 1 HR and 3 SB. He is currently leading off for the Cardinals which is a good spot to be both for his counting stats and ability to steal bases. Edman has also set a career-high in max EV (112.9 mph) which is a really good sign for his power. He may now be able to clear 10+ HR to go along with 20+ SB with a respectable average making him an extremely valuable fantasy asset.
DraftKings Value Plays: Josh Bell ($3,700) and A.J. Pollock ($3,400)
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