David Peralta was 5-6 with 2 R, 1 HR (2), and 7 RBI in the win against the Reds. Peralta raised his season line to .269 with 2 HR, 10 R, 16 RBI, and 0 SB. The underlying skills are still solid with 17% K and 12% BB. Overall, his hard contact (33%) is down but his EV, maxEV, and Barrel% are in line with his career numbers. Peralta is also doing a good job of not chasing balls out of the zone (24% O-swing). Today's monster game has put Peralta back on track making him a very solid mixed league outfielder. He should hit for a plus average with the power being the only real question and his 55% GB doesn't suggest he will return to the 30 HR he had in 2018.
Taylor Widener went 5.1 IP and gave up 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 7 K's against the Reds. The surface stats look great (2.82 ERA and 1.12 WHIP) but it is just four starts representing a very small sample. The underlying skills do not paint the same picture. His 5.07 SIERA gives an indication of what could come. He struggles to miss bats (16% K and 8% SwStr) and gives up a ton of hard contact (47% Hard). This in combination with 46% FB is a major problem. He had benefited from a 4% HR/FB prior to today's start but that changed after giving up 3 HR. He has also had luck with batted balls (.234 BABIP). If you have benefited from his early starts you might want to consider getting out before he tanks your ratios.
Trevor Williams went 5 IP and gave up 2 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 6 K's against the Mets. Williams has been brutal (4.66 ERA and 1.50 WHIP) for the Cubs. Overall, their strategy of going with pitchers who had "good control" and less stuff has not worked out well so far. Williams is not missing many bats (20% K) and has struggled with command (11% BB and 39% Hard). If you look hard enough there are some positive signs (57% GB, .364 BABIP, 12% SwStr, 4.34 SIERA) but the reality is that he is significantly more valuable to the Cubs in real life than he is for fantasy purposes. So despite the improvement under the hood from 2020 he still lacks the strikeouts and ratios for fantasy.
Bryan Reynolds was 1-2 with 2 R, 2 BB, and 1 RBI in the win against the Tigers. Reynolds is now hitting .313 with 2 HR, 15 R, 9 RBI, and 0 SB. The underlying skills have bounced back in 2021 (23% K, 12% BB). He has also set a career-high maxEV which is a good sign for Reynolds power numbers going forward. Reynolds doesn't have plus power or speed but he has just enough of both to be a five-category contributor with a plus batting average. A 15 HR/5 SB season with a .280+ AVG should be within reach for Reynolds.
Kris Bryant was 2-4 with 2 RBI against the Mets. Bryant is hitting .283 with 5 HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, and 0 SB. His quick start is nice to see after a dismal 2020 season. His quality of contact looks good as well with 44% Hard and 14% Barrels. Bryant is also showing plus plate skills (21% K and 13% BB) as well which makes his strong start very believable. His O-swing% (24%) and Z-contact% (88%) are the best of his career. It is a small sample but these are very encouraging signs for Bryant.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Michael Conforto ($3,600) and 2B/3B Tommy La Stella ($3,800)
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