Sean Manaea went 5.1 IP and gave up 2 ER on 3 H, 2 BB, and 11 K's against the Yankees. Manaea has a 3.01 ERA and 1.21 WHIP through his first 15 starts. His strikeout rate is average (24% K) but he is making it work with plus control (6% BB). He is pitching above his head (3.95 SIERA) but even with aggression, he is still going to be an above-average pitcher. Manaea also benefits from pitching half of his games in a very pitcher-friendly park. He has a 2.82 ERA at home this year compared to 3.33 ERA on the road. The biggest benefit comes via his home run rate which is 0.95 HR/9 at home versus 1.27 HR/9 on the road. With the way that he is currently pitching, he needs to be in your active lineup regardless of venue. Manaea gets one start next week in San Francisco against the Giants.
Shane McClanahan went 6 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 8 K's against the Athletics. McClanahan has a 4.03 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through his first ten starts. He has the pure stuff to be an above-average starter (28% K and 8% BB) but he is struggling with keeping the ball in the yard (1.61 HR/9). This should regress in a positive manner considering he is currently rocking a 23% HR/FB. This is more of a command issue than anything because it doesn't show up in his walk rate. This is part of the reason why his ERA is significantly higher than his SIERA (3.59). The other part is a .327 BABIP which should come down as he learns how to pitch at the major league level. Buy the talent and the results will follow. He gets the Angels at home next time out which is a good matchup.
Kenta Maeda went 5.1 IP and gave up 2 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 4 K's against the Rangers. Maeda has been dismal so far this year. He has a 4.85 ERA and 1.44 WHIP through his first eleven starts. The underlying skills have all taken a hit with a dip in strikeouts (22% K) and an increase in hard contact (43% Hard). The drop in strikeouts are a result of fewer swinging and called strikes. He's only gone 5+ IP in half of his starts which means he isn't qualifying for wins very often in addition to below-average ratios and strikeouts. Despite the poor surface stats, there are some positives to hold onto. His ERA dropped from 6.17 in April to 4.19 in May and 2.89 in June (two starts). The same trend has continued in his K% (18%-24%-39%). He has made a necessary change to his pitch mix because early on his slider was a major problem and he is throwing it less often in favor of more curves and splitters which has seemed to work. It's tough to buy into someone with an ERA closer to five than four but Maeda has the skills and track record to buy into and has been performing better as the season has gone on. Next week, he gets the Indians at home which is a bottom-half offense.
Lance McCullers Jr.-Astros-SP
Lance McCullers Jr. went 6 IP and gave up 2 ER on 2 H, 4 BB, and 4 K's against the White Sox. Through eleven starts McCullers Jr. has a 2.90 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The corresponding skills are a mixed bag. He is missing bats (26% K) but is also struggling with control (12% BB). This has not come back to bite him yet due to a .224 BABIP and 81% LOB. This is why his 4.26 SIERA is significantly higher than his actual ERA. Regression is coming around the corner if he does not improve his walk rate which can be done considering he has a career 9.6% walk rate. Not giving up free bases is crucial for the right-hander because 26% K and 55% GB is a deadly combination to keep his ratios down. Keep an eye on his walk rate because a small improvement could help cushion the regression that is coming in terms of batted ball luck. He gets an awesome matchup on the road against the Tigers next time out.
Jonathan Schoop was 1-4 with 1 BB and 2 R against the Angels. Schoop has been on fire of late including a .369/.425/.815 in June with 8 HR. On the year, he is hitting .274 with 13 HR, 34 R, 34 RBI, and 0 SB. The core skills are good (21% K and 7% BB) in addition to the above-average quality of contact (41% Hard and 9% Barrels). Schoop has been an above-average hitter in every year he has been in the big leagues except for 2018. He is going to play every day given the lack of talent in Detroit and his production. Schoop isn't going to keep up his current pace in June the rest of the year but at the end, he will have provided very nice value on his draft cost.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Willie Calhoun ($3,800) and 1B Mitch Moreland ($3,800)
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