Jordan Montgomery went 6.1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 6 K's against the Rays. Montgomery has a 3.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP through his first eleven starts. The skills are solid as well with 25% K and 6% BB. He is doing a great job of getting ahead of hitters (69% F-strike) which allows him to use his four-pitch mix to keep hitters off-balance. He doesn't have an elite pitch but the combination of two fastballs (FB & CT) to go along with a CB and CH makes it hard for hitters to sit on any one pitch. Montgomery doesn't have the pure stuff to jump into the upper echelon of starters but he is a very capable back end starter for fantasy. The Yankees only have five games next week which lines Montgomery to take one start on the road against the Twins.
Framber Valdez went 7 IP and gave up 1 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 10 K's against the Red Sox. This was Valdez's second start since coming off the IL with the finger injury he sustained in Spring Training. There isn't much to go on due to the small sample but his velocity is in line with a year ago. It is interesting that he is throwing his signature curve less often but that could just be a result of game planning and not necessarily the finger injury but it is worth keeping an eye on. Valdez is coming off a breakout 2020 in which he posted a 3.57 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 26% K and 6% BB. The stat to keep an eye on in the early going this year is the walk rate because he has struggled with control in the past. If he can limit the walks then the combination of 26% K and 60% GB is going to lead to a ton of success. He gets two starts next week but they are not the best matchups (@BOS, @MIN) but you are starting him regardless.
Nick Pivetta-Red Sox-SP
Nick Pivetta went 6 IP and gave up 2 ER on 3 H, 2 BB, and 9 K's against the Astros. Pivetta now has a 3.77 ERA and 1.22 WHIP through his first eleven starts. The strikeouts have been there (26% K) but his control has been bad (12% BB). If you dig deeper into his season so far there is a lot to like. In the month of May, he had a 4.82 ERA but the underlying skills were excellent (28% K and 7% BB). He was hurt by a .324 BABIP and 63% LOB. Overall, there are some concerning parts to his profile and overall inconsistencies but in today's environment, it is very useful. If I were in a trading league I would consider getting out with positive value though.
D.J. LeMahieu was 0-4 with 1 BB and 1 K against the Rays. LeMahieu is hitting .255 with 3 HR, 33 R, 14 RBI, and 2 SB. The production has not been what fantasy managers expected coming into the year. Regression in the power department was going to happen given his batted ball profile and the change in the ball. What managers didn't expect was a sub .300 AVG and an overall lack of counting stats. Looking underneath the hood not much sticks out. His plate skills are still elite (17% K and 11% BB) and he isn't swinging at pitches out of the zone (25% O-swing). His hard contact (42% Hard) and maxEV are in line with his career numbers. The one stat that sticks out is a .301 BABIP which is well below his career .344 BABIP. Some good fortune and warmer weather should help LeMahieu heat up.
Austin Meadows was 1-5 with 1 R against the Yankees. Meadows may not be hitting for average (.240 AVG) but the power has been there (13 HR). The power outburst is a result of hard contact (42% Hard) at the right angles (13% Barrels) and a career-high 59% FB. The uptick in fly balls is also the reason why he is struggling to hit for average. The Rays have one of the better offenses in the game in terms of runs scored (3rd) which has helped his counting stats. Meadows has also shown plus plate skills (25% K and 14% BB) which gives some hope that a slight change in his launch angle results in a higher average without a drop in power.
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Dylan Carlson ($3,800) and 1B Miguel Sano ($4,000)
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