Austin Meadows was 3-5 with 2 HR (20), 3 R, and 5 RBI against the Yankees. On the season, Meadows is hitting .243 with 20 HR, 59 R, 76 RBI, and 3 SB. His power has returned this year (.224 ISO) but his batting average has cratered thanks in large part to a 54% FB rate. His quality of contact has been good (39% Hardhit) and 10% Barrels but not elite. Meadows hasn't had enough at-bats against left-handed pitching for it to be a trustworthy sample size but he has been significantly better against right-handed pitching (.275/.356/.529) than southpaws (.245/.303/.423). He has cut down on his swing and miss (23% K) so if he could combine that with the increased power we could see another season like 2019 (.291 AVG with 33 HR/12 SB).
Giancarlo Stanton was 0-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. Stanton is hitting .255 with 16 HR, 33 R, 46 RBI, and 0 SB. He has stayed relatively healthy but hasn't provided elite power as fantasy managers expected. His strikeout rate is not bad (29% K) considering his power potential. Stanton continues to have elite hard contact (57% Hardhit) and maxEV (120.2 mph). The problem has been an increasing ground ball rate (49% GB) which hurts his power potential. The other factor playing a role in his career-low .197 ISO is a career-high 29% oppo percentage. He isn't pulling the ball or hitting it in the air. If this changes, Stanton could have a monster second half which we know is a possibility.
Hyun Jin Ryu-Blue Jays-SP
Hyun Jin Ryu went 6 IP and gave up 0 ER on 2 H, 0 BB, and 5 K's against the Red Sox. Ryu has a 3.26 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through 116.0 IP. His ratios are great but the strikeouts have disappeared (20% K). Ryu has been able to maintain his elite command/control (6% BB). The drop in strikeout is concerning because it has also resulted in a 4.22 SIERA which means that regression is likely coming. He is also giving up more hard contact (41% Hardhit) than at any point in his career. His 8% Barrels is also a career-high which is not a good sign. Ryu has had trouble with his changeup this year. Normally, it has a positive pitch value but this year it has been a negative. Ryu, just like a lot of starters this year, struggled in June (4.88 ERA, 11% K and 9% BB) but has bounced back nicely in July (2.73 ERA, 19% K, and 7% BB).
Gerrit Cole went 5.1 IP and gave up 7 ER on 6 H, 2 BB, and 10 K's against the Rays. Through 21 starts Cole has a 3.11 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He has an elite strikeout to walk ratio (29% K:BB). His 2.83 SIERA backs up what he has done so far. Cole struggled in June with a 4.65 ERA but came into today's game with a 3.09 ERA in July but that changed quickly. Cole had five shutout innings with 10 K before giving up 7 ER in the 6th. The strikeouts had dropped in June (25% K) and a lot was said about the crackdown on sticky substances but Cole has been able to get his strikeouts back (38% K) in July. He is still one of the best pitchers in baseball, throws a ton of innings, and has an elite strikeout rate so there is not much to worry about even after today's bizarre start.
Yoan Moncada-White Sox-3B
Yoan Moncada was 0-4 with two strikeouts against the Royals. The White Sox lineup has been decimated by injury as of late. The unfortunate part of all of this has been the underperformance of Moncada. He is hitting .268 with 8 HR, 44 R, 45 RBI, and 2 SB. The skills underneath are very solid with 26% K and 15% BB. The quality of contact has been there as well (44% Hardhit) and (9% Barrels). It is quite perplexing why the results haven't been there because his .361 BABIP can't be pointed to as the reason. His power has disappeared because just 29% FB makes it hard to hit for power on a consistent basis. It is looking more like Moncada is an average bat in a good lineup when everyone is healthy and not the superstar we all thought he could be. y
DraftKings Value Plays: OF Manuel Margot ($3,700) and 3B Josh Donaldson ($4,100)
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