Freddie Freeman (1B-ATL) went 2-3 with a homer and 2 RBI on Saturday against the Rays. After a slow start to the season, the 31 year-old is now batting .285 with 21 dingers and 54 RBI across 397 plate appearances. His hard-hit rate, per Statcast, stands at an elite 52%. Freeman's 41% groundball rate is still a touch high (37% career) and his 25% liner rate is a bit low (28% career), but those figures have both corrected considerably over the last month or so. Patience has paid off fro his fantasy owners, as Freeman is back to where he's been the last couple of seasons.
Max Fried (SP-ATL) fired 7 scoreless innings against the Rays on Saturday, scattering 4 hits and a walk while striking out 7. The stellar outing was a welcome one for Fried, who has struggled overall this season - he now owns a 4.29 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 across 15 starts (79.2 innings). His surface numbers are correcting to where they should be, as he owned a 3.94 xFIP and 4.71 ERA entering this start. Fried's xFIP now stands at 3.83, so further strong performances should lie ahead. While his strikeout rate isn't exactly impressive, he does a pretty good job of inducing grounders (47%) and limiting hard contact (33% per Statcast). He lines up for a start in Philadelphia next week.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B-STL) went 3-4 with a 2-run blast against San Francisco on Saturday. The 33 year-old has been amazingly okay since joining the Cardinals prior to the 2019 campaign, and that trend has continued in 2021 as he now owns a .270 average to go with 15 longballs and 52 RBI across 382 plate appearances. His hard-hit rate (per Statcast) sits at an elite 55%, the highest he has logged in the Statcast era and his hitting a healthy 40% flyballs and a solid 22% liners, but the luck just hasn't been there. Goldschmidt's HR/FB sits at 20% on this career, but it's just 13% in 2021 after coming in at just 11% in 2020.
Willson Contreras (C-CHC) went 3-4 with a 2-run shot against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. The 29 year-old started the season hot but cooled off and is now batting .241 with 14 homers and 33 RBI across 323 plate appearances. His strikeout rate currently stands at a career-worst 27% while he's hit too many grounders (51%) for a guy that's not exactly speedy. His hard-hit rate currently sits at a healthy 44% per Statcast, but his 66% contact rate is tied for his career low.
Kwang Hyun Kim (SP-STL) tossed 6 scoreless innings against the Giants on Saturday, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks while fanning 1. The 32 year-old southpaw has been solid if unspectacular in 2021, as he now owns a 2.87 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9 across 16 starts (78.1 innings). His 4.63 xFIP indicates that he has outperformed his peripherals, namely with a 78% strand rate, .270 BABIP, and 7% HR/FB. He does induce grounders at a healthy 47% rate, but his mediocre control and inability to miss bats (9% swinging-strike rate) limit his upside. Those who have picked him up for fantasy should expect some regression going forward. Kim is currently slated to face the Cubs at home next week.
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