While the Roster may not be as star studded as other Teams, The Mariners continue to win. Let's check out how some of their Key Contributors have been doing following their 7-2 win Thursday.
Yusei Kikuchi (SP-SEA)
Kikuchi continued his strong start allowing 1 ER over 7 innings, while striking out 6 and generating 10 groundballs to lower his season ERA to 3.18. Kikuchi had a rough 2019 Rookie season in the states (5.46 ERA/5.71 xfip) but has made strides since then. First he has increased his fastball velocity from 92.6 mpg in 2019 to around 95 each of the past 2 seasons - which has driven his K rate way up (6.46 in 2019, 9.00 last year and 9.07 this year). He has also been able to generate a higher number of groundballs - 52% each of the past 2 seasons and as such his xfips (3.78 last year, 3.47 this year) show he has made some true improvements. He has anchored a surprising Mariners teams by tossing 93 innings over 15 starts and fantasy owners are hoping he can continue to pitch deep into games.
Mitch Haniger (OF-SEA)
Haniger went 2-4 and scored a pair of runs Thursday Afternoon. Haniger was a fantasy darling in 2017 and 2018 hitting 42 HR and driving in 140 while posting a .850 OPS and finishing 11th in the MVP voting in 2018. 2019 was a disaster as he hit just .220 - albeit with 15 HR and a .778 OPS and he did not play last year. 2021 has mostly been good as he owns a .261/.308/.497 triple slash line with 34 xbh and 45 RBIs. A .286 babip is down from his .337 mark he registered between 2017-2018, hence the depressed batting average. The 30-year-old is still on pace for a 30+ HR season and should continue to be comfortably deployed in lineups.
Jake Fraley OF-SEA
Fraley went 2-3 with a walk and his 6th HR of the season. While the batting average is still a bit low (.256) Fraley has been an on base machine drawing walks at a 23% clip to give him a big time .439 OBP. He has also chipped in with 6 HR and 5 SB, and while his 25% K rate is still high, he has been able to drop it below 30% - a number he eclipsed in parts of the past 2 MLB seasons. While his overall numbers are strong, he is still being viewed as a platoon play by the Mariners as his splits are extreme (.156 batting average vs lefties, .294 vs righties). If your league takes OBP into account as a category, you want him on your team and is a good option vs righties.
Around The League Thursday:
Joey Gallo (OF-TEX)
Gallo continued his power surge hitting his 20th HR of the season Thursday and also reached base all 4 times going 3-3 with a walk. Anyone that has stuck with Gallo has been rewarded this week as he has slugged home runs each of the past 5 games, including a pair of multi-HR efforts and has added 10 RBIs. Gallo had a massive June overall posting a 1.105 OPS with 10 HR, 18 RBIs 23 walks and 3 stolen bases and has slowly pulled his batting average up into the .230s - respectable for him. His .489 slg% is lagging a bit behind his primetime years but the power surge has been able to pull it up. By This point owners know what they are getting with Gallo as a 3-true outcome type player - 179 of his 317 PAs this season have resulted in either a HR, BB or K. Gallo could still challenge for a HR title if the streak continues.
Nate Lowe (1B-TEX)
Nate Lowe went 2-4 with his 11th an 12th HRs of the Season Thursday. Overall Lowe has produced a .260/.360/.424 line and has put together 2 strong months (hitting .277 in April and June) and 1 rough month (.220 in May). Lowe played in 71 Games for Tampa from 2019-2020 and showed some pop with 11 home runs and also put together some strong overall minor leagues in the Rays farm system. His 2021 13% walk rate and 26% K rate are both improvements from his days in Tampa and he has cemented himself in the heart of the Rangers Lineup.
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