Gary Sanchez, C, MIN
On Wednesday night in Oakland, Sanchez went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI. The veteran backstop's tenure in Minnesota didn't start with a bang as he batted .195 with one homer and 25 strikeouts through his first 85 plate appearances. However, he has begun to find his groove over the past week. Since May 13th, Sanchez is batting .348 (8 for 23) with seven extra-base hits (3 HR, 4 2B) and eight RBI. With a 75.0% HardHit% and 20.0% Barrel%, he has been hitting the ball exceptionally well during the hot streak. Those percentages are impossible to keep up, but considering how much Sanchez strikes out (29.7% K%) and how little he walks (6.3% BB%), he will have to continue to blister his balls in play to be successful. The 29-year-old can certainly hit the ball hard, but it's worrisome that before this recent hot stretch, Sanchez had a 42.3% HardHit% and 11.5% Barrel% that are well above average (38.8% and 7.5%), which resulted in putrid numbers; such as a .271 wOBA and .130 ISO. He is owned in 40.3% of ESPN leagues, and being a catcher, Sanchez is worth a look while he is hot. However, he will be hard to trust as a full-season fantasy player unless he improves his bat control.
Nick Pivetta, SP, BOS
Pivetta went the distance on Wednesday evening, giving up one run on two hits while striking out eight batters. After a horrendous start to the 2022 campaign, the 29-year-old has been fantastic in his past three starts, giving up just two runs across 22.0 innings. Pivetta has never broken through as a reliable pitcher in the big leagues, and the recent success is nice, but don't feel the need to add the veteran right-hander. Coming into Wednesday's outing, he owned a hefty 50.5 HardHit% and 11.3% Barrel% (both career worsts). He lowered his ERA to 4.22, which is commendable, especially when coupled with his 3.74/3.67 FIP/xFIP. However, Fenway isn't the park you want to be the home park of a marginal pitcher that doesn't rack up the Ks (8.65 K/9), and that has a history of control issues (3.51 career BB/9).
CJ Cron, 1B, COL
Cron broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning with a two-run homer off Giants' reliever Jose Alvarez. It was Cron's 10th dinger of the season but just his first since May 3rd. He is now slashing .319/.365/.604 with 30 RBI across 156 plate appearances. The 32-year-old veteran is obviously having a fantastic season; however, the stark difference in his home and road splits is a bit concerning. With eight home runs, 24 RBI, and a .391 average, Cron is mashing the ball at Coors Field. On the road, however, he is hitting just .211 with two home runs and six RBI. Additionally, he has struck out 19 times and walked just once on the road, while he has 20 strikeouts and nine walks at home (in 36 more PA). The Rockies have played seven more home games than away games but have a seven-game road trip coming up after this weekend...so Cron might be a liability for next week's fantasy matchups.
Walker Buehler, SP, LAD
Buehler collected his 5th win of the season with a 5.0 inning, two-run performance against the Diamondbacks. He surrendered six hits and walked a pair but was able to battle through deep enough to earn the W. The five wins give him a share of the MLB lead. It wasn't the most impressive performance, but it's a bounceback from his worst outing of the season in his last start (9 H, 5 ER vs PHI). With a 7.53 K/9, a 3.64 xFIP, and a 41.6% HardHit%, Buehler has been far from dominant this season. Of course, Fantasy owners would like to see the 27-year-old be more of a force on the mound, but as long as he is consistently getting through five innings, he will be a solid fantasy performer.
Keston Hiura, 1B, MIL
Hiura hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to walk it off for the Brewers. It came in the 25-year-old's first action since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. Hiura has severely struggled since his stellar rookie campaign back in 2019. Hopefully, the big homer will get him going, but it's doubtful that Hiura figures into anyone's fantasy plans for the remainder of the 2022 season. He is striking out at a ridiculous 44.7 % clip in 2022 and has slashed .194/.282/363 since the start of the 2020 season.
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