Trey Mancini, OF, BAL
Mancini hit a walk-off single to complete the Orioles' comeback against the Angels on Friday night. He finished the night 2 for 5 and is now riding a seven-game hitting streak. After a down 2021 season, Mancini has had a nice comeback season so far in 2022. With only eight homers in 327 plate appearances, his power numbers are down, but he currently owns a .342 wOBA and a hefty .393 xwOBA that is a career-best by a wide margin (previous high .362 xwOBA). Mancini has been hitting the ball exceptionally well with a career-high 43.2% HardHit% and 10.8% Barrel%. Additionally, his 85.9 Z-Contact%, 31.4% O-Swing%, and 10.8% SwStr% are all career bests. So, the lack of power-production seems to be a fluke, especially considering he is hitting more fly balls and line drives than he ever has (23.9% LD% and 38.7% FB%). I don't think it's a stretch to believe that the 30-year-old will have an explosive second half of the season.
Raisel Iglesias, RP, LAA
Iglesias gave up three runs on four hits and blew his third save of the season on Friday night. He came into the bottom of the 9th with a two-run lead and was able to retire the first two batters quickly; however, the following four Orioles recorded hits and handed Iglesias his 5th loss of the season. The 32-year-old has surrendered runs in his past two appearances and has an ugly 4.50 ERA on the season. However, before these past two games, he hadn't given up a hit, much less a run, in his previous seven appearances. Iglesias has been victimized by the long ball this season (1.50 HR/9), but that was all a part of his early-season struggles that saw him with a 4.64 ERA/2.59 xFIP and 2.11 HR/9 through his first 24 appearances. Since then, he has given up zero homers and four runs in nine appearances. He isn't having control issues (1.80 BB/9), and his stuff still appears to be good (12.90 K/9 and 38.0% O-Swing%). His problem has been homers and stranding runners. His 58.3% LOB% is below his career average by an incredible 20.5%, which can be attributed to his career-worst 84.0 Z-Contact%. Add a solid 2.53 xFIP to the mix, and it's tough to figure out the level of concern you should have for Iglesias. Though, as long as he continues to be the Angels' closer, which he is, he should be on your fantasy team.
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, MIA
De La Cruz went 3 for 3 with three doubles and an RBI on Friday night in New York. The 25-year-old has now recorded a hit in his last six starts, bringing his triple-slash line up to .231/.284/.404 on the season. He has six extra-base hits during the hot stretch, including two home runs. With a solid 43.1% HardHit% and low 8.6% Soft%, De La Cruz has shown some potential in his second Big League season. However, with a 35.9% O-Swing% and 22.5% K%, he won't be a factor in fantasy circles until he improves his plate discipline.
Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, KC
On Friday night, Merrifield went 3 for 4 with a two-run homer in the Royals' victory over the Guardians. He is 12 for his last 33 over the past eight contests, with two home runs and three stolen bases. For the season, Merrifield's five homers, 14 steals, and .242/.293/.346 triple-slash line are far from ideal for a player of his caliber, but considering how he started the season, fantasy owners will take it. Through his first 113 plate appearances, Merrifield slashed .135/.177/.156 with zero home runs and a -9 wRC+. He is hitting .290 with 11 stolen bases and a 114 wRC+ since then. The 32-year-old hasn't quite been his same stellar self over the past few months, but his 27.5% Hard%, 24.0% LD%, and 7.5% SwStr% during the stretch look a lot more like the Merrifield of old.
Adam Wainwright, SP, STL
Wainwright gave up two runs across nine innings on Friday night but came out on the losing end of a 2-0 ballgame. He gave up two solo homers to Alec Bohm but was dazzling other than that. Waino surrendered five hits, walked none, and struck out three on the evening. After a fantastic start to the 2022 campaign, the 40-year-old had given up four earned runs in three of his last four outings before Friday's gem. Still, he owns a 3.15/3.75 ERA/xFIP, and despite his advanced age, he has 105.2 IP and now a complete game this season. His 105.2 IP is tied for 5th in the majors, and his one complete game is tied for 2nd. Pitchers that eat up innings are a rare breed in today's game, so even if Waino starts to get hit around a bit, he will be a valuable fantasy asset.
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