Mitch Keller went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 5 H, 0 BB, and 7 K's against the Marlins. Keller has a 4.55 ERA and 1.42 WHIP through 95 IP. The strikeouts aren't there (20% K) and his swinging strike doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in him turning it around. With that being said he has turned it around since the beginning of June. Keller has a 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 21% K, and 7% BB over since June 1st. He has started to feature his sinker more than the four-seam fastball which has made a huge difference. Keller may have an average strikeout rate but once he pairs that with 56% ground balls, he has a recipe for success. This also means changing our perception and expectations for Keller. He isn't going to be an ace but he does have the solid back end of the rotation potential which is a solid win considering how awful he has been to start his career.
Reid Detmers went 5 IP and gave up 0 ER on 3 H, 2 BB, and 6 K's against the Braves. On the year, Detmers has a 3.84 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He has a below-average strikeout (20% K and 9% SwStr) and walk rate (9% BB). The good news is that he has found his slider since being sent to Triple-A. He has 19 K's in 17 IP since coming back up. If he can maintain a strikeout an inning that would be huge for his overall value because his ratios are fine. Detmers is someone to take a chance on in the second half due to the improvement in his slider. His next start will be at home against the Rangers which is a good overall matchup.
Jeffery Springs went 4.1 IP and gave up 1 ER on 8 H, 0 BB, and 2 K's against the Royals. Springs has a 2.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP through 20 G and 12 GS. He has shown the ability to miss bats (28% K) which is backed up by his above-average swinging strike rate (14%). Springs has also displayed good control (6% BB) and this is why his SIERA (3.16) backs up what he has done. He has been extremely fortunate in terms of men left on base (93%) so there will be regression there but a mid-3 ERA with good strikeouts is a realistic projection. He also plays for the Rays which will maximize his potential and prevent him from having a true blowup game. He will face off against the Guardians at home next time he toes the rubber.
Nico Hoerner was 0-3 with a strikeout against the Phillies. Hoerner is having a breakout season for the Cubs. He is hitting .300 with 6 HR, 32 R, 30 RBI, and 10 SB. Hoerner has an elite contact rate (10% K) which is good because he is aggressive at the plate (4% BB). He is also a plus baserunner and has only been caught once which is an excellent success rate. This also suggests that he will continue to get the green light from his manager. He is pacing towards a 10 HR/15 SB season with a plus batting average. This will be a very nice value from your MI in mixed leagues.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.-Blue Jays-OF
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 1-5 against the Red Sox. Gurriel Jr. is hitting .313 with 5 HR, 40 R, 41 RBI, and 3 SB. The batting average is a huge plus and he has chipped in three steals which gives him four category production. The one disappointing area has been the power. A year ago, he hit 21 HR in 141 GP and will be lucky to finish with double digits this year. Gurriel Jr. hits the ball hard (46% Hardhit) but not at the right angles (4% Barrels). This is something that is hard to change in-season so this is the Gurriel Jr. to expect in the second half. It's not a bad player but you will have to make up the power elsewhere.
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