George Kirby went 3 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 0 BB, and 2 K's against the Guardians before the rain delay. George Kirby has been the real deal since being called up. He has a 3.15 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through his first 20 GS. Throughout the minors, his calling card was elite control/command and that has been on display at the major league level (3% BB). The concern was if he was going to miss enough bats and so far he has been (25% K). His 3.19 SIERA is in line with his results so far. The next step for Kirby is developing his secondary options. He has such a good foundation (22% K:BB) that right now he is an above-average starter but has the potential to become a truly elite starter if he were to develop secondaries that he could use to put hitters away instead of his fastball. Regardless, he is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. The Mariners are going to try to limit his innings as much as possible but at the same time, they need him to make the playoffs so fantasy managers shouldn't be overly concerned about his innings.
Ross Stripling-Blue Jays-SP
Ross Stripling went 6 IP and gave up 3 ER on 2 H, 3 BB, and 8 K's against the Pirates. Stripling has been brilliant for the Blue Jays and fantasy managers. He has a 3.03 ERA and 1.04 WHIP through 19 GS and 27 GP. Striping successfully limits walks (4% BB) and gets ground balls (48% GB). The strikeouts aren't what you want (21% K) but they are good enough to support the rest of his skill set. His 3.57 SIERA signals potential regression but even that is above-average for fantasy. The only issue is that the Blue Jays limit his pitches and innings which has resulted in fewer wins than expected for someone who has pitched so well and for an offense that scores runs like the Blue Jays. It was nice to see him get rewarded with the win in this one. His next start comes on the road against the Rangers which is a good matchup.
Seth Brown was 3-4 with 2 HR (19), 3 R, and 2 RBI in the Athletics win. On the year, he is hitting .227 with 19 HR, 43 R, 53 RBI, and 8 SB. The 19 HR/8 SB is nice but Brown has been a drag in the other three categories. He plays against some left-handed pitchers but for the most part, gets platooned. Brown hits the ball hard (11% Barrels and 40% Hardhit) but can struggle to make contact (26% K) at times. This is a result of chasing out of the zone (34% O-swing). In AL-only leagues and deeper mixed league formats, Brown has value but in shallower mixed leagues the lower batting average and lack of counting stats make it hard to start him on a consistent basis.
Joey Meneses was 1-4 with 1 R in the Nationals win against the Mets. Meneses is playing every day and hitting second or third for the Nationals. He is hitting .330 with 7 HR, 20 R, 15 RBI, and 0 SB through 28 GP. The plate skills are good (4% BB and 19% K) to go along with strong batted ball metrics (12% Barrels and 45% Hardhit). His season is very similar to Frank Schwindel's last year where he was very productive at the end of the year. Meneses is 30 years old so long-term it is questionable how productive he will be but for this season he can help your team out if you need at-bats and four-category production.
Max Fried went 5 IP and gave up 0 ER on 0 H, 1 BB, and 6 K's against the Marlins. He was cruising prior to the delay. Fried has been excellent all year. He has a 2.48 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through 25 GS (163.1 IP). He pairs an average strikeout rate (23% K) with elite control (4% BB) and an above-average ground ball rate (52% GB). Fried keeps hitters off the base paths and limits their hard contact which is why he is able to suppress runs. It also helps that he has two above-average offspeed pitches that he can throw for strikes and use to miss bats. None of his luck factors (.284 BABIP or 76% LOB) are out of the ordinary making what he is doing as legit. Fried is a must-start and has been one of the best values at starting pitcher this year.
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