Shane McClanahan, SP, TB
McClanahan returned from about a 2-week stint on the IL on Thursday and tossed 5 shutout innings against the Blue Jays allowing just 3 hits and a BB while striking out 5. After a couple of rough starts at the end of July and beginning of August, McClanahan has regained his Cy Young form, allowing 4 ER's in 24 IP (1.50 ERA) over his last 4 starts. For the season, he ranks 2nd in MLB in ERA (2.13), 1st in xFIP (2.31), 2nd in WHIP (0.86), 4th in K/9 (11.05), 1st in K-BB% (26.9%) and 1st in SwStr% (16.3%). Justin Verlander is expected to come off the IL on Friday, and the two would seem to be neck and neck for the AL Cy Young Award.
Dylan Floro, RP, MIA
Floro allowed 1 ER on 2 hits in the 9th inning against the Phillies on Thursday to record his 5th save of the season. It certainly looks like Floro has taken over the closer role in Miami from Tanner Scott, as Floro has converted 2 saves over the past week, while Scott hasn't recorded a save since Aug 23. Floro has been pitching well lately, as before Thursday, he hadn't allowed an ER in his last 7 IP and owned a 1.78 ERA over his last 25.1 IP (26 appearances). His strikeout rate is rather weak at 7.48 K/9, so he's not at all an ideal closer, but he's definitely rosterable now that he seems to have reclaimed the 9th inning gig.
Nick Gordon, OF, MIN
Gordon went 1-3 with a HR against the Royals on Thursday giving him 7 HR's through 120 games this season. Gordon has hit for a solid .278 BA this season but hasn't produced enough power or speed to be a significant fantasy asset. The BA itself is also suspect as it's being held up by a .355 BABIP. More power could be coming from Gordon in the future though, as he has increased his FB% from 26.0% to 35.6% this season, while posting a strong 45.7% HardHit%. It's kind of surprising that his HR/FB is at just 6.7% considering his hard-hit rate. If that number bumps up even to the 10.5% mark that he recorded last season, he could at least be considered a moderate power source.
Miles Mikolas, SP, STL
Mikolas pitched 6 innings against the Reds on Thursday allowing 3 ER's on 5 hits while striking out 3 and walking 3. Mikolas is having a strong season overall, but not so much in the 2nd half, as he now owns a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts since the all-star break. There's been some bad luck in that stretch, as he has posted a 3.80 xFIP since the break (entering Thursday), but has been hurt by a 60.3% LOB%. Still, when your strikeout rate is that low, you're going to be susceptible to getting hit around once in a while. Overall, the lack of strikeouts limits Mikolas' fantasy appeal. For what it's worth, Mikolas has been much better at home this season, turning in a 2.23 ERA at home (entering Thursday) compared to 4.56 on the road.
Salvador Perez, C, KC
Perez went 2-4 with a HR against the Twins on Thursday, and now has 21 HR's for the season. He's hitting just .245 on the year, but since coming off a month-long stint on the IL at the end of July, Perez has hit .291 with 10 HR's and 34 RBI across 43 games. That still may be a bit shy of what he did in his prolific 2021 campaign, but those numbers would still place him among the best catchers in baseball. His rough first half has suppressed his overall numbers, but that could help make him a good value on draft day next season.
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