Aaron Nola, SP, PHI
Nola hurled 8.0 innings of one-run ball in Houston on Friday night. He gave up just one hit, walked none, and struck out six in the contest. This was a very encouraging outing for the struggling 29-year-old Philly veteran. Nola relied heavily on his knuckle curve against the Astros, throwing it on 36% of his pitches, while using his four-seam and two-seam just 17% and 24%, respectively. The strategy worked, as he generated a 21% Whiff% and was unbothered by the Astros' hitters for most of the outing. For the season, Nola owns a career-low 6.94 K/9 and a career-high 4.55 xFIP. His career averages in those categories are 10.04 and 3.30, respectively, which causes concern.
Luis Arraez, 2B, MIA
Arraez went 1 for 2 with a walk and a HBP on Friday night. The new Marlins second baseman is currently leading the league in hitting with an outrageous .427 AVG. Arraez did win the AL batting title last season, so the fact that he currently leads the MLB in hitting shouldn't come as a surprise, however, batting .427 through the first month is an impressive feat. Arraez won't hit for power, but with a 94.6% Contact% and 96.4% Z-Contact%, and 2.3% SwStr%, his contact skills are out of this world. Don't expect him to hit .427 for too long (though if anyone is going to hit .400 again, it would be Arraez), but he has done this for long enough to know that the hits will keep coming.
Jordan Romano, RP, TOR
Romano secured his 9th save of the season on Friday night giving him a share of the league lead. He faced just three batters and stuck out two of them in the outing. In 11.1 innings this season, Romano has a 3.18/3.87 ERA/xFIP and 11.12 K/9. Additionally, he has allowed just one Barrel and owns a 41.0% O-Swing% (career-high) and 19.0% SwStr%. The 30-year-old's 3.18 BB/9 is up a little from last season, which isn't ideal, but it's hard to nitpick with a closer who has compiled 68 saves over the past 2+ seasons.
Jarren Duran, OF, BOS
Duran went 3 for 4 with a hat trick of doubles on Friday night against the Guardians. He has logged three consecutive multi-hit performances and has five such performances over the past seven contests. It's a small sample size (44 PA), but Duran has absolutely destroyed the ball so far this season. Before his three-double performance, he owned a ridiculous 64.0% HardHit% and 20% Barrel% and he now totes a .436/.455/.718 triple-slash line. The 26-year-old is striking out a lot (27.3%) and hasn't proven himself at the big league level, but this is an impressive start nonetheless.
Jose Miranda, 3B, MIN
Miranda went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run on Friday night against the Royals. The 24-year-old has been in a "sophomore slump" to start the 2023 season but has been showing signs of life recently. He is slashing an abysmal .240/.301/.356 but has four two-hit games over his past seven games, which includes all three of his 2023 home runs. Surprisingly, Miranda's struggles don't stem from an overaggressive approach as his K% and BB% this season are an improvement over those he posted in his rookie campaign. The youngster just hasn't been squaring the ball up; his HardHit% is down 4.0% and his Hard% is down 7.3% from last season. Hopefully, Miranda just needed to see the ball go over the fence to get his groove back.
This is just a small sample our daily analysis, join our member area for tools that will help you win your fantasy championship. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.