Sonny Gray went 4 IP and gave up 2 ER on 5 H, 3 BB, and 4 K's against the Dodgers. Gray has a 1.64 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through 49.1 IP. He has been dominant this year thanks to an increased strikeout rate (31% K). The increased strikeouts look real considering an increase in swinging strike rate (12% SwStr and a change in his pitch mix. He is throwing fewer fastballs (-10% FB) in favor of more sliders (+6%), cutters (+9%), and changeups (+6%). Gray is healthy and throwing his best pitches more which is why he is off to a strong start. Regression is going to set in at some point but his 3.41 SIERA suggests that his skills are that of an above-average starter.
Matthew Liberatore went 5IP and gave up 0 ER on 3 H, 3 BB, and 6 K's against the Brewers. Liberatore had a 3.13 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through 8 GS at Triple-A. He has shown increased velocity this year which has resulted in more strikeouts. He struck out 30% of batters at Triple-A which is a huge increase over what he has shown the past three seasons between the minors and majors. He also combined the increased strikeouts with 50% GB which is a very intriguing profile. There is no guarantee that it all translates to the majors but a 25% K and 50% GB would be a great foundation to start from. Liberatore is worth adding in all formats and even more so with the recent string of pitcher injuries across the league.
Andrew McCutchen was 2-5 with 1 R and 1 RBI against the Tigers. McCutchen has been playing nearly every day for the Pirates and hitting in the middle of the order. He is hitting .252 with 7 HR, 20 R, 19 RBI, and 4 SB. He is tracking towards a 20 HR/10 SB season with a respectable average. McCutchen brings a plus plate approach (14% BB and 22% K) and hard contact (10% Barrels). He is no longer an MVP candidate but it is still a very useful profile in mixed leagues.
Mark Vientos was 1-4 with a home run against the Rays in his season debut. He was called up from Triple-A prior to this game. He was hitting .333 with 13 HR, 26 R, 37 RBI, and 0 SB in 38 GP. The power is real with 58% Hardhit and 112.8 mph maxEV at Triple-A. He is not going to provide any speed considering he has just one stolen base across seven professional seasons. The Mets are looking for a spark offensively so he will likely start as a platoon option against left-handers but could play himself into more regular at-bats. He is worth a speculative add based on his power alone but he is going to need regular at-bats to provide real fantasy value and the Mets roster is crowded.
MacKenzie Gore went 5.1 IP and gave up 4 ER on 5 H, 2 BB, and 7 K's against the Marlins. Gore has now made nine starts and has a 3.69 ERA with a 1.45 WHIP. The ERA doesn't match the WHIP. Normally, a 1.45 WHIP would lend itself to a much higher ERA. Gore has done a good job of missing bats (29% K and 12% SwStr) but has struggled at times with command (12% BB). This is not a new problem for him as he has struggled to control the strike zone throughout his professional career. He has been unfortunate on balls in play (.342 BABIP) and 80% LOB. His 4.01 SIERA is a better indicator of his potential going forward which looks like a downgrade but signals that he is an above-average starter with the league ERA sitting around 4.30. He is lined up for a two-start week with a matchup against the Padres at home and the Royals on the road. Gore is one of the better options next week and should be started in most formats.
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