Bryce Harper was 1-4 with his 300th career HR (15) against the Angels. Harper is hitting .308 with 15 HR, 65 R, 55 RBI, and 7 SB. He continues to be an elite fantasy option due to his plate approach (13% BB and 22% K) and ability to hit the ball hard (14% Barrels and 47% Hardhit). The new rules will also help his fantasy value because he is a good baserunner and should be able to get 15-20 SB in a full season. Harper appears to finally be healthy and is an elite five-category contributor especially if he keeps his walk rate below 15% which will allow for more balls in play.
Jordan Walker was 4-4 with an HR (12), 1 R, and 3 RBI in the Cardinals win over the Padres. Through 90 GP in his rookie year, Walker is hitting .267 with 12 HR, 34 R, 39 RBI, and 6 SB. It hasn't been bad but it has also been a bit underwhelming considering the hype coming into the year. This is a cautionary tale that rookie hitters are not a lock for fantasy greatness. He has a strong foundation to build on (23% K, 8% BB, 7% Barrels, and 45% Hardhit). However, he also has a major flaw (50% GB) that limits his fantasy upside. There is a good likelihood that he turns out to be a great fantasy player but it is going to take time. Therefore, he is more of a league-average outfielder rest of the season.
Andrew Vaughn-White Sox-1B
Andrew Vaughn was 2-5 with an HR (17), 2 R, and 3 RBI against the Orioles. Vaughn is hitting .257 with 17 HR, 56 R, 69 RBI, and 0 SB. He has solid skills across the board (21% K, 6% BB, 9% Barrels, and 46% Hardhit) but hasn't been able to translate that into fantasy production. The biggest issue for Vaughn is hitting too many ground balls (44% GB). This limits his power numbers and he's not fast so it doesn't help his batting average. Given that he has stolen one base in three years, he needs to have above-average power numbers in order to provide fantasy value. Vaughn is still valuable in 15-team leagues, where the player pool is deeper but in 12-team mixed leagues there is likely someone that gives you more upside.
Jordan Westburg was 1-2 with 1 R and 1 BB against the White Sox. Westburg is hitting .261 with 2 HR, 22 R, 17 RBI, and 4 SB in 48 GP. He is struggling to hit the ball hard (5% Barrels) which limits his power numbers (.131 ISO) and his overall fantasy production. He has shown decent plate skills (22% K and 7% BB) but hits too many ground balls (42% GB). He is a young hitter with decent skills so there is upside, just look at his maxEV (111.4 mph), but it is likely going to take time to reach his full potential. This doesn't help us much this year. Unless it is a super deep mixed league, there are likely better options on the wire.
Emmanuel Clase closed out the Guardians win for his 36th save. On the year, Clase has a 2.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP across 61 IP. He is on pace to surpass 69 IP for the third straight season with saves totals of (24 SV, 42 SV, and 36). Clase had a rough stretch but has really turned it around recently. He has a 2.08 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 25% K, and 3% BB in the second half. His strikeout rate is down on the year (22% K) but it is good to see it rebound some in the second half. Regardless, Clase is still an elite closer who has a guaranteed role.
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