Eury Perez (SP-MIA) dazzled against the Dodgers in LA on Saturday afternoon, firing 6 shutout IP in which he allowed just 2 hits while walking none and racking up 10 punchouts. The 20 year-old righty threw 60 of his 90 offerings for strikes in the outing. Perez has impressed in his rookie campaign, as he now owns a 2.91 ERA, 11 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, and 3.79 xFIP through 14 starts (68 IP). He's missed lots of bats (15% swinging-strike rate) and limited contact (69%), which is good because he's surrendered hard contact at a 40% clip. The one big concern about Perez down the stretch might be workload, as the Marlins have actively managed his innings this season and could pull him from games relatively early down the stretch. For now, he's slated to face the Nationals at home next week, and he's been especially good at home this season (1.96 ERA, 11.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 3.11 xFIP in 36.2 IP).
Nick Castellanos (OF-PHI) continued his bounceback campaign as he went 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI against the Nationals on Saturday. The 31 year-old has now far surpassed his disappointing 2022 campaign (.263 average, 13 homers, 62 RBI, and a wRC+ of 94 in 558 PA), as he now boasts a .277 average to go with 21 dingers, 78 RBI, and a wRC+ of 109 through 515 PA this season. While his strikeout rate is up (27%), Castellanos has rediscovered his power stroke (his hard-hit rate is back up to 44% per Statcast after coming in at 35% last year) while his liner rate is up a bit (23% in 2023, under 20% in 2022). However, it's concerning that his contact rate is down to a career-low 66% while his swinging-strike rate is also a career worst at 19%. So, it's ultimately a mixed bag here that doesn't indicate that he'll recapture the form he showed in his career year with the Reds back in 2021.
Josh Lowe (OF-TB) had a nice day at the plate against the Angels on Saturday afternoon as he went 3-4 with a homer and 3 RBI in game 1 of a doubleheader. The 25 year-old now owns a .280 average, 16 homers, 65 RBI, 51 runs scored, 24 steals, and a wRC+ of 127 across 371 PA on the campaign. After a torrid start to the season in which he hit 11 of his homers and swiped 13 of his bags by the end of May, Lowe cooled off considerably thereafter. And even though he carried a .295 average across 44 PA in August into Saturday's action, it was fairly empty as he had just 1 homer and 2 steals on the month. Encouragingly, though, Lowe has tempered his strikeouts since the All-Star break (down from 27% before to 23% since) while making more hard contact (up to 36% from 27%). Those trends are encouraging and perhaps Saturday's production suggests that he's turning things around after a long mid-season swoon.
Hunter Greene (SP-CIN) will return from the 60-day IL to start against the Blue Jays at home on Sunday. The 24 year-old flamethrower appeared to be his usual self in his fourth and final minor-league rehab start, firing 5.2 IP in which he allowed 1 unearned run on 1 hit and 3 walks while fanning 9. He fired 83 pitches in that outing, so his workload shouldn't be significantly - if at all - limited in his return to big-league action. Although the opponent is a tough one, Greene has established himself as a must-start SP, largely based on his strikeout ability, as he recorded a 3.93 ERA, 12.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, and 3.89 xFIP through 14 starts (73.1 IP) before going on the shelf back in mid-June. The owner of a strong 14% swinging-strike rate, Greene has continued to display subpar control, but has limited opposing hitters to a 71% contact rate and 32% hard-hit rate. Make sure he's activated from the IL and starting if he's on your roster.
Logan Allen (SP-CLE) is an interesting SP for Sunday as he should be a quality DFS play and is widely available in standard fantasy leagues (13% rostered in ESPN, for instance). The 24 year-old rookie has held his own in his first taste of the majors, recording a 3.33 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, and 4.23 xFIP through 18 starts (97.1 IP). HIs swinging-strike rate is pretty average at 11%, but he's held opposing bats to below-average general contact (77%) and hard contact (35%) rates. And Allen is coming off of a strong performance in Cincinnati in which he scattered 4 hits and 3 walks while fanning 7 over 6 shutout IP. The lefty isn't perfect, as he's walked at least 3 batters in each of his last 4 outings, but he's shown better control in the majors and his opposition on Sunday - the Tigers aren't especially adept at drawing free passes, ranking #24 in baseball in walks drawn this season. In general, Detroit is a favorable matchup as their lineup ranks #25 in MLB in team OPS (.686) versus southpaws this season.
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