Yusei Kikuchi, SP, TOR
Kikuchi was dominant again against the Phillies on Tuesday allowing 1 ER on 4 hits and 0 BB's in 6 IP while striking out 7. Kikuchi has been getting excellent results for quite some time now, as his ERA since the start of June is a stellar 2.63 ERA across 13 starts. During that stretch, he has compiled an 80:16 K:BB in 72 IP, while allowing less than a HR per 9 IP. The improved walk rate has been the biggest difference for Kikuchi, as he's been above 3.50 BB/9 each of the past 3 seasons, but this year he's down to a 2.45 BB/9. He's been inconsistent in the past, but he's been pitching well enough for a long enough period of time to give him the benefit of the doubt that he can keep this up.
Logan Allen, SP, CLE
Allen had a strong performance against the Reds on Tuesday, going 6 shutout innings while allowing 4 hits and 3 BB's and striking out 7. He has had a good August so far, allowing just 3 ER's on 12 hits in 17 IP (1.59 ERA) across 3 starts this month. His 15:10 K:BB during this stretch is not quite as promising, particularly the fact that he has walked at least 3 batters in each of his last 4 starts. His BB/9 for the season is up to 3.51, and that number is up to 4.53 over his last 9 starts. He has still managed to be successful, but he'll probably have to cut down on the walks to keep that success up consistently.
Liover Peguero, SS, PIT
Peguero went 2-4 with a HR against the Mets on Tuesday. He has homered in 2 of his last 3 games and now has 5 HR's in 22 games since being called up by the Pirates midseason. He has the ability to be a power/speed threat, as he has already collected 18 HR's and 23 SB's in 98 games across 3 levels this season and he stole 28 bases in each of his previous two MiLB seasons. While he currently owns a solid .269 BA with the Pirates, that comes with a 34.7% K% which means the BA is more than likely going to sink. Even if that does happen though, Peguero's power and speed combo can give him fantasy value assuming he continues to play nearly every day.
Nick Pivetta, SP, BOS
Pivetta had a rough time against the Nationals on Tuesday, allowing 4 ER's on 5 hits and 3 BB's in 4.1 IP while striking out 7. Pivetta has been a strikeout machine this year, racking up 127 K's in 101.2 IP. He has spent a portion of the year pitching out of the bullpen, often as a bulk reliever, but he recently moved back into the rotation. He has been getting strikeouts regardless of his role; over his last 10 appearances, he has made 3 starts and 7 relief appearances, and totaled a whopping 67 K's in 45 IP. During that stretch, he has posted a 3.40 ERA with an xFIP south of 3.00. For the season, Pivetta owns an unexciting 4.34 ERA, however that comes with a 3.89 xFIP, and both of those numbers have been a lot better lately. Considering his recent success and his strikeout numbers, Pivetta should be a viable option for fantasy owners down the stretch.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC
Witt continued his scorching stretch on Tuesday going 1-4 with a grand slam against the Mariners. The HR was Witt's 7th in his last 16 games, a span in which he's hit .441 with 6 SB's and a whopping 25 RBI. He has also cut his K% to 14.5% during this time, which is nearly 5% lower then his season mark. It's a small sample size, but if his recent contact gains stick, Witt could become a true 5 category monster. He has likely pushed himself into the first round of fantasy drafts next season.
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