Michael King, SP, RP, NYY
King had a strong outing against the Brewers on Saturday, striking out 9 in 5 IP, while allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 1 BB. He continues to get stretched out as a starter as he was up to 79 pitches on Saturday, while completing 5 innings for the second straight start. Since shifting to the Yankees rotation in late August, King has made 4 starts and allowed 2 ER's in 16.2 IP to go along with a 21:3 K:BB. Based on his success thus far, he should certainly be in the mix for a starting job for the Yankees in 2024. Assuming he finishes the 2023 season strong, there will presumably be a good amount of hype around King heading into next season, although there is certainly plenty of risk with someone who has only made a handful of starts as a traditional starter. Either way, he seems to be a viable streaming option for his final few starts of 2023.
Christian Yelich, OF, MIL
Yelich was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Yankees due to a back issue, but supposedly this was just precautionary, and he shouldn't be expected to miss too much time. Yelich has had a bounceback season in 2023, but he has struggled lately, slashing .225/.331/.295 since the start of August with just 1 HR in 33 games in that span. His K% has jumped to 27.2% during this stretch and his EV has dropped to 87.2, after he had posted a 20.2% K% and 93.1 EV across the first four months. Overall, Yelich's 17 HR's and .274 BA this season are improvements over his past two subpar campaigns in which he combined to hit .251 with 23 HR's, but they are a far cry from 2018-19 seasons in which he hit a combined .327 with 80 home runs. His K% has improved a bit from his previous two seasons, although his SwStr% has actually increased. Meanwhile, his 91.7 EV this season is right in line with his last two seasons, compared to an EV of around 93 in 2018-19. But perhaps most importantly, his FB% is right around 23% for the 3rd straight year after having posted a 35.9% FB% in 2019. All in all, his numbers in 2023 are a lot closer to his numbers the past two seasons than they are from his MVP-caliber days. His greatest improvement this season has been his 27 steals, but expecting a repeat of that from a 32-year old Yelich with a history of back issues in 2024 would seem to be a bit of a stretch.
David Pederson, SP, NYM
Pederson allowed 3 ER's in 6 IP against the Twins on Saturday, striking out 8 and walking 1 in the contest. It's been a rough year overall for Pederson whose ERA still sits at 5.34 for the season through 94.1 IP, but he's been a bit better since rejoining the Mets rotation in early August, compiling a 4.22 ERA across 7 starts. Over his last 4 starts in particular, he has posted a 24:6 K:BB across 21.2 IP. Pederson has actually been quite unlucky this season with a .371 BABIP, and his xFIP for the year sits at a solid 3.73. He won't be sought after in 2024 fantasy drafts, but it wouldn't be totally out of the blue if he ends up being relevant.
George Springer, OF, TOR
Springer went 3-4 with 2 HR's and 4 RBI against the Royals on Saturday, giving him 19 HR's on the season. Springer has been slumping in the second half, as he entered Saturday hitting just .238/.336/.359 with 4 HR's and 20 RBI in 47 games since the all star break. In general, his numbers have taken a step back since joining the Blue Jays in 2021. After hitting at least 29 HR's in 3 of his final 4 full seasons in Houston, Springer is primed to miss that mark for the third straight season with Toronto. He slugged .515 from 2017-2020 with the Astros but that's down to .462 with the Blue Jays. His HardHit% is down a bit from previous years, as is his FB%. At this point, Springer shouldn't be viewed as more than a .265 - 20 HR guy, although with a career high 19 SB's this season, he has at least added that element back into his game.
D.J. Stewart, OF, NYM
After missing a few games with a back issue, Stewart was back in the lineup against the Twins on Saturday, and hit yet another homerun, his 11th of the season. He has now hit 5 HR's in his last 6 games and 10 in his last 17 contests, which is quite a surprise from a player who had hit just 26 HR's in 195 MLB games entering this season. He has been hitting the ball hard with a 50% HardHit%, but his 35.7% HR/FB is not sustainable and his 30.5% K% make him a likely BA drain. It makes sense to play the hot hand for now, but don't expect this to continue in the long term.
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