10 Important Stories From 07/26/20 Box Scores: Sell High Candidates, “Breakouts” Worth Buying & More

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The biggest stories of the day were injury related, from Justin Verlander (out at least 2 weeks), Corey Kluber (being reevaluated) and four Marlins being diagnosed with COVID-19 (not to mention Mike Moustakas hitting the IL). There was news from the field, though. Trevor Bauer had the strikeout pitch working, allowing 1 R on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 13, over 6.1 IP though he settled for a no decision against the Tigers. Trevor Story enjoyed a big day at the dish, going 2-2 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. Adam Haseley produced at the top of the order (4-6, 1 RBI, 2 R). What else happened on the field? Let’s take a look:

1) Carlos Carrasco shines in his return to the rotation…

Carrasco last started on May 30, 2019, but it looked like he didn’t miss a beat as he took on the Royals. Going 6.0 innings he allowed 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, to earn the W. While he wasn’t generating many groundballs (3 groundballs vs. 5 flyballs), it doesn’t matter when opposing hitters can’t make contact (17 swinging strikes). We all know he’s one of the better starting pitchers when healthy, and back at full strength he could be a Top 15 starter at year’s end.

2) Don’t forget about Anthony Santander…

He missed part of Summer Camp and playing for the Orioles it’s easy to overlook Anthony Santander. However he had had a bit of a breakout last season, with 20 HR in 380 AB, and he has picked up right where he left off slugging his first home run of the season yesterday. He finished the day 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R and he should be a fixture in the lineup every day. As long as he’s making consistent contact he should produce fairly big numbers, and in three games in ’20 he has yet to strikeout. Buy him now before it’s too late.

3) A monster day for Nelson Cruz…

He finished the day going 4-5 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 4 R, giving him 3 HR and 10 RBI over the first three games of the season. Fantasy owners have a habit of looking for the shiny new toy, and at 40-years old Cruz certainly isn’t that. At the same time he obviously still has a lot left in the tank and should make a significant impact on the shortened season.

4) Kyle Lewis continues his torrid start…

We don’t want to ignore the struggles of Yusei Kikuchi (3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K), as it looks like he may not be able to rebound, but the story of the day here was definitely Lewis. Hitting third he went 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R, putting him at 4-11 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R over the first three games of the season. Of course he’s also struck out twice in each game (6 K vs. 2 BB), and sooner or later that’s something that’s going to catch up with him. Sure he has some power, but sooner or later there is going to be a swoon. If you are looking at just 2020, don’t be afraid to kick the tires and sell high.

5) Is Mitch Keller ready to live up to his potential…

Taking on the Cardinals Keller ultimately posted a solid start, allowing 1 R on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 IP. Obviously he wasn’t missing many bats yesterday, and 5 swinging strikes simply isn’t going to cut it, though missing bats hasn’t been an issue for him. Just look at the SwStr% last season:

  • Triple-A (103.2 IP) – 12.6%
  • Majors (48.0 IP) – 11.8%

In fact, it’s even more promising that he was able to get the job done without that aspect of his game. Don’t be surprised to see him emerge as a viable option in all formats.

6) Is Ian Happ finally living up to his potential…

Remember when there were such high expectations for Happ? That feels like a lifetime ago, but he looks like he’s getting things back on track in 2020. He’s started each of the first three games, and after going 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R he’s at .300 with 2 HR and 5 RBI on the year. He has struck out in each of the three games, and that’s something that needs to be watched closely. He owns a career 15.5% SwStr%, leading to a 32.5% strikeout rate, and it seems unlikely that he’ll prove to be a difference maker in terms of his power or speed. In other words, this is another prime sell high candidate.

7) What to make of the disastrous Shohei Ohtani outing…

Ohtani hadn’t stepped on an MLB mound since September 2, 2018 (and that was his only appearance since June 6), and there clearly was rust that needed to be shaken off. Taking on the A’s he failed to record an out, ultimately being charged with 5 ER on 3 H and 3 BB. Obviously it’s just one start and it’s expected that it could take him a little bit of time, but considering how valuable he is in the batters box you have to wonder if the Angels could alter the plans for him on the mound? It’s not going to happen after one start, but if things don’t improve dramatically don’t be surprised to hear the whispers start.

8) Garrett Richards shines, albeit in a no decision…

He clearly outpitched Zac Gallen, who allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 5 BB, striking out 6, over 4.0 IP. Richards needed 73 pitches to get through 5.0 IP, allowing 0 R on 1 H and 3 BB, striking out 6. He did a good job of missing some bats (11 swinging strikes), while also generating groundballs (5 groundballs vs. 3 flyballs). Injuries have clearly derailed his career, but when healthy he’s proven that he can be a productive option (back in 2015 he posted a 3.65 ERA). In a shortened season if he’s right would it really be surprising to see him produce a strong stat line? Don’t make the mistake of writing him off.

9) Julio Urias shows his potential upside…

Taking on the Giants he pitched well, despite a no decision, allowing 1 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP. Obviously there were a few too many base runners allowed, and it’s easy to say that he benefited from facing a relatively weaker lineup (4 groundballs vs. 7 flyballs, while he also generated 10 swinging strikes). He has generally struggled to generate groundballs, so home runs could be an issue, and given all of the missed time in recent years it shouldn’t be surprising that his control needs work. The upside is there, but there will likely be bumps along the road.

10) Dansby Swanson leads the way against the Mets…

Obviously there were a lot of offensive heroes, as the Braves slugged 4 HR en route to scoring 14 runs on 17 hits (Rick Porcello’s Mets debut did not go as hoped). Swanson led the way, though, falling a triple short and finishing going 3-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R. As we noted prior to the season he has 20/15 type upside, and he showed those skills in the first half of ’19 (.270 with 17 HR). In the shortened season it’s possible that he truly shines, and this performance could easily be the start.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m in a shallow 12 team roto. Would you use a 1 waiver ranking to get Lux? He would back up Gleyber at 2nd or go in MI for Segura. I would be dropping Asdrubal. Thanks

    • Are there any keepers involved? Otherwise Lux isn’t with the MLB team and who knows when he’ll be recalled. Wouldn’t “waste” that top priority on a player who may not make an impact

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