10 Important Stories From 08/11/20 Box Scores: Potential Breakouts To Buy ASAP, Sell High Candidates (i.e. Bundy) & More

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Charlie Blackmon is now hitting .500 after going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R. Renato Nunez showed he was potentially more than just power, going 3-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R (he added his fifth double). While he was forced from the game early, Aaron Judge launched his ninth home run (1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R). What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) The breakout of Brian Anderson continues…

He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .306 with 3 HR and 10 RBI on the season. Interestingly he has struggled with making consistent contact (entering the day with a 19.2% SwStr% compared to an 11.2% for his career), he has been putting more balls on the ground (54.5%) and also pulling the ball more than before (22.7% Oppo%). Known of those are good signs, though it’s also a small sample size and it’s easy to envision him making the adjustments. There’s plenty of time for that, so don’t go running to sell high because of the numbers. The upside was there before the season, and it’s still there today.

2) Tyler Alexander’s MLB debut doesn’t go as hoped…

Taking on the White Sox he struggled both with his control (3 BB) and home runs (2 HR) as he allowed 5 ER over 3.2 IP. At least he was generating groundballs (6 groundballs vs. 2 flyballs), right? He was piling up the strikeouts while working out of the bullpen, but obviously starting is a different animal. He has good control and should get the strikeouts, but home runs are going to be an issue for him and that can’t be overlooked. The Tigers also have some of the best pitching prospects in the game, and Alexander’s time in the rotation could be limited. Don’t get overly excited.

3) Has Rick Porcello become usable again…

It was a rough start to the season, but Porcello has now put together back-to-back quality outings. After allowing 1 ER over 7.0 IP to the Nationals in his previous start, he took them on again and performed equally as well. This time he tossed 2 ER on 8 H and 0 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP though he was outpitched by Max Scherzer (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 7 K). Of course he hasn’t been missing many bats this season, having entered the day with a 5.0% SwStr% (only 9 swinging strikes yesterday), and that is always going to limit his upside. He also doesn’t generate enough groundballs at this point in his career, so what are we buying? Consider him nothing more than a streaming option.

4) Home runs sabotage Josh Lindblom’s day…

Taking on the Twins Lindblom was torched for 3 HR, including a pair from Eddie Rosario (2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), as he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 4.0 IP. Generating groundballs has been an issue across his three starts, having entered the day with a 21.1% groundball rate, and he also has displayed lackluster control (6 BB over 12.1 IP). While there’s been swing and miss stuff, Home Runs + Walks is generally a formula for failure. Unless something changes, Lindblom is a player to ignore in all formats.

5) Is Kyle Freeland a prime waiver wire target…

While he settled for a no decision, Freeland impressed against the Diamondbacks while pitching at Coors Field. Going 7.0 innings he allowed 2 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, as he yielded a pair of solo home runs. While it would be easy to call the long balls an aberration (13 groundballs vs. 5 flyballs, after entering with a 54.9% groundball rate), it’s the lack of strikeouts that will limit him. Freeland generated just 8 swinging strikes yesterday, after entering with a 5.30 K/9 behind a 7.7% SwStr%. That alone raises all kinds of red flags, and his .235 BABIP and 87.2% strand rate only makes it worse. In other words Freeland is a player to avoid, outside of the perfect streaming opportunity.

6) Have two young Rangers emerged as must own…

Texas is a team that’s giving some young players opportunity, and there are two of them that are definitely catching fantasy owners’ attention:

  • Isaiah Kiner-Falefa – 2-4 with 2 R
  • Nick Solak – 3-4 with 3 RBI

Kiner-Falefa’s value stems from being catcher eligible, yet getting full-time AB at another position (he’s hitting .320, but with 0 HR, 2 RBI, 8 R and 4 SB). There are some stolen bases, but it’s hard to get overly excited. As for Solak, he’s heating up going 7-13 with 3 RBI and 4 R over his past three games. While he hasn’t shown it yet, there’s some power to tap into and his approach has been impressive (7.9% SwStr%, 22.1% O-Swing%). In other words, he’s an ideal player to target with an even bigger breakout potentially coming.

7) Is it time to believe in Brandon Bielak…

Taking on the Giants it was another strong start for Bielak, who allowed 2 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 IP in a no decision. He made one big mistake, a solo home run to Wilmer Flores, and he’s now allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, over 10.0 IP in his two starts. While it’s been impressive, look at the “skills” he showed over 85.2 IP at Triple-A last season:

  • Strikeouts – 9.04 K/9 (12.0% SwStr%)
  • Control – 3.78 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 46.4%

As we’ve learned time and time again, swings and misses are nice but you need to pair it with something. With the risks of walks and home runs, he’s simply not a high level option.

8) A dominant Dylan Bundy, but is it time to buy…

Taking on the A’s Bundy was unbelievable, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, to improve to 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA over 28.2 IP. He’s up to 35 K vs. 3 BB on the season, and he’s only yielded 15 H. There’s always been a lot of hype, but can Bundy really maintain this type of start? He’s always had good control, but can he continue to be this good? Despite a lack of groundballs (37.3% entering the day), can he continue to avoid significant home run issues? Considering the “luck” thus far (.184 BABIP, 82.0% strand rate entering the day), is there a big regression coming? There are more questions than answers right now, but the most likely outcome is a significant step backwards. Now may be the best time to cash in and sell high.

9) Is Jurickson Profar starting to turn things around…

Profar went 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R yesterday, give him a pair of two-hit games in his past three. Granted he’s still hitting just .163 with a .591 OPS and hit .218 a year ago, so why would we get excited? The fact is his .139 BABIP entering the day has a lot of room to grow, especially with a 40.5% Hard% and willingness to use the entire field (24.3% Oppo%). Throw in a strong approach (8.5% SwStr%, 28.5% O-Swing%), as well as some pop, and it all comes together. There’s a chance for a hot streak, so now is the time to buy in on the cheap and hope to cash in on it.

10) Is Touki Toussaint the latest Braves’ pitcher to give up on…

Yesterday he did have to take on the Yankees, in New York, so to an extent you have to give him a little bit of a pass. That said he still allowed 6 R (5 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 4.0 IP and he now has an ugly 7.27 ERA. He’s coming off a stellar outing against the Blue Jays and overall has 23 K vs. 5 BB over 17.1 IP on the season. He’s never been one to generate a big number of groundballs, and this season has been no different. That’s going to be something to watch, as it is going to be the thing that’s going to hold him back from becoming a strong option. While he can’t be trusted each and every start, there’s enough to at least stream him.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

10 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Professor,

    12 Team 6×6 OPS QS Roto Redraft

    I currently roster: Castillo, Darvish, Lynn, Gallen, Ray, Canning, Kikuchi, D. Peterson
    Melancon, Jimenez, Kintzler

    I obviously sat Ray @COL, but now it looks like he has SD on deck and it’s getting a little late for him to right the ship.

    Options on the wire are Montgomery, Gausman, Pomeranz, and Buttrey. I can add two, but would drop a bench bat as well as Ray unless you see something different here.

    Thanks again for your thoughts

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