10 Important Stories from 08/26/19 Box Scores: Identifying Starters Primed For A Regression, Young Players Who Could Make An Impact & More


It was a light day on the schedule, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t impactful news coming from the field. For instance Khris Davis finally delivered a big day, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 3 R, giving a small sense of hope that things could get better. What else happened that fantasy owners need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1)Julio Teheran tames Coors Field, but is it time to believe…
He tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, in what ultimately was a no decision against the Rockies. He’s now thrown 13.0 shutout innings over his past two starts (after getting shelled by the Mets) and he owns a 3.39 ERA over 151.1 IP on the season. While the ERA looks solid, there continue to be questions about his upside overall. He entered the day with a 4.27 BB/9, as his control hasn’t been there, and while he did a better job yesterday (8 groundballs vs. 4 fly balls) his 39.0% groundball rate and 0.99 HR/9 indicates that a significant regression could be in his future. He’s been solid and there is some value, but there’s a good chance that he stumbles over the next few weeks.

2) Another strong day for Harrison Bader, whose value is returning…
He went 2-5 with 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him a modest four game hitting streak Overall he’s gone 6-21 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R and 1 SB since returning from the minor leagues. An improvement was always expected, considering at the time of his demotion he had posted a .259 BABIP despite a 38.0% Hard% and had been showing a solid approach (10.0% SwStr%, 28.0% O-Swing%). Last year he showed the potential power/speed combination that fantasy owners look for from players and it’s highly possible that he rakes down the stretch and makes an impact. If he happens to still be sitting available, don’t hesitate to make the move.

3) Gio Gonzalez implodes against St. Louis, so is he still usable…
Taking on the Cardinals at home he ultimately was charged with 9 R (7 ER) on 9 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP. It’s the second time in his past three starts that he’s allowed at least 5 ER and his control has been abysmal (4 BB in each of his past three starts, 15 BB over 18.2 IP in his past four). He entered the day with a .275 BABIP and 78.2% strand rate, both of which could regress, and a 40.2% groundball rate (4 groundballs vs. 7 fly balls yesterday) leads to some home run concerns (1.06 HR/9 entering the day, before yielding 1 HR yesterday). While he’s not completely unusable, he also isn’t a must start. Consider him more of a matchup play, though never an ideal option.

4) Josh Bell gets the day off, but still makes a significant impact…
He came off the bench and ultimately hit a game tying home run off Hector Neris in the top of the ninth, finishing the day 1-1 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R while also drawing 2 BB. Well everyone was willing to jump off the hype train during his extended struggles, Bell has completely turned things back around again though now more in short bursts. He had a strong streak mid-month (4 HR with 9 RBI over three games) and he’s now homered in two of the past three games. Overall this month he has 15 K vs. 13 BB to go along with 6 HR and 16 RBI, so it is hard to complain. He’s emerging as one of the better first baseman in the league and is worth using in all formats.

5) One big mistake costs Pablo Lopez in his return from the IL…
Making his first start since June 15 Lopez made one true error, allowing a three-run home run to Freddy Galvis (3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R), and that obviously blurs his final line. He ended allowing 4 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP as he showed signs of being the breakout pitcher that he had prior to the injury. Let’s not forget that he owned an 8.57 K/9, 2.11 BB/9 and 48.8% groundball rate as a poor strand rate (67.7%) indicated that things could easily get better. Obviously wins could be hard to come by, but everything appears to be there for Lopez to thrive and establish himself over the final few weeks of the year. If you need a boost and he’s out there, don’t ignore him simply due to the team he plays for.

6) Has Marcus Semien emerged as an elite fantasy shortstop…
He had himself a day at the dish, finishing 2-6 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 1 R as he led Oakland to a 19-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Obviously he wasn’t alone in his big production, but it’s Semien who appears to be on the verge of truly emerging. Often overlooked he has established himself as a fixture atop the lineup and is now hitting .273 with 23 HR, 69 RBI, 94 R and 7 SB. He’s been showing an elite approach (7.1% SwStr%, 23.1% O-Swing%), which has helped him provide consistent hard contact (40.7% Hard%), and his .288 BABIP could only improve. Throw in a believable 13.1% HR/FB (he actually posted a 14.7% mark in 2016, before injury helped lead to a regression, giving him the total package.

7) Could Arizona’s Alex Young be a usable option down the stretch…
He earned the W yesterday allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.1 IP against the Giants. He was generating enough swinging strikes (13) and groundballs (8 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls), though is that enough of either to excite you? His current 2.98 BB/9 and 48.1% groundball rate are solid, yet unspectacular, though his lack of strikeouts is obviously going to hold him back. He currently owns a 6.79 K/9, having struck out more than 5 batters in a game just once in his 11 appearances in the Majors. His 11.4% SwStr% gives the impression that there’s a little bit more upside, but until we start to see it there’s little reason to think anything will change. He’s a streaming option and little more.

8) Could Mike Ford force his way into the Yankees’ plans moving forward…
It’s a tough sell, though days like yesterday would make it seem possible. Playing in Seattle he went 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, giving him 3 HR over his past two games (4-7, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R). Obviously he’s struggled overall since being promoted to the Majors, hitting .227, but that number helps to distract you from the other marks. In 97 AB he’s hit 8 HR with 14 RBI and 21 R, and no one had doubted his potential to hit for power. His .227 average is also extremely misleading, as he’s shown a strong approach (8.2% SwStr%, 23.2% O-Swing%) and hit the ball extremely hard (41.8% Hard%). While he’s been a bit too pull happy, his .197 BABIP is bound to improve. It’s no guarantee that he continues to get AB, especially once they get healthy, but if he’s in the lineup he’s going to be worth considering.

9) Dustin May takes the loss in one of his final starts of the year…
News broke yesterday that May would make two final starts, with his final one coming on Sunday, before transitioning back to the bullpen. That obviously eliminates his value for the remainder of the season and he didn’t do much to help his cause against the Padres anyways. Over 5.1 IP he allowed 4 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, to fall to 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA on the year. He simply wasn’t missing many bats (6 swinging strikes), something that has been an issue for him at the highest level (9.2% SwStr%), while he’s also been hit hard (41.6% Hard%) and hasn’t generated many groundballs (40.8%). He has significantly more upside than that and could be a Top 25 starter in 2020, but for the rest of ’19 there’s little potential value.

10) Sonny Gray silences the Marlins…
While he struggled with his control, overall the start was a success as Gray got the W allowing 2 ER on 2 H and 5 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP. Granted we have to take the opponent into consideration and he’s now walked at least 3 batters in five straight starts. While it hasn’t cost him, how much longer will that last? Overall he owns a pedestrian 3.61 BB/9, though his 10.58 K/9 and 52.3% groundball rate do scream of potential success. That said ultimately the control issues could really cost him, especially if his luck runs out (.263 BABIP, 80.7% strand rate). There’s enough to utilize him moving forward, just know the risks that are involved.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


  1. Thanks RP for the great posts
    Some great info and insight
    2 questions
    1 would you drop Segura for either Edman or Adames in a 10 team keeper league
    2 is it time to throw in the towel on Bauer
    Robbie Ray, Pineda, Houser and Wade Miley were dropped

    • Thanks for the support!

      1) In a keeper leauge I wouldn’t, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve heard
      2) I’m down on Bauer, but dropping him would be near the craziest things I’ve heard lol

  2. Looking ahead to next year, what do you see for Bader and Margot? They both have been highly touted prospects that haven’t really broken out, but are still young enough to do so. See anything in their profiles that could point to a breakout for either?

    • I’m not sure either will be Top 20-25 OF, as some had hoped, but they should be Top 40-45 (meaning solid plays in 5 outfielder formats, with the potential for a limit bit more)


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