10 Important Stories From 08/26/20 Box Scores: Breakouts We’re Buying, Ian Anderson’s Impressive Debut & More

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It was yet another dominant start from Jacob deGrom, though he didn’t walk away with a W after the bullpen coughed up the game, as he allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 2 BB, striking out 14, over 7.0 IP. Brandon Lowe continued his breakout campaign, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. Jose Berrios had an unspectacular outing, adding to the concerns, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 6, over 5.2 IP. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Is Eloy Jimenez’ breakout for real…

It was yet another big performance from Jimenez (one of many, as the White Sox hit 4 HR), who went 2-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R. Jimenez is now hitting .315 with 10 HR and 24 RBI on the season, and it extended his hitting streak to seven games (13-28 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 R). Obviously we can’t take anything away from the performance, but there are some “concerning” underlying metrics in terms of his approach:

  • SwStr% – 14.5%
  • O-Swing% – 41.0%

It means that he’s going to likely continue to strikeout a ton, while he won’t draw many walks. That said there’s no questioning his power and ability to hit the ball extremely hard (45.8% Hard%). While he likely won’t hit .315, the rest of the breakout is very much believable.

2) Is Ian Anderson an instant must add option…

Whenever you outpitch Gerrit Cole (5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K), you are going to garner attention. Anderson was spectacular, allowing 1 ER on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP as he made one mistake (a home run to Luke Voit). Anderson was missing bats (17) and hopefully started to answer some questions we had prior to the season in terms of his control and ability to generate enough groundballs. As we noted prior to the season:

“He’s generally struggled with his control throughout his minor league career, and there also is going to be concern that home runs continue to plague him as he advances.  While they weren’t an issue at Double-A (0.65 HR/9), he allowed 5 HR at Triple-A while watching his groundball rate take another step backwards (44.7% to 38.6%).  Obviously it’s a small sample size but it will be worth monitoring.”

He clearly limited the walks and also generated 7 groundballs vs. 5 flyballs on the night. It’s one start, but the upside is there to create a must buy in all formats.

3) Has Rhys Hoskins finally started to come around…

He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him home runs in two of his past three games and a six-game hitting streak (7-23, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R). Overall he’s still hitting just .229 with 3 HR and 10 RBI, as even while he’s struggled he’s shown a solid approach (9.4% SwStr%, 25.4% O-Swing%) while his .302 BABIP is believable and his 8.0% HR/FB entering the day should continue to improve. He may never be the player he looked like when he burst onto the scene in 2017, but he’s going to be a solid option (and if you can get him cheap now, a potential difference maker the rest of the way).

4) Rowdy Tellez enjoys a big day at the dish…

Tellez finished the day going 3-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, though the biggest question Tellez faces is whether or not he’s more than a platoon player. A left-handed hitter, he entered the day with just 14 AB against southpaws this season. He has hit .357 against them, but will Toronto be willing to give him an opportunity to play every day? That hasn’t been the case thus far, and without it he’s going to have limited value. He could make an impact if there’s a slew of right-handed hitters on the schedule, but that’s about it.

5) A strong return to Cleveland for Mike Clevinger…

We all know the story of Clevinger and why he (as well as Zack Plesac) had been sent to the alternate site. However Clevinger made his return yesterday, with a strong appearance against the Twins. Going 6.0 IP he allowed 2 ER on 8 H and 1 BB, striking out 6. While the bullpen cost him a chance at a W, we all know his upside is one of the elite pitchers and the Indians are a much better team with him in their rotation. It will be interesting to see if there’s any truth to the trade rumors that have been circulating, but it’s hard to envision.

6) Just how good has Michael Conforto become…

He filled the box score yesterday, going 2-2 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB. He’s now hitting .324 with 5 HR and 3 SB, as he’s added 14 RBI and 20 R over 102 AB. Obviously it’s hard to envision Conforto maintaining the .403 BABIP he entered the day with, even as he’s hit the ball hard (47.9% Hard%) and used the entire field (25.4% Oppo%). He also is unlikely to see a huge spike in his power (17.4% HR/FB), and while he’s shown an improved approach (9.8% SwStr%, 21.7% O-Swing%) is that enough? We’ve long been higher on him than most, and he is among the Top 25 OF in the game, but there’s a good chance he takes a step backwards.

7) Max Fried continues to emerge as one of the elite…

Facing the Yankees is never easy, but Fried delivered an ace-like performance in the second game of their double header. Going 6.0 IP he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, to improve to 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 40.0 IP. The southpaw has been showing all of the skills we look for, entering the day with the following:

  • Strikeouts – 8.74 K/9
  • Control – 2.91 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 55.3%

Maybe he’s not quite this good (he entered the day benefiting from a .259 BABIP and 85.7% strand rate), but there’s no question that he’s a good option and should continue to be one moving forward.

8) Should fantasy owners trust Dakota Hudson…

Taking on the Royals Hudson had another solid effort, allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 3, over 6.0 IP. Over 19.0 IP this season he has a 3.32 ERA and 1.05 WHIP as he continues the success he showed last season, though this was the first time he’s gone past 4.2 IP on the season. Over his first three starts Hudson has reduced the usage of his sinker, instead making his slider an important part of his repertoire (23.81%). Considering opposing hitters took his “sinker” deep 11 times last year, it’s a change that would appear to make sense. We will have to wait and see if he can keep things going quite at this pace, but thus far there appears to be reason to believe.

9) Was it a better start for Robbie Ray…

The truth is, not so much. Sure he continued to show swing and miss stuff, getting 8 K over 4.0 IP, and he didn’t yield a home run, but he also didn’t generate any groundballs (0 groundballs vs. 4 flyballs) and he struggled to the tune of 6 BB. He now has walked 31 batters in 31.0 IP on the season, including 17 over his past 3 starts (14.0 IP). He’s also allowed 9 HR over his 7 starts, and when you walk the ballpark and are prone to home runs it’s hard to envision much success. There have been rumblings that he could be traded prior to the deadline, possibly finding a home as a left-handed reliever. Keep that in mind, but regardless of the role he’s a fantasy non-factor at this point.

10) Could Jon Gray have turned the corner…

It’s been a disappointing run for Gray, but he did the job yesterday against the Diamondbacks as he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP to earn the W. His strikeout rate, which has been way down this season (4.75 K/9 entering the day), should rebound in time (10.2% SwStr%). Instead the concern is going to remain his propensity to allow home runs as he entered the day with a 38.3% groundball rate (before getting 3 groundballs vs. 10 flyballs yesterday). Sure it was a nice start, but don’t bother.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

5 COMMENTS

  1. NL only Roto League, was divided for this year into 5 tiers due to COVID. Teams can have duplicate players and can only add/drop if a player is on IL or traded to AL. I can change my 2 bottom tier pitchers. These are the best choices I have to choose from; Freeland, Senzatelza, Lopez(Mia), Anderson(SF) and keep or drop Alcantara , currently on IL, as one of my 2. Thanks

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