10 Important Stories From 09/15/20 Box Scores: Which Young Starters Should Be Targeted For Final Week & More

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Luke Voit led the Yankees 20 run outburst, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R (the Yankees combined to hit 6 HR). Christian Yelich went 3-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R against the Cardinals, helping lead the way to an 18 run barrage. Justin Turner returned from the IL and delivered a strong day, going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R while hitting third in the lineup. What else happened that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) An impressive debut for the Red Sox Tanner Houck…

Houck debuted against the Marlins, tossing 5.0 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 7. The strikeout number is a little bit deceiving, with just 9 swinging strikes, after posting a 10.5% SwStr% in the minors in ’19 (though he spent a lot of time coming out of the bullpen). His control has never been a strong suit (3.85 BB/9 in the minors last season), and we saw signs of that in his debut, while he’s also not an elite groundball artist. In other words, while this was solid it’s hard to expect him to make much noise over the final week and a half of the season.

2) Could Michael Lorenzen be a force in the Reds’ rotation…

We’ve seen Seth Lugo make the transition out of the Mets’ bullpen into the rotation, so why not Lorenzen? Making his first start since 2018, Lorenzen allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 IP against the Pirates to earn the W. He was a swing and miss machine in this one, generating 15 swinging strikes, while also getting some groundballs (5 groundballs vs. 4 flyballs). While he’s struggled with his control this season, that hasn’t been a significant issue for him throughout his career (3.76 BB/9). With the swing and miss stuff and enough groundballs (48.4% for his career), if he can go deep enough into games there’s ample upside. Considering he threw 76 pitches yesterday that shouldn’t be a problem, meaning he could prove to be a good add for the final week of the season.

3) Deivi Garcia delivers another solid start…

Obviously the Yankees provided him with ample support, and Garcia took advantage. Taking on the Blue Jays he allowed 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP. The thing that stands out, though, is that he allowed 2 HR and wasn’t generating many groundballs (5 groundballs vs. 10 flyballs). He’s now allowed 4 HR in his four starts, and it’s easy to envision that number increasing quickly as he entered the day with a 36.7% groundball rate. Couple that with the potential for control issues and there’s reason to be skeptical despite the strong start.

4) Is Willi Castro a truly trustworthy option…

Hitting second for the Tigers Castro went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .352 with 4 HR, 14 RBI and 13 R over 91 AB. Of course he also has 27 K vs. 4 BB as he’s shown an abysmal approach (entering the day):

  • SwStr% – 14.9%
  • O-Swing% – 42.4%

In 525 PA at Triple-A last season Castro had 11 HR (while adding 28 doubles and 8 triples) and 17 SB (only caught 4 times). However if he can’t make contact how will he be able to consistently tapping into his skills? Ride him while he’s hot, but don’t become infatuated.

5) Jack Flaherty implodes against the Brewers, so is it time to give up…

Flaherty lasted just 3.0 IP allowing 9 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 6. He was burned by 2 HR, leaving him with a 5.52 ERA over 29.1 IP. Considering he entered the day with a 3.08 ERA it’s hard to get too worked up by the performance, especially since he had been showing all of the skills we look for from a pitcher:

  • Strikeouts – 9.23 K/9 courtesy of a 13.4% SwStr%
  • Control – 2.73 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 45.7%

It was an awful outing, but don’t do anything dramatic.

6) Are we buying into a breakout of Dane Dunning…

Dunning twirled a gem against the Twins, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP to improve to 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA over 27.0 IP. Of course the underlying metrics weren’t as promising in this one (7 swinging strikes, 3 groundballs vs. 11 flyballs), though he entered the day with a 53.8% groundball rate and 15.4% SwStr% so there’s little reason for concern. He has the potential to be a strong option for fantasy owners and needs to be owned in all formats.

7) A dominant outing from Houston’s Jose Urquidy…

Taking on the Rangers Urquidy allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 IP to improve to 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA over 16.2 IP on the season. He’s allowed just 5 H over his past 2 starts (13.0 IP) and yesterday he was generating ample swings and misses (12 swinging strikes). The question facing him has always been his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark, and while he didn’t allow a home run yesterday the outing didn’t curb those concerns as he generated 4 groundballs vs. 10 flyballs. He entered the day with a 36.0% groundball rate over 50.2 IP in the Majors after a 32.4% mark over 70.0 IP at Triple-A a year ago. In other words he’s a matchup play more than anything, because strong offenses could expose him.

8) Is it time to truly believe in Antonio Senzatela…

Taking on the A’s in Coors Field Senzatela was fantastic, allowing 1 R on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, in a complete game victory. In 62.2 IP this season he’s allowed just 8 HR, helping him to a 3.30 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He’s only made 4 home starts (28.0 IP), but it’s impressive that he’s allowed just 1 HR at Coors. He entered the day with a 49.4% groundball rate, though that’s not enough to justify the strong results. When coupled with a 5.53 K/9 courtesy of a 9.0% SwStr%, it’s hard to get excited. It was a great start, but he’s more of a streaming option.

9) Are we buying Tony Gonsolin after another strong start…

Taking on the Padres Gonsolin allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 0 BB over 7.0 IP over the Padres, earning his first W and giving him a 1.51 ERA over 35.2 IP. However he managed just 2 K in this one and now has 5 K over his past 12.0 IP. He has shown more swing and miss stuff overall, with a 14.6% SwStr% entering the day, but if he can’t start getting more strikeouts the results could eventually get ugly. It would leave him with just his control as a “strong” skill, considering his 31.5% groundball rate, so proceed with caution. He’s more of a matchup based play than anything.

10) Is it time to part ways with Madison Bumgarner…

Bumgarner was torched for 8 ER on 13 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 5.1 IP as he yielded home runs to Justin Upton and Jared Walsh (3-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R). He now has an ugly 8.53 ERA, and while he had allowed just 4 ER over 9.0 IP since returning from the IL he hasn’t struck out more than two in any of his three starts. In fact he hasn’t had more than 5 K in any start this season, with 19 K vs. 12 BB over 31.2 IP. Does anything about him sound like a good investment?

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

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