The All-Star Break came to an end, though with just one game on the docket. That doesn’t provide a significant number of talking points, but for fantasy owners there’s always something to discuss. Let’s take a look:
- Framber Valdez (HOU, P) – He had pitched fairly well in two appearances since returning to Triple-A (2 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 17 K over 9.2 IP). Obviously the red flag was his control, and that sabotaged him again in his return to the Majors. Valdez managed to get just 2 outs against the Rangers, allowing 4 ER on 4 H and 3 BB as he threw just 12 of 28 pitches for strikes. He has the potential to be an elite groundball artist while getting enough strikeouts, but his lack of control will continue to haunt him. It’s possible he proves to be a better fit for the bullpen.
- Rougned Odor (TEX, 2B) – Are we due for another second half explosion? He got things off on the right foot, going 2-3 with 2 RBI and 1 R with both hits going for doubles. This represents his third two-hit game in his past five, which includes 3 doubles and 3 HR (he’s gone 7-20 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and 5 R). Of course he also has 7 strikeouts vs. 1 walk over this stretch so there aren’t flaws, but we saw him thrive after the All-Star Break in ’18 and it’s very possible we get a repeat performance.
- Lance Lynn (TEX, P) – It was a dominant performance against a difficult offense, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 11. Before we get too excited he only generated 13 swinging strikes and it’s not like he was generating groundballs (4 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls). Potential home run issues is the biggest risk, considering his 42.1% groundball rate and 0.74 HR/9, you have to wonder if we’ll see a decline in his career best SwStr% (11.2%) and 2.07 BB/9 (3.39 for his career) and you also can’t overlook a 37.7% Hard%. In other words there are more risks than potential rewards in trusting him moving forward.
Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs, MILB.com