McClanahan Can! – April 25, 2022
Shane McClanahan, TB
McClanahan struck out 7 in 7 IP against the Red Sox on Sunday, allowing 2 ER’s on 6 hits without a walk. McClanahan now owns a 2.45 ERA through 4 starts this season and his xFIP is even better at 1.74. He leads the league with 31 K’s, and entered Sunday’s game 2nd in MLB with a 17.6% SwStr%. Combine that with a 57.1% GB% and 2.05 BB/9 and he has the looks of a top-10 SP. McClanahan’s value will rise even further as he goes deeper into games – he only completed 6 IP or more in 6 of his 25 starts last season, but he has now reached that threshold in each of his last two starts, with the 7 IP on Sunday matching a career high. The Rays always seem to find aces and it looks like McClanahan will fit that bill.
Zack Collins, TOR
Collins went 2-5 with a HR and 3 RBI against the Astros on Sunday and is now slashing a robust .303/.324/.636 with 3 HR’s across 34 PA’s this season. The BA will come down as Collins strikes out a lot (32.4% K%) but the power is real as Collins has posted an impressive 94.5 EV and 57.9% HardHit% in the early going this season. The Blue Jays have been impressed enough with Collins to allow him to bat cleanup in two of their last 3 games. He has value in fantasy leagues, especially because he qualifies at catcher.
Chad Kuhl, COL
Kuhl recorded yet another strong start for the Rockies on Sunday, allowing 1 ER in 6 IP against the Tigers, and now has a miniscule 1.10 ERA through 3 starts. It’s hard to buy in, as Kuhl has posted a mediocre 13:7 K:BB and his xFIP sits at 4.05. He has benefitted from a .190 BABIP and 86.7% LOB% despite allowing a decent amount of hard contact (40.0% HardHit% entering Sunday). In 5 years with the Pirates, Kuhl never finished with an ERA below 4.00, and it would be quite a surprise if his first year in Coors yielded better results than all of his seasons in the pitching-friendly Pittsburgh.
Jesus Luzardo, MIA
Luzardo allowed 1 ER in 5 IP against the Braves on Sunday, striking out 8 and walking 4 in the contest. Luzardo struggled to put everything together in his first two big-league seasons, but that hasn’t been the case in the early going of 2022 as he owns a 3.77 ERA and 2.43 xFIP through 3 starts. He has been a strikeout machine so far this season, accumulating 23 K’s in 14.1 IP through those 3 starts. He entered Sunday’s game with a strong 14.6% SwStr% while throwing a first pitch strike 67.5% of the time. The high walk rate may still lead to some inconsistency for Luzardo, but if he keeps punching out batters at the current rate, fantasy owners should be getting more good than bad.
Joc Pederson, SF
Pederson had a huge day at the plate against the Nationals on Sunday going 3-3 with 2 HR’s, a double, and 3 RBI. He is off to a great start with his new team, hitting .364 with 5 HR’s and a 1.133 OPS through 13 games in his first year with San Francisco. His current 17.0% K% would easily be the lowest of his career, and he is also hitting the ball harder than ever with a 94.9 EV and 54.5% HardHit%. If he remains healthy, Pederson could be in line for one of the best seasons of his career.
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