West Coast Bounce Backs
Anthony Rendon was 1-3 with 1 RBI and 1 BB against the White Sox. Rendon is hitting .225 with 2 HR, 7 R, 9 RBI, and 2 SB. The average is not where you would expect but that is largely due to a .255 BABIP because the plate skills are in good shape (15% BB and 20% K) and he is hitting the ball hard (43% Hardhit%). It is only a matter of time before Rendon gets it going and the Angels lineup is vastly improved so he’s in a good spot. If you are in a trading league, Rendon would be someone to target with high upside for the rest of the year.
Max Kepler was 1-4 with 1 R, 1 RBI, and 1 BB against the Rays. Kepler is hitting .257 with 5 HR, 9 R, 12 RBI, and 1 SB. His plate skills are excellent (13% BB and 15% K). Despite having good plate skills throughout his career he has been a low-average guy due to his flyball heavy approach (43% FB) and inability to hit left-handers. This year he has continued to hit the ball hard (11% Barrels and 43% Hardhit) but he is hitting fewer flyballs (35% FB) which have allowed him to hit for a higher average. If this sticks it is huge for his fantasy value because he has power and speed so adding batting average would increase his value significantly.
Joe Musgrove went 7 IP and gave up 1 ER on 7 H, 0 BB, and 8 K’s against the Pirates. Musgrove had been dominant to start the year with a 1.97 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. The underlying skills are great as well. He is missing bats (26% K and 34% CSW) paired with excellent control (2% BB). This resulted in a 2.54 SIERA and 2.28 xFIP. Musgrove has a deep arsenal that includes five pitches that he throws over 10% of the time limiting his fastball to just 32%. This is the modern pitcher and he has fully embraced it and the results have come over the past two-plus seasons. He gets a nice matchup at home against the Marlins next time out.
J.D. Martinez-Red Sox-OF
J.D. Martinez was 3-5 with an HR (2), 1 R, and 4 RBI against the Orioles. Martinez returned to the lineup after being out earlier in the week and then suffering a setback on Saturday. On the year, he is hitting .305 with 2 HR, 8 R, 12 RBI, and 0 SB. It has come with good plate skills (24% K and 8% BB). He is also showing the ability to barrel the ball (10% Barrels). This is good because if you look under the hood there are some concerns. The two biggest concerns are his increasing propensity to chase out of the zone (41% O-swing) and ground ball rate (41% GB). It is a small sample but both are worth watching because they are signs of an aging hitter. It is early so there isn’t a reason to panic but he needs to turn it around quickly.
Jesse Winker was 3-5 with 1 R and 2 RBI against the Marlins. Winker has struggled mightily moving out of Cincinnati. He is hitting .197 with 0 HR, 8 R, 8 RBI, and 0 SB. The plate skills have been great (18% BB and 13% K) but he has struggled to hit the ball hard (5% Barrel and 32% Hardhit%). From the outside looking in it appears as if he is being too passive and not aggressive enough on hunting his pitch at the plate. These are correctable things and Winker has the most important skills (good eye and contact) to make the adjustment. He would be someone to acquire on the cheap in trading leagues.
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