A strong outing for Matt Shoemaker
The Los Angeles Angels received 7.2 innings of shutout baseball from Shoemaker in a win over the Boston Red Sox last night. Shoemaker needed 116 pitches to last as long as he did, though he did gather 16 swinging strikes on the day. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out nine en route to his 12th win of the season. With the news the club has lost Garrett Richards for the remainder of the season with a torn left patellar tendon, getting the most of their rotation and bullpen from this point on will be critical to maintain their two game lead. Shoemaker held the Red Sox hitless through 6.2 innings and lowered his seasonal numbers to a 3.56 ERA/3.44 FIP/3.13 xFIP line. Between 14 starts (not including yesterday’s start) and seven bullpen appearances Shoemaker was owned an impressive 11.6 swinging strike rate with a 8.72 K/9 and a 23.6% strikeout rate. His fly ball tendencies play well at home and he could be useful down the stretch. Shoemaker can be grabbed in over 60% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formats as well as 40% of CBS leagues.
Phil Hughes cruises
Yesterday Hughes fired seven innings of one-run baseball against the Cleveland Indians. He needed just 97 pitches and sat down eight members of the Tribe on strikes while inducing 12 whiffs. Scattering five hits and walk, yesterday’s start makes five quality starts in a row and is enjoying the best season of his career to date. Hughes’ 8.07 K/9 and 0.82 BB/9 are the best of his career since he was moved to the rotation full time and he owns the second best K:BB ratio in baseball (for qualified starters) behind only Hisashi Iwakuma. It’s a good thing Hughes has been able to induce more strikeouts as his defense behind him hasn’t done him any favors as his .339 BABIP is third highest in the game (again for qualified starters).
I’d imagine we’ll see his BABIP come back down to earth however be wary of his strikeouts potentially dipping as well. Per StatCorner, just 67% of his strikeouts have come swinging, the lowest rate of his since 2008. To see one-third of his punch outs coming via the backwards K is extraordinarily high. That being said, it does seem like Hughes has turned a corner with his command and control as his F-strike% and Strike% are both career bests, as is his 2.2% walk rate. Prior the season we learned Hughes planned to dump his slider in favor of a cutter and given his new pitch and grips, it is possible the strikeout and command gains are more real than simply smoke and mirrors. I’m not convinced he’ll continue to give up just one walk per start but even if his current walk rate doubles he is still a useful fantasy piece. He is available in a mere 10% of CBS formats though both his ESPN and Yahoo! ownership rate hovers around 60%.
The daily five
Starting pitcher: Mat Latos — $8,700
Latos draws the Atlanta Braves, the club with the 24th ranked 86 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.
Starting pitcher: Yordano Ventura — $7,100
The Texas Rangers hit righties at the the second worst clip in baseball and Ventura is a pretty darn good right-handed pitcher. Even with the game at Texas, I like Ventura.
Infielder: Carlos Santana — $4,200
Santana and the Indians square off against Brad Peacock and the Astros. Peacock has struggled versus hitters on both sides of the plate and Santana has hit righties to the tune of a 130 wRC+ this season.
Other hitter: Josh Donaldson — $4,500
The Oakland A’s and Donaldson will be hitting against the southpaw Hector Santiago and his fly ball tendencies. I expect Donaldson to go yahtzee today as he absolutely obliterates lefties with a 209 wRC+ against them this season.
Remaining budget: $20,600
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