- Mengden is doing a fair amount well in a small 31 inning sample. He’s striking out 23.1% of batters faced, has a 9.9% swinging strike rate and has limited hard contact to only 26.1% (which is slightly above average). However he is walking too many guys (9.7%) and is giving up far too many line drives (24.7%). The sample size is still tiny but his 3.88 FIP, 4.13 xFIP and 4.24 SIERA don’t give much credence to his 3.48 ERA. If you have an owner who covets youth over anything else, it’s a good idea to move Mengden. He might end up being a serviceable pitcher but he’s a streamer at best in the non-deep leagues.
- I was surprised to see Semien at only 15th on the player rater over at ESPN given his HR output thus far. His 18 HR are tied for 3rd in the majors at SS behind only Manny Machado and Trevor Story. I’ve always bought Semien’s power but a word of caution: his HR/FB is 18.6% which is almost 9 points higher than his career number. He is hitting more fly balls overall (up about 6 points) but it’s highly unlikely that he maintains this HR rate moving forward. I’d be shocked to see him get to 30 but mid 20s should happen easily. His R and RBI totals are top 15 and top 10 respectively and unfortunately he doesn’t play on a good enough team to have too much hope for those improving. Steals have been hard to come by but he’s still pacing for close to 10. The one negative in Semien’s game this year has been the batting average. Most of that can be attributed to a 0.260 BABIP (0.301 for his career). However his 13.8% line drive rate is bad and is likely playing a part in the low BABIP. He’ll likely have to sacrifice some of his power to increase his line drive rate, but that might overall benefit his fantasy line. With an uptick in average, Semien could get into the top 10 at SS.
- Dee Gordon’s suspension should be up in a couple of weeks and if you need steals and he’s available absolutely go pick him up. Gordon is only going to get about two months of games in, but he can definitely provide 15+ SBs in that time. It’s hard to speculate on the positive effects of PEDs on his fantasy line, but it’s worth the gamble due to his elite ability in multiple categories. If he’s available don’t hesitate to grab him.
- Not what we were hoping for. Park provided some power with 12 HRs in 244 PA but he was downright awful otherwise with a sub-Mendoza 0.191 average and mid to high 20s in the R and RBI categories. The team stats can be partly blamed on a poor Twins offense. His 12 HRs were legitimate and over a full season Park should be able to get 25+ easily. His HR/FB was 20.7% but he backs that up with 12th best average fly ball distance in the majors. Park has legit power. He’s also gotten pretty unlucky on the batting average front. His line drive rate of 16.7% is pretty poor but the 0.230 BABIP should come up significantly. If Park gets back up in the majors by August, he could hit .250 for the rest of the season with 10+ bombs. Park is someone to keep an eye on if he’s available and he gets called up soon.
- I was going to do a deep dive on Nola but he’s been covered so extensively elsewhere that I’ll keep it short. Hold the course on Nola. Even with some terrible starts, he still has a 3.19 FIP, 2.97 xFIP and 3.19 SIERA. He has been horribly unlucky with a 0.331 BABIP and 60.5% strand rate. He’s getting a lot of ground balls (55.1%) and has a good swinging strike rate (9.6%). Basically Nola has been great at what he can control and unlucky at nearly everything else. The one negative to Nola is the 15.4% HR/FB. It may be a bit inflated, but he does pitch in a bad park for HRs. His FIP is 3.19 even with that HR rate so it’s not a major concern. Nola has a very bright future and if you can get him on a discount, now is the time to do it.