Strider Getting Strikeouts

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AVG

Yadiel Hernandez, OF, Nationals -- Available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues

Hernandez has gotten off to a blistering start, hitting .365/.392/.541 with two homers, 15 RBI, and a stolen base. The underlying metrics support everything the 34-year-old outfielder is doing. He carries just a 20.3 percent strikeout rate with a 43.9 percent hard-hit rate. Hernandez has gotten a bit unlucky with the power as he's barreled up eight balls for a 14 percent barrel rate with just two homers to show for it. He had a tremendous week at the plate, collecting multiple hits in five of his last seven games. An inflated .439 BABIP suggests he won't sustain his current pace, but his profile shows he can continue to be a batting average asset for fantasy teams.

HR

Christian Walker, 1B, Diamondbacks -- Available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues

Walker has a .672 OPS despite his six homers on the year. But his underlying metrics indicate those numbers could boom going forward. The 31-year-old first baseman is striking out just 22.9 percent of the time, and his .149 BABIP has plenty of room for regression. There's a reason for optimism despite a lackluster season line of .163/.248/.398. His 18.3 percent barrel rate and .642 expected slugging rank among the top 96th percentile in baseball. Not only is he hitting the ball with force, but he's also making a lot of contact with a 90.2 percent zone contact rate. Cover the season slash line, and this is someone you'll be rushing to grab on the waiver wire. Better days should be coming for Walker. Make sure you don't miss out.

R

Brandon Drury, 2B/3B, Reds -- Available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues

Drury's six runs scored over the last week put him among the top in baseball in that span. He's had a good year while filling in a second and third base, hitting .276/.333/.566 with five homers, 13 runs, and 15 RBI across 84 plate appearances. Drury has shown improved power at the plate with ten barrels, more than the last two seasons combined. And his .287 and .595 expected average and slugging support what he's doing. He scored five runs in the Reds' three-game series against the Pirates. And the team gets a four-game series against them to end the week, so Drury could be a hitter worth streaming in deep mixed leagues.

RBI

Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Marlins -- Available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues

Aguilar had some success driving in runs over the last week with eight RBI to bring his total to 14. The 31-year-old first baseman was one of the Marlins' bright spots last year, with 22 homers and 93 RBI. His two hits Sunday against the Padres brings his season slash line to .274/.357/.400 with three homers. Playing every day and hitting in the top third of the Miami lineup, he should continue to be in a position to drive in runs all season.

SB

Ramon Laureano, OF, Athletics -- Available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Athletics reinstated outfielder Ramon Laureano on Sunday. They wasted no time putting him atop the lineup as he hit leadoff against the Twins. The 27-year-old can be a real difference-maker in the steals category. Laureano stole 12 bases last season with 14 homers and a .246/.317/.443 triple-slash line across 378 plate appearances before receiving an 80-game suspension for PED usage. He may need some time to knock off some rust, but Laureano's blend of power and speed make him a priority pickup in mixed leagues.

W

George Kirby, RHP, Mariners -- Available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues

Kirby was called up to make his major league debut with the Mariners on Sunday. He dazzled in his first start, tossing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts behind 15 swings and misses against the Rays. The 24-year-old right-hander has succeeded in every level of the minors since he was drafted 20th overall in the 2019 draft. After Sunday's impressive performance, he could be one of the better young pitchers going forward and worthy of a pickup in all mixed leagues.

ERA

Dane Dunning, RHP, Rangers -- Available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues

Dunning lowered his season ERA to 3.38 after six innings of one-run ball against the Yankees on Sunday. He held them without a hit until the sixth inning in his impressive performance. And Sunday's start comes on the heels of a seven-inning start in which he allowed one run against the Braves. The 27-year-old right-hander has shown improved control with a 7.2 percent walk rate while generating a 50 percent ground ball rate -- a good combination of skills for a starter. And his 3.49 FIP and 3.18 xFIP support what he's done so far.

WHIP

Josh Winder, RHP, Twins -- Available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues

Winder has been incredible over his 22 1/3 innings for the Twins, producing a 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts. He's recently pitched out of the rotation, going six innings with no earned runs in each of his two starts. The 25-year-old right-hander's calling card has been his impeccable control with a 4.9 percent walk rate. He's also shown the ability to miss bats with a 12.9 percent swinging-strike rate. With Chris Paddack dealing with elbow inflammation, Winder could see an extended time in the rotation. And if he continues to pitch like this, it'll be impossible to take him out.

K

Spencer Strider, RHP, Braves -- Available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues

Strider entered Friday's game against the Brewers after opener Jesse Chavez pitched one inning. Strider dominated for the following four frames, holding Milwaukee scoreless with a whopping eight strikeouts on 12 swings and misses. Nine of those whiffs came on his high-90s fastball that touches 100 miles per hour. Through 16 2/3 innings of work, he's struck out 24 batters with a 2.16 ERA. It's only a matter of time before the 23-year-old right-hander gets a shot in the rotation.

SV

Emilio Pagan, RHP, Twins -- Available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues

Pagan picked up his fourth save of the season Sunday against the Athletics. Like many of his outings, it didn't come easy. While he's struck out an impressive 30.6 percent of batters, his walk rate is nearly just as high at 25 percent. And his 5.27 FIP and 4.54 xFIP indicate his 2.09 ERA may not hold up for long. But the Twins seem intent on sending Pagan on the mound in the ninth inning for save chances. There's a chance this blows up sooner or later, but teams in need of saves in deep mixed leagues should consider the 31-year-old right-hander.