AL Central Report: Danny Duffy keeps on rolling for the Royals while the Tribe’s Corey Kluber continues to make getting hitters out look easy.
Every week Three Up Three Down examines each division and offers an in-depth look at the highs and lows with insight for fantasy owners and baseball fans alike.
Drew Smyly, SP Detroit Tigers
Smyly gave the Tigers exactly what they needed in his last start on the mound against the Cleveland Indians. The southpaw threw seven innings and allowed one run on four hits, while striking out six batters. He had given up at least four runs in each of his last three starts, but maybe this start could be a sign of things to come. Smyly continues to shine and has a 3.80 ERA in 94.2 innings pitched across 19 starts.
Danny Duffy, SP Kansas City Royals
Duffy pitched a good game in his last start against the Boston Red Sox. He allowed two runs (one earned run) on six hits in 6.2 innings. This was the fourth time in his last five starts that he has surrendered one earned run. Duffy’s ERA is 2.66 through 91.1 innings pitched in 14 starts.
Corey Kluber, SP Cleveland Indians
Kluber was phenomenal in his last start taking on the Tigers. He struck out 10 batters and gave up two runs in 8.2 innings pitched. He has allowed two runs or less in six of his last seven starts. This was also the fifth time he has struck out at least 10 batters in a start this season.
Kyle Gibson, SP Minnesota Twins
Gibson had issues in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays, as he surrendered six runs in 6.1 innings pitched on nine hits. This was the third time in his last five starts that he gave up at least five runs. He has a 4.19 ERA in 19 starts through 107.1 innings pitched with 54 strikeouts and 30 walks issued.
Fantasy Advice: Alex Cobb has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last four starts. The ERA for him is 4.08 with 70 strikeouts in 81.2 innings pitched.
John Danks, SP Chicago White Sox
Danks was knocked around in his last start against the Houston Astros, as he allowed seven runs in only 4.1 innings pitched. He gave up a season-high 12 hits and also allowed two home runs in this start. It was certainly surprising he allowed this many runs, as in his previous three starts the opposition scored a combined six runs. Danks has a 4.35 ERA in 20 starts across 124 innings pitched.
Fantasy Advice: Alex Wood has surrendered seven runs in his last three starts, and has only allowed more than four runs in one start this season. Wood has a 3.24 ERA in 91.2 innings pitched through 12 starts.
Josh Willingham, OF Minnesota Twins
Willingham is hitting .217 with nine home runs and 28 RBI in 166 at-bats. He has an OPS of .787, and his batting average is just .193 against right-handed pitchers.
Fantasy Advice: David Peralta has a .322 average with 13 extra-base hits and 18 RBI in 146 at-bats. The OPS for him is .808, and he handles right-handed pitchers well by hitting .351 against them.
Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has a chance to win the batting crown in the American League this season. He is hitting .325 and the leader is Astros second baseman Jose Altuve with a .336 average.
He also has an opportunity to break the franchise record for highest batting average by a third baseman. The record is .340, which was set by Bill Bradley in 1902.