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- SP Clay Buchholz made his first start since June 24 and picked up right where he left off, going 6 2/3 innings for a win at the Cubs, limiting them to six hits, two walks, and an earned run. He struck out five. The cutter continues to be the difference maker for Buchholz, as it was his most valuable pitch again last night for the fourth start this season. There’s a case to be made for Buchholz to be owned in all formats based on his performance, his home park, and the Diamondbacks ability to give him wins with a solid offense and bullpen.
- SP Julio Teheran was pounded by the Marlins yesterday, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings, only striking out three. He was solid in his previous two starts and showed improved fastball stuff, so this should be worth ignoring next week when he gets two starts, the first one coming at home on Monday against Miami again.
- RP Brad Brach is the team’s new closer after RP Zach Britton was traded to the Yankees. The Orioles may only win 20-25 games the rest of the way, but those wins figure to be close, so Brach is worth considering in any format where you need saves, though there’s a chance he could be dealt as well.
Boston Red Sox
- It was the same old issues for SP Drew Pomeranz last night in his first start since May 31. He allowed four runs on six hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings, including two home runs, while striking out four. His four-seam fastball was only averaging 88.2 mph, and his command was really bad, with 15 of his pitches being balls high and outside of the strike zone. We still see no value in Pomeranz outside of AL-only leagues.
- 3B Kris Bryant is having issues with his left shoulder again, and is likely going to miss today’s game in addition to the day off he took yesterday.
Chicago White Sox
- SP Carlos Rodon was strong for the fourth time in his last five starts, going 111 pitches and 7 2/3 innings for his third win of the year. He only allowed two hits, three walks, and two earned runs, striking out eight. What’s more impressive about Rodon is that he’s faced nothing but tough matchups since returning to the rotation on June 6. Rodon must be owned and started in all leagues every time he takes the mound, as he’s starting to take the form of a guy who was drafted in the top five when he came out of North Carolina State.
- OF Jesse Winker sat out last night’s game with a sore shoulder, an issue that popped up Monday when he fell down while running the bases. OF Scott Schebler was apparently set to return to the lineup today after missing the minimum 10 days with a right shoulder issues, but it may be a few days longer now according to manager Jim Riggleman.
- SP Homer Bailey was very good in his return to the rotation after missing almost two months with a right knee issue. He allowed two runs, five hits, and two walks over 6 2/3 innings, striking out a season-high eight.
- 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion hit his 23rd home run of the season yesterday and added a walk and a single in four plate appearances. He’s warming up a bit, with multiple hits in each of his last three games and three home runs over his last seven games.
- SP Tyler Anderson continues to defy logic by having a dominant month of July despite four home starts – he limited the Astros to one earned run on three hits and three walks last night over 7 1/3 innings, striking out four. He’s now pitched 27 1/3 innings at baseball’s worst pitchers park this month and has only allowed four earned runs (1.32 ERA), and 23 baserunners (.84 WHIP), striking out 27. Anderson should be owned in all formats.
- SP Jordan Zimmermann was back on the mound after missing two weeks due to a recurring neck issue. He received a nerve-blocking injection over the All-Star Break that seemingly cleared up his problems, but he wasn’t great last night, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four.
- OF Kyle Tucker hit a two-run triple in a pinch-hit appearance in the 10th inning of yesterday’s win. The hope here is that this is the hit that gets him going, but the Astros already seem to have moved Tucker away from an everyday role as he works through his early struggles since being called up.
Kansas City Royals
- SP/RP Burch Smith won his first game in five years yesterday, going 6 1/3 innings with only one hit and two walks allowed, striking out six. He allowed two earned runs.
Los Angeles Angels
- 3B David Fletcher has assumed the role of leadoff man against left-handed starters, giving him some increased value in AL-only leagues and perhaps some deep mixed formats as a source of batting average. He went 1-for-3 last night with a walk and an RBI, account for two of the five times the Angels were able to reach base against White Sox SP Carlos Rodon.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- OF Yasiel Puig should be activated off the disabled list at some point this weekend after missing about three weeks with an oblique injury. He’ll play in rehab games over the next few days.
- C Yasmani Grandal went 3-for-7 last night with two solo home runs and four strikeouts. He now has 16 home runs, good for second among catchers behind Houston C Evan Gattis.
- 3B/OF Brian Anderson went 3-for-3 with three singles and three runs scored, breaking out of a mini-slump that had seen him pick up one hit in his last 15 at-bats. A sign of Anderson’s growth continues to be improved plate discipline, as he earned a walk in each of the four games over that 15 at-bat slump.
- 1B/OF Eric Thames returned to the lineup and led off, going 0-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
- 1B Jesus Aguilar was back in the lineup after missing a couple of games with hamstring tightness. He went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- SP Ervin Santana will make his season debut tonight in Toronto after missing the entire season with a finger issue.
- SP Jose Berrios was great last night, shutting out the Blue Jays for seven innings on just four hits and a walk, striking out nine.
New York Mets
- OF Yoenis Cespedes is back on the disabled list with injuries to both of his heels. We think it is safe to dump him in all formats; even if he makes it back to everyday playing time, it seems like from his comments over the weekend that he’ll still be playing hurt.
- SS Amed Rosario led off again and went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored.
New York Yankees
- RP Zach Britton was acquired in a deal centered on prospect SP Dillon Tate. This was one of the less advantageous landing spots for Britton’s value based on rumors, as for now RP Aroldis Chapman remains the closer despite recent knee issues, and RPs Dellin Betances and David Robertson are a threat to Britton getting any saves even if Chapman is put on the DL at some point. If you want to hold Britton in a 15-team league, fine, but at this point we see no value in him other than AL-only formats.
- C Gary Sanchez was placed back on the disabled list yesterday due to a recurrence of the groin injury that cost him almost a month before the All-Star Break.
- We told you earlier this month that the power stretch was coming for OF Khris Davis, and he now has four home runs in his last three games after hitting the game-winner last night, a three-run shot in the top of the 10th inning that capped an eight-run comeback for an A’s team that is conjuring memories of their 2012 squad that put together a second half run for the ages to make the playoffs.
- 2B Cesar Hernandez was back in the lineup and leading off after missing two games with a foot issue, but he went 0-for-7 with four strikeouts.
- SP Vince Velasquez worked the decisive 16th inning of last night’s game as a reliever, earning his seventh win of the year when the Phils walked off in the bottom half of the frame.
- OF Corey Dickerson was on his way to another big game yesterday, hitting a double and a triple, scoring twice, and driving in two runs before he departed the game with left hamstring discomfort. He described the injury as “very mild” after the game, but we’ll know more about his status today.
San Diego Padres
- 1B Eric Hosmer went 1-for-4 last night with a single and a strikeout. He’s struck out in eight of his last 10 starts and has 100 Ks on the season; he also has just three extra-base hits in 83 plate appearances this month. Hosmer has no case to be started right now in 12-team mixed leagues and shallower formats.
San Francisco Giants
- 3B Evan Longoria suffered a minor setback and is now on track to return over the weekend, rather than the original expectation that he’d be back today.
- SP James Paxton was a surprising late scratch from his start yesterday due to continued troubles with his lower back. Manager Scott Servais said he still expects Paxton back in the rotation in the next week.
St. Louis Cardinals
- OF Dexter Fowler went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run, two runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base last night. Since new interim manager Mike Shildt took over on July 15 and gave Fowler a clean slate, he’s picked up six hits, four for extra bases, in seven starts, scoring six runs and driving in five.
Tampa Bay Rays
- SP Yonny Chirinos returned to the rotation for his first start since April 28, when he suffered a shoulder injury. He had been starting at Triple-A, so the Rays used him in that role rather than one of their bullpen day slots, and he delivered a good outing, limiting the Yankees to six hits, a walk, and three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six. Chirinos could be valuable down the stretch in matchups against weaker lineups, as his strike-throwing approach should allow him to avoid high pitch counts, and he’s shown the ability to strike out close to a batter per inning.
- We’re rarely surprised by roster moves, but the demotion of OF Delino DeShields yesterday caught us off guard. Yes, DeShields is OPS’ing .570 in more than 300 plate appearances this year, but the Rangers are going nowhere and DeShields was providing good defense and had stolen 18 bases in 21 tries. We expect this to be a short stint in the minors, so don’t dump DeShields if you were holding on to him for speed purposes.
- SS Elvis Andrus is finally finding himself at the plate, with hits in six consecutive games, including a 2-for-4 effort last night that included a grand slam and an RBI single, He scored twice as well.
Toronto Blue Jays
- SP Ryan Borucki is establishing a case for his value in all formats, at a minimum as a matchups play. He didn’t allow an earned run over six innings last night against the Twins, as they were only able to string together two doubles and four singles. He didn’t walk a batter, but only struck out two. With SP J.A. Happ likely to be traded in the next week, Borucki should be in the rotation for the rest of the season.
- OF Adam Eaton had his ninth multi-hit game of the month last night, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run, a single, and a walk. He’s hitting .361 in July with 10 RBI, three steals, and six runs scored.