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- SP Clay Buchholz worked seven good innings last night but took a tough-luck loss with no run support, allowing only two earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four. He continues to pitch well primarily due to a five-pitch mix that has kept opponents off balance, especially with the addition of a cutter that he’s been able to use 20-25 percent of the time in most starts, lessening the need for him to rely on his high-80s four-seam fastball.
- SP Kevin Gausman was very impressive last night, throwing 71 strikes on 94 pitches and dominating a great Milwaukee lineup for eight innings, striking out eight and giving up just one run on six hits and no walks. Gausman has upped his changeup usage considerably in his two starts with the Braves, throwing it 21 percent and 12 percent of the time, after averaging a three-percent usage in his 21 starts with the Orioles.
- 2B Ozzie Albies had not drawn a walk since July 2 before last night, when he walked three times in five plate appearances, scoring twice and stealing a base.
- OF Adam Jones has moved to right field for the rest of the year to make room for 23-year-old OF Cedric Mullins in center field. Mullins’ debut last night was a successful one, as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, two RBI, and three runs scored. Mullins’ minor-league profile shapes him to be a 10-homer/20-steal type bat right away, and he’s improved his plate discipline enough this year to think he could have an impact in 12-team mixed leagues for the rest of this season thanks to the guaranteed playing time Jones’ move to right field has created.
- Jones also had a good night against the Red Sox, going 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Boston Red Sox
- A day after the team moved SP Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen, choosing SP Brian Johnson over him, Pomeranz got the win working the fifth inning in relief of SP Nathan Eovaldi, who couldn’t make it out of the third thanks to a combination of a bad cutter, an elevated splitter, and shaky defense, which led to him allowing eight runs (four earned) on 10 hits and two walks, with no strikeouts. Eovaldi only had one swinging strike on 71 pitches, an alarming sign that bears monitoring in his next few starts.
- OF Jackie Bradley Jr. went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, a walk, an RBI, and four runs scored.
- OF Jason Heyward went 1-for-4 with two RBI yesterday; he’s had a solid month so far, picking up 10 hits in 31 at-bats (.323) with only six strikeouts. Heyward remains a must-start option in all 12-team mixed leagues and shallower five-outfielder leagues.
- SP Kyle Hendricks was able to get through six innings for just the third time in his last 10 starts, limiting the Nats to two runs on eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts.
Chicago White Sox
- SP Carlos Rodon is, from a fantasy perspective, arguably the most valuable left-handed starter in the American League right now considering the recent injuries to Chris Sale and Blake Snell, which add uncertainty to their respective values down the stretch. Rodon shut out Cleveland for eight innings last night, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out five, and he now has a 2.61 ERA in 72 1/3 innings. Rodon’s changeup has become a positive value pitch for the first time in his major league career, giving him an addition layer of separation between the fastball/slider combo that defined his first few seasons.
- SP Anthony DeSclafani looks like a guy who has finally gotten comfortable on the mound after returning from his year-long absence due to Tommy John surgery. He threw seven innings last night for the second straight start, shutting out Arizona and allowing only three hits, no walks, and striking out nine. He’s cut down on the home run issue that plagued him in June and July, as well. DeSclafani is a great speculative option for the rest of the season if you need to take a shot on improving your ratios, and gets a nice matchup next week at home against the Giants.
- 1B Edwin Encarnacion is scheduled for an MRI on his left biceps today after leaving last night’s game early.
- SP Shane Bieber threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings yesterday, striking out eight and allowing only three hits and two walks.
- RP Wade Davis said before yesterday’s game that he thinks he’s found the mechanical flaws that he blames for his recent struggles, but RP Adam Ottavino got the save chance last night and converted, needing only 11 pitches to get through the ninth for his fifth save of the year.
- OF Mitch Gerber led off for the fifth consecutive game last night, going 0-for-2 with a walk, a sacrifice fly RBI, and a run scored.
- SP Jordan Zimmermann was solid last night, not allowing an earned run in 6 1/3 innings on eight hits, but only striking out one.
- With OF George Springer saying he’s unsure when he’ll be able to swing a bat again, 2B/OF Tony Kemp could get a good look in the leadoff spot. He did so last night for the third time this month, going 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Kemp has the ability to put up strong batting average and runs scored numbers if he can get a week or two as the regular leadoff hitter.
Kansas City Royals
- OF Brett Phillips picked up two hits last night. He has three multi-hit games in seven starts this month.
Los Angeles Angels
- RP Blake Parker got the Angels’ first save since early July, and while he looks like the guy to own if you’re seeking saves from this bullpen, it is worth noting that RP Justin Anderson worked the first out of the ninth inning after striking out the side in the eighth, before manager Mike Scioscia played matchups for the last two outs, first with RP Jose Alvarez, then with Parker.
- OF Mike Trout was finally placed on the 10-day disabled list with the wrist issue that has been bothering him for a week.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- 3B Justin Turner has been hot since returning to the lineup on August 2nd. His 2-for-3 effort last night gave him nine hits in 25 at-bats this month, with six runs scored.
- 1B Justin Bour was traded to the Phillies yesterday, which should open up time for 3B/OF Derek Dietrich to play more at first base and allow newly-promoted OF Rafael Ortega and soon-to-return 1B/OF Garrett Cooper and OF Lewis Brinson to get more starts down the stretch. Ortega started in right field last night and went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
- 3B Travis Shaw has now made eight appearances at second base, putting him within two of gaining eligibility there in most league formats.
- SP Ervin Santana still hasn’t shown anything that proves he has value beyond AL-only leagues. He went a season-high six innings last night, and he only allowed three hits, but they were all for extra-bases and two of them were home runs. He now has six homers allowed on the season.
New York Mets
- SP Zach Wheeler struck out eight in seven innings last night, his fourth consecutive start allowing two runs or less, and his sixth start in his last night where he’s gone at least seven innings. The Mets have to be worried about Wheeler’s workload – he’s pitched 134 1/3 innings after throwing only 86 1/3 last season, which was the first time he had pitched since 2014. As good as he’s been over the last month or so, we expect Wheeler to get wound down to a lesser pitch count, or perhaps even shut down, in early September.
New York Yankees
- SP Masahiro Tanaka pitched well for three innings last night, but in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings he made multiple mistakes with his slider and splitter, allowing six runs, including three home runs. Tanaka has now allowed 22 home runs on the season; he only struck out two last night overall and walked three.
- RP Fernando Rodney worked the seventh inning last night in his debut with the team.
- 3B Matt Chapman went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, continuing his month-long power stretch that has seen him hit .360 with a 1.195 OPS since the All-Star Break, including six homers, six doubles, and three triples.
- 1B/OF Rhys Hoskins went 0-for-4 yesterday and has now gone six games without a hit.
- SP Zach Eflin took the loss last night despite striking out eight, his highest total in a start since June 10. Eflin went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk. He’s posted back-to-back quality starts after going more than a month without one between July 3 and August 4.
- C Francisco Cervelli went 3-for-5 with a grand slam, five RBI, and two runs scored last night.
San Diego Padres
- SP Jacob Nix made a successful major league debut last night, shutting out the Phillies for six innings on four hits and two walks. He struck out four and threw 63 strikes on 88 pitches. Nix relied heavily on his four-seam fastball, throwing it 57 times and averaging 93.5 mph; he mixed up curveballs and changeups to keep hitters off balance, and both pitches are slow enough (76.3 mph and 80.5 mph, respectively) to help that fastball-heavy approach play up.
San Francisco Giants
- OF Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff home run last night, his lone hit in six plate appearances, but he did walk four times, which allowed him to score three runs and drive in two.
- C Buster Posey went 4-for-5, all singles, with three RBI and a run scored. C Nick Hundley was able to return from the concussion protocol, serving as a pinch hitter for Posey late in the game and drawing a walk.
- 2B/OF Dee Gordon was dropped to ninth in the batting order last night, with OF Mitch Haniger leading off, OF Denard Span hitting second, and SS Jean Segura hitting cleanup. The Mariners are clearly desperate for a spark, and with 2B Robinson Cano set to return next week, we don’t expect Gordon to get back up to the top of the lineup until he puts together an extended hot streak. Both Haniger and Span went 2-for-4 last night with an RBI and a run scored.
St. Louis Cardinals
- OF Harrison Bader had his fourth multi-hit game in his last seven starts last night, going 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored.
- 1B/3B Matt Carpenter hit his 32nd home run of the year last night; Carpenter has six homers in his last seven games and seven homers in his last 10, giving him the NL lead in homers, slugging percentage (.600) and OPS (.9910.
Tampa Bay Rays
- In his second start back off the disabled list and working on a pitch restriction, SP Blake Snell threw five perfect innings against the Blue Jays, needing only 47 pitches to get through 15 batters, striking out six of them. Snell’s curveball was the same elite-level breaking pitch that it was all season, generating six swinging strikes and three called strikes on 15 offerings.
- 1B Ji-Man Choi has home runs in back-to-back games after hitting a solo shot last night off Toronto SP Marco Estrada.
- 1B Ronald Guzman hit three solo home runs yesterday in five at-bats. He’s got 12 on the season, and six of them have come against the Yankees. Guzman’s shown some good signs in terms of long-term power growth, with a .194 ISO that tops any number he’s posted in the minors.
Toronto Blue Jays
- OF Teoscar Hernandez hit back-to-back homers on Tuesday and Wednesday, and he’s got six extra-base hits in his last six starts. Still, he struck out twice last night in three at-bats, and in the last 30 days he’s struck out 38 times in 85 plate appearances, which has pushed his on-base percentage for the season down to .299. Hernandez hits the hell out of the ball when he makes contact, with a batted ball profile that puts him in the same company as Paul Goldschmidt, Javier Baez, Aaron Judge, and Nelson Cruz, but unless he improves his overall pitch recognition, he won’t reach his potentially elite-level ceiling in the near-term.
- Manager Dave Martinez’s struggles with bullpen management continued yesterday, as he pulled SP Jeremy Hellickson with two outs in the fifth and Hellickson sporting a no-hitter, although he had walked four, including two before he was pulled. Still, Martinez leaned on RP Greg Holland in a tight spot, and Holland did what he’s done all season, which was implode and blow a game, allowing two hits and a walk against four batters.
- 2B Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with a run scored yesterday and is sporting a .353 batting average in 68 at-bats since the All-Star Break.