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- 1B Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 last night with a double and his 31st home run of the season, driving in two. He finished August with a .356 batting average in 116 plate appearance, driving in 19 runs and scoring 15 runs with eight homers and seven doubles.
- OF Nick Markakis went 0-for-4 yesterday, closing out his worst month of the season – he hit .268 in 121 plate appearances for the month, with only two home runs and a .719 OPS. We wouldn’t hesitate to cut bait on Markakis in a shallow mixed league if you’re hurting for homers or steals – we think you’ve gotten all you can out of him this year.
- OF Cedric Mullins remains the lone regular bright spot in this lineup, going 2-for-4 last night with a solo homer, a double, and two runs scored. Mullins finished his first month as a major leaguer with going 20-for-63 with an impressive 11-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ration, plus nine extra base hits and 12 runs scored.
Boston Red Sox
- SP David Price will not make his next scheduled start at Atlanta early next week, as he is still feeling soreness in his left wrist after being hit by a comebacker there on Wednesday.
- SP Chris Sale threw on flat ground yesterday, continuing his progression after playing catch the previous four days. It’s probably going to be two more weeks before he’s back on a mound with the Sox.
- OF Jason Heyward will likely miss a couple of weeks after suffering a strained right hamstring on Thursday. He may not be placed on the disabled list, though, with rosters set to expand today.
Chicago White Sox
- SP Michael Kopech had his start shortened by rain for the second time in three starts, but while he was in there he looked very good against the Red Sox, limiting them to a double and a walk in three innings and needing only 36 pitches (22 strikes) to get through them.
- OF Scott Schebler went 3-for-5 last night with his first home run since July 9. After scuffling in his first few games off the disabled list earlier this week, Schebler has four hits, including three for extra bases, and no strikeouts in his last two games.
- 3B Josh Donaldson was added to the Tribe via trade, and the impact this has on playing time is totally unknown right now. With Donaldson a potential liability in the field having not played regularly since late May, he could play first or DH and impact the time of 1Bs Yonder Alonso and Edwin Encarnacion. Or, 2B/3B Jose Ramirez could shift back to second for Donaldson to play third, moving 2B Jason Kipnis to the outfield or the bench.
- OF David Dahl was back in the lineup after not starting since Monday. He went 1-for-4 with a a double, a walk, and a run scored.
- 23-year-old 2B Dawel Lugo has started both games he’s been available for since being called up before Thursday’s contest against the Yankees. He went 3-for-4 yesterday with a run scored. Lugo didn’t provide much at Triple-A this year beyond a career-high 12 stolen bases, so he’s only worth monitoring in AL-only leagues for now.
- SP Josh James was called up and will make his first major league start today. He had a huge year between Double-A and Triple-A, striking out 171 in 114 1/3 innings. With the injury situation in the Astros’ rotation as worse as it has been in two seasons, James could get more than a couple of starts this month as the team looks to close out another division title.
Kansas City Royals
- 1B Ryan O’Hearn continues to be a surprising power source in what looks to be a regular role in the middle of the order for the rest of the season. He went 3-for-4 yesterday with a home run and four RBI, boosting his slugging percentage to .600 in 70 at bats with the Royals this season. O’Hearn has gotten lucky with fly balls going out, as 33 percent of his flies have left the yard, but he’s still hitting the ball hard at an elite level (46.5 percent) and is doing so while also putting the ball in play to all fields (just 37.2 percent of his balls have been “pulled” per FanGraphs, with 30.2 percent going to the opposite field).
Los Angeles Angels
- SP Jaime Barria was faced with the task of battling Houston for the second straight start, but he was much improved over his three-inning, four-run outing last Saturday. He shutout the Astros for six innings, just the second time he’s gone six innings in his last 11 starts, limiting them to three hits and a walk while striking out four.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- RP Kenley Jansen was able to get through the ninth inning without a meltdown last night, allowing a softly-hit double to Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt but retiring the other three batters he faced to record his first save in five games since coming off the disabled list.
- SP Dan Straily was great for eight innings, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk, striking out four, but RPs Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider turned a 5-1 ninth inning lead in to a 6-5 loss. That’s two straight good starts for Straily, who has thrown 14 innings with only one run and nine baserunners allowed in that stretch.
- 3B/OF Brian Anderson went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two walks, and two runs scored. Anderson is in the top 20 in the National League in on-base percentage at .362 and would be a Rookie of the Year favorite in many seasons that didn’t see phenoms like OFs Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. called up.
- SP Gio Gonzalez was traded to the Brewers yesterday, strengthening their rotation after SP Brent Suter was lost and SP Freddy Peralta lost whatever touch he had earlier in the season. Gonzalez has been awful in the second half of the season, but there could be matchup value in September if the Brewers face soft roster-expanded lineups for teams out of the race.
- 1B Tyler Austin homered again last night, his seventh in 16 games with the Twins.
New York Mets
- SP Zack Wheeler struck out nine in seven innings last night, but the Mets gave him zero run support, so the four hits and one run Wheeler allowed ended up resulting in a loss. That’s eight straight starts for Wheeler with two runs or less allowed, and in that stretch he’s lowered his season-long ERA from 4.33 to 3.37.
New York Yankees
- OF Brett Gardner wasn’t great in August, barely hitting over .200 in 121 plate appearances, but he closed out the month strong yesterday with a 2-for-4 day that included two runs scored, a homer, a double, and two RBI.
- SP Luis Severino had his most dominant start in a couple of months yesterday, striking out 10 without a walk over six innings in a no-decision against Detroit. He allowed a home run again for the ninth time in his last 10 starts, but he’s settled back in to more of his normal ace form after a brutal stretch in late July.
- OF Dustin Fowler was recalled Friday for his first start with the big club since July 30. He led off and went 0-for-5 with a strikeout. Fowler is likely to be in a mixed bag time share down the stretch with OF/SS Chad Pinder, OF Nick Martini, and OF Ramon Laureano.
- OF Roman Quinn may be locked in to the leadoff spot for the next week or so, as long as he continues performing. He started there again last night in right field, and actually shifted over to center when OF Odubel Herrera was double-switched out of the game. Quinn went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a strikeout.
- RP Keone Kela has been lights out since moving to a setup role with the Bucs after closing all season in Texas. With a perfect inning yesterday that included two strikeouts, Kela ended August with 19 strikeouts in 13 innings, allowing only one run and 12 baserunners.
- OF Starling Marte went 2-for-4 with a run scored, his 30th stolen base on the season, and his 12th caught stealing on the season.
San Diego Padres
- SP Brett Kennedy won the first game of his major league career, shutting out the Rockies for six shutout innings on four hits and two walks, striking out two. After four starts where he allowed far more fly balls than ground balls, Kennedy generated 13 grounders in this one compared to seven fly balls.
San Francisco Giants
- SP Andrew Suarez threw 61 of his 89 pitches for strikes and shutout the Mets for seven innings, limiting them to a single and a double while striking out five. Suarez is a nice sleeper for next season, as he’s had some bad luck on home runs despite allowing just 27.6 of the balls put in play against him to be hit in the air. He’s worth watching down the stretch to get a good gauge on for his 2019 draft value.
- 2B Robinson Cano went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk last night. He’s got hits in eight of his last 10 games.
St. Louis Cardinals
- OF Jose Martinez reached base in all five of his plate appearances last night, walking three times and singling twice while also scoring two runs. Martinez looked to be falling off a little after the All-Star Break, but he’s now got hits in 17 of his last 18 starts and finished August with a .389 batting average and .990 OPS in 104 plate appearances, including 18 RBI and 16 runs scored.
Tampa Bay Rays
- SP Tyler Glasnow was almost perfect for 6 1/3 innings last night, but he made one mistake pitch to open the third at-bat 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion had against him, and that resulted in a solo home run that cost Glasnow the game. He still hasn’t won as a Ray, but this ended up being another great start, as Glasnow only allowed a single and a walk in addition to that solo homer over seven innings, striking out six.
- SP Bartolo Colon will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday to start against the Twins.
- SS/3B/OF Jurickson Profar went picked up two hits, including a double, last night, driving in two, walking, and also stealing his 10th base on the year.
Toronto Blue Jays
- While it remains a long shot the Jays add 3B Vlad Guerrero Jr. to the active roster in time for him to make an impact, the move of 3B Josh Donaldson to Cleveland can’t hurt. If you’ve held on to Guerrero Jr. this long, we’d say give it one more week for him to be called up before finally letting go.
- OF Adam Eaton remained hot yesterday with his fourth multi-hit game in the last week, going 2-for-5 with a run scored. He’s got 11 hits, including four for extra bases, in his last six games, and looks locked in as the leadoff hitter for the rest of the season.