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- SP Zack Godley seemed to be back on track in August, but after allowing a season-high six walks yesterday to go along with four earned runs and seven hits, he’s probably worth dropping rather than trusting for his final two starts of the year. He’s now third in the National League in walks with 76 on the season.
- SP Julio Teheran walked six batters in four innings yesterday, refreshing a control problem that he seemed to tamper down in August. Teheran also allowed three hits, but those nine baserunners only turned in to two runs thanks to some timely strikeouts, of which Teheran had seven. Still, he’s walked 10 batters in his last two starts after only walking eight in his previous five starts.
- SP/RP Yefry Ramirez had his first chance to go deep in a game since mid-August, and he was very good in striking out seven White Sox in 5 2/3 innings. Ramirez had major control issues when he came up in June, but in his last 12 2/3 innings he’s walked only five while striking out 13 and allowing only two earned runs.
Boston Red Sox
- SP Rick Porcello improved to 17-7 yesterday with a decent five-inning outing against the Mets where he allowed a single, a walk, and a three-run home run in the fourth inning, but otherwise was perfect in the other frames. He struck out five for the game, throwing 62 of his 88 pitches for strikes.
- SP Jon Lester is back on track at exactly the right time for the Cubs, posting another quality start yesterday with seven shutout innings to beat the Reds. Lester allowed only two hits and two walks, striking out nine, and for the month of September he’s struck out 23 in 18 2/3 innings, allowing only three earned runs (1.45 ERA). He gets another easy matchup next week at the cross-town White Sox.
Chicago White Sox
- SP Reynaldo Lopez shut out the Orioles for seven innings last night, allowing four singles and a walk while striking out six. He’s got four straight quality starts, throwing 27 innings in that span and allowing only two earned runs (.67 ERA), striking out 28 and, most impressively, walking only six after a season full of control issues. Lopez turns 25 in January and is building the case as a very intriguing deep sleeper for 2019.
- SP Cody Reed continues to show some interesting signs since moving in to the rotation several weeks ago. He struck out 10 Cubs in five shutout innings yesterday, allowing only two hits and two walks. While Reed’s fastball has ticked down a couple of mph since moving in to the rotation, understandably, he’s retained his slider-heavy approach and the pitch is playing up at an elite level, which could make him valuable as a starter to at least open next season (we have skepticism about these starters that are almost exclusively fastball/slider guys).
- SP Mike Clevinger threw six one-hit shutout innings yesterday to win his 12th game of the year. He allowed three walks and struck out five. Clevinger has a 0.59 ERA in his last five starts at home, and his next start will be at home next weekend against Boston.
- RP Seung Hwan Oh missed his seventh straight game last night after feeling tightness in his hamstring last Sunday.
- SP Michael Fulmer threw five pitches yesterday, allowed two home runs, and then left the game with an undisclosed injury. We wouldn’t be surprised if this was the end of his season.
- OF George Springer left Friday’s game after what seems like a regular occurrence for him – suffering an injury on a diving play in the outfield – but he returned last night to start and leadoff and went 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
Kansas City Royals
- OF Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBI yesterday. He’s an intriguing waiver option for the last two weeks, as he’s now driven in 12 runs and scored seven this month with regular time in the middle of a Royals order that has been boosted by the strong performances of 2B/OF Whit Merrifield and SS Adalberto Mondesi.
Los Angeles Angels
- The middle of the Angels order was dominant yesterday, with OFs Mike Trout and Justin Upton and DH Shohei Ohtani all homering, with Upton hitting two. All three guys had two hits on the night, as well. For Upton, he’s now got three homers in the last three games, giving him 29 on the season.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- OF Yasiel Puig is on fire right now; after having started just three games between September 8 and September 13, he’s started consecutive games in the weekend series against St. Louis and has gone 6-for-10 with five homers, five runs scored, and nine RBI.
- SS J.T. Riddle went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI yesterday. He’s started regularly this week and has picked up hits in three of his four starts.
- OF Christian Yelich went 2-for-4 with a solo homer yesterday, giving him 30 on the season. Yelich has homers in consecutive games and 12 bombs in his last 25 games, as he’s cruised past his previous career high in the category. He’s also second in the NL in batting average (.315), runs scored (101), and OPS (.943).
- C Willians Astudillo had another nice night yesterday, going 2-for-4. He’s got a four-game hitting streak and hits in seven of his last eight starts.
New York Mets
- OF Brandon Nimmo went 1-for-2 with a walk and a three-run home run yesterday. Nimmo is closing with some impressive batting points, as he’s struck out just eight times this month in 53 plate appearances while walking 13 times and picking up 10 hits, including five for extra bases, while scoring nine runs and driving in seven.
New York Yankees
- Top prospect SP Justus Sheffield is expected to be called up today after his Triple-A season ended yesterday. He was shifted to the bullpen earlier this season to prepare him for this call-up, but he’s a starter long-term, having posted a 2.48 ERA in 116 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this year.
- 3B Matt Chapman went 3-for-5 with a solo home run yesterday, giving him hits in five straight and 11 of his last 13 games. His plate discipline has tailed off a little in his terrific second half, with a 58-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio since the All-Star Break. When you have an OPS over 1.000 like Chapman does in that time, though, it doesn’t matter.
- SP Vince Velasquez was hit hard and pulled early again yesterday, only getting through two innings against Miami after allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. He hasn’t made it in to the sixth inning in seven straight starts.
- SP Ivan Nova posted his fifth quality start in his last six outings, beating the Brewers yesterday with one run allowed in six innings. He allowed four hits and a walk, striking out four. His ERA on the season is now 4.07, the lowest it has been since mid-June, and he’s worth considering for his next start against the same Milwaukee lineup.
San Diego Padres
- 1B Eric Hosmer’s solid month continued yesterday with a three-run home run, his fourth homer in the last seven games.
San Francisco Giants
- SP Madison Bumgarner injured his right side while swinging the bat yesterday, forcing him to leave after six shutout innings where he allowed five hits, a walk, and struck out two. The move sounds precautionary and Bumgarner is likely to make his next start, which seems needless for a team totally out of the playoff race.
- OF Mitch Haniger went 2-for-5 with a solo home run last night. It was his fourth straight multi-hit game and he’s hitting .346 over the last week, using a strong finish to the season to move back in to the top 15 at the outfield position on ESPN’s Player Rater.
St. Louis Cardinals
- SP/RP Luke Weaver struggled again in relief yesterday, allowing seven runs (three earned) in 2 1/3 innings on three hits and four walks. He’s allowed 11 hits, 10 walks, and nine runs in seven innings in his last three relief appearances.
Tampa Bay Rays
- 3B Matt Duffy singled, walked, and stole a base yesterday. He’s up to a .425 on-base percentage this month, with 10 hits and seven walks in 40 plate appearances. He’s also nearing his career high in stolen bases with yesterday’s bag, which gave him 11 on the season.
- 1B/3B/OF Joey Gallo hit his 37th home run of the season yesterday, also scoring two runs. Gallo has three homers in his last six games and ranks fourth in the AL in the category this year.
Toronto Blue Jays
- SP Sean Reid-Foley struck out 10 Yankees in five innings yesterday, shutting them out on two hits and four walks and earning his second career win. That’s five major league starts now for Reid-Foley, and he’s struck out 10 batters in two of them. He has control issues, but we’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the Toronto rotation to open next season.
- OF Juan Soto displayed a new facet of his game yesterday, stealing three bases after having stolen just two the entire season coming in to the game. Soto went 1-for-2 with the game with three walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.