Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison went 1-for-5 with a two run double against the Mariners on Wednesday.
Harrison’s only hit of the night came in the top of the second inning, where he smacked a double to left field and gave the Pirates an early 3-0 lead. Tonight’s double was Harrison’s first since June 7th, and he has just six extra base hits since the start of June. After hitting .333 and .325 in the months of April and May respectably, the 28-year-old is hitting just .198 in June. He’ll face off against Sonny Gray tomorrow, who has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four out of his last five starts.
Pirates infielder David Freese went 2-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored against the Mariners on Wednesday.
Freese hit his seventh home run of the year in the second inning off of Wade Miley, which was the first run of the game for the Pirates. The 33-year-old continues to be a key piece of the lineup against left-handed pitching, as he’s hitting over .340 with three home runs and nine runs batted in against lefties so far in 2016. His batting average has dropped off significantly in June, where he is hitting just .265. Moving forward he will be a nice option in daily fantasy when facing off against a left-handed pitcher. If he’s in the lineup tomorrow Freese will face off against Sonny Gray, who has allowed just four earned runs and struck out 10 in his last 12 innings pitched.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon picked up a win in a solid effort against the Mariners on Wednesday, allowing one earned run on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts over six innings pitched.
Gifted with a three run lead after the top of the second inning, Taillon was able to shut down a Mariners offense that was averaging just four and a half runs per game in their last six. Taillon’s six strikeouts is a season high for him, and tonight’s start marks the first time in his Major League career that he didn’t walk a single batter in one of his starts. After back-to-back rough performances where he allowed eight earned runs on 16 hits in his last eight innings pitched, Taillon looked sharp and had very good control on Wednesday. The 24-year-old will look to string together back-to-back solid performances against the Cardinals on the road on Tuesday. The Cardinals average just four and a half runs per game at home so far in 2016, so Taillon should be considered as a decent cheap option for daily fantasy purposes on Tuesday.
Madison Bumgarner is expected to hit in his start on Wednesday instead of using a DH in the lineup against Oakland.
Ordinarily this wouldn't be news as he does pitch for an NL team, however the game is being played in Oakland where the DH is allowed to be used in the lineup for the visiting National League team. MadBum is the one that started all of the chatter about pitchers being allowed to hit in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break and we all know how far he can impale a baseball when he makes contact, but with the Giants several games in front of the Dodgers and his massive importance for the team from the mound, why would you risk him getting injured while batting in an unnecessary spot. Also it puts the lineup at a disadvantage willful as opposed to having an added bigger bat in the starting nine.
Oakland centerfielder Billy Burns went 1-for-2 with a double and two runs batted in against the Giants on Wednesday.
Wednesday night’s RBI double was a rare sight for Burns, who has hit just 14 extra base hits in 274 plate appearances in 2016. The switch-hitting outfielder has shown that he possesses serious speed, but has been slumping terribly at the plate over the course of this past month, hitting just .178 with five extra base hits. Burns doesn’t have great fantasy value outside of the steals category as he isn’t a great hitter and doesn’t possess any real significant power. He’ll square off against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Thursday.
Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso went 1-for-3 with a two run home run against the Giants on Wednesday.
Tonight’s home run was Alonso’s second of the year, and it was his first home run since April 29th. The 29-year-old first baseman is having a solid month of June, where he’s hitting .325 with a home run and ten runs batted in. His power numbers aren’t great however, as evidenced by the fact that he is OPSing just .626 this year which greatly limits his fantasy value. It’s uncertain whether or not he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow, but even if he plays I would certainly avoid him as he’s facing off against Madison Bumgarner who has allowed left-handed hitters to hit just .158 against him this season.
Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run against the Giants on Wednesday.
Lowrie’s third inning blast off of Jake Peavy, his second homer of the year, gave the Athletics an early 2-0 lead, and it ended up providing all the offense that they would need to win on Wednesday. Tonight’s home run snapped a 19 game homerless streak for the switch-hitting second baseman, who has now driven in a run in three straight games. After hitting over .300 in both April and May, Lowrie has cooled down a bit in June, hitting just .270 with two home runs and four runs batted in. He’ll be hitting from the right side of the plate against Madison Bumgarner on Thursday.
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