Getting the start in left field and hitting at the top of the lineup, Taylor set the tone with a leadoff homer, his 11th blast of the year. If MLB had an equivalent to the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award, the 26-year-old would arguably be the favorite to win it right now as he's slashing .307/.381/.521 in 77 games while seeing action at five different positions around the diamond.
Both shots came off Carlos Rodon, as Hernandez continues to be a lefty killer this season. Nine of his 10 homers on the year have come against southpaws despite the fact that he's seen fewer plate appearances against them, and his 1.033 OPS versus lefties is close double his .587 figure against righties.
The right-hander threw only 83 pitches (54 strikes), but after the Dodgers extended their lead in the top of the six inning, manager Dave Roberts elected not to push Maeda too far. The 29-year-old has put his rough start to the season behind him and now has a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 8.8 K/9 over his last eight outings. He'll next take the mound Tuesday at home against the Twins.
With two out and two men in scoring position, Marrero delivered a two-run single to plate Boston's first two runs of the game. His .211 batting average isn't much to look at, but Marrero has knocked in 22 runs in 46 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox are 27-13 in the 40 games he's started.
Moncada, who batted sixth in the order, also grounded out to second base and flied out to center field. His arrival in Chicago generated a lot of buzz, with 5.000 walk-up tickets sold for the game, but the White Sox will let him acclimate to the majors at a measured pace. Eventually, we expect to see Moncada, who has been a leadoff hitter in the minor leagues, move up in the order.
Rodon, who was making his fourth start of the season, was tagged for four home runs by the Dodgers over his 3.2 innings. With Jose Quintana shipped cross town to the Cubs, Rodon is being groomed to be the White Sox's ace but obviously the long layoff due to a biceps injury is not leading to ace-like results. He'll continue to take the ball every fifth day and there will be better days ahead, but fantasy owners must realize, in addition to the long layoff, the left-hander is pitching for a team with the worst record in the American League and an offense that won't steal many games for him. Rodon will next take the bump Tuesday against the Cubs on the north side of town.
Bregman scored on a sacrifice fly after he stole third base, giving him 13 runs scored over the past 12 games. With just eight home runs and 28 RBI this season -- including a current 19-game homer-less stretch with just two RBI -- he hasn't provided a whole lot of value for fantasy owners in the power categories typically associated with corner infielders, but Bregman is enjoying his finest month of the season, posting a .939 OPS in 14 July games.
Gonzalez has started at shortstop in the two games the Astros have played without Correa. He should receive the bulk of the starts at shortstop while Correa is sidelined, which is expected to extend until September. Fantasy owners will not have to worry about if and where the super-utility player will be in the lineup for the next six weeks.
Nava could see a short-term increase in playing time with Aaron Altherr (hamstring) sidelined. However, Howie Kendrick (hamstring) could be back from the disabled list as soon as this weekend, which will impact Nava's at-bats. The Phillies are likely to play Kendrick fairly regularly in the outfield for the remainder of the month in order to showcase him for a trade. Nava is also a trade candidate thanks to his solid performance in a part-time role this season.
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