Garrett Richards earned his 10th win of the season after giving up just one run on six hits and a walk with a season-high 11 strikeouts over 7.1 innings against the Astros on Sunday.
Richards has now thrown seven-straight quality starts and dropped his ERA to 2.71 with a 1.07 WHIP and a 119:41 K:BB over 116.1 innings this season. The walks tend to get the better of him at times, but overall, he is pitching as close to lights-out as anyone would have ever expected from him coming into the season. His final start before the All Star break is a tough one though as he heads into Arlington to face the Rangers. Granted, their lineup isn't what it was once perceived to be, but it's still loaded with talent and the ballpark remains extremely hitter-friendly. ANALYST: Howard Bender
Brian WIndhorst reports that the Toronto Raptors are pursuing Thaddeus Young.
The Raptors have two dynamic guards in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but to be considered true threats to the Cavaliers in the playoffs, they need more size and Young fits that description. The power forward is having a superb season for the Nets as he is averaging 15.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. The combination of Lowry and DeRozan along with Young would make the Raptors a serious threat in the second half of the season. Young’s fantasy value may take a little hit in terms of points per game, but he should still be a very effective player if he does end up getting traded to the Raptors. Analysis: Phil Backert
Mitch Moreland and the Rangers avoid arbitration and settle at $5.7M.
The Rangers and Moreland avoided a salary arbitration hearing that was set for Wednesday by coming to terms. The first baseman had a slash line of .278/.330/.482 with 23 homeruns and 85 RBIs in 2015 and is poised to once again help fantasy owners in the power and run production department. First base is always deep so Moreland will get lost in the shuffle, but his ability to hit the long ball and be a run producer makes him a very capable fantasy performer. Analysis: Phil Backert
James Harden scored a game-high 37 points (10-21 FGA, 11-13 FTA) going 6-for-10 from three-point range with five rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block over 40 minutes in Tuesday's 123-110 loss to the Warriors.
Despite scoring 37 points on Tuesday night, Harden was unable to carry the Rockets to the top of the mountain, losing their third game in their last five tries. However, fantasy owners have to be pleased with Harden recent production, as he is now averaging 30.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 2.8 steals an 4.2 three-pointers over that same stretch, while remaining one of the elite options to own across all league formats. Analysis: Matthew Beck