Roark had himself another fine start on Thursday night, as he went seven strong and only allowed one run. While his strikeout numbers remain rather pedestrian, fantasy owners will still welcome his 2016 production with open arms. Although Papelbon almost blew the save, Roark luckily managed to come away with the win, giving him 10 on the year. Continue to consider him a fine option in all formats going forward.
Don’t look now, but Kelley may be stealing this ninth inning gig away from veteran closer Jonathan Pabelbon. Pap just hasn’t been reliable this season, and for a playoff bound team, that is unacceptable. Expect the Nats to begin using the best arm available each night, which oftentimes will end up being Kelley.
While he wasn’t awful on Thursday night, this was by no means Cueto’s best start of the season and ultimately he paid for it with a loss. Regardless, considering how good he’s been all season long, fantasy owners can afford one mediocre start. He just needs to make sure that this doesn’t become a habit down the stretch when owners need him the most.
Chapman looked good once again and picked up his first save as a Cub this season, however word is that he will not be available for Friday’s game because of the amount of pitches he’s tossed over the last two nights (39). In any event, once he’s back to full stamina, Chapman should remain one of the game’s elite closers going forward.
By all reports, no jerseys were defaced on Thursday night, however Sale still wasn’t the best version of himself, as he picked up the loss and recorded his second lowest strikeout total of the season. With his fracturing relationship with management combined with the approaching trade deadline, there is a chance that Sale could be on another roster come August. Fantasy owners should be prepared for anything.
Lackey was solid again, earning him his eighth win of the season, and while he was underwhelming in terms of strikeouts, he’s still on pace to record 220 by season’s end. He’s overall been pretty solid all season long, but after a bumpy July, hopefully his Thursday night win is an indication of him getting over the poor stretch.
In the second inning, Ventura allowed Rougned Odor to take him deep for the first of three solo home runs on the evening. The bomb was Odor’s 19th of the season and has already passed his single-season high for homers (16). The little man has 52 RBI, 62 runs scored and 10 stolen bases to match with his .277/.297/.487 batting line. We could see Odor break a few more personal bests for the season is out. The Rangers will face Edinson Volquez on Friday night in Arlington. Odor is 2-for-2 lifetime against Volquez.
You don’t really expect Paulo Orlando to turn around a Cole Hamels fastball for a home run but that’s exactly what happened on Thursday night. Orlando parked a no-doubter in the second inning for his second of the season and ninth of his career. The 30-year-old has made the most of his playing time batting .324/.348/.419 over 75 games played. We have no reason to believe that he’ll be removed from the lineup anytime soon. The Royals will face A.J. Griffin on Friday night in Arlington. Orlando is 0-for-2 lifetime against Griffin.
You usually don’t like to see your closer walk the lead-off man in the top of the ninth in a one run game but it did not cost Dyson on Thursday night. He induced three straight groundouts to end the game and earn his 21st save of the season on 23 attempts. The veteran closer has an ERA of 2.47 and a WHIP of 1.16 over 47 1/3 innings of work. The Rangers will continue their four game series with the Royals on Friday night.