A trio of walk-off home runs highlighted yesterday’s games.

We will lead with the Pirates, who took down the Athletics in 13 innings. After giving up a pair of runs in the top of the 13th inning to go down 3-1 the Pirates rallied in the bottom half of the inning. Starling Marte capped off the game with a walk-off three-run home run to centerfield. For Marte, it was his fifth career walk-off. Marte finished the game 2-5 with the three-run home run, a single, a walk, and a stolen base. It was his fourth home run and fifth stolen base of the year.

The second walk-off home run was delivered by Brandon Dixon in the Tigers 5-2 win over the Royals in 10 innings. Dixon also made a very nice diving catch in the top of the 10th to help keep the game tied at two apiece before swatted the home run in the bottom half. It was Dixon’s first career walk-off home run. It was Dixon’s first home run of 2019 and he is now hitting .292 through 24 at bats. While Dixon lacks the fantasy relevance that Marte has, his walk-off home run was just as impressive.

The third and final walk-off home run of the day came off the bat of Hunter Renfroe . The Padres were trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth with bases juiced and two outs when Renfroe was called upon as a pinch-hitter. A single likely would have gotten the job done, but that wouldn’t have been anywhere near as sweet as the walk-off grand slam that Renfroe delivered. It was the eighth walk-off grand slam in Padres history and Renfroe became the 16th player in MLB history to hit a walk-off grand slam as a pinch-hitter with his team trailing.

Strong Outings

  • Zach Eflin tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Nationals. He allowed just four hits against while striking out five. Over his last two starts, Eflin has allowed two runs across 16 innings of work and appears to be in a real groove; however, his 31 strikeouts across 42.0 innings of work this year leave a lot to be desired.
  • Spencer Turnbull turned in another strong outing today, allowing just one run across seven innings. The rookie gave up six hits and struck out seven, but did not factor into the decision. Turnbull has pitched five more innings and allowed three or fewer runs in all seven of his starts this year.
  • Pablo Lopez was hit with a hard luck no-decision after pitching six shutout innings against the Braves. He allowed three hits and struck out six. Lopez hasn’t been slammed in any outing this year, as evident by not allowing more than four runs in any start, but he has consistently given up runs and his ERA still stands at 4.03, despite today’s great outing.
  • Julio Teheran was a big cause of Lopez’s no-decision, as he also tossed six shutout innings and was stuck with a no-decision himself. He allowed just two hits while striking out four. Teheran really needed an outing like this after allowing three or more runs in three straight starts prior to this one.
  • Erik Swanson was lights-out in a win over the Indians, allowing just one hit and zero runs across six innings of work. He carried a no-hitter into his sixth and final inning before allowing a two out double. Despite allowing just one hit, he was already at 106 pitches and the Mariners decided that was enough. It was the first win of the rookie’s career.
  • Domingo Germán pitched 6.2 innings of one-run ball in a win over the Twins. He gave up just four hits while striking out seven. He improved to 6-1 on the year and has a 2.35 ERA with 39 strikeouts across 38.1 innings of work. He can be trusted in all fantasy formats, until he proves otherwise.
  • Jordan Lyles hurled 6.2 innings of one-run ball against Oakland in a no-decision. He allowed five hits and struck out three. Lyles continues to be a surprisingly strong asset, both for the Pirates and for fantasy owners. He has given up two runs or fewer in five out of six starts and will carry a 2.20 ERA into his next one.

Back-to-Back-to-Back Jacks

The Reds swatted three straight home runs in the first inning yesterday against the Giants. Eugenio Suárez , Jesse Winker , and Derek Dietrich homered on back-to-back-to-back pitches. It was the first time since at least 1988 (the beginning of pitch count data) that this feat has been done. Also amazing about this is the fact that it was the ninth home run for all three guys, a true battle to stay atop the team lead in home runs. I don’t even know how Jeff Samardzija let this happen, if you allow back-to-back home runs on two pitches, wouldn’t it make sense to throw the next pitch way out of the strike zone just to throw the hitter off a bit? (I digress) Unfortunately for the Reds, this amazing feat was met with a loss as the team fell 6-5.

Hitter Highlights

Marte, Dixon, and Renfroe shined bright with their walk-offs, as did the Reds with their impressive feat, but there were still a few big days from other hitters too:

Jonathan Lucroy delivered the only double-dong performance on Sunday, finishing 2-4 with the pair of home runs, three RBI, and two runs scored. It was the third and fourth home runs of 2019 for the veteran catcher.

Jarrod Dyson had the only multi-steal game on Sunday, finishing 2-5 with two steals and a run scored. He now has five steals to go along with three home runs and a .308 average. Dyson has played very well this year and is garnering more playing time recently; making him an interesting player in deeper leagues for fantasy owners in need of steals.

Alex Bregman went 2-5 with a grand slam. It was his second grand slam of the season and he now has nine home runs. He has five home runs and 10 RBI in his last five games and has his average up to .281. Bregman got off to a bit of a slow start, but is one of the hottest hitters in the league right now.

Rougned Odor came into today’s game on a 0-22 skid, but he broke out of it in a big way; going 2-4 with a home run and three RBI. Odor has been a slow starter throughout his career (a career .195 hitter in the month of April) and fantasy owners will be hoping that this will help get him going a bit.

Chris Taylor finished 3-4 with a home run, a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Taylor has struggled this year to the tune of a .218 batting average, but the home run was his fourth and a day like this can get a player going.

Kris Bryant went 2-4 with a home run, a walk, four RBI, and two runs scored. Bryant has been heavily discussed in the live chat here at Fantasy Alarm, but he’s been playing much better as of late. Over his last 10 games, Bryant is 10-34 (.294) with three home runs, four doubles, 11 RBI, nine walks, and nine runs scored. He will be fine.

What to Watch for Today

Jacob deGrom vs. Chris Paddack in a battle of aces. Easily the best pitching duel on tap for today, and this duel makes for must-see TV. These two guys both come in with ERAs under four and a K/9 above nine. It should be a great showdown.

Gerrit Cole will look to keep the good times rolling in a start against the Royals; Cole has pitched 14 innings and allowed just four hits and two runs across his last two starts while striking out 21.

Max Scherzer will carry an ERA above four into his third straight start and it will be worth watching if he can start to find his groove. Mad Max has allowed 19 runs (18 earned) over his last five starts and hasn’t allowed fewer than two runs since April 2. He will have his hands full with the Brewers in Milwaukee.