The Athletics pounded out a 17-3 victory over the Tigers. There were a few other games that could have been the headliner (Brewers 11-3 win, Rangers 16-1 win), but Oakland had the strongest overall game on both sides of the ball, in my opinion. It starts with Chris Bassitt , who delivered eight innings of shutout baseball to pick up his second win of the year. He allowed just four hits and struck out seven while lowering his season ERA to 1.93. He has pitched five or more innings and allowed three or fewer runs in all five of his starts this year. Moving over to the offense, it was a collective effort with a lot of bright spots. Marcus Semien had a three-run home run, Jurickson Profar launched his first career grand slam (can be seen below), Matt Olson swatted a solo home run, and Josh Phegley had an explosive day at the plate, as he finished 4-5 with a home run, a double, four RBI, and two runs scored. The Profar granny in the third inning was a big blow to Detroit as it capped off a six-run inning and it came with two outs (and happened only because of an error keeping the inning alive). The A’s improve to 20-25 on the season with the win, while the Tigers fall to 18-24 with the loss.

Strong Outings

Bassitt’s gem was the most impressive outing of the day, but there were a few others who stepped up and delivered quality outings as well:

  • Lance Lynn tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Royals. He allowed just six hits while striking out five. This was a pretty classic Lynn line when he’s on and with the win he now has a 5-3 record on the season, despite a 4.94 ERA.
  • Zach Davies picked up a quality start and a win against the Phillies. He allowed three runs (one earned) across six innings of work, allowing four hits while striking out five. Davies has a fantastic line on the season with a 5-0 record and 1.54 ERA. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all nine of his starts.
  • Marcus Stroman hurled six innings of two-run (one earned) ball, but was stuck with a no-decision. He allowed seven hits while striking out six. It was a nice outing for Stroman, who had been struggling over his last three starts, and his ERA on the season now stands at 2.95, despite a 1-6 record.
  • Luis Castillo had one of his worst outings of the year, but it was still a pretty solid start; he fired 5.1 innings of two-run ball en route to his fifth win. He gave up just two hits while striking out six. He was pulled after throwing just 76 pitches. He will carry a 1.90 ERA into his next start.

Hitter Highlights

The A’s may have led all teams in scoring yesterday, but that doesn’t mean they had the top individual performances of the day. It was a day full of big time performances at the plate:

Christian Yelich is not fair and I feel bad for opposing pitchers who have to face him. He finished yesterday at the top scoring player in DFS after going 3-5 with the rare double-dong-and-dash game, that’s right, he had two home runs and a stolen base. He also had three runs scored, two RBI, and his only hit that didn’t leave the yard was a double. With the two home runs, he now has league-leading 18 total on the season. It’s early, but it looks like the NL MVP race is a two-man showing between Yelich and Bellinger.

Gerardo Parra was a perfect 3-3 and had a bash-and-dash game of his own, swatting a home run, doubling, stealing one base, driving in three runs, and scoring three times. He has two home runs and seven RBI over his last four games (no, don’t pick him up in fantasy).

Rougned Odor finished 3-5 and bashed out two home runs. He also walked, scored twice, and had four RBI. Could this be the game that breaks Odor out of his slump? Odor is always a slow-starter (this year even worse than usual), so hopefully this game will be the launching board he needed to get it going. 

Joey Gallo had another fantastic game, finishing 4-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles, a walk, and four runs scored. He now has 13 home runs, nine doubles, 31 RBI, and most impressively (for him) a .269 batting average. If he can continue to hit for a decent campaign, he will be a huge fantasy asset in what would be a breakout season.

Willie Calhoun finished 4-7 with a home run, three RBI, and three runs scored. You read that right, seven at bats (!) in a nine inning game. Remarkable. Through two games with the big club, Calhoun is 6-12 with two home runs and five RBI. The Rangers had him batting second tonight and he needs to be added in fantasy.

Jason Kipnis had a big night, finishing 2-6 with two home runs, SIX RBI, and three runs scored. The six RBI led all players last night and paved the way for Kipnis to be the second highest scoring player in DFS yesterday.

Austin Riley went 3-4 with a double, a RBI, and two runs scored. Riley is off to a fantastic start in his career, as he is 4-7 with a home run and a double through two games while only striking out once. If he is somehow still available in your league, go change that now.

What to Watch for Today

Max Scherzer will try to deliver his fifth straight quality start when he takes on the Cubs. Scherzer got off to a bit of a slow start, but there was never anything to worry about with him. He has delivered four straight quality starts and has allowed just three runs over his last 13.0 innings (two starts).

Jacob deGrom will also take his turn in the rotation in a day chalk full of aces. deGrom has a juicy matchup with the Marlins on tap and should be able to keep the good times rolling; he has pitched seven innings in three straight starts while allowing just a total of three runs over those 21.0 innings.

Did I mention it’s a day full of aces? Gerrit Cole will also take to the mound tonight. He has the toughest test of the three, as he will be in Boston to take on the Red Sox. While his 3.88 ERA isn’t the most impressive number you’ll ever see, his 86 strikeouts across 55.2 innings of work is ridiculously good.

Jordan Lyles will bring his 2.09 ERA into San Diego and take on the Padres. While Lyles isn’t in the class of the previously mentioned guys, he has been lights out this year and will have a solid chance to keep it going. He has allowed two or fewer runs in six of seven starts this year.

In an interesting move by the Rangers, José Leclerc will be used as an opener today against the Cardinals. I get it, openers are the hot trendy thing in baseball right now, but this one is a bit of a surprise to me.