Justin Verlander was lights out against the White Sox and takes home player of the day honors. He tossed eight innings of one-hit, one-run baseball while striking out 12. The first and only hit he allowed came with one out in the seventh, when José Abreu tagged him for a solo home run. Despite that, Verlander led all players in scoring on DraftKings and FanDuel while cruising to his eighth win (8-1). The 12 strikeouts were a season high and he now has 89 punch outs through 72.1 innings. He has flat out been great this year and is the early frontrunner for AL Cy Young. He has given up four runs or fewer in all 11 of his starts and has thrown at least six innings in 10 of them. He will carry a 2.24 ERA, .143 batting average against, and 0.73 WHIP into his next start.

Strong Outings

  • Clayton Kershaw hurled 6.1 innings of two-run ball and picked up the win. He allowed six hits while striking out eight. This was Kershaw’s 19th consecutive start without taking a loss and he is 10-0 during that span. He improved to 4-0 on the season and has pitched at least six innings while giving up four runs or fewer in all seven of his starts. He will carry a 3.33 ERA into his next outing.
  • German Márquez was fantastic on the road once again; he tossed eight shutout innings in a win. He allowed just three hits while striking out seven. He lowered his road ERA down to 2.08 through six starts; unfortunately it’s still accompanied by a 5.34 home ERA in five starts at Coors.  He will bring a 5-2 record and 3.38 ERA into his next start.
  • Lance Lynn hurled seven innings of two-run ball and picked up the win over Seattle. He gave up just five hits while striking out a season high 11. He pitched great for the third straight time and fourth time in his last five starts. Over that span he has four starts with seven innings and three or fewer runs.
  • Sonny Gray delivered six shutout innings in a win over the Brew Crew. He surrendered five hits while striking out a season high matching nine. The win was his first of the year, despite lowering his season ERA to a solid 3.74. He has kept the Reds in games this year, evidenced by the fact that he hasn’t given up more than four runs in any of his 10 starts and has given up three earned runs or less in nine of those starts.
  • Caleb Smith didn’t have his best outing of the year, but still produced a very effective five innings. He gave up just three hits and two runs while striking out seven. He left the game in line for the win, but unfortunately the bullpen blew it. He has struck out at least seven batters in all nine of his starts this year and has 71 Ks through 53.0 innings. Smith will carry a 2.38 ERA into his next start.
  • Zack Wheeler gave the Mets seven innings of three-run ball in a no-decision. He gave up four hits while striking out six. He pitched better than his final stat line, but a solo home run in the 2nd and a two-run dinger in the 7th did him in. It was the fifth time this year he has pitched seven innings and the seventh time he has produced at least six strikeouts. He has been unlucky and will look to improve on his lousy 4.74 ERA in his next start.
  • José Quintana hurled six shutout innings against the Phillies, but was stuck with a no-decision. He gave just two hits while striking out four. He has given up three or fewer runs in nine of his 10 outings this season and will carry a 3.30 ERA into his next start.
  • Marcus Stroman pitched through constant traffic on the bases to give the Blue Jays six innings of one-run ball. He gave up five hits and walked six batters while only striking out four. How that resulted in only giving up one run against a potent Red Sox lineup is a mystery to me. That’s back-to-back starts of allowing one run in six innings of work, lowering his ERA on the season down to 2.81.

2500 Strikeouts for Greinke

King Felix joined this elite group less than two weeks ago and yesterday it was Zack Greinke ’s turn. He became the 37th pitcher in the history of baseball to reach 2500 career strikeouts. Overall, he pitched pretty well in this particular game too, giving up three runs across seven innings of work while striking out five. Greinke is heading for the Hall of Fame and that may be a surprise to some people, but his body of work over the years is fantastic. He is seven wins away from reaching the 200 win milestone and his career ERA is a sharp 3.37. Those two milestones will be accompanied by one Cy Young, five all-star appearances, five gold gloves, a silver slugger award, and two ERA titles. While his pitching will be enough to get him into the HOF, it doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the best hitting pitchers that the game has ever seen. He is a career .225 hitter with eight home runs and has gone 9-9 on steal attempts.

Hitter Highlights

Rowdy Tellez had a big game, going 2-5 with a two home runs and five RBI. He drove in half of the Blue Jays runs and now has eight home runs on the season with 24 RBI. His .248 batting average leaves a lot to be desired, but he is hitting for enough power to be relevant in 15-team leagues.

Clint Frazier had a double-dong night of his own, finishing 2-4 with the two home runs and five RBI of his own. Frazier had been ice cold since returning from IL on May 6, hitting .150 with zero home runs across 40 at bats before breaking out in a big way last night. The two home runs give him eight for the year and he is still hitting .268 despite the rough patch.

Nomar Mazara finished 3-4 with a pair of doubles, a RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base. He may have not left the year, but he stuffed the stat sheet and the stolen base was his first of the season. He started off the year pretty rough, but has gotten hot over the last 10 days, going 14-34 (.411) in that span, raising his average from .220 to .261 on the year.

Rafael Devers is arguably the hottest player in baseball right now and he kept it going last night; he went 2-3 with a solo home run and a walk. It was his second straight game with a home run and his fifth in May. Not only does he have the five home runs in May, but he also has 18 RBI, two steals, and a .355 batting average for the month.

Jurickson Profar also stayed hot yesterday, finishing 1-1 with a solo home run, two hit by pitches, and walking once. Profar was plunked by Bauer in his first two trips to the plate, before later taking his frustration out on the baseball by clubbing a home run in the eighth inning. Over the last six games, Profar has hit .381 (8-21) with three home runs, seven RBI, and has scored five runs. In the month of May he has hit .274 with five home runs, 13 RBI, 11 runs, and has struck out just eight times.

Trea Turner went 2-5 with a double, a RBI, a run scored, and stole a base. Turner is now 6-23 (.261) with a pair of steals in five games since returning from the IL. Overall, he has been fantastic when on the field this year with a .297 average, two home runs, and six steals across nine games played (37 at bats).

Joey Gallo ’s fantastic season continued last night as he finished 2-3 with a home run, a double, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is now hitting .293 on the year with 15 home runs and 35 RBI. If they did MVP voting today, Gallo would likely take home second place in the AL voting (Springer would win the award).

What to Watch for Today

Luis Castillo and Zach Davies will go head-to-head in a battle of sub-2.00 ERA pitchers. Both guys have been lights out this season and while this doesn’t carry the big name recognition of deGrom vs. Scherzer, it should be a great pitching duel.

Did I mention Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer ? These two will go to battle for the second time this season and Scherzer will be looking for revenge after deGrom and the Mets took home the victory in the first go around. Both guys will bring a high three ERA into this one, but they’ve both been better than their current ERA shows.

Max Fried will take on the Giants in San Fran. Fried will bring a 6-2 record and 2.86 ERA into this contest and will have a good chance to continue his great start to the year, as the Giants rank 27th in runs scored.