Justin Verlander was locked in again last night, firing eight innings of one-run ball in a win over the A’s. The lone run came on a solo home run and he allowed just three other hits while striking out eight. He led all pitchers in DFS scoring and the win gives him a 9-2 record on the season. It was the third time this season that he has gone eight innings and the eighth time this year that he has struck out at least eight batters. He now has a 2.27 ERA and 103 strikeouts through 87.1 innings pitched this year (13 starts). He leads the MLB in innings pitched, wins, batting average against (.150), and WHIP (0.74).He is also second in strikeouts and fourth in ERA. It may only be the start of June, but Verlander is making a strong case for his second Cy Young. Speaking of Cy Young…

Strong Outings

  • Lance Lynn remained locked in yesterday, firing 6.1 innings of two-run ball while striking out seven. It was his fifth straight quality start and he has struck out 41 over that period, a span of 33.1 innings. He picked up the win, his seventh of the year. Despite the recent success, he will carry a lackluster 4.50 ERA into his next start.
  • Andrew Heaney gave up three runs across six innings of work while striking out 10. He cruised through the Mariners lineup outside of Encarnacion, who accounted for all three runs with a pair of dingers. Heaney now has 18 strikeouts through 11 innings pitched this year.
  • Jack Flaherty pitched well in a rain-shortened start. There was a lengthy delay in the sixth inning that cut his start short, but through five innings Flaherty gave up just four hits and two runs while striking out eight. It was his seventh straight start of allowing three earned runs or fewer and he now has 73 strikeouts across 64.2 innings of work this year (12 starts).
  • Jon Gray was lights-out against the Blue Jays, tossing 6.2 shutout innings and only allowing two hits while striking out seven. Gray continues to be a very odd case, for the fourth year in a row he has a lower ERA at home than he does on the road, despite his home park being Coors Field.
  • Jacob deGrom hurled 6.2 innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks in a no-decision. He gave up five hits while striking out seven. A hip injury forced him to leave the game at 89 pitches and unfortunately for him the bullpen was not able to hold the 4-1 lead he left with. He will carry a 3.49 ERA into his next start and he has 84 strikeouts across 69.2 innings pitched (12 starts).
  • Clayton Kershaw held the Phillies to one run over seven innings of work. He gave up six hits while striking out six. Kershaw, much like deGrom, also left with a lead (3-1) only to see the bullpen blow it. The veteran lefty has pitched six or more innings and given up four or fewer runs in all nine of his starts this year. He will carry a 5-0 record and 3.20 ERA into his next one.

Hitter Highlights

Christian Yelich , ho-hum, another ridiculous game; he finished 2-5 with a home run, a triple, a walk, four RBI, two runs scored, and he stole a pair of bases. Talk about stuffing the stat sheet. He now has 22 home runs, 49 RBI, 12 steals, and a .309 average.

Orlando Arcia also had a big game for the Brew Crew, going 2-6 with two home runs, a walk, four RBI, and three runs scored. The two dingers give him eight for the year and four in his last eight games. Hitting eighth doesn’t do him a lot of favors, but he’s having a decent year.

Keston Hiura did not want to be left out of the Brewers spotlight. After starting the game 0-3, he sent one over the wall in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game up. Overall he finished the game 2-6 with a dinger, a walk, two RBI, and one run scored. He is hitting .300 (18-60) with five home runs and a stolen base through the first 16 games of his career.

Starling Marte went 4-7 with a home run and three RBI in the Pirates 13-inning loss to Milwaukee. While the Brewers had three guys finish in the top-15 of DFS scoring hitters, Marte was the only Pirate to finish in the top-20. The home run was his seventh and the four hits have his average up to .272. He is swinging a hot bat, going 11-25 (.440) over his last five games.

Gerardo Parra had a bash-and-dash game, finishing 3-4 with a home run, a steal, three RBI, and one run scored. It was his third game of the year with both a home run and stolen base. He has four home runs, five steals, and a .246 average on the season.

Edwin Encarnación , as mentioned above, had a double-dong game, finishing 2-4 with two dingers and three RBI. The 36-year old veteran is showing no signs of slowing down and he now has 15 home runs and 37 RBI on the year.

Mike Trout did Trout things again last night, finishing 2-4 with a solo home run, a walk, and a stolen base. It was his second straight game with a home run, and he now has 14 of them on the year to go along with seven steals, 35 RBI, 40 runs, and a .289 average. He also owns a .461 OBP; it’s hard to find the right words to describe how good he is.

Bryce Harper went 2-4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Harper has been swinging a hot bat and has quickly climbed up the fantasy ranks over the past week. He now has 11 home runs and 43 RBI, not bad for a guy who has been “terrible” all year.

Dom Smith picked up another start in left field for the Mets and delivered another strong game, finishing 2-5 with a home run and two runs scored. He is quietly having a really good year and if he continues to draw starts in the outfield he may be worth a look in fantasy. He is currently hitting .365 (23-63) with three home runs and 18 runs scored, despite only starting eight times.

Xander Bogaerts remained hot yesterday, finishing 3-4 with a home run, a double, one RBI, and two runs scored. Bogaerts had a fantastic month of May in which he hit .314 (33-105) with six home runs, 21 RBI, and 25 runs scored, and it has carried right over into June.

What to Watch for Today

Jake Odorizzi will look to extend his shutout streak, currently at 10.1 innings (two starts), when he takes on the Rays. He has been fantastic this year, pitching to a 2.16 ERA thus far through 58.1 innings while striking out 61.

Lucas Giolito , much like Odorizzi, will attempt to keep the good times rolling when he takes the mound. He went 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA across six starts (41.1 innings) in May. For the year he has a 2.85 ERA, 7-1 record, and has struck out 69 across 60 innings of work.

Capping off the evening will be the Red Sox and Yankees, they will go to battle on Sunday Night Baseball. Veteran lefties David Price and CC Sabathia will be the starters in what should be a good game.