Jacob deGrom takes home spotlight honors with a dominating performance in a no-decision against the Giants. Today was a tough pick, as Leake and Lavarnway were also options, but I don’t want to hold not getting a win against deGrom. After all, it’s not his fault the offense can’t ever score runs for him. He pitched seven shutout innings in the gem, giving up just three hits while striking out 10. It was hit sixth double-digit strikeout game and seventeenth game with at least six punch-outs. It was his eleventh straight start with at least five innings pitched AND fewer than three runs against. In that span, he has a 2-2 record, despite a 2.31 ERA. The reigning NL Cy Young award winner will carry a 5-7 record and 3.02 ERA into his next start.

Strong Outings

  • Mike Leake almost made history as he carried a perfect game into the ninth inning, but he gave up a hit to start the inning. His final line was brilliant: nine innings, one hit, zero runs, six strikeouts and the win. Baseball is a funny game; in his last outing, the Angels pounded out seven runs against Leake and he was unable to get out of the first inning, then facing the same Angels team seven days later, he does this. He will carry an 8-8 record and 4.27 ERA into his next start.
  • Justin Verlander was dominant in a win over the Rangers, tossing six innings of two-run ball. He gave up eight hits while striking out a day-high 12. It was his fourth start with at least 11 strikeouts. Verlander has been very consistent this year as he hasn’t given up more than four runs in any of his 21 starts. He will carry a 12-4 record and 2.99 ERA into his next outing.
  • Reynaldo López pitched well in a win over the Rays, hurling seven innings of two-run ball. He gave up six hits while striking out eight. Lopez has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball this year, with eight outings of two or fewer earned runs against, but also eight outings of five or more runs. He will carry a 5-8 record and 5.76 ERA into his next outing.
  • Marcus Stroman was lights-out in a win over the Tigers, pitching seven shutout innings. He gave up six hits while striking out five. It was his fourth start with at least six innings and zero runs against. He is having a very strong year and it will be interesting to see if a contender trades for him. Regardless, he will carry a 6-10 record and 3.06 ERA into his next outing.
  • Tyler Beede matched deGrom with zeros in a no-decision. He pitched eight shutout innings and gave up just three hits while striking out five. Beede has been pitching well lately with a 2.00 ERA across his last 27 innings pitched (four starts). However, it still doesn’t really show in his season line as he still has a 4.70 ERA and 3-3 record.
  • Jordan Lyles got out of a rough patch with a nice outing against the Phillies, tossing 5.2 innings of one-run ball. He gave up seven hits while striking out seven. Lyles was having a strong season with a 3.71 ERA, prior to giving up 14 earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched in his first two July outings, so he really needed an outing like this one. It was his eleventh start with at least five strikeouts. He will carry a 5-6 record and 4.91 ERA into his next start.
  • Zac Gallen pitched well in a loss against the Dodgers, holding them to three hits and two runs (one eared) while striking out five across 5.1 innings of work. He has been pretty consistent thus far, giving up three or fewer runs in all five of his starts, but not going more than 5.1 innings in any of them. He will carry a 0-2 record and 3.63 ERA into his next outing.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu delivered seven innings of one-run ball in a win over Miami. He gave up four hits while striking out seven. Ryu continues to be tough to score upon, as he has now given up two runs or less in 18 of 19 starts. He will carry an 11-2 record and 1.76 ERA into his next outing.

Hitter Highlights

Ryan Lavarnway made his first big league start of the year and he went out and had the top hitting performance of the day, going 3-4 with a pair of dingers, a walk, three runs scored, and six RBI. What a way to return to the MLB! No, he is not someone to consider in fantasy.

Asdrubal Cabrera went a perfect 3-3 and had the only bash-and-dash game of the day. The home run was a solo and he also walked and doubled. The home run was his twelfth of the year and the stolen base was his fourth to go along with 46 RBI and a .231 batting average.

Oscar Mercado went a perfect 5-5 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base in the Indians 10-5 win over the Royals. It was his first career game with more than three hits. He is having a very strong rookie campaign, hitting .299 with seven home runs and nine stolen bases across 51 games played.

Christian Walker only had one hit, but it was a two-run dinger and he also walked twice. Walker’s fantastic first season as a regular starter continues, as he is now hitting .259 with 19 home runs, 48 RBI, and six stolen bases. Most years he would be in the thick of the NL ROY conversation, but not so much this year with Alonso doing what he is doing.

Adam Haseley homered for the second straight night and he also doubled and had two RBI. Through his first nine career games at the MLB level, he is hitting .250 with two home runs, three doubles, and five RBI. Deeper leagues may want to take a shot on him, especially since he will be a regular in the Phillies lineup with the recent injury to Bruce.

Daniel Vogelbach had the only other double-dong outing, finishing 2-4 with the two home runs and six RBI. The batting average has dropped down a good bit, as he is now hitting .239, but the power continues as he now has 23 home runs and 57 RBI. He has been a pleasant surprise for Seattle.

Vlad Guerrero Jr. had a nice night at the dish, going 3-5 with three runs scored and a RBI. It was his seventh game with three hits and his third game with three runs. Despite the stong game, it’s been a pretty slow start to his career, now hitting .245 with eight home runs and 27 RBI through 68 games played.

Teoscar Hernández went 2-4 with a home run, a walk, two runs, and two RBI. The power surge continues as he now has four home runs in his last four games and five home runs in July. He is still only hitting .209, so his 12 home runs and 34 RBI aren’t very impactful for fantasy purposes, but he is an interesting played in DFS right now.

What to Watch for Today

Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 3.00 ERA) will take on the Marlins in what should be a good match-up for the veteran lefty. He has given up just two earned runs across 13 innings in July while racking up 16 punch-outs. He will probably be very chalky tonight in DFS cash games.

Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.41 ERA) will take the hill against the Cardinals. Castillo has given up four earned runs across his last 20.2 innings pitched while striking out 25. He has at least six strikeouts in 16 of his 19 starts this year and has been very consistent.

Mike Soroka (10-1, 2.24 ERA) will take on the Nationals in Atlanta. Soroka had a career high nine strikeouts across seven shutout innings in his previous start. He has pitched at least five innings AND given up one or fewer runs in eight of his 16 starts.