Steven Matz takes home spotlight honors with his complete game shutdown against the Pirates. It was the first shutout of his career and he needed just 99 pitches to get it done. He gave up five hits while striking out seven. He led all pitchers in DFS scoring on both major sites with 35.2 points on DraftKings and 58.0 points on FanDuel. Matz now has a 1.80 ERA for the month of July across 20.0 innings pitched. His next start will come against these same Pirates and he will have a good chance at pitching well again (though probably a bit worse than this). Matz has been very inconsistent this season, but overall he still holds some value in deeper leagues as he will carry a decent 4.32 ERA and 6-6 record into his next start. Unsurprisingly, Matz felt pretty good about the outing:

Strong Outings

  • Marco Gonzales tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Tigers. He gave up six hits while striking out eight. He had on rough start this month (July 16) but in his other three starts this month; he has pitched at least seven innings and given up two or fewer runs in all of them. He will carry a 12-8 record and 4.21 ERA into his next outing.
  • Clayton Kershaw pitched well in a win over the Nationals, giving up two runs across six innings of work. He gave up just three hits while striking out nine. Kershaw has been dominant in July, giving up just four runs across 25.0 innings of work (1.44 ERA) while striking out 35. He will carry a 9-2 record and 2.85 ERA into his next start.
  • Gerrit Cole hurled seven innings of one-run ball in a win over St. Louis. He gave up just four hits while striking out seven. Just another great start in what has been a great year for Cole. He now has a 1.85 ERA, a 4-0 record, and 51 strikeouts across five starts in July (34.0 innings). He will carry a 12-5 record and 2.94 ERA into his next start.
  • Mike Clevinger held the Royals to one run over seven innings of work in a win. He gave up eight hits while striking out seven. He had a fantastic month of July, compiling a 4-0 record, 1.74 ERA, and 41 strikeouts across 31.0 innings of work (five starts). He will carry a 5-2 record and 3.28 ERA into his next outing.
  • Trevor Williams was a hard-luck loser against Matz and the Mets; he tossed seven innings of three-run ball. He gave up just four hits while striking out seven. He was bit hard by the long ball in this one, giving up a pair of dingers. It was his second straight start with seven strikeouts. He will carry a 3-4 record and 4.87 ERA into his next outing.
  • Iván Nova delivered another great outing, holding the Twins scoreless over six innings of work. He gave up only two hits while striking out four. Nova has been awful this year, but he has now given up just one run over his last 15 innings of work after tossing a one-run complete game in his start prior to this one. He will carry a 6-9 record and 5.23 ERA into his next start.
  • Anthony DeSclafani held the Rockies to one run over five innings in a win. He gave up four hits while striking out five. He has pitched very well lately, giving up seven runs over his last 28.2 innings pitched (five starts – 2.23 ERA). He will carry a 6-5 record and 4.01 ERA into his next outing.
  • Jon Lester shutout the Brewers for seven innings in a no-decision. He gave up four hits while striking out five. He has pitched pretty well in July, compiling a 2.77 ERA across 26.0 innings (four starts) and going 2-0. He will carry a 9-6 record and 3.63 ERA into his next outing.

Hitter Highlights

Brandon Drury had a huge game in the Blue Jays extra inning win over the Rays; he finished 4-6 with a pair of dingers (including a game tying shot in the bottom of the ninth with two outs), and three RBI. Drury has quietly heated up in July, as he is now hitting .313 with five home runs for the month. He is still not a fantasy option, but deep leagues can throw him on their watch list.

Teoscar Hernández also went double-dong for Toronto. Both of his home runs were solo shots and the second one was a walk-off bomb in the bottom of the 12th inning. Hernandez is now hitting .306 (11-36) with six home runs and nine RBI over his last 10 games. He has enough pop to be viable in AL only/deep leagues.

Will Smith made his first start since being recalled and he made a big statement, going a perfect 3-3 with a home run, a pair of doubles, and six RBI. Smith is now hitting .345 with four home runs and 12 RBI through 29 MLB at-bats. He is ranked as the #95 prospect in baseball and he had 20 home runs at Triple-A this year. He is worth an immediate add for anyone with catching woes/mediocrity.

Francisco Lindor finished 3-5 with a home run and two runs scored. He is having a big month in July, hitting .337 with six dingers, 16 RBI, 15 runs scored, and four steals. For the year, he is hitting .303 with 18 home runs, 43 RBI, and 16 swipes. Remember when we all let him plummet in the draft with his little injury? Oops!

Keston Hiura continues to impress, last night he went 2-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI, and a walk-off home run. He is hitting .390 with six home runs, 18 RBI, 17 runs scored, and six stolen bases in the month of July, bringing his totals for the year up to a .333 batting average with 11 home runs, 27 RBI, and seven steals in just 156 at-bats.

J.D. Davis finished 2-3 with a home run, a double, and two RBI. He is now hitting .381 with a pair of dingers across 42 at-bats in July. This guy can play and deep leaguers need to have their eye on him. For a bigger breakdown on him, check out this week’s Stock Watch.

Pedro Severino had a big night at the dish, going 4-5 with a home run, four RBI, and a stolen base. He now has eight hits in his last two games, raising his batting average 24 points in the process. He is now hitting .279 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI. He is also a perfect 2-for-2 on steal attempts.

What to Watch for Today

Alex Wood will make his season debut off IL in a match-up with the Rockies. Wood has been pretty great throughout his career when healthy, pitching to a sub-3.85 ERA every year and he has a 3.29 ERA for his career. He needs to be added anywhere that he is available.

Robbie Ray (9-6, 3.95 ERA) will look to shutdown a poor Marlins offense. Miami is probably a welcoming sight for Ray, who will be looking to bounce back from two subpar outings in a row in which he has given up seven earned runs across 12 innings pitched. He does have at least seven punch-outs in all four of his July starts thus far though.

Walker Buehler (9-1, 3.23 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 3.37 ERA) gives us our best pitching match-up of the day. Buehler pitched seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts in his last time out and he has a 2.38 ERA across his past eight starts, despite giving up seven runs at Coors Field in one of them. Strasburg is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA across four starts in July with 35 strikeouts across 24.2 innings.

Domingo Germán (12-2, 4.03) vs. Chris Sale (5-9, 4.00 ERA) is our second best pitching matchup of the day and this big time rivalry game is our SNB game. German will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing his last time out in which the Twins lit him up for eight runs. Sale is coming off back-to-back double-digit punch-out outings and he gave up just two runs across 12 innings in those outings.