MLB Closing Bell: August 1
Greg Jewett rings in Wednesday's Closing Bell.
Trea Turner ’s past tweeting leaves much to be desired. For those who drafted him in the first round for steals, this also applies. However, over the last four games, Turner’s swiped two bases in three of them, totaling six and propelling him to the lead in the majors with, 28 stolen bases? With the knowledge of launch angles and home runs being in vogue, steals continue to dwindle as evidenced by the paltry number leading the league.
As disappointing as the 28 stolen bases may be, Turner’s currently pacing towards 100 runs, 20 home runs, 65 RBI and 42 stolen bases if he were to play all 162 games. Most owners would sign up for this prior to the season. Of course, 50 or more steals would be more alluring, but in this new age of baseball, surpassing 40 stolen bases in a season could be enough to increase a player’s fantasy value.
That Just Happened
Teammate Bryce Harper went 2-for-4 with a double, scored a run, drove in one and stole his ninth base in a win over the Mets. He’s recorded nine RBI his last seven games and reached safely in 32 of his last 36 contests with 12 doubles, six home runs and 33 walks in them.
In a matchup Las Vegas favored Tommy Milone facing off with Noah Syndergaard , Milone justified the computers. He limited the Mets to three hits and one earned run in seven innings with nine strikeouts for his first win of the year. Mione recorded 13 swinging strikes and 20 called of his 97 pitches. Syndergaard struggled early allowing three runs in the first three innings then settled down to retire 12 hitters in a row and lasted seven innings as well. Thor only generated eight swinging strikes with 14 called on 91 pitches but seems encouraged to pitch the remainder of the season in the rotation.
Another record breaking day for José Reyes who served up two home runs as a reliever on Tuesday night, then hit two home runs on Wednesday afternoon. According to Elias Sports, it’s the first time since 1884 when Cap Anson allowed two home runs as a pitcher on August fifth, then hit three home runs as a batter on August sixth a player has accomplished such a feat.
If the Yankees finish behind the Red Sox, their play against Baltimore could be a deciding factor. After today’s loss, the Yankees are 6-6 against the Orioles while Boston’s 10-2. Versus all other teams, New York’s 62-32 while Boston’s 65-32. Sonny Gray added to the Yankees misery lasting 2.2 innings and giving up eight hits, seven earned runs and two walks with three strikeouts in the loss. He entered a winner in all three starts against Baltimore this year with an ERA of two.
Lance Lynn was forced into action as a reliever and will lose a chance to start in Boston as a result. Lynn did strikeout five batters in 4.1 innings to keep the game close. Alex Cobb gets only his third win of the year holding the Yankees to seven hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. Trey Mancini went 3-for-5 with his 14th home run and two RBI to pace the Orioles. Gleyber Torres launched two home runs for New York.
Teams needing speed for the stretch run may want to add Billy Hamilton . He’s an imperfect hitter with middling on-base capabilities, but can he run:
Billy Hamilton stole 2nd straight through a pitchout (not the first time this season he's done this).— David Adler (@_dadler) August 1, 2018
Sprint speed: 29.3 ft/sec
Way faster than the MLB avg of 27 (Hamilton, duh)
John Hicks' pop time: 1.81 sec
Way faster than the MLB avg of 2.01 (pitchout, duh). Not fast enough.
Hamilton went 2-for-4 with his 23rd stolen base on a pitchout. He also gets the Mets next week, Turner stole four bases in two days against them, and the Cubs later in the month. No player can dent a category right now like Hamilton could.
Strong outing by Carlos Carrasco who fired 7.1 shutout innings giving up four hits and striking out 10. Carrasco produced 17 swinging strikes and 13 called of his 101 pitches before turning over the mound to Brad Hand who worked the last 1.2 innings for his 26th save, and second with Cleveland.
Health could be an issue for Eddie Rosario who finished hitless in four at-bats. He sat out on June 21st with a sore shoulder and his numbers since reek of an injury:
Before June 21st: 278 at-bats, 16 home runs, .320 average
Since June 21st: 148 at-bats, three home runs, .264 average
Not to mention, Rosario’s seen his isolated power, pull percentage and hard hit rates decline appreciably as well.
Although Carlos Correa and José Altuve sit on the disabled list along with no George Springer on Wednesday, Houston broke out for eight runs in Seattle. Marwin González homered in each of his first two at-bats. Then both Jake Marisnick and Max Stassi hit their eighth home runs of the year.
While the Mariners took one on the chin, Nelson Cruz did crush his 26th home run. Over his last 53 games, Cruz has hit .301 in 183 at-bats with 33 runs, 18 home runs and 43 RBI. He ages like fine wine.
It’s been a streaky season for Sean Manaea but he’s hot again. Manaea won his fifth game since the start of June and has a 3.12 ERA in his last 66.1 innings. Fueling this streak? Manaea’s eight walks his last 10 starts.
Jonathan Lucroy finished July with a .177 average and 13 RBI on 11 hits. To start August, he went 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBI.
In a loss, Randal Grichuk keeps on hitting. He doubled twice and has 11 extra-base hits over his last 13 games (eight doubles, three home runs) and batting .294 (15-for-51) in them.
Houston sent Kyle Tucker back to Triple-A to get him steady at-bats and back on track. Jake Marisnick takes his place on the roster. George Springer did jumping jacks to prove his shoulder health to his manager but still sat out. He’s day-to-day but could return sooner rather than later.
Washington released Shawn Kelley after throwing his glove to the mound after giving up a home run during a blowout win. Kelley’s 3.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 35 innings will be claimed by someone. If it’s a team like the White Sox, he could be closing soon.
What to Watch For
Only a six-game slate for this evening but plenty to keep tabs of. Cole Hamels will make his Cubs debut in Pittsburgh.
Tampa Bay will immediately put Tyler Glasnow on the mound as their opener tonight. A key here, their pitching coach understands it takes taller guys to hone their mechanics. He’s six foot eight inches, as is Glasnow.
Rich Hill will face the new look Brewers. Milwaukee will play Jonathan Schoop at second base and Hernán Pérez at shortstop with a southpaw on the mound. Mike Moustakas will play third and Jesus Aguilar at first with Travis Shaw sitting. This could be a very fluid infield going forward to the frustration of fantasy owners.
Last, but not least, Brian Dozier will debut for the Dodgers and hit fifth.
Be sure to check back in the morning with Fantasy Alarm’s Round Up to stay ahead of your competition.