As the playoff races take shape, the battles heat up for the end of year accolades. With Robert Acuna Jr. on fire, Juan Soto racked up five hits in eight at-bats during a doubleheader and smacked two home runs in the night cap. Soto’s the first teenager in major league history to record three different multiple home run games. Here’s a look at last night’s homers and note his “oppo taco”:

It’s going to be difficult for Soto to overtake Acuna for Rookie of the Year in the National League, but it’s worth seeing how he ends the season. Soto’s presently fourth in home runs in a season by a teenager with 18, one behind Mel Ott, four from Bryce Harper ’s 22 and within six of Tony Conigliaro’s record. Plus, this little tidbit about young Soto:

Neither Soto nor Acuna will come cheaply in drafts or auctions in 2019, but they provide hope for baseball’s future as the next wave of talent arrives.

That Just Happened

Most of the attention of these daily recaps focus on the positive. However, it may be time to bench Carlos Correa for fantasy. He’s playing through lingering pain, went hitless again on Tuesday night and hitting .170/.258/.217 the last 30 days with 12 runs, one home run and 13 RBI.

Almost encapsulating his tantalizing upside with deference to his struggles, Luis Castillo dazzled once again. Castillo struck out nine Dodgers en route to his ninth win giving up four hits, one earned run and a walk in 6.1 innings. This follows up his career best 11 strikeouts against St. Louis to start September and allowing a career worst three home runs to the Padres his last time out. So far this month, Castillo’s pitched 18 innings with 27 strikeouts against three walks, a 1.50 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. If he continues to generate swinging strikes with his changeup, 11 last night of 38 thrown, Castillo could figure things out in 2019.

Few batted an eye when Oakland acquired Mike Fiers from the Tigers. He won his 12th game of the season, fifth with the A’s and Oakland’s won all seven of his starts since the trade. Fiers allowed one earned run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts last night. He owns a 2.72 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 39.2 innings in these seven starts. Stephen Piscotty stayed hot with three more hits including a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .395 during his current 12-game hit streak, has hit eight home runs over the last 21 games and batting a robust .292 with 20 home runs his last 77 contests. Owners of Blake Treinen can breathe, he received a second night off after working in three straight games. This can occur in a deep bullpen.

Once again, Jonathan Villar carries the torch for the struggling Orioles offense. Villar went 2-for-4 with his 13th home run of the year and two RBI. Over his last 15 games, Villar’s slashing .333/.400/.491 with 11 runs, three home runs, 10 RBI and eight stolen bases. That’s good, right?

Shane Bieber did what fantasy owners planned on from Corey Kluber on Monday night. Bieber fired 6.2 shutout innings with a career best 11 strikeouts. He generated 13 swinging strikes of his 100 pitches, nine with the slider, and 25 called strikes. It’s Bieber’s 10th win of the season and he could be a very interesting mid-to-late round flier next year. Welcome back to fluidity in the Indians bullpen. Brad Hand pitched in a setup role with Cody Allen notching his 27th save in his eighth straight scoreless outing. Edwin Encarnación hit his 30th home run, he’s the only active player with seven straight seasons of 30 or more dingers.

Tommy Pham moved his hit streak to 15 games with an opposite field single in the first inning. He also walked later in the game and stole his 12th base. Pham’s hitting .403/.471/.694 in the streak with three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 11 RBI.

It’s almost cruel how the Mets lineup performs with Jacob deGrom on the mound. He loses his ninth game of the year giving up three hits, two earned runs and two walks with nine strikeouts in seven quality innings. For a frame of reference:

Here’s another interesting deGrom tidbit, his ERA in losses went down from 2.73 to 2.71 in this outing, his ERA in Mets losses during his starts sits at 2.02. While it’s nice Michael Conforto launched his 24th home run and he’s homered four times the last seven days, his .290 average does not accompany a walk but he owns a .710 slugging in these games.

Chris Sale worked one inning in his return giving up a hit and striking out two. After he departed, he went to the bullpen to get more work in. Boston has a plan to keep him fresh for the postseason, so it will be interesting to see how he builds up stamina for the playoffs with just over two weeks remaining.

Owning José Quintana must be a rollercoaster of a ride. He fired 6.2 shutout innings yielding only three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts en route to his 13th win last night. Despite the quandary presented to his owners, Quintana’s been solid in wins and he lowered his ERA to 3.97 after 28 starts.

While most of baseball focuses on the pennant races, the Royals continue to produce below the radar. Brad Keller won his eighth game giving up one earned run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. He produced 13 swinging strikes of his 107 pitches and 20 called. Both Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesí went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Merrifield stole two bases to retake the American League lead in the category with 33 and Mondesi stole his 21st base through 57 games this year.

In a five run win over the Yankees, Joe Mauer hit his sixth home run, a grand slam, and Jorge Polanco tallied three hits in five at-bats with a run, double and an RBI.

Miles Mikolas won his 15th game of 2018 working seven innings allowing five hits, one earned run and a walk with seven strikeouts. In most seasons, his 2.99 ERA and win total would get more burn, at least his owners appreciate his efforts this year.

A new bullpen plan for the Diamondbacks resulted in Zack Greinke winning his 14th game. David Peralta completed a smash and dash hitting his 27th home run while stealing his fourth base in the win. Yoshihisa Hirano recorded his first major league save in a clean ninth with two strikeouts. Hirano notched 156 saves in 11 years while closing games in Japan.

Trevor Story added to his historic season hitting his 40th double and driving in his 100th run last night. Story’s the first shortstop in major league history with at least 40 doubles, 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases. Currently, Story’s hitting .293/.347/.558 with 40 doubles, 32 home runs, 100 RBI and 25 stolen bases. Mercy.

Fantasy owners who stop paying attention when football starts will miss out on late round values such as Ty Buttrey . He replaced Blake Parker in the eighth inning and completed 1.1 clean innings for his second save of the season. Buttrey’s been scoreless his last five outings with three holds and two saves in them. Plus, he could pick up a couple more saves as the season draws to a close. Get it?

Off-season trade candidate Wil Myers should end up on an American League team where he can stay healthy and transition to a designated hitter to stay healthy. Myers hit a go ahead double off of Edwin Díaz and stole his ninth base last night. Kirby Yates converted his eighth save striking out one in a clean appearance.

Last, but not least, Mike Foltynewicz fired his second complete game of the season giving up six hits, an earned run and a walk with seven strikeouts in San Francisco. He only needed 108 pitches to do so with 75 of them strikes. Foltynewicz lowered his ERA to 2.66 in the process and Atlanta extended their divisional lead to 6.5 games.

What To Watch For

Weather. With Hurricane Florence slated to make landfall soon, games will be tough to play in the days ahead. This will wreak havoc in head-to-head playoff match-ups.

A potential pitcher’s duel between Carlos Carrasco and Blake Snell awaits this afternoon in Tampa Bay. Corey Kluber owners should note he’s going to be skipped this weekend and loses his second start this week to get him lined up for the playoffs.

Zack Wheeler returns to the mound and will try to do what deGrom could not, squish the fish in the first game of a doubleheader with Miami.

Both Aaron Nola and David Price will headline the evening slate looking to add to their strong second halves.

New York will try to get Luis Severino on track on getaway day in Minnesota.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a recap of Wednesday’s action in the Round Up on Fantasy Alarm.


Statistical Credits: