Part of the reason patience matters in fantasy baseball, Chris Sale. A month ago, many opined about selling him for pennies on the dollar. On Tuesday night, Sale recorded 17 strikeouts over seven innings, in a no-decision, giving up three hits and two runs on a Nolan Arenado home run. Sale generated 24 swinging strikes, 11 with his slider, and 26 called strikes for a whopping 46.3 called plus swinging strike (CSW) percentage. For the visual crowd, here’s all of his strikeouts:


Sale’s the first starting pitcher with back-to-back starts of 14 or more strikeouts and zero walks since Dwight Gooden in 1984. Let this marinate for a moment. Plus, check out these statistics from his performance:


On a day flush with strong pitching performances, Clayton Kershaw outdueled rookie Chris Paddack. Kershaw gets his third win going seven innings allowing five hits, three earned runs and a walk with five strikeouts. He produced 16 swinging strikes and 17 called for a 33.7 CSW percentage, plus, the Dodgers have won Kershaw’s last 14 regular season starts.

Here’s the other notable starting pitcher performances from Tuesday:

  • Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland: 107 pitches, 18 swinging strikes, 12 called, 28 CSW%. Carrasco scattered six hits over seven shutout innings with six strikeouts en route to his fourth win.

  • Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs: 97 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 22 called, 32 CSW%. Once again Hendricks surged and even racked up three hits. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his eight starts lowering his ERA to 2.86 after giving up only one earned run in Cincinnati.

  • Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee: 94 pitches, five swinging strikes, 21 called, 27.7 CSW%. Woodruff won his sixth decision. Over his last four starts, he’s only yielded three runs in 22 innings for a 1.23 ERA and owns a 2.70 ERA his last six starts.

  • Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay: 81 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 12 called, 28.4 CSW%. Working efficiently, Morton only needed 81 pitches for his fourth win giving up three hits and striking out five in six innings.

  • Caleb Smith, Miami: 106 pitches, 18 swinging strikes, 14 called, 30.2 CSW%. It’s going to be tough for Smith to get wins backed up the Marlins offense. Smith only allowed two earned runs on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts, but suffers his first loss of the season.

  • Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: 102 pitches, seven swinging strikes, 24 called, 30.4 CSW%. Thor relied on his sinker and limited the Nationals to four hits, two earned runs and a walk with six strikeouts in eight innings.

  • Joe Musgrove, Pittsburgh: 75 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 14 called, 30.7 CSW%. Silencing his critics, at least for this outing, Musgrove fired seven shutout innings yielding only one hit and walking two with five strikeouts.

Hitter HIghlights: Vlad Jr. just needed a road trip?

Fantasy owners counted the days until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would make his debut. After a slow start, perhaps trying too hard to impress the home fans, Guerrero broke the seal in San Francisco:


In fact, Guerrero Jr. enjoyed his first home run so much, he added another later finishing 3-for-4 with four RBI and a walk. He’s the third youngest player to hit two home runs as his first, in the same game. Among all active players, only Juan Soto, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Manny Machado own multi-home run games at a younger age. As for this game, Guerrero Jr. registered the following exit velocities:

  • Sixth inning home run - 113.7 MPH

  • First inning home run - 111.3 MPH

  • Second inning single - 111.3 MPH

Cleveland’s Jordan Luplow and Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell also recorded double dong games. Luplow’s been streaking with four home runs over his last seven games. Bell continues to surge and his Behind the Breakout article went live on Tuesday. It does not include the two homer game, but, delves into why Bell’s power could translate to 30-plus home runs this year.

Another day flush with prospect news, a sad trombone for Mitch Garver. He launched his ninth home run, in only his 25th game, but left the game after recording an out at home plate. Early reports speculate on a high ankle sprain for Garver, but a clearer time frame for time lost will occur later today. Willians Astudillo owners will benefit the most and deeper league players could take a chance on Jason Castro (.974 on-base plus slugging percentage) to replace him in the near term.

As for the prospects, the Braves will promote Austin Riley, who absolutely raked so far this month at Triple-A:


Riley’s playing time will not be assured, but, with Ender Inciarte heading to the injury list, this opens the door for Riley to hit his way into playing time with the Braves. Kansas City summoned Nicky Lopez to take over second base and shifted Whit Merrifield to the outfield. Lopez slashed .353/.457/.500 with a minuscule 3.6 strikeout percentage and nine stolen bases in 31 games.

Keston Hiura made his Brewers debut racking up two hits. Hiura owned a .333/.408/.698 line with 11 home runs and four steals at Triple-A prior to his promotion. Travis Shaw landed on the injury list with a hand/wrist ailment.

Cleveland called up Oscar Mercado. Speed’s his calling card with 14 stolen bases through 30 games at Triple-A while hitting .294/.396/.496. However, he will need to hit to stay in the majors with other players due back soon for the Indians.

Houston should be making a move soon, perhaps on their next homestand. Tyler White’s lack of production along with the hot streaks by Yordan Alvarez (.403/.493/.860) and Kyle Tucker hitting .362 with six home runs and three stolen bases in May.

Overlooking veterans will be a mistake and J.D. Martinez continues to heat up hitting his third home run over his last two games. Marcell Ozuna launched his 12th home run, a three run shot in Atlanta off of Mike Foltynewicz. Ozuna’s hit 10 of his 12 home runs against right handed pitching this year.

Owning any piece of the Astros offense, not named White, proves profitable of late. George Srpinger hit his 16th home run, taking over the American League lead in the category, scored three more runs and went 2-for-3 before being lifted in a blowout win. Carlos Correa crushed his 10th home run with three RBI. He’s homered four times over his last 10 games. Aledmys Diaz has hit a home run in back-to-back games and hit safely in eight of his last nine starts with a .364 average, two doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI.

Over his last 10 games, Tommy La Stella owns a .353/.405/.647 slash line with three home runs and two walks. No, I am not kidding.

Just a reminder, Cody Bellinger still owns a .409/.486/.785 slash this year and hit his 15th home run last night. Joc Pederson pitched in with his 13th dinger as well.

Bullpen Notes: Blake Parker gets a save

Whether bad luck or bad timing, Blake Parker’s last save prior to Tuesday night occurred on April 29th. He worked 1.1 innings giving up two hits and a walk but notching his seventh save. However, heed his 4.85 xFIP compared to his 1.20 ERA when valuating him.

Roenis Elias worked overtime in a 2.1 inning save with five strikeouts. It’s the first Mariners save since April 20th. Steve Cishek recorded his third save of the year, and second in three days getting the last two outs in the ninth. Wade Davis worked around a hit for his seventh save. No save chance for the Red Sox, but, Matt Barnes pitched two innings and struck out five. He improved his strikeout rate to 50 percent this year and owns a 66.7 ground ball percentage and a 43.9 strikeouts minus walks percentage. Kenley Jansen gets save number 13 giving up a hit and striking out one. His first save since May fourth.

What To Watch For

Injury news on Mitch Garver to gain a better understanding of his timetable to return. There’s plenty going on with the Yankees with Giancarlo Stanton’s shoulder strain, still no timetable on him, but it’s not looking promising for his owners.

Shaun Armstrong will make his major league debut for the Giants at home versus Toronto. He did record 37 strikeouts in 35 innings at Triple-A, but, taking a wait and see approach here.

A doubleheader in the Bronx with the Yankees facing the Orioles. Could be a nice day for the hitters, though Domingo German will try to win his eighth game of the year.

Can Jake Odorizzi stay hot in a home game versus the Angels?

Chris Archer returns to the Pirates rotation and will match-up with Zack Greinke on the road.

Last, Justin Verlander will return to his old home in Detroit with his offense on fire facing a weak lineup, double digit strikeouts should ensue.

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Statistical Credits: – game notes