With deference to one of my Fantasy Alarm colleagues, Rick Wolf (@RickWolf1) does a great job keeping tabs on the home run escalation this season. For example: 

Last night, the Phillies and Braves beat writers posted tweets regarding home runs for each team within minutes of each other about their teams. First, for the Phillies:

Since Philadelphia will play in 75 more games, it’s pretty clear they will easily surpass this number. As for Atlanta, they feasted on the Phillies depleted bullpen leading to this: 

While the present environment in baseball can pad hitter’s numbers, Swanson’s in the midst of a power surge within it. Batting second in this lineup insures he will see fastballs along with adding to his counting statistics. Ozzie Albies (14), Freddie Freeman (23) and Josh Donaldson (17) also homered in this contest. 

Here’s the other notable hitting performances from Independence Day:

Anthony Rendon launched his 20th home run driving in two among his two hits. Rendon’s presently on pace for 38 home runs while hitting .310 with a 1.022 on-base plus slugging percentage. Still one of fantasy baseball’s most underrated hitters, he went behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in far too many drafts. 

Just when fantasy owners give up on José Ramírez , he teases with a hot streak. Ramirez blasted two home runs yesterday for the first time since July 30th of last year. Over his last 10 games, he’s slashing .333/.415/.611 with five extra-base hits and five RBI. 

Although Eloy Jiménez hit his 15th home run, and third in his last six contests, his .217 average in them makes him a boom or bust option right now. 

Back in the lineup, and not hitting second, Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 with two doubles and his 17th home run with an RBI. Willson Contreras added three hits and his 18th home run driving in three. 

A double dong day for Marcus Semien raising his season total to 13 and he knocked in five of the A’s seven runs. Chris Herrmann racked up four hits in as many at-bats with a run and an RBI.

It took extra-innings, but the Yankees outlasted the Rays in Tampa. Gary Sánchez hit his 24th home run driving in three:

Edwin Encarnación also launched his American League leading 25th home run. 

Stay hot Rafael Devers . He went 2-for-3 with two runs, his 15th home run, an RBI and walked twice. During his eight game hit streak, Devers is 18-for-34 (.529) with seven doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI. Michael Chavis launched his 15th home run and has accrued seven extra-base hits his last eight games (four doubles, three home runs). 

Also scorching at the plate right now, Danny Jansen . He homered for the third straight game with two last night. His last nine games yields a .424 average (14-for-33) with three doubles, six home runs and 12 RBI. 

Death, taxes and Mike Trout versus Texas. Trout went 2-for-4 with his 25th home run this season. He’s hit nine home runs in only 13 games against the Rangers. 

For Texas, Nomar Mazara tallied four hits with two doubles and two RBI. Rougned Odor blasted two home runs driving in five. Probably on many fantasy owners benches as well since he’s still batting below the Mendoza Line. 

Both Max Muncy (21) and Cody Bellinger (30) homered in the Dodgers win over San Diego. 

Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Ryu enters the break with six scoreless

Heeding the introduction to this column, what Hyun-Jin Ryu ’s doing in the present hitter friendly environment in baseball continues to astound. Ryu fired six shutout innings giving up three hits and three walks with six strikeouts lowering his ERA to 1.73 en route to his 10th win. Through 109 innings this year, Ryu’s 99:10 K:BB stands out as does his 0.85 ERA in home games through nine starts. 

In Cincinnati, Luis Castillo carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning to no avail but finished off his eighth win with 7.2 shutout innings giving up one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts. Plus, he extended Milwaukee’s recent struggles to score runs:

Castillo also stood out generating six strikeouts with his change-up for the seventh time this season. According to Sarah Langs (SlangsOnSports), no other pitcher has done this more than once with the pitch. Castillo produced 15 swinging strikes (10 with the change) and 18 called strikes of his 95 pitches for a 34.7 CSW (Called plus swinging strike) percentage. 

Here’s the other notable pitcher performances from Thursday:

  • Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee: 87 pitches, 13 swinging strikes, nine called, 25.3 CSW%. The tough luck loser to Castillo in a 1-0 loss, Woodward fired six innings giving up seven hits and an earned run with six strikeouts. 

  • Matt Boyd, Detroit: 106 pitches, 21 swinging strikes, 18 called, 36.8 CSW%. Yesterday’s leader in CSW percentage did get his sixth win, but also yielded four earned runs allowing two more home runs. Boyd’s served up 12 home runs his last 34.1 innings which taints his 13 strikeout outing. 

  • Lance Lynn , Texas: 115 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 19 called, 27 CSW%. Lynn tied Lucas Giolito for the American League lead in wins with his 11th scattering nine hits over seven innings allowing two earned runs and striking out five. He’s won five straight decisions. 

  • Dinelson Lamet , San Diego: 80 pitches, eight swinging strikes, 17 called, 31.3 CSW%. He’s back. Lamet made his first start of 2019 on the road in Los Angeles ceding three hits, three earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts over five innings. Lamet makes for an intriguing stash for the second half for fantasy owners. 

Bullpen Notes: Iglesias back in the saddle? 

It’s been a frustrating year for Raisel Iglesias owners. He’s suffered some rough outings and lost save chances to Michael Lorenzen . On Thursday, Iglesias appeared in his third straight game recording his 16th save working around a hit in a scoreless ninth. It’s only the second time this season, and the eighth in his career working in three consecutive games. With Amir Garrett landing on the injured list, it will be Iglesias and Lorenzen in high leverage going forward for the Reds. 

Here’s the rest of the high leverage moments from yesterday:

  • Fernando Rodney racked up his second save for the Nationals navigating around two singles for a scoreless ninth. 

  • Preserving a win on the road, Carlos Martínez yielded a hit with a strikeout for his third save. 

  • Blown save number three for Aroldis Chapman with the tying run scoring on a wild pitch. It’s Chapman’s first blown save since June ninth and he’s benefited with a win in each of these two dustups. Chapman allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in Tampa. David Hale gets his second save recording the last out in the 10th inning. 

  • After notching Boston’s 18th blown save this year, Brandon Workman recovered for a scoreless ninth en route to his eighth win. Workman’s made three appearances of more than an inning this year working two innings in Toronto. Ken Giles gets the loss pitching in his third straight game coughing up a home run to Marco Hernández

  • A non-save outing, but one to note by J.T. Chargois . He worked 1.2 clean innings with five strikeouts generating six swinging strikes of his 24 pitches. 

What To Watch For

Perhaps pitching for his spot in the rotation, Jordan Yamamoto will match-up with the hot hitting Braves in Atlanta. 

Trying to keep pace with the Yankees, Tampa Bay will send rookie Brendan McKay to the mound for his second major league start. He’s opposed by Masahiro Tanaka

In a revenge game, Martín Pérez toes the rubber against his former franchise, Texas, in a home game for the Twins. This aligns well with the Rangers lack of pop versus southpaws. 

Be sure to stay ahead of the competition across the fantasy landscape with all the great work on Fantasy Alarm. 


Statistical Credits:



MLB.com - Game Notes