Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: August 17
Greg Jewett goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
This year’s home run barrage continues its avalanche with another rookie record falling on Friday night. Mike Yastrzemski launched three in Arizona becoming the third rookie to record a three-home run game this week.
There had never been more than two rookies with three-home run games prior to this season according to Stats By STATS. Since May 30th, only Yordan Alvarez (52) and Pete Alonso (48) have driven in more runs as a rookie than Yastrzemski (45).
Bryce Harper stayed hot launching his 26th home run while homering for the third straight contest.
Harper’s hit four home runs the last three games with 10 RBI. He’s also hit seven home runs his last nine games and nine in the last 18. A key to the video above, when Harper’s hot, he drives the ball to the opposite field.
Some more rookie history with a Will Smith home run in Atlanta:
Will Smith of the @Dodgers hit his 10th home run in his 25th career game tonight.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) August 17, 2019
He is the first Dodgers player and the second MLB catcher in the live-ball era to hit 10+ HR through 25 career games (also NYY's Gary Sánchez ).#LABleedsBlue
Meanwhile, in Cincinnati:
Plus, above the border, it appears hitting bad pitches for home runs could be an inherent trait:
Over his last 25 games, Guerrero Jr.’s hitting .367 with nine doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI.
"Sending one ricocheting through the universe." pic.twitter.com/gx2K92I2Wu— MLB (@MLB) August 17, 2019
Trout tied a career high set in 2015 and hurtling towards his first 50 home run season along with setting an Angels franchise record for the category.
Last, but not least, if one owns the major league baseball package, watch the replay of the White Sox game with Walton announcing, here’s his prognostication of a James McCann grand slam:
This marks McCann’s second grand slam over his last three games and he’s in the midst of a four-game hit streak plus .383/.431/.638 with 14 RBI in August.
Other notable hitter highlights include José Ramírez blasting his 20th home run while recording three of Cleveland’s four hits on Friday night. He’s hit three home runs the last two games, four in the last five and six in his last 11 contests. Ramirez owns a .373 average in 134 at-bats versus the Yankees with seven doubles, nine home runs and 26 RBI in 36 games.
Ronald Acuña Jr. swiped his 29th base moving within one of reaching the 30/30 mark this season. Max Muncy became the first Dodgers batter since Shawn Green (2001-2002) to reach 30 or home runs in consecutive seasons in their comeback win.
Dexter Fowler went 3-for-6 with his 14th home run and drove in four during a Cardinals rout of the Reds. Kolten Wong tallied four hits including his ninth home run. Since July first, Wong’s slashing .376/.448/.505 with 12 runs, eight doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI and two stolen bases for those looking to boost their team’s average the last six weeks.
Once again, Anthony Rendon carried the Nationals offense hitting two doubles while driving in both runs in a win. His last 34 games yields 22 runs, six doubles, six home runs, 34 RBI and a .354/.424/.592 slash line and he’s already set a career high in home runs with 26 this season. Pay the man.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Verlander Records Double-Digit Strikeouts Again…
Albeit in a no-decision, Justin Verlander takes center stage striking out 11 in Oakland over seven innings. He allowed four hits and two earned runs with no walks. Verlander set a franchise record in the process:
.@JustinVerlander is the oldest pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2002 to go 6 straight games with 10+ Ks.— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 17, 2019
Verlander also sets a new @Astros mark for consecutive games (6) with 10+ Ks. pic.twitter.com/PFTsbOVWE9
Verlander’s won five straight decisions, four in this stretch. During his last 37 innings, Verlander’s recorded 68 strikeouts against six walks. Last night, Verlander racked up 16 swinging strikes and 21 called of his 101 pitches for a 36.6 called plus swinging strikes (CSW) percentage.
Not to be outdone, Lucas Giolito accrued 11 strikeouts over six innings en route to his 13th win in Los Angeles:
Giolito notched 23 swinging strikes and 19 called for a robust 37.2 CSW percentage finishing second in the category on Friday night.
Here’s the other notable starting pitcher performances from last evening:
Charlie Morton , Tampa Bay: 94 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 21 called, 40.4 CSW%. Tough luck loser Morton yielded one unearned run on three hits with 10 strikeouts against the Tigers.
Jon Gray , Colorado: 100 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 17 called, 33 CSW%. Gray fired eight shutout innings at home versus the Marlins for his 11th win. He allowed five hits with seven strikeouts marking his third start this season without issuing a free pass.
Bullpen Notes: Another Messy Night For The Cubs
For the first time since May fifth and sixth in 2018, the Cubs suffered consecutive walk-off losses. Noting the team’s struggles on the road, 23 wins in 62 games (.371 winning percentage), losing in the last at-bat adds an extra sting. Fresh off the injured list, Brandon Kintzler incurred his second loss and second blown save giving up three walks prior to Kevin Newman ’s game winning single. Of more importance, a two out bases loaded walk to Cole Tucker . David Phelps tossed a clean eighth inning with two strikeouts but ceded the ninth to Kyle Ryan who gets credit for his 12th hold but allowed a hit in one-third of an inning. Pittsburgh’s Felipe Vázquez also suffered a blown save in the eighth coughing up a two-RBI triple to Tony Kemp . It’s a funny, unforgiving game.
Here’s the rest of the high leverage moments from Friday:
Save number 34 for Aroldis Chapman and his eighth in eight straight appearances.
Joe Jiménez held on for his third save navigating a hit and a walk with two strikeouts. He’s converted three saves in a row.
Atlanta’s bullpen struggles continue with Sean Newcomb giving up three earned runs on two home runs and one walk in one-third of an inning. Newcomb suffers his third loss and second blown save as a result. Julio Urías records his fourth save working the last three innings for the Dodgers yielding one hit with one strikeout.
Ian Kennedy survived two hits and a walk with a strikeout for his 21st save.
Colorado’s Scott Oberg preserved Gray’s shutout win with a scoreless ninth striking out one.
Tough night for Tony Watson serving up two home runs leading to four earned runs. Will Smith gets his fifth win but fourth blown save allowing two earned runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. Trevor Gott retires one batter for his first save of the year in the 11th inning.
Lou Trivino gets his fourth win after firing three scoreless innings versus Houston in extra-innings striking out four.
What To Watch For
No surprise, more injury updates await. Ender Inciarte limped across home plate after suffering a hamstring injury running the bases. This could prompt a quick turnaround for Adam Duvall to Atlanta after being demoted. Rhys Hoskins may return to the lineup for the Phillies. Keep tabs on Eugenio Suárez , he left last night’s game after being hit by a pitch near his wrist. His manager hopes it’s only a couple of days of rest for Suarez. Stay tuned.
And, the rookie season of Fernando Tatis Jr. will be cut short due to a back injury. Reports surfaced on Friday about the stress reaction in his back. Tatis Jr. will be reevaluated in three weeks, but there’s no reason to rush him back this year.
In the day games of a split Saturday slate, Cleveland will deploy Zach Plesac to the mound opposed by Jame Paxton. Plesac could be pitching for his spot in the rotation with the pending return of Corey Kluber . Out west, Rogelio Armenteros will match-up with Chris Bassitt while Ryan Yarbrough takes the mound for the Rays with Oakland and Tampa Bay fighting for Wild Card spots.
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MLB.com - Game Note