As much as home runs continue to accrue and take center stage in 2019, strikeouts also remain prevalent. Within baseball’s fly ball evolution, part of the survival plan for pitcher’s includes racking up strikeouts. Despite only 4.1 innings of work last night, Max Scherzer made some history:

Washington will limit Scherzer’s workload with an eye on the postseason to mitigate his lingering back issues. Still, he generated 10 swinging strikes with 17 called of his 89 pitches for a 30.3 called plus swinging strike (CSW) percentage en route to eight strikeouts against the Orioles. In regards to his eight straight years with at least 200 strikeouts, only Tom Seaver in the modern era of pitching recorded more seasons in a row with nine between 1968-through-1976. 

Gerrit Cole made Astros history notching his 15th double digit strikeout game in one season. Cole retook the American League lead in strikeouts accruing 14 last night raising his total to 252 on the season. He also produced 23 swinging strikes and 20 called for a robust 38.4 CSW percentage but did not factor in the decision due to four earned runs against. However, Cole’s not lost a decision his last 16 starts with a 2.06 ERA in them. This marks the second stretch of at least 16 undefeated starts with at least 150 strikeouts joining Roger Clemens (1998) in the record books. 

As for strikeouts as a whole, this tweet from Rangers beat writer summarizes some of the frustration with them this season: 

Or, maybe it’s contained in this one:

With this in mind, home runs still dominate the headlines for fantasy this year. New York set the record for home runs in a month previously and hit four more in Seattle on Wednesday including this mammoth shot by Gary Sánchez , his 30th of the season: 

Since returning from the injured list, Sanchez has appeared in 17 games with six home runs in them. Aaron Judge joined the party hitting a home run for the sixth time in nine games on the road trip. He’s 14-for-his-last-39 (.359) with seven runs, six home runs and nine RBI. D.J. LeMahieu (23) and Mike Ford (9) also left the yard. With two more games remaining in August for the Yankees, they will look to pad their major league record of 70 home runs this month. 

Speaking of home run records, let’s not forget about the Twins: 

Since Minnesota tied the record with another multi-homer game by Jonathan Schoop , they also sit on the precipice of breaking it when Jorge Polanco hits his next home run. As for Schoop, he’s recorded five multiple home run games this year and sits second all-time with five in a season behind Chase Utley ’s seven such games in 2006. Stay tuned. 

Speaking of home runs, what could go wrong with the Red Sox visiting Coors Field? Xander Bogaerts enjoyed his visit last night launching two home runs and himself into the history books as well: 

Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with the seventh multi-home run game of his career. J.D. Martinez hit his 32nd home run and is slashing .385/.463/.763 in August with nine home runs and 24 RBI. Rafael Devers smacked his 28th home run along with a triple adding to his major league lead in extra-base hits with 80 this season. 

Remember when J.T. Realmuto started slowly? He tallied three more hits on Wednesday night including his 20th home run. Since July 24th he’s hitting .317 with 23 runs, 12 doubles, nine home runs, 24 RBI and 12 walks over 31 games. 

With José Ramírez on the shelf, Cleveland will rely on Francisco Lindor to carry the offense. He went 3-for-5 last night with his 34th double and 24th home run. He’s hit safely in 34 of his last 38 contests including the last 10 straight good for a .329 average with 31 runs, 26 extra-base hits, nine home runs and 23 RBI. Jason Kipnis chipped in with two home runs as well. His last 58 games yields a .288 average with 14 home runs and 47 RBI. 

In the evolving battle for the National League Central, Keston Hiura paced the Brewers hitting a double and his 16th home run driving in two. He’s hit safely in 15 of his last 19 games with nine doubles, five home runs, 16 RBI, eight walks, a .316 average and 1.007 on-base plus slugging percentage. During a Cardinals loss, Yadier Molina recorded his third straight multi-hit game and he’s reached base in 10 straight with a .548 on-base percentage in them. Kolten Wong tallied three hits and his 10th home run. Chicago gained a game with a win in New York throttling Noah Syndergaard on the road. Not only did the Cubs guarantee their first road series win since May, they look for a sweep on Thursday. However, they face Jacob deGrom

Freddie Freeman could be emerging from a mini-slump hitting his 36th home run in Toronto. He’s still driven in 25 runs in 26 games in August. As for the Blue Jays, remember when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. disappointed his owners upon his promotion? Well, it appears the talented rookie’s adjusted: 

Guerrero Jr.’s recorded 10 multi-hit games this month and in 31 games this season. 

Another rookie, Aristides Aquino launched his 13th home run in August and sits one shy of the Reds team record for most home runs in a calendar month set by Frank Robinson (14) in August of 1962. Mercy. 

Injury news and roster updates

There’s nothing official, but Max Muncy left last night’s game after being hit in the forearm by Matt Strahm . Prospect Gavin Lux then left the Triple-A affiliates games following the Muncy news. Those looking to stash Lux should do so just in case, however, there’s no confirmation of Muncy’s status at this point. As for Lux, he’s slashing .348/.420/.612 with 26 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 111 games with Oklahoma City this year. 

Kansas City announced they will shut down Brad Keller for the remainder of the season due to arm fatigue. He can be dropped in redraft formats. 

A scary moment for Matt Chapman being hit in the head by a pitch on Wednesday. He passed concussion protocol but his owners will need to monitor this situation. 

Last, Mike Trout rested on Wednesday but news surfaced of him nursing a sore right foot. Be well Mike. 

Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Tony Disco

It’s been an up and down season for Anthony DeSclafani but he tossed seven shutout innings giving up two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in Miami en route to his ninth win. DeSclafani only generated eight swinging strikes with 23 called for a 28.2 CSW percentage but a win’s a win nowadays. 

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

  • Jordan Lyles , Milwaukee: 97 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 18 called, 35.1 CSW%. Lyles won his fourth game in six starts with the Brewers limiting the Cardinals to six hits, one earned run and a walk with nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. He owns a 2.51 ERA since joining his new team. 

  • Aaron Civale, Cleveland: 90 pitches, nine swinging strikes, 15 called, 26.7 CSW%. Recording his second win, Civale lasted seven innings allowing six hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts. 

  • Jake Odorizzi , Minnesota: 98 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 10 called, 26.5 CSW%. Odorizzi nets his 14th win, of 20 decisions, firing six innings yielding five hits, two earned runs and two walks with eight strikeouts. 

Bullpen Notes: Hader’s back? 

Noting Josh Hader ’s lingering back issues, he locked down his first save since August fifth with two scoreless innings striking out three giving up one hit. This marks his 16th save of at least two innings dating back to last year. Hader also used his slider nine times in this outing suggesting he could be looking to mix up his arsenal a bit down the stretch. 

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

  • Brad Hand secured his 32nd save with a clean outing striking out one. 

  • Holding on for his 12th save, Craig Kimbrel navigated around a hit and a walk with one strikeout. 

  • Roberto Osuna served up a two-run home run working in a non-save appearance. In August, Osuna’s ERA sits at 5.00 but he owns a 10:2 K:BB in nine innings. 

  • Save number 23 for Ian Kennedy giving up a hit and a walk with two strikeouts. 

  • Brandon Workman struck out the side in Colorado for his ninth save. He’s surging in August with a 1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 19:3 K:BB in 11.1 innings. 

  • Loss number five for Kirby Yates allowing two unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning. A two out walk to Enrique Hernandez preceded an error by Luis Urías resulting in a run then consecutive hits by Will Smith and A.J. Pollock scored another run chasing Yates from the game. In fairness to Yates, he’s worked four times over the last five days. Kenley Jansen garners the win in spite of his seventh blown save allowing a run on a hit and a walk in the bottom of the ninth. Casey Sader records his first save of the year in the 10th inning. 

  • José Leclerc notched his ninth save with a clean inning striking out two. 

What To Watch For

Mike Clevinger heads to the mound in Detroit looking to continue his team’s recent surge in starting pitching performance. 

Zack Greinke faces the Rays at home while José Berríos tries to solve his second half demons facing the White Sox on the road. 

In the night slate, Hyun-Jin Ryu will try to bounce back facing Arizona on the road in an effort to return his ERA below two. 

Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm across all fantasy formats to remain ahead of the competition. 


Statistical Credits: - Game Notes