Just when it seems like baseball cannot surprise, a walk-off error provided Oakland with a sweep of the White Sox at home: 



In Boston, the Dodgers took the lead in the 12th inning after a bases-loaded walk to Max Muncy and held on with Joe Kelly recording his first save this season against his former team. A bigger surprise, A.J. Pollock going 3-for-6 with his fourth home run and four RBI. Pollock’s homered in consecutive games going six-for-14 off the injured list with six RBI in three games. 

Tampa Bay entered the ninth inning on the precipice of history: 



Unfortunately, a single against the shift by Hanser Alberto ended the perfect game and he scored in the ninth to avoid being shutout. Still, Ryan Yarbrough won his eighth game working 6.1 innings as the bulk reliever allowing two hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. Emilio Pagán recorded the last out striking out Trey Mancini for his sixth save. 

It feels like the Braves keep plodding along despite a fluid rotation and losing their closer to injury moving to 20 games over five hundred with a sweep in San Diego. Mike Soroka tossed a gem with seven shutout innings giving up six hits and walking one with nine strikeouts. Plus, a little history:



Soroka only needed 83 pitches to carve up the Padres on the road with 18 swinging strikes and 10 called for a robust 33.7 CSW (Called plus swinging strikes) percentage. Nine strikeouts represents a career high for Soroka and he’s made 15 consecutive starts without a loss, the longest streak in the National League. 

Here are the other notable starting pitcher performances from Sunday: 

  • Masahiro Tanaka , New York Yankees: 79 pitches, eight swinging strikes, 13 called, 26.6 CSW%. Tanaka won his sixth game yielding four hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts. Both runs scored courtesy of solo home runs.

  • Jacob deGrom , New York Mets: 94 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 16 called, 35.1 CSW%. Only lasting five innings, deGrom notched his fifth win giving up six hits, one earned run and three walks with six strikeouts. 

  • Shane Bieber , Cleveland: 109 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 18 called, 32.1 CSW%. Bieber gets a quality start but not a win being left in the game too long. All told, Bieber ceded five hits, three earned runs and a walk with nine strikeouts but entered the seventh inning with a shutout. 

  • Tyler Beede , San Francisco: 103 pitches, 13 swinging strikes, 17 called, 29.1 CSW%. Defeating the Brewers on the road, Beede finished 6.2 innings allowing seven hits and three earned runs with seven strikeouts. Sneaky play going forward as he adjusts to the majors. 

  • Adam Wainwright , St. Louis: 97 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 23 called, 34 CSW%. Wainwright tossed seven shutout innings scattering four hits and walking one with seven strikeouts for his sixth win. 

  • Justin Verlander , Houston: 95 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 20 called, 37.9 CSW%. Verlander rebounded from letting two runs score in the first finishing six innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and one walk with seven strikeouts en route to his 11th win. 


Bullpen Notes: Rockies back with Wade

At the end of the first half, Wade Davis lost his grip on the closer role with the Rockies due to an ugly loss giving up four runs to the Dodgers at home on June 27th. Plus, Scott Oberg ’s emergence as a top reliever muddled the hierarchy. However, Davis has since converted three straight saves including two since the start of the second half with his 14th on Sunday in a clean ninth striking out two. Oberg worked two scoreless innings leading up to Davis on Sunday for his eighth hold. For now, it appears Oberg will be the “effector” working the highest leverage moments at any point after the sixth inning with Davis as the traditional closer. Plan accordingly. 

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

  • Héctor Neris bounce back outing striking out the side then getting his second win on a Maikel Franco walk-off home run against Matt Grace of Washington. 

  • Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman notched his 25th save with a clean ninth striking out one. 

  • Brad Hand struck out the side for his 24th save. Adam Cimber benefits with his fifth win working 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. He’s in the midst of an 8.2 inning scoreless streak during which he’s only yielded three hits. 

  • Save number five for Carlos Martínez needing to retire only one-hitter. He did issue a walk but preserved the Cardinals win. 

  • Not a save, but Liam Hendriks gets his fourth win tossing a scoreless ninth with a strikeout. He extended his scoreless streak to 18 innings.

  • Hansel Robles locked down his 13th save working around a hit with two strikeouts. Ty Buttrey recorded his fifth win with a clean eighth inning striking out two. 

  • Providing Luke Jackson a day of rest, A.J. Minter filled in with his fifth save allowing a hit in a scoreless ninth on the road.


HItter Highlights: Astros Heating Up

Not only did Jose Altuve rack up three hits and score three runs, but he also launched a grand slam, his 12th home run this season. On June 20th, Altuve entered game action with a .235 average and in the 19 games since has slashed .337/.356/.523 with three home runs while scoring 16 runs. Yuli Gurriel hit his 16th homer and 11th in his last 15 games. Dating back to June 22nd, Gurriel’s been scorching baseballs with 17 runs, 11 home runs, 23 RBI, five walks and three strikeouts while hitting a robust .387/.433/.968 his last 15 contests. Within this stretch, Gurriel owns a .581 isolated power and .555 weighted on-base average.

Not many may know him, but Michael Brousseau hit his fourth home run driving in two on Sunday in Baltimore. Brousseau’s blasted three home runs his last two games and owns a .395 average during his brief time in the majors with a 1.241 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Could Robinson Canó salvage his season in the second half? He tallied four hits in Miami including his sixth home run. Cano’s homered in consecutive games and 6-for-11 since the break. Jeff McNeil hit his eighth home run and leads the majors with a .347 batting average. 

Another day, another appearance in the hitting notes for Christian Yelich :



Like Cano above, signs of life from Paul Goldschmidt as well? He went 2-for-4 with his 17th home run driving in two. Since the start of July, Goldschmidt’s hitting .303 with three home runs in 33 at-bats. 

Both Harold Castro and Niko Goodrum finished with four hits during the Tigers offensive outburst in Kansas City. Castro scored two runs and drove in two. Goodrum swiped two bases and finished with two RBI. For the Royals, Jorge Soler launched his 25th home run in a loss with three more RBI. He’s quietly on pace for 43 this year. 

Perhaps Ramón Laureano will be who fantasy analysts thought he’d be? Laureano hit his 18th home run and stole his 11th base in Oakland’s walk-off win. He’s currently on pace for 31 home runs with 19 steals. Not too shabby. 

Fueling the Braves sweep, Freddie Freeman launched a three-run home run propelling them to the lead. It’s Freeman’s 24th home run this year and he’s within 10 of his career-high, it’s July 16th. 

A.J. Pollock homered for the second straight game and finished 3-for-6 with two runs and four RBI in Boston last night. He ends the series 6-for-14 with two home runs while driving in six. It’s tough to trust Pollock, but he could be on waiver wires out there. Xander Bogaerts (20) and J.D. Martinez (19) hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game in the eighth. 

Last, but not least, Fernando Tatis Jr. set a Padres team record becoming the youngest player in team history with four hits. He also provides a highlight in every game:




What To Watch For

  • It starts with the news of Mike Trout leaving Sunday’s game with calf soreness. Initial reports suggest it’s not a major injury, but Trout will undergo an MRI this afternoon to determine the severity of his soreness. 
  • Jesse Winker appeared to injure his oblique on a swing in Colorado on Sunday. This could open the door for Philip Ervin to get full-time at-bats if Winker does land on the injured list. Those in deeper leagues should heed Ervin’s availability. 
  • San Francisco’s bats heated up on the road in Miller Park and head to Coors Field this afternoon for a doubleheader Yes, there will be day baseball on Monday. 
  • Fresh off a series win in Boston, the Dodgers will match-up with the Phillies placing Clayton Kershaw on the mound. 
  • A battle of southpaws in the Bronx with Blake Snell facing James Paxton . Plus, Max Fried will oppose the Brewers on the road while Luis Castillo tries to baffle the Cubs with Kyle Hendricks looking to rebound. 
  • Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition with fantastic fantasy coverage across all platforms. 

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