Once again, home runs take center stage with the calendar hitting June first. When Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched his sixth home run, it set major league history:


Shattering the old record set in August of 2017, major league hitters in May totaled 1,135 home runs. Which makes one ponder, what happens when it warms up in the summer and humidity rises? As for Guerrero Jr., he recorded his third three-hit game and second in the last five contests.

On the winning side of this game, Nolan Arenado turned in his major league leading 10th game with three or more hits extending his hit streak to 11 games. Arenado’s hitting .500 in the streak and finished May with a robust .425 average with nine doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 29 RBI. Trevor Story crushed two home runs and a double leading to a career best seven RBI. It’s the 12th multi-home run game of his career and he’s 10 for his last 17 with six extra-base hits. Story also tied J.J. Hardy (2007) for the most home runs in the National League by a shortstop with 15 before June. Raimel Tapia scored a career high four runs and moved his hit streak to ten games.

Both Franmil Reyes (16) and Hunter Renfroe (15) homered sparking the Padres to a win at home. Their 31 home runs, over 338 at-bats represent almost 40 percent of the team total.

Perhaps Josh Bell does not wish to see May come to a conclusion. Bell went 2-for-5 but finished with 12 doubles and 12 home runs in May and he’s the first Pittsburgh player with at least 40 hits and 30 RBI in a month since Dave Parker accomplished the feat in 1978. Plus:


Bell enters June with a .343 average, 1.109 on-base plus slugging percentage and he’s within ten RBI of his total last year.

Runs aplenty in Baltimore on Friday night with Trey Mancini racking up his 18th multiple hit game including his 11th home run driving in two. Renato Núñez added his 14th dinger and has 16 RBI over his last 11 games with a .375 average in them. Dwight Smith hit his 10th homer, a grand slam and Jonathan Villar went 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases (11) scoring, you guessed it, two runs with deuces being wild.

In two-catcher leagues, it could be time to deploy Curt Casali . He went 3-for-4 with a double, his second home run and four RBI in a win over the Nationals. Plus, Casali’s hitting .298 through 84 at-bats.

Niko Goodrum enjoyed his first game near his hometown in Fayetteville, Georgia:


Keep tabs on Miguel Cabrera who left this game with right knee soreness, he could get an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

So much for Joey Gallo ’s wrist concerns. He launched his 16th home run Friday night, a grand slam. Entering June, Gallo’s hitting .272 with a 1.048 on-base plus slugging percentage pacing towards 47 home runs and 115 RBI.

Jay Bruce hit his 14th home run to become the eighth active major league player with at least 300 home runs and 300 doubles.

Take note of the Dodgers hitting home runs at home. Joc Pederson (17), Max Muncy (12), Corey Seager (7) and Enrique Hernandez (9) all homered in Friday night’s win. Plus, the Phillies will send Cole Irvin and Nick Pivetta to the mound in the next two games.


Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Corbin implosion

In what could be viewed as a microcosm of starting pitching so far this season, Patrick Corbin only lasted 2.2 innings giving up 11 hits, eight runs (six earned) and striking out two in Cincinnati. Corbin yielded seven hits in the first inning, he had not allowed more than seven hits in any start prior to this one. It’s been a volatile environment for pitchers this season as the lead in about record home run totals indicate.

Here are the notable pitching performances from Friday night:

  • Chris Sale , Boston: 108 pitches, 21 swinging strikes, 17 called, 35.2 CSW%. Sale gets tagged with his seventh loss, he only lost four all of last year, allowing four earned runs on seven hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts.

  • Tyler Mahle , Cincinnati: 91 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 14 called, 33 CSW%. Netting his second win, Mahle recorded eight strikeouts over five innings allowing five hits, three earned runs and two walks.

  • José Berríos , Minnesota: 99 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 17 called, 33.3 CSW%: Pitching well again on the road should encourage Berrios owners. He lasted 6.2 innings yielding three hits, three earned runs and three walks with eight strikeouts in a no-decision.

  • Ariel Jurado , Texas: 101 pitches, eight swinging strikes, 19 called, 26.7 CSW%. In deeper leagues, keep an eye on Jurado. He ceded five hits, two earned runs and three walks with six strikeouts for his second win of the season.

  • Yu Darvish , Chicago Cubs: 93 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, nine called, 22.6 CSW%. Although Darvish racked up six strikeouts, he did not benefit from many calls by the home plate umpire. However, allowing one earned run in St. Louis on three hits and three walks should encourage his owners.

  • Miles Mikolas , St. Louis: 104 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 20 called, 30.8 CSW%. Mikolas lasted six innings giving up six hits, one earned run and two walks with three strikeouts in a quality outing at home.

  • German Márquez , Colorado: 103 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 16 called, 27.2 CSW%. Marquez gets his sixth win allowing six hits, two earned runs and three walks with seven strikeouts. Plus, he extended his hit streak to five games.

  • Zack Wheeler , New York Mets: 102 pitches, 14 swinging strikes, 19 called, 32.4 CSW%. Not a pretty line, but, an effective one with Wheeler lasting seven innings giving up seven hits, four earned runs and striking out nine for his fifth win. His owners will take it.

  • Joey Lucchesi , San Diego: 86 pitches, 13 swinging strikes, 14 called, 36.4 CSW%. Lucchesi garnered his fourth win limiting Miami to two hits, one earned run and a walk with five strikeouts over 6.1 innings.

  • Kenta Maeda , Los Angeles Dodgers: 88 pitches, 18 swinging strikes, 14 called, 36.4 CSW%. Maeda worked six innings giving up three hits and two earned runs with six strikeouts en route to his seventh win.


Bullpen Notes: Yankees flex their muscle

Investing in its bullpen, New York added Adam Ottavino and re-signed Zack Britton in an effort to shorten games. After J.A. Happ worked an effective five innings, the relievers took over. Ottavino pitched the sixth inning giving up a hit and striking out one. He’s been scoreless over his last 16 outings (16.1 innings). Tommy Kahnle took over in the seventh allowing a hit and striking out one for his 10th hold. Britton pitched the eighth walking one and extending his scoreless streak to 12.1 innings. Aroldis Chapman fired a clean ninth with two strikeouts for his 16th save. He led the majors with 11 saves in May working an efficient 11.1 innings with a 0.79 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 18 strikeouts against three walks.

Here’s the rest of the high leverage highlights from Friday:

  • Richard Bleier gets his second save working 1.2 innings for the Orioles.

  • Twins reliever Taylor Rogers records the win working 2.1 innings giving up a hit and strikeout out one. He only needed 27 pitches in this effort.

  • A loss for Diego Castillo . He hit two batters and issued an intentional walk before departing. Adam Kolarek allowed the go ahead runs on a single by Eddie Rosario .

  • Jordan Hicks nets his second win. He pitched two innings walking two and striking out two.

  • Save number 16 for Roberto Osuna who fired a clean ninth in Oakland.

  • Anthony Bass notched his first save of the year, and the fourth of his career, with 1.1 clean innings striking out two for Seattle.

  • Kirby Yates rolls on to his 22nd save with a strikeout in a clean inning.

  • Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen records the fantasy friendly one out save with a strikeout, his 17th save this year.

  • Providing rest to Edwin Díaz , Robert Gsellman gets his first save this year working around a walk in Arizona.



What To Watch For

Will Cleveland be able to turn their season around? They open June in tied for second in their division but 10 and one half games behind:

Milwaukee’s first baseman own a cumulative .219/.336/.329 slash line with 11 home runs and 48 RBI. Keep tabs on Travis Shaw , who could take over at first keeping Keston Hiura at second base:


In Saturday’s match-ups, Kyle Gibson will face Yonny Chirinos in a battle of underappreciated pitchers on good teams.

Mike Soroka will take the mound in Atlanta looking to silence the Tigers bats.

During the night slate, Jacob deGrom facing Zack Greinke could be a much needed pitching duel for the purists.

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Statistical Credits:



MLB.com - Game Notes