Break up the Braves who won for the 10th time in 14 games with a victory in Miami on Thursday night. Atlanta leads the National League in run differential (+53) and the Phillies by a half-game in the standings in their division. Freddie Freeman finished 5-for-5 with a home run (6) and two RBI helping fuel a comeback win on the road. His perfect day at the plate increased his batting average from .301 to .326 on the season.

Ozzie Albies hit a grand slam, his 11th home run of the year in only 158 at-bats, and drove in five runs from the leadoff spot. Ender Inciarte recorded two hits in the sixth inning en route to a three-hit game and swiped his major league leading 16th base. Suddenly a sneaky lineup for fantasy purposes in the preseason has added Ronald Acuna to the lineup, Mike Soroka to the rotation and used Luiz Gohara for a three-inning save shows the franchise will push the chips in this year and go for it. Good for fantasy owners, great for baseball.

That Just Happened

Mookie Betts did not add to his major league leading home run total, but he did finish 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and stole his fourth base during Boston’s win in New York salvaging a game on getaway day. Hanley Ramírez homered for the second straight game, his fifth with three RBI and J.D. Martínez hit the go-ahead home run, his ninth, in the eighth inning. Bounce back night for Craig Kimbrel who locked down his 10th save with a clean ninth striking out one.

Happy 28th Birthday to Salvador Pérez who celebrated with a grand slam. It’s his fourth home run on the season. Jorge Soler recorded two more hits with two RBI. He’s hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games hitting .397 during the streak (23-for-58) and reached base in 30 of his 33 stats this season.

Both Trey Mancini and Adam Jones racked up three hits against the Royals with each player hitting a double and a homer. For Mancini, it’s his first dinger since April 29th. Jones extended his personal hit streak to a modest six games while driving in three runs.

Months from turning 26 and hitting the free agent market, Manny Machado ’s hitting .350/.439/.629 with more walks (23) than strikeouts (21) after 140 at-bats. He launched his 10th home run on Thursday night among his two hits and also walked twice to reach base four times. In a season where his team’s floundering, Machado’s playing some of his best baseball with 10 multiple RBI game and 15 multi-hit games.

Fueled by Jean Segura ’s four hit game, the Mariners scored nine runs in Toronto, seven off of J.A. Happ who did not make it out of the fourth inning. Both Ryon Healy and Mike Zunino went 2-for-4 with each hitting their sixth home run. Kyle Seager added to the grand slam theme on Thursday and hit a solo shot raising his home run total to six as well with five RBI.

It felt inevitable, but Lorenzo Cain started the game with a leadoff home run, only the second of his career, in Colorado during a Brewers win on the road. Travis Shaw snapped out of a five for 50 slump tying his season high with three hits. For the Rockies, Nolan Arenado reached base for the 20th straight game hitting .319 over his last 72 at-bats. D.J. LeMahieu extended his personal hit streak to six games.

A pitcher’s duel in the desert with Tanner Roark and Zack Greinke each working six innings giving up four hits and one earned run in Arizona. Roark whiffed four and Greinke six. Plus, Greinke drove in the Diamondbacks only run along with stealing a base. Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt went hitless in five at-bats and has struck out 12 times in 34 at-bats this month with only one RBI lowering his average to .218 on the season.

Two struggling middle infielders on opposite teams each surged on Thursday in Anaheim. Brian Dozier entered the contest seven for his last 52 against right handed pitching and hitless in seven career at-bats versus Garrett Richards . So, Dozier finished 4-for-4 with a double, his sixth home run and three RBI. It’s been a rough start to 2018 for Ian Kinsler . He’s been on the disabled list, dropped from leadoff due to his struggles but he went 3-for-4 with a double and his second home run in the Angels win. Perhaps a hot streak for each could be in the offing.

Miles Mikolas continues to pitch well moving to 5-0 on the year lasting 6.2 innings in San Diego yielding five hits, one earned run and a walk with four strikeouts. Tommy Pham added his sixth home run among two hits in support.

Cincinnati won for the first time since August in 2015 in Dodger Stadium. Scooter Gennett racked up three hits including his fifth home run and three RBI to support Tyler Mahle ’s third win of the year. This spoiled a fantastic start by Walker Buehler who struck out eight in six inning giving up only two earned runs.

In bullpen notes of interest, Corey Knebel worked the eighth inning allowing a walk with two strikeouts as he’s eased back into the closing role. Jeremy Jeffress struck out the side for his third save. For St. Louis, Greg Holland worked the eighth giving up a walk for the hold with Bud Norris notching his eighth save in a clean ninth with a strikeout. Last, Keynan Middleton returned to the Angels on Thursday but also worked in a set-up role with Jim Johnson getting the save.

Night Moves

Minnesota activated Byron Buxton who missed 21 games due to his injuries. He hit ninth going hitless in two at-bats with a walk.

Washington will be without the services of Adam Eaton who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle. No timetable for a return has been put forth, but speculation hints at a possible return in eight weeks. Less than optimal. For good news, prospect Juan Soto tore up High-A and moved to Double-A as a 19 year old.

The Mets will add Dominic Smith and Buddy Baumann to the roster to replace Jay Bruce (paternity leave) and Hansel Robles (injury).

Burning Questions

Which Chris Sale shows up in Toronto on Friday night? Can Brandon McCarthy bounce back in Miami? A battle of southpaws in Detroit, who gets the best of it? Max Scherzer takes the hill in Arizona with the humidor looking for the 70th 10-plus strikeout game of his career, will he reach it? How will the Matt Harvey in Cincinnati debut go in Los Angeles?

All of this and more will be covered by the great team at Fantasy Alarm. Be sure to check back all weekend to stay ahead of your competition.


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