Amidst all the surging hitters, the lead for this Round Up goes to, Joey Gallo . He not only continues to crush baseballs, but, he’s also making history:

Prior to Gallo, the lowest number of singles prior to a player’s 100th home run, Russell Branyan with 172 according to Elias Sports. Gallo’s also the third fastest to the plateau trailing only Ryan Howard (325 games) and Ralph Kiner (376 games). But, there’s more going on with Gallo. After their win in Pittsburgh, the team optioned Delino DeShields to Triple-A which means Gallo shifts to center field and more playing time will open up for Hunter Pence . If desperate for production in the outfield, kicking the tires on Pence actually seems viable.

Within the same game, Josh Bell answered Gallo with his ninth home run, extended his hit streak to eight games and he’s recorded the same amount of air outs compared to ground outs this year. Bell’s displayed strong plate discipline metrics, but, if this power surge continues, he’s breaking out:

Remember when Christian Yelich could not carry over the power from last year? He launched his 16th home run and stole his seventh base. Yelich finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Hitting a robust .356/.462/.797, Yelich’s rest-of-the-season projection from THE BAT (courtesy of Derek Carty) predicts 31 more homers over his last 451 at-bats. Mercy.

Teammate Mike Moustakas extended his modest hit streak to seven while hitting his ninth home run. Moustakas has hit safely in 20 of his last 23 contests going 29-for-93 (.312) with 17 runs, seven doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBI and a .979 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Not only does Michael Brantley rank second in the American League in batting average, he notched a double dong night at home versus the Royals. Brantley leads the league in multi-hit games with 18 and he’s recorded a hit in 20 of his last 22 games.

José Ramírez hit a walk-off home run defeating the White Sox. It’s only his third home run of the season, but, noting his expected statistics on Statcast, Ramirez could positively migrate 58 points in his batting average and 143 points in slugging percentage going forward.

Both Mitch Haniger and Max Muncy racked up a smash and dash. Haniger entered Wednesday’s action hitting .143 over his previous 11 contests but, hit his ninth home run and stole his fourth base in a win over the Yankees. Muncy launched his eighth home run driving in two and stole his first base for the Dodgers. Also, Justin Turner homered for the second straight night and has four in his last two games.

Have a night Ronny Rodríguez . He went 3-for-4 with a run, double, triple and four RBI sparking the Tigers offense. He’s hit safely in 11 of 14 games this year with a .340 average and 1.096 on-base plus slugging. Take your time Josh Harrison .

For the prospect stash crowd. Austin Riley will continue to log games in the outfield and he hit two home runs last night:

Riley’s hitting .469 (23-for-49) with 10 home runs and 23 RBI his last 13 games.

Last, but not certainly least, the Twins own the best record in baseball. They’ve set records for the most home runs (64) through their first 35 games and slugging percentage (.495). Jorge Polanco recorded his second five hit game this year and hit his seventh home run. Jonathan Schoop ’s reached safely in 16 of his last 18 games with a .333 average, eight doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI. Eddie Rosario leads the American League with 13 home runs.

Also, a perfect segue with Minnesota’s pitching benefiting from facing a struggling Blue Jays offense:

Kyle Gibson recorded a career high 11 strikeouts over six innings giving up two hits, an earned run and a walk. He generated 19 swinging strikes and 19 called of his 88 pitches for a 43.2 calles plus swinging strike percentage (CSW) during his third win. Gibson’s won six of his last 10 starts overall.

Perhaps the dirt got tossed on Chris Sale ’s fantasy status too soon. He did not factor in the decision, but, racked up 24 swinging strikes and 20 called of his 108 pitches for a 40.7 CSW percentage. Sale racked up 14 strikeouts ceding only three hits and an earned run in his eight innings. This marks the 67th time he’s recorded at least 10 strikeouts in a start for his career and the 24 swinging strikes ranks as the fourth best total all season.

Here’s the rest of the notable performances from starting pitchers on Wednesday:

  • Brandon Woodruff , Milwaukee: 103 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 13 called, 29.1 CSW%. Woodruff won his fifth game, and third in a row, striking out nine in six innings. His last three starts yields a 1.69 ERA over 16 innings. He’s also recorded at least six strikeouts his last seven starts.

  • Jerad Eickhoff , Philadelphia: 106 pitches, 12 swinging strikes, 18 called, 28.3 CSW%. Eickhoff continues to surge in his return and used his slider for eight of his 12 swinging strikes cementing his spot in the Phillies rotation. Stay healthy my man.

  • Matt Strahm , San Diego: 96 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 16 called, 28.1 CSW%. Strahm’s last five starts spans 32.1 innings with a 30:1 K:BB. Yes, he’s working with reduced velocities, but, his outings continue to benefit fantasy owners.

  • Kyle Hendricks , Chicago Cubs: 96 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 25 called, 37.5 CSW%. Hendricks almost turned in back-to-back complete games. He lasted eight innings giving up five hits and one run (unearned) while striking out seven.

  • Brad Peacock , Houston: 98 pitches, 11 swinging strikes, 27 called, 38.8 CSW%. One game removed from allowing seven runs in less than four innings, Peacock surged to a career high 12 strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Because, of course he did since I benched him.

Instead of giving Hendricks the ninth inning, Cubs manager Joe Maddon used Kyle Ryan to start the ninth in a save situation. Ryan allowed a hit to Neil Walker then summoned Steve Cishek . A lead-off hit usually does not bode well, and, it eventually scored after a hit by Starlin Castro , a wild pitch by Cishek and an infield ground out by Miguel Rojas Jr. With Pedro Strop on the injured list with a Grade 2 hamstring strain, the Cubs could deploy a committee, so tread lightly on adding Cishek as the sole source for saves. Brad Brach , Brandon Kintzler and even Carl Edwards Jr. could factor in high leverage going forward.

Greg Holland allowed a run for the second straight outing which resulted in his first blown save. Milwaukee needed Josh Hader to enter with a four run lead, but with runners on the corners. Hader did issue a walk but struck out two batters for his 10th save. He owns a ridiculous 59.4 strikeout percentage this year with 41 in only 18.2 innings. Kirby Yates held on for his 15th save but worked around two hits with three strikeouts.

What To Watch For

For starters, weather. It snowed in Colorado on Wednesday and rain could impact games in the Midwest.

Following up a walk-off win, can Cleveland maintain the momentum behind Carlos Carrasco ? Perhaps Manny Bañuelos can awaken some of the team’s slumbering bats. Get all the José Ramírez today if they play.

Pittsburgh arrives in St. Louis on the heels of a tough loss to Texas and will match-up Joe Musgrove with Michael Wacha .

A battle of southpaws in Houston with Mike Minor facing Wade Miley . Minor’s been terrific of late, but can he hold off the potent right-handed hitting Astros for a second time? Another lefty tilt with Patrick Corbin facing Rich Hill in Los Angeles.

Be sure to stay ahead of the competition with all the great work on Fantasy Alarm.


Statistical Credits: - Game Notes

THE BAT courtesy of Derek Carty