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Fantasy Forward: Sano powers up again and Greinke cruises

There’s not much in the way of injury news, and if you owned Phil Hughes, rejoice – he’s on the disabled list so you can move on. For some good news, Corey Kluber cleared his check-up and will start on Thursday in the minors. Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson played for Dunedin on Monday night as they work their way back to the majors.

In a surprising move, the Angels demoted C.J. Cron to Triple-A, and not so surprising, the Giants announced Hunter Pence will be out for at least one more week. Do not look now, but the Giants won for the eighth time in 10 games, beating the Cubs in Chicago. Detroit’s in a rough stretch in which they will have played 20 games in six cities during 21 days in May… yikes! Zack Greinke’s strong outing put him atop the league in strikeouts and kept the Diamondbacks within two games of the Rockies in the National League West. Off to the recaps:

Starting Pitcher Observations

Rookie Jeff Hoffman shined in Philadelphia, limiting the Phillies to three hits and one earned run over seven innings with seven strikeouts. He produced 10 swinging strikes with five from his slider. His stuff may play in Coors as well.

Jason Vargas bounced back in New York, but still took the loss giving up four hits, three earned runs, three walks with six strikeouts. Two home runs did him in, both by left-handed hitters. Michael Pineda also pitched better in his rematch with the Royals. He struck out six in 6.1 innings giving up six hits, two earned runs and a walk. Pineda generated 17 swinging strikes, 14 with the slider.

Both J.C. Ramirez and Jake Odorizzi pitched well, but Ramirez came out on top. He pitched 6.2 solid innings on the road with five strikeouts and two earned runs allowed. Odorizzi struck out eight, but did not factor in the decision leaving after six innings.

Giants starter Ty Blach won an impressive road start to fuel the team’s recent surge. Blach pitched seven innings giving up eight hits, three earned runs and struck out three.

In a pitcher’s duel between Michael Fulmer and the Astros bullpen, Houston came out on top. Fulmer did turn in a quality outing on the road allowing one earned run over seven innings with four strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.55 on the year. Brad Peacock took his strong start in the bullpen to the mound striking out eight in 4.1 innings of work with 11 swinging strikes of his 70 pitches. Beware your spot in the rotation, Joe Musgrove.

Zack Greinke turned in the start of the night in the late game against the White Sox. Greinke pitched 8.2 innings, giving up four hits, one earned run and one walk against 12 strikeouts. He also recorded 15 swinging strikes, nine resulting from his slider.



Bullpen Musings

Yankees closer fill-in, Dellin Betances locked down his third save of the year with his second save in two days. Bud Norris worked 1.1 innings giving up a hit while striking out three for his ninth save. He may have displaced Cam Bedrosian in the role.

Under the radar, Jim Johnson recorded his ninth save as well in a clean inning to lower his ERA to 2.84 for the Braves. Mark Melancon gave up a hit with a strikeout for his ninth save – seems to be a theme from yesterday.

How good has Ken Giles been at home? He’s saved five in a row in Minute Maid Park with hitters batting 0-for-21 against him in five perfect outings.

Hitter Highlights

When Colorado does well, Charlie Blackmon seems to be in the middle of it. He went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, three RBI, an stole his fourth base on Monday night. Carlos Gonzalez recorded three more hits, and the power binge will ensue soon. Nolan Arenado hit his 12th home run.

Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio hit his fifth home run. He’s hit more than Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain, combined.

Brett Gardner continues to rake in May. He launched his ninth home run, raised his average to .281, and his OPS to .900 on the season. Didi Gregorius hits southpaws well and finished 2-for-3 with his second home run of the year.

Twins overload in Baltimore. Brian Dozier stole his seventh base, finished 2-for-6, and sparks the offense. Joe Mauer recorded three hits in five at-bats with two runs, a double, two RBI and a walk. Miguel Sano continues to mash with four hits in six at-bats, his 11th home run, and three RBI. Max Kepler went 3-for-6 with three runs, a double, his fifth home run and four RBI.

Adam Jones stayed hot with his eighth home run and three RBI in the Orioles loss.

Indians lead-off hitter Jason Kipnis homered for the fourth time this year  but Scott Schebler’s 13th dinger trumped them on the road during the Reds win.

Cameron Maybin stayed hot with two more hits, two runs, and his second home run of the year. More importantly, he stole his 10th base of the year. Both Corey Dickerson and Logan Morrison hit their 12th home runs of the year to tie for the team lead in Tampa Bay.

With the Braves offense needing an enema, Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 with a run and an RBI to push his average to .279 this year. Matt Adams made a favorable impression with his new team hitting his second home run and first with Atlanta. He should do well in Sun Trust Park. Dansby Swanson stayed hot with a hit and he’s hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.

Brandon Phillips hit his third home run of the season and joined some hallowed company in history. Phillips became the seventh second baseman to record 200 home runs and stolen bases in his career. 

During the Giants win, Joe Panik went 3-for-4 with a double and his second home run with two RBI. Brandon Belt may be getting healthy and launched his ninth home run of the season.

Hitting lead-off once again, Ben Zobrist homered for the second straight game and tripled as well to finish with two RBI in the Cubs loss. Javy Baez finished 3-for-4 with a home run (7) and two RBI.

White Sox center fielder Leury Garcia accounted for his team’s only run with his fifth home run on Monday night. Paul Goldschmidt continues to rake. He went 2-for-4 with his 11th home run to push his average to .315 with a 1.028 OPS. Daniel Descalso hit his fourth home run with three RBI as well. David Peralta had his modest six-game hit streak snapped.

Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, BaseballSavant.com, MLB.com

 

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Greg Jewett
I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler

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