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Fantasy Forward: Cain’s power surge

After a slow start in the power department, Lorenzo Cain’s surged of late with two more home runs last night, raising his total to six over his last six games. He has hit nine of his 10 home runs since May 23rd over his last 87 at-bats. Cain is 13 for his last 30 (.433) with 12 runs, six home runs and 11 RBI, hitting .313 with a .505 slugging against right-handed pitching while on pace for 25 home runs and 29 stolen bases.

So many transactions on Friday, here’s the recount. Texas activated both Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli sending down Ryan Rua and Jurickson Profar. Justin Bour of the Marlins and Steve Pearce of the Blue Jays also came of the disabled list. Victor Martinez (irregular heartbeat) and Ben Zobrist (wrist inflammation) landed on it.

Cole Hamels pitched three innings allowing one hit with three strikeouts on 35 pitches in the minors on a rehab assignment. Aroldis Chapman’s did not go as well, but he pitched an inning giving up an unearned run walking two with two strikeouts and two wild pitches. Doug Fister could be in the Angels rotation soon making his third Triple-A start last night. Huston Street (Angels) and Martin Prado (Marlins) both start their rehab stints in the minors this weekend. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitching Observations

Patrick Corbin won his first road game in just under a year in Philadelphia. He last won away from Arizona on June 21st last year in Toronto. Corbin pitched six innings allowing five hits, four runs (two earned) with five strikeouts on an impressive 15 swinging strikes.

Carlos Martinez won his sixth game in Baltimore striking out eight over six innings giving up four hits, one earned run and three walks. Jose Quintana also won on the road holding the Blue Jays to five hits, two earned run and two walks with five strikeouts in Rogers Centre.

Alex Wood continues his strong start to 2017 with eight shutout innings limiting the Reds to four hits and one earned run with five strikeouts en route to his seventh win. Fellow southpaw, Daniel Norris, struck out eight over six innings allowing eight hits, three earned runs and one walk for his fourth win against the Rays.

Max Scherzer just rolls along giving up four hits and one earned runs with two walks and 10 strikeouts over eight innings to defeat the Mets on the road marking his eighth win. Dan Straily pitched great in Atlanta using his change 63 percent of the time and generating 13 of his 17 swinging strikes with the pitch. Straily threw 6.1 shutout innings with eight strikeouts giving up only four hits to win his fifth game.

Tyson Ross made his Texas debut with his first win for the franchise pitching 5.2 innings allowing two hits, two earned runs and three walks with five strikeouts.

Drew Pomeranz and Mike Fiers locked horns in a pitching duel in Houston. Pomeranz worked 6.1 innings giving up four hits, one earned run and three walks with four strikeouts. Fiers outing consisted of seven innings, five hits, one earned run, and two walks with four strikeouts as well. Neither pitcher factored in the decision.

Carlos Carrasco won his seventh game pitching 6.1 innings giving up four hits, one earned run, three walks, and striking out seven Twins on the road with 14 swinging strikes. Ian Kennedy took a perfect game into the sixth inning and recorded his first win this year allowing two hits, one earned run and striking out four.



Bullpen Musings

Diamondbacks closer, Fernando Rodney, saved his 19th game and it marks the 16th straight appearance he has not allowed an earned run. Kenley Jansen notched his 14th save giving up a hit and striking out the side in Cincinnati. Jansen’s now whiffed 48 batters with no walks this year.

Pittsburgh used Felipe Rivero in the eighth inning leaving the ninth to Juan Nicasio despite Rivero recording back-to-back four out saves earlier this week. Nicasio allowed three hits and a walk without recording an out. Then, Tony Watson entered the game allowing three more hits and two earned run in two-thirds of an inning. Wade Davis added to the bullpen struggles letting the Pirates score a run off of him in a non-save appearance on three hits and a walk.

Craig Kimbrel struck out one en route to his 19th save. Santiago Casilla bounced back to record his 11th save giving up a walk with three strikeouts. Kelvin Herrera locked down his 14th save in a clean inning of work. In save situations, Herrera’s ERA improved to 2.81 versus his 7.94 mark in out of save appearances.

Greg Holland saved his 24th game, but the Giants touched him up again with two hits, a walk and an earned run. This could be a dreaded tired arm dead spot for the reliever coming off of his Tommy John surgery.

Hitter Highlights

Both Gregor Blanco and David Peralta turned in strong nights for Arizona. Blanco finished 2-for-5 with his second home run and two RBI while Peralta notched three hits with a triple and a run scored. Odubel Herrera went 2-for-4 with two runs for the Phillies. Cameron Rupp hit his fifth home run and stole his first base.

Willson Contreras doubled twice in three at-bats driving in three runs and walked for the Cubs. Josh Bell countered with a triple and his 12th home run for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler seem to be heating up, and heading to Camden Yards should keep it going. Both players finished 2-for-3 with Carpenter hitting his 13th home run and Fowler his 11th. Tommy Pham added his sixth home run, and Jedd Gyorko his ninth. Paul DeJong went 3-for-4 with three runs, his second home run, and three RBI. Trey Mancini represented the Orioles offense with two hits, his 11th home run, a solo shot.

Originally not in the starting lineup, Alen Hanson continues to impress the White Sox with a 3-for-4 night scoring three runs with an RBI, a walk, and his third stolen base. Melky Cabrera launched his seventh home run driving in five. Jose Abreu doubled and tripled in five at-bats with three RBI. Kendrys Morales homered for the third time in his last five games. Justin Smoak added his 19th, and Steve Pearce returned with his fifth home run.

Justin Turner reached four times in five plate appearances with two hits, two walks and scored a run. Joc Pederson hit his third home run of the season and doubled in three at-bats. Devin Mesoraco hit his sixth home run and third in his last four games to raise his slugging percentage to .800 in June.

Mallex Smith did not lead off, but finished 2-for-3 with a triple, run scored and a walk. Daniel Robertson went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Ian Kinsler killed rallies with a lead-off home run and then made the last out in all three innings the Tigers batted through the lineup. Alex Avila added his 10th home run and scored two runs. Justin Upton finished 2-for-4 with three runs, a double and three RBI. Nick Castellanos continues to heat up with two more hits, a triple and four RBI.

Anthony Rendon (12), Michael Taylor (8) and Matt Wieters (6) homered for the Nationals with Bryce Harper adding three hits. Jose Reyes (4) and Jay Bruce (18) hit solo shot to account for both of the Mets runs.

Dee Gordon tallied three hits and scored two runs with two stolen bases (23). Christian Yelich also added three hits to the ledger with three RBI. Justin Bour returned to the lineup with his 17th home run then left the game later on. He will sit on Saturday and return Sunday, but keep tabs before setting lineups for Week 12.

Ben Gamel stayed hot with a hit in two at-bats but scored three runs while walking twice. Of more interest, he played first base later on in the contest, foreshadowing? Breakout Jarrod Dyson’s power – he hit his fourth home run adding to his career high. The ball’s not juiced? Delino DeShields went 2-for-4 with two runs and stole his 15th base atop the Rangers lineup. Carlos Gomez returned with a vengeance hitting his fifth home run and driving in four. Robinson Chirinos hit his eighth home run.

Mookie Betts stayed hot with his 12th home run and scored both of Boston’s runs. He’s now hit three dingers in his last three games. Brian McCann launched his 10th home run for the Astros.

Jose Ramirez recorded three hits for the second straight game and is eight for his last 13 with five runs scored heading into Saturday’s double-header against the Twins. Edwin Encarnacion’s white-hot right now, he hit his 14th home run representing his fourth over his last seven games. Yan Gomes went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Eddie Rosario’s solo home run, his ninth, marked the Twins only run.

Wil Myers found the power stroke hitting his 13th of the year driving in three. Hunter Renfroe (15) and Yangervis Solarte (7) added solo shots. Eric Thames hit his second straight wall scraper for a walk-off home run, his 19th among his three hits. Travis Shaw playing through adversity, hit his 12th home run, and Keon Broxton added his 10th.

Denard Span went 2-for-5 with two runs, a triple and his fourth home run. Joe Panik doubled twice, hit his fourth home run as well, and scored three runs. Charlie Blackmon doubled and tripled while scoring two runs with an RBI. D.J. LeMahieu is hot, recording back-to-back four hit games with two runs and two RBI. He’s tallied multiple hits in five of his last seven contests. Ian Desmond hit his fifth home run and drove in four while Trevor Story hit a pinch-hit home run, his ninth.

Aaron Judge moved into the second spot in the lineup, but can hit anywhere this season. He launched his 23rd home run, drove in three and walked twice. Chris Carter hit his eighth home run. Matt Chapman recorded his first major league hit and finished with three RBI for Oakland.

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