Fantasy Forward: Paxton is back and Scherzer dominant again

One day following two-home run barrages, pitching rebounded in many games, not in Minnesota, but especially in the night games. When one of the Twitter highlights centers around debating whether or not Mr. Met made a obscene gesture to a fan dependent on the amount of fingers he has, it seemed to be a quiet evening. Albert Pujols did not make history by hitting his 600th home run, so the community awaits.

Speaking of the Mets, Michael Conforto owners cannot be happy with Terry Collins post-game quote about how the outfield will look when Yoenis Cespedes returns. When asked about it after the game, Collins said he did not know how a potential platoon would look like for the outfield and he thinks Conforto is tiring. It’s going to a wild month with the Mets beat. Justin Upton left last night’s game with a mild quad injury; he may need a day or two off.

In Los Angeles, the Angels anticipate the returns of Yunel Escobar, Alex Meyer, Cam Bedrosian and Huston Street within the next seven days. Bud Norris owners will need to pay attention to usage patterns and Mike Scioscia quotes moving forward. Welington Castillo landed on the disabled list with a testicular injury, pretty sure you had a better day than him. Speaking of which, the Cubs were swept in San Diego. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Zack Godley turned in another quality start, but did not get the win due to Fernando Rodney. Godley pitched six innings with seven hits allowed, three earned runs and a walk. He also struck out six with 12 swinging strikes.

Houston’s David Paulino made a nice debut with eight strikeouts in four innings in Minnesota. He did give up five hits and two earned runs as well.

Dan Straily struck out 10 with 13 swinging strikes against the scuffling Phillies, against whom you may stream at will. Jake Arrieta and Luis Perdomo locked horns in a pitching duel in Petco with Arrieta allowing one earned run in six innings with seven strikeouts. Perdomo pitched seven innings, also allowing one earned run with four strikeouts.

The leader in swinging strikes yesterday was Sean Manaea. He worked seven innings in Cleveland allowing three hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out nine with 19 swinging strikes. Manaea’s last two starts on the road against the Yankees and Indians makes him a must start going forward. Mike Clevinger did fire a quality start as well, but gave up three runs on two Chad Pinder home runs resulting in a loss. Clevinger did strikeout seven in 6.2 innings with 13 swinging strikes induced.

Junior Guerra continues to surge off of the disabled list using his splitter to keep hitters at bay. Guerra pitched six shutout innings in New York allowing four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Jacob deGrom generated 15 swinging strikes, but allowed seven earned runs in a rematch with the Brew Crew.

Chris Archer did better on the road with seven strikeouts in seven innings, but allowed four earned runs and was bailed out by a late run to not take a loss. Archer did produce 15 swinging strikes. Drew Pomeranz struck out eight on the road against the White Sox and has 64 strikeouts over 51 innings this year.

Hyun-Jin Ryu battled Carlos Martinez in St. Louis with each pitcher earning a quality start. Ryu pitched six innings giving up three hits, one earned run and a walk with four strikeouts. Martinez used his slider more than the change for swinging strikes en route to nine strikeouts in eight innings of work for the win.

On the surface, Jaime Garcia’s turning in quality starts for Atlanta, but he also generated three swinging strikes. If team’s make better contact, regression may occur. Tread lightly.

Big Maple returned to the mound in Seattle working 5.1 innings with six strikeouts. Those waiting for the return of James Paxton were rewarded. Now hold your breath he can stay healthy.

Remember when all of us were freaked out by Max Scherzer’s finger injury and not Clayton Kershaw’s back in preseason drafts? Scherzer fired a complete game in San Francisco giving up five hits, one earned run and struck out 11 with 16 swinging strikes.

Bullpen Musings

As referenced above, Fernando Rodney suffered his third blown save giving up his first run in May (unearned) on two walks. Roberto Osuna had his scoreless appearance streak halted, but did garner his 11th save.

Once again, Brad Hand worked the eighth inning and Brandon Maurer the ninth for his eighth save. Same goes for the A’s with Ryan Madson pitching great in the setup role and Santiago Casilla notched his eighth save as well.

Working for the third straight day, Alex Colome was not sharp giving up two hits, a walk and an earned run, but he did finish for his 15th save. Matt Bush blew his second save of the year. Track Keone Kela moving forward.

Craig Kimbrel continued his dominance with three strikeouts and his 15th save. Justin Wilson (5) and Seung-Hwan Oh allowed a hit with two strikeouts for saves. Finally, Bud Norris saved his 10th game in 11 chances with the return of both Cam Bedrosian and Huston Street looming.

Hitter Highlights

With Mike Trout sidelined, will people note how good Paul Goldschmidt is? He hit his 12th home run and has 12 steals on the year as well. David Peralta and Jake Lamb tallied multiple hit games. Andrew McCutchen finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as he tries to rebound to fantasy relevance. Jordy Mercer stayed hot with his fifth home run.

Joey Votto (14) and Scott Scheber (16) homered for the Reds during a loss to Toronto. Jose Peraza hit ninth registering two hits and two stolen bases to raise his total to 14 on the season. Devon Travis hit his fifth home run and finished May with a .364/.373/.646 slash line.

Houston may not want to leave Minnesota. George Springer turned in a perfect day with four hits in four at-bats, two walks, two home runs (13) and two RBI. Carlos Correa finished with three hits and his ninth home run. He’s hitting .516/.545/.871 during the Astros seven game win streak. Evan Gattis had three hits with his fourth home run. Marwin Gonzalez (12) and Alex Bregman also homered yesterday.

For the Twins, Brian Dozier went 2-for–5 with his eighth home run. He heated up this time last year. Eddie Rosario gets overlooked but hit his fifth home run with three hits and two RBI.

Dee Gordon tallied two hits in three at-bats with his 16th stolen base. Christian Yelich may run more with Giancarlo Stanton hitting second and not fourth, stole his fourth base. Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-5 with two runs, his 14th home run, and three RBI for 39 on the year. Justin Bour continued his power surge two home runs (15) and 11 in May.

Padres Ryan Schimpf continues to be a three true outcomes hitter with his 14th home run yesterday. Chad Pinder’s pushing for more playing time with two home runs for Oakland along with five over his last nine played. Franciso Lindor added his 12th home run for the Indians only run.

Brett Gardner finished his torrid May with a hit in four at-bats, but a .327/.365/.529 slash in May with nine home runs. Adam Jones showed signs of life with his ninth home run and five RBI. Crush Davis launched his 11th home run with three RBI, and Mark Trumbo hit two doubles with two RBI and a walk.

Milwaukee continues to find ways for Eric Sogard to play, and he’s responding well. Sogard reached base four time in five plate appearances last night with a hit, three walks and two runs scored. Eric Thames may be heating up reaching base four times for the second straight game. He also doubled and homered (14) with two RBI and took a drug test. Travis Shaw added two hits and stole his fourth base while Boston tries to find production at third base.

Kevin Kiermaier (6), Logan Morrison (15), Steven Souza (10) and Derek Norris (5) all homered in the Rays come from behind win over the Rangers. Elvis Andrus went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a walk in the loss.

Speaking of the Red Sox third base mess, Pablo Sandoval did go 3-for-4 with an RBI last night to raise his average to .246 and his OPS to .696 on the season.

Alex Avila hit his seventh home run and his OPS of 1.025 goes overlooked. Victor Martinez seems to be warming up with the weather hitting his fifth home run. Whit Merrifield extended his personal hitting streak to 16 and is 10 for his last 21 (.476) for the Royals.

Dexter Fowler hit a big home run for his seventh of the year leading the Cardinals to a win. Matt Kemp launched his 10th home run in a loss. He’s hitting .345 with a .989 OPS. Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a run and his 13th stolen base while Ryan Zimmerman drove in all three for Washington with his 15th home run. No reports of a drug test on him, though.

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Greg Jewett

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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