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Starling Marte swiped his fifth stolen base while hitting a double and a triple against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night. George Kirby was only making his second start and after getting Brandon Nimmo to ground out to third, Marte smashed a ball to center for a triple. Francisco Lindor would then knock him in with a single to right field. In the bottom of the third, Marte would hit a ball to left for a double and was driven in by Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice fly to put the Mets up by two runs. Later in the fifth inning, Marte reached first on a fielder's choice before a Pete Alonso double had him running home for the third time.
However, the game got much more interesting during the top of the seventh inning when Seth Lugo allowed singles to right field to J.P. Crawford and Eugenio Suarez. Buck Showalter went back to the bullpen to bring in Chasen Shreve, a lefty, to face Jesse Winker. It seemed like the right move as Winker has a .198/.313/.312 against left-handed pitching in his career but Winker didn’t blink in the bright lights of New York. Winker smashed a ball 417 feet with a 106 MPH exit velocity to tie the game. Shreve was able to swerve out of trouble as he struck out Dylan Moore and picked off Julio Rodriguez attempting to steal second base.
The newly-recalled catcher Patrick Mazeika had some notable communication issues with Chris Bassitt during Saturday's start, but he managed to play the hero in this one. The 28-year-old led off the bottom of the eighth inning and faced the young Mariners fireballer, Andres Muñoz. The pressure did not affect Mazeika, as he clobbered his first home run of the year to put the Mets back on top. Edwin Diaz would enter in the ninth to face his old team and picked up his eighth save of the year.
Hitters with an EDGE
Taylor Ward vs Athletics
3-for-3, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR (8), 5 RBI, 1 BB
Taylor Ward remains right hot and drove home another five Angels in the second game against Adam Oller and the Athletics on Saturday night. This game was a bit of a blowout but the 28-year-old is having a breakout season. He is hitting .361/.480/.687 with seven home runs, 17 RBI, and one theft of a base. Fantasy managers who picked him up a few weeks ago are loving what Ward has done and at this point, should continue to see him produce in almost all fantasy categories.
Jose Siri vs Nationals
3-for-5, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR (2), 2 RBI, 0 BB
Jose Siri hasn’t lived up to his 2021 production but looked great on Saturday against Erick Fedde and the Nationals. Not only did he hit a triple but smashed a baseball 427 ft to pick up his second home run of the year. Siri is currently splitting time with Chas McCormick and with Jake Meyers on his way back, he will have to continue to have games like this one to remain in the lineup.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Charlie Morton vs. Padres
6IP, 2 H, 1R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
36% CSW, 15 swinging strikes
Hey. It looks like Charlie Morton is back! This was easily Morton’s strongest performance to date as he threw 83 pitches in his six innings of work. He allowed only two hits and only a double hit by Trent Grisham that drove in Wil Myers was the only blemish on his record. Morton’s four-seamer and curveball were on point and generated 13 of the swing and misses on the night. Fantasy managers can feel better having Morton in their rotation after this start.
Sean Manaea vs Braves
7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
32$ CSW, 23 swinging strikes
It was a pitcher's duel in Atlanta on Saturday and sadly Manaea took the loss in this matchup. Matt Olson smacked a ball over the wall in the bottom of the first but all the other runs were more of the bad luck variety. Manaea used mainly his changeup and sinker, which were both effective and his sinker was thrown around one MPH harder. The 30-year-old southpaw has been nails for the Padres this year with a 3.75 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 38/12 K/BB ratio. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be concerned that he was tagged with the loss. You win some, you lose some.
Gregory Soto vs. Orioles
1.0 IP, 1H, 0 R, 0ER. 0 BB, 1 K (5th save)
Soto was tasked to come into the ninth inning to protect a three-run lead against the Orioles. He gave up a lead-off single to Trey Mancini before getting Anthony Santander to ground into a double play. He would then punch out Ramon Urias to pick up his fifth save of the season. Soto was pulled from a save situation on Friday but A.J. Hinch said prior to the game that Soto’s job was safe. In his first save chance after those comments and Soto got the first shot and locked it up. While he might be on shaky ground, he is the go-to guy for the Tigers right now.
David Bednar vs. Reds
1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (6th save)
David Bednar put the Reds to bed after being summoned in the bottom of the eighth inning to face Mike Moustakas on Saturday. He got Moose to fly out to right field after Tommy Pham advanced to second on a stolen base. In the ninth, he got outs three different ways: Aramis Garcia in the air, Colin Moran on the ground, and Tyler Naquin swinging. The 27-year-old has been the best reliever for the Pirates this season with a 1.15 ERA, .70 WHIP, and 24/3 K/BB ratio. Sadly, the Pirates and manager Derek Shelton have been using a committee and Chris Stratton has picked up two saves so far this season. Even so, fantasy managers can sleep better at night knowing whenever the Pirates bring in Bednar, he will lock down the save.
Edwin Diaz vs. Mariners
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (8th save)
Edwin Diaz thrived in his revenge game against the Mariners on Saturday. He struck out J.P. Crawford, Eugenio Suarez, and Jesse Winker to pick up his 8th save on the year. The 28-year-old has historically been shaky but not this year. He has a 1.93 ERA, .86 WHIP, 24/5 K/BB ratio, five shutdowns, and only one meltdown this season.
Emmanuel Clase vs. Twins
1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (7th save)
The Guardians entered the 10th inning tied 3-1 with the Twins and called on Clase to lock things down. The 24-year-old got Max Kepler to ground out but extra-inning runner, Gary Sanchez advanced to third on the play. Gio Urshela singled to SS and Sanchez came around to score a run. Clase then got Jose Miranda to ground out and struck out Nick Gordon swinging to collect his ninth save of the year. While Clase has not been as lights-out as many fantasy managers envisioned, he is still getting the job done and no one in the Guardians’ bullpen is close to taking over the role.
Rowan Wick vs Diamondbacks
1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (3rd save)
While picking up his second consecutive save, Wick was not lights-out in the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks. After walking leadoff hitter, Alex Thomas, Seth Beer singled and Thomas scampered over to third base. Daulton Varsho would later bring him in with a single to left field. Wick collected his thoughts and proceeded to strike out Pavin Smtih and Cooper Hummel swinging to end the game. The Cubs' closer situation is in flux but seeing Wick get a second opportunity, maybe he is the one to the roster? Fantasy managers can expect this bullpen to be in flux all season.
Liam Hendriks vs Yankees
1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (1st win)
Aroldis Chapman vs. White Sox
1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (1st blown save)
Liam Hendriks has been shaky as of late and blew the save in the ninth inning against the Yankees. Hendriks walked Joey Gallo to start the inning, Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to right field and Kyle Higashioka hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring Gallo home and tie the game 2-2. He got D.J. LeMahieu to strikeout to end the top of the ninth.
Aaron Boone called on Chapman to keep the game tied but the White Sox had other plans. Tim Anderson singled to center, Yoan Moncada walked, and then Luis Robert singled to right field that bringing Anderson home. This was Chapman's first loss on the season and while his velocity has been lower this year he is still the go-to option in the Yankees bullpen for saves.
EDGE Priority Pickup
Ben Gamel, OF, Pirates - Available in 88% of Yahoo fantasy leagues
Ben Gamel has been one of the hottest players in the last 14 days hitting .409/.458/.682 with 8 RBI, and two home runs. He plays every day and leads off for the Pirates. They face two lefties when the Pirates go to Wigley (Wade Miley and Drew Smyly) and return home to PNC to face one more southpaw(Steven Matz) when the Cardinals come into town. Gamel has a .275/.339/.394 career line against left-handed pitching. Gamel is the Pirates' everyday left fielder and also their leadoff hitter. Gamel could be a sneaky short-term add if you lost an outfielder recently.
Sunday’s Matchup of the Day
The matchup of the older kitchen sink pitcher versus the younger fireballer. Cortes Jr. has been a fantastic surprise, outside of a few clunkers. The 27-year-old right-hander (his age surprised me! I thought he was in his thirties) has a 1.41 ERA, .97 WHIP, and a 42/11 K/BB ratio in his 32 innings of work. Meanwhile, Kopech has been electric with a .93 ERA, .97 WHIP, and 30/13 K/BB ratio in his 29 innings of work. Both pitchers could solidify their place in fantasy ace-dom with a great outing against the big bats in each starting lineup.
American League Quick Hits: Shohei Ohtani hit his 100th MLB home run against the Athletics…Eli White swipes two bases against the Red Sox. ... Casey Mize was pulled off his rehab assignment. … Matt Manning will make at least one more rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. … Austin Meadows missed his second game due to dizziness. … GM Click said the Astros are optimistic that Jeremy Peña and Jose Altuve will avoid IL stints. … Mauricio Dubón was traded from the Giants to the Astros. … Griffin Canning shut down with renewed back soreness. … Carlos Correa could need a rehab stint before returning to the Twins. … Danny Jansen hit a home run in return to the Blue Jays lineup. ... Luis Barrera hit a walk-off home run in the first game of the Angels-A's doubleheader. ... Glenn Otto tagged with eight runs in his start against the Red Sox. ... Cristian Javier gives up seven runs against the Nationals in 3 2/3 innings of work.
National League Quick Hits: Ronald Acuña Jr missed his third straight game with groin soreness and will have an MRI. … Fernando Tatis Jr. has begun working out in Arizona. … Yadiel Hernandez hits another home run while driving in four more runs. ... Daniel Vogelbach hits his sixth home run off Luis Castillo. ... Tyler Stephenson left the game but tested negative for a concussion. ... Joey Votto began a rehab stint in Triple-A Louisville. … Marcus Stroman (undisclosed) played catch on Saturday. ... Stephen Strasburg throws a two-inning simulated game. ... Sam Hillard drives in four against the Royals ... German Marquez survived in Coors and picks up the win against the Royals. ... Trevor Rogers strikes out eight in a bounceback performance against the Brewers. ... Julio Urias struggles against the Phillies, allowing eight runners to cross home plate. Adam Wainwright (COVID-19) was cleared to start against the Giants on Sunday.