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Baseball Daily Dose

Mr. 300

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: September 6, 2020, 12:27 pm ET

The greatest baseball player of this era reached another milestone.

Mike Trout launched his 300th career home run in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, an eventual 10-9 win over the Astros. His league-leading 15th long ball of the season was just the part of a spectacular 3-for-3 day that also included two doubles, two RBI, and four runs scored.

The big home run was just one more tally for what’s likely to be many more historic hits for the 29-year-old during his career. Incredibly, Trout has finished top four in the AL MVP voting in each of the last eight seasons, winning the award three times. He’s well on his way to challenging for the award again in this abbreviated season.

Still well in his prime, Trout’s career trajectory seems limitless, and he’s under contract with the Angels for 10 years beyond 2020. Trout has a laundry list of accomplishments, but in the modern era of sabermetrics, his elite bat is shown clearly by the fact that he’s led the AL in OPS+ six times, including each of the last five seasons.

For fantasy managers, Trout continues to rank as one of the elite fantasy players in the game, even if his one stolen base to this point in the season is a disappointment. Trout’s draft position dropped slightly in many leagues during July with his first child due in early August, but the Angels center fielder missed minimal time and has turned out to be a bargain so far in drafts where he fell.


Suarez Stays Hot With Three Homers

Like many of his teammates, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez got off to a very slow start this season. He was hitting only .118/.268/.235 through the Reds first game on August 19 and had hit only two home runs up to that point.

Suarez’s season started to turn around in the second game of a doubleheader on that same date, and he hasn’t turned back since then. Coming into yesterday’s game, Suarez was hitting .274-7-16 with a 1.004 OPS over his last 18 games, including a home run on Friday. He had his biggest day yet on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with three home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored in Cincinnati’s 6-2 win over the Pirates.

Now overcoming his slow start, Suarez is suddenly tied with Manny Machado for the most home runs among third base eligible players. The quick turnaround should put the “second half” of this season in perspective for fantasy mangers, as it’s clearly not too late for hitters off to disappointing starts to right the ship.

There is more good news for the Reds and Suarez ahead with a favorable remaining schedule that includes five more games against the Pirates between now and September 16. Cincinnati added at the trade deadline in spite of their slow start, and could be back in the hunt for a playoff spot if Suarez continues to carry the offense on his back.

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Going Twice…

Notes: The list below is two-start pitchers for the week beginning September 7. Probable pitchers are as of Saturday, September 5, and subject to change.

American League

Strong Plays

Lance Lynn: LAA, OAK

Zach Plesac: KC, @MIN

Triston McKenzie: KC, @MIN

Hyun-Jin Ryu: NYY, NYM


Decent Plays

Cristian Javier: @OAK, @LAD

Martin Perez: @PHI, @TB

Chris Bassitt: HOU, @TEX

Spencer Turnbull: MIL, @CHW

Jordan Montgomery: @TOR, BAL

Trevor Richards: @WAS, BOS

J.A. Happ: @TOR, BAL

Kolby Allard: @SEA, OAK


At Your Own Risk

Mike Fiers: @HOU, @TEX

Julio Teheran: @TEX, @COL

John Means: @NYM, @NYY

Michael Fulmer: @MIN, @CHW

Matt Harvey: @CLE, PIT


National League

Strong Plays

Zac Gallen: @SF, SEA

Max Scherzer: TB, ATL

Dinelson Lamet: COL, SF

Mike Clevinger: COL, SF

Zack Wheeler: @NYM, @MIA

Sonny Gray: @CHC, @STL


Decent Plays

Kyle Hendricks: STL, @MIL

Sixto Sanchez: @ATL, PHI

Kevin Gausman: ARI, @SD

Ian Anderson: MIA, @WAS

Zach Eflin: BOS, @MIA

Michael Wacha: PHI, @TOR


At Your Own Risk

Logan Webb: SEA, @SD

Johan Oviedo: @CHC, CIN

Jose Urena: @ATL, PHI

Luke Weaver: LAD, SEA

Alec Mills: CIN, @MIL

Vincent Velasquez: BOS, @MIA

Robbie Erlin: MIA, @WAS


American League Quick Hits: Jorge Soler was removed with right oblique soreness, the same injury that hindered him earlier in the week… Houston opted to place Jose Altuve on the 10-day IL, retroactive to September 4, with a sprained right knee. It’s not clear how much time he will miss, but Aledmys Diaz stands to benefit… Anthony Santander could miss the remainder of the season with a right oblique strain… Niko Goodrum also suffered a right oblique strain, and was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to September 2… Bo Bichette (knee) took batting practice on Saturday as he nears a return to the field… Ryan Yarbrough (groin) threw a bullpen session on Friday and is nearing a return… Rangers manager Chris Woodward confirmed that Danny Santana (elbow), Corey Kluber (shoulder), and Jose Leclerc (shoulder) will miss the remainder of the season… Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) ran the bases at half speed on Friday. He’s expected to return before the regular season ends… Brad Keller had his next start pushed back to Monday for extra rest… Roberto Perez (shoulder) is hoping to return on Sunday… Alex Avila was placed on the 10-day IL with lower back tightness, allowing fan favorite Willians Astudillo to get promoted… Carson Fulmer’s summer of travel continues, as he was claimed off waivers by the Orioles. He’s been waived three times this year… Toronto promoted Caleb Joseph to backup Danny Jansen and demoted Reese McGuire to the team’s alternate site… Brad Peacock was activated from the 10-day IL by Houston and is set to pitch out of the pen… Seattle optioned Jake Fraley to their alternate site… Cody Reed was removed from his appearance on Saturday with an apparent injury.

Blake Snell had one of his worst starts of the year, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings vs. the Marlins. He did fan eight batters… Michael Perez went 3-for-4 with three RBI… Victor Reyes hit his fourth home run of the season in a losing effort against the Twins… Tarik Skubal was terrific, allowing only one run on two hits in six innings with six strikeouts at Minnesota… Miguel Sano launched his ninth home run of the season… Saturdays have been good to Jo Adell. He hit the first two home runs of his career last Saturday and hit his third yesterday, going 2-for-4 with three RBI… Jose Ramirez had a huge day for Cleveland, going 2-for-4 with his ninth home run and ninth steal. It’s fair to say he’s put his poor first half of 2019 behind him… J.D. Martinez showed signs of life, going 2-for-3 with his fourth home run of the year… Teoscar Hernandez went 3-for-5 with one homer, two RBI and three runs scored. He has 14 home runs, trailing only Mike TroutKeegan Akin was effectively wild against the Yankees, throwing 5.1 scoreless innings. He fanned eight batters but also had four walks and three hits allowed. The former second-round pick has had no trouble missing bats in the minors if you’re desperate in an AL-only league… D.J. Stewart hit his first two home runs of the season. He could be set for significant playing time now that Anthony Santander is sidelined… George Springer hit a pair of home runs in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Angels… Jose Urquidy made his first start of the year, allowing two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings. He also walked three batters.


National League Quick Hits: Kwang-Hyun Kim was placed on the 10-day IL with a kidney issue and is out indefinitely. The Cardinals do hope to have him back this season. Carlos Martinez will likely replace him in the rotation… David Dahl (back) could return during Colorado’s current road trip… Carter Kieboom was called up by the Nats and got the start at third base on Saturday. He could see regular at-bats down the stretch… Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) threw a three inning sim game on Saturday, as he nears a return… Austin Slater was activated from the 10-day IL by San Francisco, as he tries to resume his early hot hitting… Garrett Cooper was out of the Marlins lineup on Saturday due to a quad injury… The Brewers will skip Josh Lindblom’s next start… Elieser Hernandez (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day IL, so he’s officially out for the year. He had an impressive 3.16 ERA this season… Harold Ramirez was activated from the COVID-19 injured list by the Marlins, only to suffer a hamstring injury… Luis Campusano was a late scratch for the Padres with left hand soreness… Andrew Miller was activated from the 10-day IL by the Cardinals. Giovanny Gallegos claimed the closer role while Miller was out… Tommy Pham (hand) has been working out with hopes of returning this season… Anthony Alford suffered a fractured right elbow… Steven Souza Jr. was designated for assignment following the first game on Saturday’s doubleheader… Roman Quinn went through the concussion protocol after leaving Saturday’s game… Jay Bruce reinjured his quad on Saturday and is likely going back on the injured list for the Phils.

Ian Happ hit a pair of home runs in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader and now leads MLB in OPS… Adam Wainwright pitched another very good game, allowing two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings for his fourth win… Sandy Alcantara was electric against the Rays, allowing one run on three hits in six innings with eight strikeouts… Chris Paddack’s inconsistency continues. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings at Oakland… Austin Nola hit his first home run in a Padres uniform on Saturday. He also hit cleanup vs. lefty Sean ManaeaBrian Goodwin swiped two bases against the Pirates, giving him three for the season. He’s showing sneaky value again if he continues to play regularly… Brock Holt started in left field for Washington and went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored… Ronald Acuna Jr. stayed hot with his ninth home run. He has four home runs in his last three games… Travis d’Arnaud continues to be a gem for fantasy managers, hitting his sixth homer. He’s also hitting .333 with 22 RBI… Josh Hader had his second bad day of the year, picking up the loss after allow consecutive hits in the ninth inning vs. Cleveland… Keston Hiura is only hitting .238, but he hit his 11th home run… Rhys Hoskins stayed hot with his eighth home run. He has seven home runs over his last 11 games… Seth Lugo reached five innings for the first time this season, allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts to win his second game of the year… Madison Bumgarner returned from the injured list to allow two runs on three hits in four innings against the Giants. He allowed back-to-back home runs in the second inning. Until Bumgarner strings together some success, he still looks like a risky play… The Giants closer merry-go-round continued with Tony Watson earning his first save of the year on Saturday… Daulton Varsho hit the first home run of his career. The top prospect has struggled with the bat so far, but Arizona is giving him regular playing time after trading Starling Marte. With catcher eligibility, Varsho looks interesting in two-catcher leagues after hitting .301-18-58 with 21 steals in 108 games at Double-A last season… German Marquez got back on track with a nice start at Dodger Stadium, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. He fanned five… Tony Gonsolin was great against the Rox, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings. He had eight strikeouts and no walks, which is likely more than good enough to keep his spot in the rotation.