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Salvador Perez homered for the fourth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon, launching a two-run homer to left-center field -- his career-high 37th round-tripper of the season -- to lead the Royals to a 4-2 victory over the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. The 31-year-old backstop has been sizzling-hot at the dish recently, going deep an astounding 11 times in 25 games since August 1. The 31-year-old backstop leads the America League with 16 big flies since the All-Star break.
Perez established himself as an elite fantasy contributor at the relatively barren catcher position years ago, but he’s ascended to stratospheric heights in the over-the-fence power department during his remarkable 2021 campaign, slashing .275/.314/.538 with 62 runs scored, 37 home runs, 92 RBI and one stolen base across 526 plate appearances. To put those numbers in context, Perez is on the precipice of becoming the first everyday catcher to eclipse the 40-homer plateau since Javy Lopez accomplished the feat nearly two decades ago back in 2003. He also appears poised to take a serious run at Johnny Bench's single-season record of 45 home runs at the catching position, which was established back in 1970. Unreal.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Sandy Alcantara vs. Reds
7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K
42% CSW, 29 swinging strikes
Alcantara authored the most dominant performance of his career on Saturday, recording a career-high 12 strikeouts over seven stellar frames against the Reds. The hard-throwing 25-year-old righty generated an eye-popping 29 swinging strikes and finished with a surreal 42 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs). It was his fourth double-digit strikeout effort of the 2021 campaign. He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in 22 of his 27 starts this season. He’ll square off against the Phillies on Friday evening at loanDepot park in Miami.
Logan Webb vs. Braves
7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
31% CSW, 14 swinging strikes
Webb spun yet another gem on Saturday evening, tossing seven scoreless frames against a loaded Braves’ lineup at Truist Park in Atlanta. He scattered five hits, notched six strikeouts and only handed out one free pass. The 24-year-old righty has evolved into an upper-echelon caliber fantasy contributor over the last few weeks, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 10 consecutive starts since July 9. He’s recorded a microscopic 1.60 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 57/12 K/BB ratio across 56 1/3 innings during that span. He’s faced some extremely tough competition as well, squaring off against the Dodgers twice, Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals and Braves, during his recent meteoric rise. He’ll lock horns with the Brewers again on Thursday afternoon at Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Frankie Montas vs. Yankees
7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
32% CSW, 16 swinging strikes
Montas has exponentially increased his splitter usage, re-discovering the dynamic pitch that fueled his remarkable 2019 breakthrough, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 11 consecutive starts since June 26. He’s recorded a sparkling 2.27 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 80/21 K/BB ratio across 67 1/3 innings during that span. The hard-throwing 28-year-old righty limited the Yankees to just three baserunners over seven stellar frames on Saturday afternoon, generating 16 swinging strikes and finishing with a 32 percent CSW. He’ll look to keep the momentum going on Friday night in a challenging road tilt against the Blue Jays.
Hitters with an EDGE
Patrick Wisdom vs. White Sox
2-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR (24, 25), 2 RBI
Wisdom launched a pair of home runs for the second consecutive game on Saturday evening, taking veteran righty Lance Lynn deep in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to record his fourth multi-homer performance of the 2021 campaign. The late-blooming 30-year-old slugger has flashed impressive over-the-fence pop, leaving the yard seven times over his last eight games. He’s clobbered a staggering 25 round-trippers across 275 plate appearances to work his way into the National League Rookie of the Year conversation.
Edmundo Sosa vs. Pirates
4-for-6, 3 R, 2 3B, 5 RBI
Sosa enjoyed a memorable performance on Saturday evening, tallying a career-high four hits in the Cardinals’ blowout victory over the Pirates. He kicked off the scoring by scalding a two-run triple into the left-center field gap against lefty Steven Brault in the second inning. He also added a bases-clearing triple to right-field in the ensuing frame. The 25-year-old rookie infielder has emerged as a potential everyday-caliber player, slashing .276/.356/.400 with 30 runs scored, four home runs, 18 RBI and three stolen bases across 238 plate appearances this season.
J.D. Martinez vs. Cleveland
3-for-5, 2 R, HR (24), 3 RBI
Martinez bounced-back with a three-hit performance, including a go-ahead three-run homer off righty reliever Nick Wittgren in the 10th inning, on Saturday afternoon, on the heels of a day off to rest and recharge on Friday evening. The 34-year-old slugger has been slumping at the dish lately, hitting .259 (22-for-85) with four long balls across 21 games since August 1. However, this was the type of multi-hit effort that can kick-off a hot streak.
Sergio Romo vs. Yankees
1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (1st save)
Given Lou Trivino’s recent struggles, it wasn’t surprising to see Romo get the call on Saturday afternoon as the Athletics attempted to snap a six-game losing streak. He surrendered a one-out single to Anthony Rizzo and a towering two-run shot to ensuing batter Aaron Judge, but managed to retire Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo to end the contest. It seems like Trivino will get another crack at the closing gig, but Romo could vulture the occasional save chance.
Scott Barlow vs. Mariners
1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (10th save)
Barlow gave up a run in the ninth inning on Saturday, but still managed to hang on for his fourth save since August 18. The 28-year-old righty has clearly taken over as the Royals’ primary closer and should be rostered in all fantasy formats moving forward.
Adam Ottavino vs. Cleveland
0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (10th save)
Ottavino was summoned to protect a three-run lead in the bottom of the 10th inning after lefty Martin Perez loaded the bases and recorded only one out to open the frame. He surrendered a two-out RBI single to Oscar Mercado, but managed to slam the door on Cleveland, picking up his second save in as many days. Given the recent struggles of Matt Barnes, he should be rostered in all fantasy formats.
Andrew Kittredge vs. Orioles
2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (4th save)
Kittredge was called upon to guard a two-run lead in the eighth inning on Saturday night and fired two perfect frames to slam the door on the Orioles. The 31-year-old righty holds a microscopic 1.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 67/14 K/BB ratio across 61 1/3 innings. He’s also converted all four of his save opportunities this season.
Alex Colome vs. Brewers
1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (9th save)
Colome made things interesting on Saturday evening, but managed to hang on for his ninth save of the season. He’s scuffled a bit recently, but has performed admirably in place of lefty Taylor Rogers over the last few weeks.
Ryan Pressly vs. Rangers
1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (21st save)
Pressly received the call to guard a three-run lead against the last-place Rangers on Saturday night and managed to work around a one-out double by Nick Solak to preserve the victory. The 32-year-old righty has converted 21 of 23 save chances this season.
Edwin Diaz vs. Nationals
1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (26th save)
Diaz was locked-in on Saturday night, slamming the door on the Nationals to preserve a much-need win for the Mets. The 27-year-old righty has been prone to coughing up the occasional homer, but he’s converted 26 of his 30 save opportunities this season.
EDGE Priority Pickup(s)
Glenn Otto, SP, Rangers
Otto recorded seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings on Friday evening in an impressive major-league debut against the Astros. The unheralded 25-year-old righty turned some heads, generating eight swinging strikes on his hard-biting slider and finishing with a 34 percent CSW in his first outing, to seemingly secure a spot in the Rangers’ starting rotation moving forward. He also recorded an impressive 2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 19/7 K/BB ratio across 20 innings (four starts) at Triple-A Round Rock after being acquired from the Yankees in the Joey Gallo trade last month. He's at least worthy of a speculative roster spot for fantasy managers in deeper mixed leagues.
Adam Ottavino, RP, Red Sox
Unless you've been watching way too much pre-season football, you've probably noticed that Matt Barnes has coughed up a staggering 10 runs over 6 1/3 innings since August 1. He's been removed from the closer role in Boston, at least temporarily, with Adam Ottavino taking over as the team's primary stopper. The 35-year-old righty tossed a scoreless frame on Friday and also recorded the final two outs of the Red Sox’ victory on Saturday to pick up a pair of saves against Cleveland. The 35-year-old righty appears poised to continue collecting saves over the final month of the regular season. It wasn't a highly-publicized swap, so it's flown a bit under-the-radar, but Ottavino should be rostered in all fantasy formats.
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Sunday’s Matchup of the Day
There aren’t a ton of quality pitching matchup on Sunday’s slate, but Houck and Morgan have been in a groove over the last few weeks and figure to trade zeroes into the middle innings on Sunday afternoon in Minnesota.
American League Quick Hits: Shane Bieber (shoulder) threw a 36-pitch bullpen session on Friday … Cleveland optioned RHP James Karinchak to Triple-A Columbus … Mariners placed OF Jake Fraley on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation … Carlos Santana was scratched from the Royals' starting lineup on Saturday against the Mariners due to hip soreness … Akil Baddoo returned to the Tigers' lineup for Saturday's matchup against the Blue Jays … José Urquidy (shoulder) will make another minor-league rehab start on Sunday at Triple-A Sugar Land … Matt Chapman blasted a solo homer and Starling Marte stole two bases as the Athletics ended the Yankees’ 13-game winning streak … Whit Merrifield went 2-for-5 with a leadoff homer to lift the Royals past the Mariners … Kyle Schwarber tallied three hits and walloped a solo homer to lead the Red Sox to an extra-inning victory over Cleveland … Randy Arozarena walloped a go-ahead two-run homer to propel the Rays to a win over the Orioles … Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa swatted solo homers in the Astros’ victory over the Rangers … Alejandro Kirk homered and Corey Dickerson delivered a go-ahead RBI single to lead the Blue Jays to an extra-inning win over the Tigers … Miguel Sano went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI in the Twins’ victory over the Brewers … Jared Walsh collected three hits and homered in the Angels’ blowout win over the Padres … Aaron Judge went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Yankees past the Athletics … Franmil Reyes launched a solo homer in Cleveland’s extra-inning loss to the Red Sox … Adolis Garcia went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the Rangers’ loss to the Astros … Jorge Mateo went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base in the Orioles’ loss to the Rays … Framber Valdez struck out seven batters and allowed two runs over seven innings in a win over the Rangers … Alek Manoah recorded eight strikeouts and yielded two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Tigers … Nathan Eovaldi posted seven strikeouts and yielded two runs over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Cleveland … Cal Quantrill struck out six batters and was charged with two runs (one earned) over seven innings in a no-decision against the Red Sox … Daniel Lynch allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Mariners … John Means posted five strikeouts and allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Rays … Michael Wacha fanned six batters over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Orioles … Jose Suarez coughed up two runs over 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Padres … Charlie Barnes was charged with four runs (three earned) over four innings in a no-decision against the Brewers … Jose Urena fired three shutout frames in a no-decision against the Blue Jays … Lance Lynn struck out seven batters and was tagged for seven runs over five innings in a loss to the Cubs … Nestor Cortes was charged with three runs over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Athletics … Tyler Anderson notched six strikeouts and gave up three runs over seven innings in a loss to the Royals … Kolby Allard was lit up for five runs over six innings in a loss to the Astros …
National League Quick Hits: Kris Bryant (side) was held out of the Giants' starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Braves … J.T. Realmuto was absent from the Phillies' starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks … Ketel Marte (hip) returned to the Diamondbacks' starting lineup for Saturday's matchup against the Phillies … Pablo López (shoulder) will be delayed in his rehab progression from a strained rotator cuff for precautionary reasons … Pirates designated OF Gregory Polanco for assignment … Jon Gray made an early exit from Saturday’s start against the Dodgers with an apparent hand injury … Paul Goldschmidt collected three RBI and Tommy Edman tallied four hits in the Cardinals’ lopsided victory over the Pirates … Rafael Ortega hammered a grand slam to lift the Cubs to a win over the White Sox … Jean Segura went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, powering the Phillies to a blowout victory over the Diamondbacks … Jesus Sanchez walloped a three-run homer in the Marlins’ victory over the Reds … Tommy La Stella and Mike Yastrzemski slugged solo homers in the Giants’ win over the Braves … Kevin Pillar homered twice, Francisco Lindor stole two bases and Michael Conforto also went deep in the Mets’ win over the Nationals … Ozzie Albies went 2-for-4 with a stolen base in the Braves’ loss to the Giants … Alcides Escobar went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base in the Nationals’ loss to the Mets … Alec Mills tossed 8 1/3 scoreless frames in a win over the White Sox … Adam Wainwright notched five strikeouts and fired seven scoreless frames in a win over the Pirates … Kyle Gibson struck out three batters over six scoreless frames in a win over the Diamondbacks … Marcus Stroman fanned five batters and allowed two runs over six innings in a no-decision against the Nationals … Sean Nolin punched out six batters and yielded two runs over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Mets … Ryan Weathers was tagged for three runs over three innings in a no-decision against the Angels … Huascar Ynoa surrendered two runs over six innings in a loss to the Giants … Vladimir Gutierrez allowed five runs over three innings in a loss to the Marlins … Adrian Houser gave up five runs over five innings in a loss to the Twins … Humberto Mejia gave up four runs over six innings in a loss to the Phillies … Steven Brault was obliterated for seven runs over three innings in a loss to the Cardinals.