Blake Snell got a bit of redemption on Friday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Mets. Snell had many fantasy managers questioning what to do with him after two disastrous starts, allowing a combined 12 runs over 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers and Astros. He rewarded those that started him with his best performance in the last two years. Snell struck out ten batters and allowed just one hit and one walk, completely shutting down the Mets. The last time Snell completed seven innings came on April 2, 2019. He struck out 13 batters that day over seven scoreless frames against the Rockies as a member of the Rays.
Snell gets a lot of flack for not going deep into games. So, it was nice to see him buckle down and strike out two of the next three batters following Francisco Lindor‘s base hit to break up the no-hitter in the seventh. It’s easy to forget, as it seems like so long ago, but Blake Snell won the Cy Young award in 2018 pitching in the AL East. This is an incredibly talented pitcher.
There must be something about San Diego that gets the best out of the 28-year-old left-hander. Snell has a 1.65 ERA with 47 strikeouts over 32 2/3 innings in Petco Park following Friday’s contest. You’ll want him in your lineup for his next start, a home matchup against the Cubs next week.
The Evolution of Fastball Freddy
Freddy Peralta wasn’t supposed to be a great starting pitcher with just two pitches. A good multi-inning reliever that can rack up strikeouts and provide decent ratios — that was the outlook coming into the season. After a first outing in which he struck out six batters over two innings in relief, he’s shown complete growth and dominance as a starter. The 25-year-old right-hander had his best outing of the season on Friday, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and striking out nine over 7 1/3 innings. Peralta holds a 2.25 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 92 strikeouts over 64 innings. That’s ace-like right there. And it’s all backed up with a 2.42 xERA. If you haven’t bought in yet, you should.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Zack Greinke – 9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO against Blue Jays
Greinke took full advantage of the aggressive Blue Jays, tossing a complete game on just 102 pitches. He threw 75 for strikes and walked just one batter. Greinke generated just ten whiffs on the day for three strikeouts but was excellent nonetheless. The only run off Greinke came in the seventh inning on a solo home run by Randal Grichuk. The 37-year-old veteran right-hander gets the Red Sox in Boston his next time out.
Max Scherzer – 7 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO against Phillies
Scherzer turned in an outstanding performance against the Phillies on Friday, holding them to one run over 7 2/3 innings. The 36-year-old veteran induced 21 whiffs to strike out nine on the day. Scherzer has an excellent 2.22 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 104 strikeouts over 77 innings this season. He’ll get the Giants at home next week for his next start.
Hitters with an EDGE
Carlos Correa — 2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB vs Toronto
Correa has tapped into his power with four home runs over his last eight games, including two on Friday. The 26-year-old shortstop hit a solo shot in the fifth and drove in three runs with a homer in the eighth. Correa is up to eight home runs with a solid .277/.364/.485 slash line over 236 plate appearances. As long as he can stay healthy, we could get a career year from the pending free agent.
Yasmani Grandal — 2-for-2, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB vs Detroit
Grandal went yard twice on Friday for his eighth and ninth home runs of the season. The 32-year-old backstop also drew two walks to bring his on-base percentage to .400 despite a .154 batting average.
Whit Merrifield — 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB vs Twins
Whit Merrifield singled, stole a base, and hit a home run all in one inning. The Royals got to Matt Shoemaker in the first inning, putting up nine runs. Merrifield was a big part of that with his fifth homer of the season and 17th stolen base. You’ll take that kind of production with a .264 batting average.
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Tarik Skubal – SP, Detroit (available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues)
After an excellent spring training, Skubal struggled out of the gate, posting a 6.14 ERA over 22 innings in April with only 18 strikeouts. Things turned around in May. The 24-year-old left-hander ditched the new splitter and went back to the changeup. The splitter had a 31.6 percent whiff rate. In contrast, the changeup has generated a 56.3 percent whiff rate since he made the switch. The adjustment has resulted in a 3.33 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 27 innings in May. That works. Skubal is widely available and could be a contributor in all mixed league formats, given his strikeout upside.
Paul Fry allowed two hits and struck out one batter in a scoreless inning for his second save of the season on Friday against Cleveland. Fry will likely work in tandem with Cole Sulser for save chances going forward.
Matt Barnes struck out the side to pick up his 13th save on Friday against the Yankees. He has a 2.52 ERA and 15.84 K/9.
Brad Hand faced only one batter to convert his 10th save of the season for the Nationals. Daniel Hudson had gotten the final out in the eighth and the first two in the ninth before Hand entered the game.
Chris Stratton converted a 3 2/3 inning save on Friday for the Pirates, his first this season. Stratton allowed no hits or walks while striking out two. Pittsburgh took a seven-run lead in the sixth inning, so Stratton was able to get some work in and finish out the game.
Ian Kennedy narrowly escaped with the save on Friday against the Rays. With a three-run lead entering the ninth, Austin Meadows and Yandy Diaz got on to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs. Kennedy induced a groundout and a flyout before Brett Phillips singled to drive in two runs. He got Brandon Lowe to strike out swinging to close it out for his 12th save of the season.
Michael Feliz earned his first save of the season for the Reds on Friday against the Cardinals. Cincinnati entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a five-run lead before Heath Hembree and Sean Doolittle allowed three runs to score. With two runners on and two outs, Feliz got Paul Goldschmidt to strike out swinging to close things out for the Reds. Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims were unavailable after they each tossed over 30 pitches on Thursday.
Raisel Iglesias locked down his tenth save of the season in impressive fashion on Friday. He got the Angels out of a bases-loaded no-out jam in the eighth and went back out for the ninth to close out the game. Iglesias struck out four batters over the two perfect innings.
Tyler Rogers needed just eight pitches to induce three groundouts against the Cubs in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the season.
Mark Melancon worked around two hits and struck out three batters for his MLB-leading 19th save of the season on Friday against the Mets.
Matchup of the Day
deGrom vs. Tatis. deGrom vs. Musgrove. Mets vs. Padres. However you want to frame it, this is the game to watch on Saturday. The best pitcher on the planet brings an otherworldly 0.71 ERA and 82 strikeouts over 51 innings. deGrom’s 41.9 percent K-BB rate is far and above the best in baseball. The second-ranked pitcher, Gerrit Cole, sits at 32.6 percent. On the other side, Musgrove’s 28.4 percent K-BB rate ranks fourth in baseball. He’s broken out to a 2.08 ERA and 79 strikeouts over 60 2/3 innings. Musgrove threw the first no-hitter of the season back on April 9 against the Rangers. Buckle up. This one will be fun.
American League Quick Hits: Adalberto Mondesi was held out of the lineup for the third consecutive game on Friday … Michael Brantley is expected to return for next week’s series against the Red Sox … Luke Voit played catch and fielded grounders on Friday … Corey Kluber played catch on Friday without issue … Kyle Gibson was activated from the 10-day injured list and started on Friday … Hunter Harvey was activated from the 60-day injured list by the Orioles … Pat Valaika was placed on the bereavement list … Lewis Brinson was recalled from Triple-A … Ji-Man Choi was placed on the injured list with a groin strain … Wes Benjamin was optioned to Triple-A … The Mariners acquired Yacksel Rios from the Rays for cash … The Rangers claimed Tyson Miller off waivers from the Cubs … Hunter Wood was transferred to the 60-day injured list … Kent Emanuel will be out nine months after elbow surgery on Thursday … The Orioles claimed Domingo Leyba off waivers from the Diamondbacks … Ramon Urias was recalled from Triple-A … Shawn Armstrong was designated for assignment … Travis Lakins was recalled from Triple-A … The Rays recalled Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A …
National League Quick Hits: Bryce Harper is making progress but is not ready to come off the injured list … Jazz Chisholm hit from the No. 6 spot in the order on Friday … Jeff McNeil is a week away from beginning a rehab assignment … Kolten Wong was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain … Ryan McMahon sat out his second straight game with groin tightness … Paul DeJong will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday … Elieser Hernandez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain … Tony Gonsolin has joined the Dodgers and will return from the injured list to start against the Pirates next week … Jordan Hicks returning in August would be a “best-case scenario” … Yan Gomes was held out of the lineup on Friday with hamstring tightness … Michael Lorenzen will begin throwing off of a mound next week … Scott Kazmir was activated from the restricted list and started for the Giants on Friday … Pirates prospect Travis Swaggerty undersent season-ending shoulder surgery … Jose Soriano has been shut down with elbow soreness … The Nationals signed Josh Rogers to a minor league contract … The Brewers recalled Pablo Reyes from Triple-A … The Braves designated Victor Arano for assignment …