Matt Kemp was not supposed to be a significant contributor for the Dodgers this season. In fact, many reports suggested he would not even wear Dodger blue and would instead be dealt away in a subsequent move following the trade that brought him from Atlanta back to L.A. in mid-December. Nearly six months later, the team is certainly glad that they ultimately held onto the veteran slugger.

After dropping to 16-26 with a loss at Miami back on May 16, the Dodgers, led largely by Kemp’s bat, have impressively surged back into the N.L.-West race by rolling off 12 wins in their last 16 games. The most recent of those victories came Saturday night with a 12-4 rout of the Rockies at Coors Field. Kemp went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in that offensive explosion and now sports a 1.288 OPS with four homers, seven doubles, and 16 RBI during the Dodgers’ recent turnaround.


In Case You Missed It

Kemp was obviously not the only Dodger to deliver a strong performance Saturday in Denver. After slugging a meager .382 with just one home run over his first 151 plate appearances of the campaign, Joc Pederson woke up and put together a 4-for-5 night that included two solo shots, a double, and four runs scored in the eight-run blowout. For Pederson, it was his first multi-homer game since September 2016.

Another slumping player that came up huge for his club Saturday night was St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong . When he came up to leadoff the bottom of the ninth in a 2-2 tie with the Pirates, Wong was 0-for-2 for the contest and an ugly 5-for-52 dating back to May 7. However, in a 1-1 count, he found a pitch that he could handle from reliever Richard Rodriguez and parked it in the right-field seats for his second walk-off homer of the season.



From a current Cardinal to a former one, Lance Lynn is finally paying some dividends for his new team. The Twins inked Lynn to a one-year, $12M pact in mid-March, and that late start certainly seemed to effect the big righty early on, as he labored to a 7.47 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, and 7.0 BB/9 through his first eight outings. Even though he did issue five free passes in 6.0 frames Saturday evening, Lynn was able to pick up his third consecutive win by holding the Indians to one run on two hits alongside five strikeouts.


Sunday on the Hill

Kyle Gibson will follow Lynn on the mound for the Twins as they attempt to pick up a third straight win over the division-leading Indians. Gibson was excellent this past Tuesday in Kansas City, striking out eight while allowing only five hits and one walk across seven scoreless innings. Despite just one win (March 31), the sixth-year hurler has been quite solid so far in 2018, as he will carry a 3.57 ERA and 9.4 K/9 into Sunday’s start.

With Saturday’s aforementioned dramatics still fresh in mind, Michael Wacha will take the ball for the Cardinals in Sunday’s series finale versus the Pirates. Wacha has given up two runs or less in each of his last eight starts, posting a sensational 1.86 ERA while limiting opponents to a .209 batting average across 48.1 innings in that span. He will face off with rookie Nick Kingham who made his uber-impressive MLB debut back on April 29 against the Cards.


You can follow Nate Miller on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad or hear him every Monday & Thursday hosting the Fantasy Alarm Fantasy Baseball Podcast along with Colby Conway.