Remember when taking Alex Bregman in the second round of NFBC received criticism this preseason? As a Bregman supporter, duly noting the cynicism. Bregman reached 30 home runs (youngest player in Astros history to do so) in Boston yesterday and making a strong case for the American League MVP. Yes, Mookie Betts has been terrific, no argument. Same for J.D. Martínez , José Ramírez and Francisco Lindor . However, one key here, those subsets of names play are teammates and could split votes. Bregman’s carried his offense at times with George Springer , José Altuve and Carlos Correa all missing time this year due to injury.

Currently, Bregman’s in the midst of reaching base in 35 straight games. He leads the majors in extra-base hits with 79 (48 doubles, 30 home runs, 1 triple). According to Bill James online, only 96 players have hit 50 doubles in a season, of those, 22 have added 30 home runs, 21 have hit at least .300 or better with 100 runs and 100 RBI. Seven reached double digits in stolen bases and reached base 40 percent of the time. Last, only three have walked more than they struck out. Alex Bregman could be the fourth. Let this marinate.


Roster Updates

Word out of Pittsburgh will not sit well with Grégory Polanco owners. He will miss the rest of the season due to a deep bone bruise in his knee and a potential shoulder injury. The shoulder will be the one worth tracking since it has lingering effects in power and performance for major league hitters.

After Christian Yelich received criticism for sitting out against José Quintana earlier in the week, both Nolan Arenado and Javy Baez (Game 1 of the doubleheader) did not start on Saturday. Perhaps players do not factor in these decisions?

Cleveland plans on activating Josh Donaldson on Tuesday. He played third base on Saturday and will meet the team in Tampa Bay. Stay tuned on how the Indians handle playing time for Greg Allen , Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley going forward.


That Just Happened

Fire up your streamers versus the Marlins. Iván Nova won his eighth game giving up only three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts on Saturday. He’s now 4-0 versus Miami for his career with a 0.97 ERA in 27.2 innings against them. Adam Frazier tallied two more hits and hitting .347 since his recall on July 25th with 15 doubles, five home runs and 20 RBI. Josh Bell homered for the second straight game as he tries to salvage his season.

Rain cut short the game in Cincinnati but could not stop Matt Harvey from winning his seventh game striking out 10 in six innings of work. Harvey’s last six starts yields a 2-1 record, 3.37 ERA and a 30:5 K:BB in them. Scott Schebler recorded a hit with a run and an RBI. Over his last 10 games, Schebler’s hitting .353 with three doubles, three home runs and eight RBI. Joey Votto launched his 10th home run, a grand slam, and hitting .310 the last nine games with six RBI and nine walks.

For San Diego, Hunter Renfroe has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games (20-for-61) with two doubles and seven home runs. He’s also homered in six of the last 12 games and hit 14 in the second half.

Returning to the Astros rotation, Charlie Morton won his 14th game allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. Josh James dazzled in relief striking out four in 2.2 innings and giving up a hit. He’s struck out 13 in only 7.2 innings this year and could combine with Lance McCullers Jr. in postseason adding devastating depth to the bullpen.

Mookie Betts went 2-for-3, walked twice, scored a run and doubled. Betts has reached base four times the last two games and done so 18 times this year. Xander Bogaerts racked up three hits including his 21st home run. This matches his career high and over the last 26 games, Bogaerts has 14 runs, nine doubles, a triple, five home runs and 24 RBI.

If it’s a farewell tour for Adrián Béltre , he’s going out in style. Beltre launched two home runs and drove in three on Saturday. The home runs moved him to within one of 30th all-time, shared by Stan Musial and Willie Stargell. Beltre’s two hits tied him for 16th and places him within two of George Brett’s 3,154. By the way, Beltre’s homered five times the last seven contests. One more season please.

Khris Davis salivates when the Rangers appear on the schedule. He hit his major league leading 41st home run driving in two and walked twice. He’s 21-for-64 against Texas this year with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 18 games. For his career, Davis has hit 28 home runs in only 55 games against them. Blake Treinen added his 37th save with two strikeouts in a clean inning. Treinen’s converted 13 straight saves, 34 of his last 36 chances, within six of his first 100 strikeout season and lowered his major league leading ERA for relievers to 0.88 in this outing.

Win number 17 for Max Scherzer in a complete game on 111 pitches generating 25 swinging strikes and 18 called en route to 11 strikeouts. Scherzer did give up three earned runs but recorded his 80th game with at least 10 strikeouts and 16th this year. Trea Turner added two stolen bases to his major league leading total of 37 in Game 1. During the night cap, Bryce Harper hit his 32nd home run and walked three times. In a down year, Harper’s reached base over 39 percent of the time with 92 runs, 91 RBI, 110 walks and 14 stolen bases. Last, but not least, Sean Doolittle made his first appearance off the disabled list to face Daniel Murphy , who he struck out for his first hold. Greg Holland notched his second save in a clean ninth and sweep for the Nationals.

Big days for Cody Allen and Michael Brantley recording firsts since August 20th. Allen recorded his first save since this date allowing a hit and striking out one. He’s been scoreless his last six games but provided Brad Hand a much needed day off. Brantley homered for the first time since the 20th, hitting his 15th of the year on Saturday.

Randal Grichuk left the yard twice, among his three hits, with two RBI. Grichuk’s hit 21 home runs in an abbreviated season but hitting .371 over the last 17 games with seven doubles, five homers and eight RBI. Rowdy Tellez added his first major league home run. He’s racked up eight hits through his first 14 at-bats with six doubles and a robust 1.214 slugging percentage.

Tommy Pham extended his hit streak to 12 games (20-for-51, three home runs, 10 RBI). Mallex Smith went 2-for-5 and stole his 30th base. Ryan Yarbrough was awarded the win, his 14th, and 12th as a “reliever” as the bridge to the opener.

Baltimore’s Jonathan Villar continues to stuff the stat sheet going 2-for-2 with three RBI, two walks and two stolen bases (26). This marks his second multiple stolen base effort during his 34 games with the team scoring 20 runs with six home runs, 19 RBI, 12 steals and a .284 average.

Perhaps Marcell Ozuna ’s shoulder feels better? He hit his 21st home run of the year, and fifth over his last four games. However, it was not enough to overcome another Bud Norris meltdown. After an error, Norris walked two and permitted the winning run to score on a wild pitch. He continues to drift from high leverage.

Lost in the Detroit comeback win, Matt Boyd struck out a career high 11 over seven innings allowing only two hits, an earned run and a walk. Boyd generated 19 swinging strikes of his 98 pitches and 16 called. In the second half, Boyd’s 5-4 with a 3.06 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 61.2 innings.

In a lost season for Kansas City, Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesí continue to produce. Merrifield went 2-for-5 with a run, RBI and his American League leading 31st stolen base. Mondesi stole two more bases upping his total to 20 in only 54 games this year. He’s also tallied multiple hits in six of the last nine games. Rookie Jorge Lopez carried a perfect game into the ninth inning but lost it on a walk. He did win his second game in a row after toiling as a reliever in the Brewers system.

News flash, Mike Trout ’s still a stud. He went 5-for-5 with three runs, two home runs (32,33) and five RBI. Shohei Ohtani added two hits, scored two runs and drove in three. He also stole his eighth base. Ohtani’s in a six-game hit streak going 10-for-22 with 10 runs, four home runs and 10 RBI in it.

Both Travis Shaw and Christian Yelich hit their 28th home runs on Saturday. Yelich also swiped his 17th base, has reached safely in 24 straight games with a .314 average, 10 home runs and 26 RBI in the streak.

Rhys Hoskins seems to be emerging from his slump homering for the second straight game. He’s hit 29 this year and 15 in 46 games since the break.

Making his first start since his first career complete game, Noah Syndergaard remained in the game for 108 pitches and took a comeback hit off his side before leaving. Why, New York, why? Syndergaard yielded a season high 12 hits in 6.2 innings and four earned runs. Not sure if he will make his next start. Michael Conforto hit his 22nd home run of the year and 11th in only 46 games in the second half.

Ronald Acuna Jr. keeps producing as the leadoff hitter. He went 2-for-3 with a run, double and two walks. Acuna’s racked up 31 extra-base hits in only 183 at-bats at leadoff. For perspective, Matt Carpenter has 56 in 364 at-bats and Lorenzo Cain 31 in 335 at-bats.

It’s 2018 and Clay Buchholz remains relevant. Buchholz turned in a quality start giving up five hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks with six strikeouts. Over his last five, he’s 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA and struck out 26 in 34.1 innings.

Kyle Freeland continued his breakout season winning his 14th game and becoming only the fourth Rockies pitcher with 20 quality starts in a season. Freeland lowered his ERA to 2.91 on the year and 2.21 in home starts with eight strikeouts in six innings giving up only one earned runs against the Dodgers. Charlie Blackmon homered for the first time in 51 at-bats, his 24th of the year and he’s reached safely in 16 of his last 19 contests.

Back-to-back games with a home run for Andrew McCutchen and Dellin Betances extended his appearance streak with a strikeout to 38 on the way to his third save.


What To Watch For

Jacob deGrom looks to add his Cy Young resume with a strong start at home this afternoon.

Can Trevor Williams continue his hot stretch at home? Note his opponent.

Trying to valuate Madison Bumgarner for next year’s draft will be difficult, as will his match-up today in Milwaukee. He opposes Zach Davies .

A battle of southpaws in Coors with Rich Hill matching up with Tyler Anderson .

Last, will Dallas Keuchel proliferate Boston’s struggles versus left-handed pitching this evening?

Be sure to check back tomorrow to stay ahead of the competition with daily coverage for baseball and football on Fantasy Alarm.


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