One day from the rosters expanding and the stretch run in September, things continue to evolve in pennant races. Focusing on the National League Central, Chicago defeated Milwaukee moving within one of St. Louis for the division and putting the Brewers six games back with 28 games remaining. Here’s a look at the playoff odds for each team courtesy of Fangraphs:

Nicholas Castellanos continues to rake during his tenure with the Cubs blasting two more home runs on Friday:


Castellanos went 2-for-4 driving in four. He’s set the Cubs record for most home runs in a month since joining the team with 11 and could tie Justin Upton ’s mark of 12 with Atlanta in April of 2013 in home runs in their first month with a new franchise. Stay tuned. Milwaukee will promote Jimmy Nelson , Brent Suter and Travis Shaw on Sunday, but doubt it will be enough to propel them back to the playoffs. 

Shifting to the National League East, Anthony Rendon continues to keep his name in the Most Valuable Player conversation:


Racking up three more hits on Friday, Rendon took over the National League lead in average (.333) moving ahead of Christian Yelich . Rendon also sits two RBI behind the major league lead in the category with 107 this year. 

Trying to keep the Mets dimming playoff hopes alive, Todd Frazier launched two home runs driving in six in a wild finish in Philadelphia. Michael Conforto added his 28th home run among his three hits.  Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola each yielded one earned run but the two bullpens combined to give up 14 earned runs after they left the contest. 

Oakland keeps taking the Yankees behind the woodshed winning 8-2 in the Bronx. The A’s have won all four match-ups so far this year, own a 11-3 record versus New York since 2017 in the regular season and won seven series openers versus the Yankees. Mark Canha hit a triple and owns a .355 average in August with six home runs and 18 RBI. Jurickson Profar went 2-for-5 with a double and his 18th home run. He’s homered in back-to-back contests. 

Alex Bregman extended his on-base streak to 23 games and his hit streak to eight games with two hits in Toronto. In August, Bregman’s slashing a robust .408/.482/.755 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 29 RBI. George Springer crushed his 29th home run and finished with four RBI. Over his last 21 games he’s hitting .308 (28-for-91) with five doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI. 

Defense first catcher Jose Trevino notched his first three-hit game in the majors including two doubles driving in two runs in a Rangers victory. 

Meanwhile in Kansas City, just another five-hit game for Baltimore:


Jonathan Villar added two hits, scored three runs and stole three bases in the win. Villar’s the third Oriole with at least 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases in team history since 1954. Pedro Severino went 4-for-6 with two runs, three RBI and a steal. Anthony Santander hit his 14th home run and has an RBI in four straight games. 

Welcome to the record books Jorge Soler . He hit his franchise record tying 38th home run in a blowout loss. Soler’s recorded 10 home runs his last 26 games and pacing towards 45 this year. 

Starling Marte tallied four hits in Colorado moving his hit streak to nine games and scored four runs. During his streak, Marte’s batting .395 (15-for-38) with nine runs, five doubles, one home run and four RBI. 

Rockies shortstop Trevor Story hit the first lead-off home run of his career, and 29th homer this year in a loss at home. However, Story owns a 15-game home hit streak with 14 runs, four doubles, six home runs, 11 RBI, eight walks, two stolen bases and a .474 average in it. 

Have a season Eduardo Escobar . He went 3-for-4 last night including his 31st home run and 10 of his last 14 hits resulted in extra-bases (five doubles, one triple, four home runs). Over his last 24 games, Escobar’s hit nine home runs driving in 27. 

In an extra-inning affair in Los Angeles, Mookie Betts hit two home runs with three RBI. Since July first, Betts owns a .319 average with 55 runs, 10 home runs and 32 RBI. J.D. Martinez added his 33rd home run, along with some spotty defense in an eventual Red Sox win. He’s on a seven game hit streak and hit five home runs with 15 RBI during Boston’s present road trip. 


Starting Pitcher Spotlight: MadBum Wins His Ninth 

Trying to keep his team’s playoff hopes afloat, Madison Bumgarner battled on the mound and during his at-bats in a win over the Padres Friday night. Bumganer fired seven innings giving up four hits, one earned run and two walks with nine strikeouts. This marks his 60th career win at Oracle Park tying a team record held by Matt Cain. San Francisco’s also won 11 of Bumgarner’s last 13 starts. In this stretch, Bumgarner’s worked 80 innings with an 84:15 K:BB, 2.81 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Last night, Bumgarner generated 16 swinging strikes and 18 called for a 33 called plus swinging strike (CSW) percentage. 

Here’s the other notable starting pitcher performances from Friday:

  • Max Fried , Atlanta: 90 pitches, 17 swinging strikes, 19 called, 40 CSW%. Fried notched his 15th win lasting six innings giving up four hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk with 11 strikeouts. He’s won six straight decisions spanning eight starts with a 3.50 ERA in them. Plus, Fried’s the first Atlanta southpaw to win at least 15 games since Tom Glavine in 2002.

  • José Quintana , Chicago Cubs: 104 pitches, six swinging strikes, 19 called, 24 CSW%. Quintana gets his 12th win tossing 5.2 shutout innings yielding four hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Second half Quintana continues to surge with six wins in nine starts since the break with a 3.33 ERA. 

  • Aaron Nola , Philadelphia: 104 pitches, 16 swinging strikes, 19 called, 33.7 CSW%. Another tough luck no-decision for Nola. He worked 6.1 innings allowing four hits, one earned run and two walks with seven strikeouts but left a tied game in the seventh only to see his bullpen implode again. Sigh. Good news, this will depress his price in 2020 drafts.


Bullpen Notes: Bradley Stays Hot

Arizona took the lead on a balk by Yimi Garcia and Archie Bradley finished it working the last 1.2 innings giving up a hit and striking out three. Since taking over as the closer, Bradley’s notched each of the Diamondbacks last nine saves. He’s also turned in scoreless appearances in 20 of his last 23 contests since June 26th with a 1.38 ERA over 26 innings. 

Here’s the other high leverage events from Friday:

  • Daniel Hudson suffered his fourth blown save serving up a two-run home run to Starlin Castro in the top of the ninth. However, Ryne Stanek coughed the lead back up resulting in Rendon’s walk-off hit above handing Hudson his eighth win. 

  • Save number seven for Mark Melancon , a one out special striking out the only batter he faced. 

  • Emmanuel Clase recorded his first major league save working around a hit and striking out one. 

  • Tough night for Brandon Workman owners. He incurs his sixth blown save giving up two hits, two earned runs and four walks with a strikeout in 1.1 innings. Andrew Cashner garners his 11th win working four shutout innings in a marathon win over the Angels spanning 15 innings. 


What To Watch For

Fantasy owners will await word on how serious Keston Hiura ’s hamstring injury will be. He left yesterday’s game after running to first base and pulling up. 

With Oakland hot, how will they structure their rotation with Sean Manaea throwing well in his rehab and this rookie knocking on the door?


Suddenly, Oakland could be a dangerous match-up in the playoffs. They face the Yankees this afternoon with Homer Bailey opposed by Domingo Germán

Cincinnati and St. Louis will play a split doubleheader while Clayton Kershaw will duel Robbie Ray out in the desert. 

Be sure to stay ahead of the competition across all fantasy formats on Fantasy Alarm. 


Statistical Credits: - Game Notes