Mike Soroka (SP-ATL) Soroka, making his first start since May 17, tossed 6 and 1/3 innings of no hit ball before allowing a single to Michael Conforto in the 7th, striking out 4. The 20-year old was on a pitch count so it was no surprise when he was lifted following the hit. He ripped through the minor leagues posting strong ERAs of 3.18, 3.02 and 2.75 over 3 minor league seasons. Owners should not worry about the pitch count restriction as it should be mostly due to being recently activated as Soroka logged 143 innings in 2016 and 153 and 2/3 last year meaning the Braves should have no concerns about easing him into a manageable workload. The young righty will take a 2.57 ERA and slightly elevated 1.29 WHIP (he had allowed 21 hits in 14 and 2/3 innings entering Wednesdays start) into his next outing.
Jacob deGrom (SP-NYM) deGrom was a hard-luck loser Wednesday tossing 7 innings of 7-hit 1 run ball while striking out 7. degrom has established himself in the upper echelon of starting pitchers, despite missing 10 days earlier in the season. Excluding his first start back off the DL where he walked 3 batters in the first inning, deGrom has gone 7+ innings each of his past 6 starts allowing just 6 earned runs over 43 innings while striking out a whopping 57 batters. Overall, he is striking out batters at a rate of 11.88 per 9 innings and has a miniscule .45 HR/9 rate. Any way you slice his numbers he has been phenomenal and will be squarely in the running for NL Cy young despite the DL stint. The only thing that may hold him back is the Mets offense as he only has 4 wins to show for his efforts. He will take an elite 1.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 113 strikeouts into a potential challenging start in Coors Field vs the Rockies on Monday.
Lorenzo Cain (OF-MIL) Cain went 2-3 with a solo home run and a stolen base, providing all the offense for the Brewers in a 1-0 victory. Cain has been blistering hot since the calendar flipped to June, hitting .311 with 6 multi-hit games. Cain has had a typical season since returning to where he started his career as his .287/.388/.442 line is right in line with his career numbers (.289/.346/.426). If anything, Cain has improved his plate discipline as his 13.7% BB rate would be by far the highest of his career shattering the 8.4% mark he set last year. Cain's selectively has allowed him to get on base at a slightly better clip, and he could be close to passing the 100-runs scored mark a number he only hit during the Royals 2015 Championship Season.
Caleb Smith (SP-MIA) Smith pitched 6 and 1/3 innings allowing 3 earned runs on 8 hits while striking 4 in a no-decision vs the Giants Wednesday. It was another solid start for Smith who also chipped in at the plate going 2 for 2. Pitching for a rebuilding Marlins team Smith may be getting overlooked but has put up pretty good numbers - going 5-6 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP all while striking out 83 batters in 72 innings. Smith has struggled slightly with an elevated pitch count, only making it through 7 innings twice and the ERA may even be a little inflated from a few bad outings. Smith has had 2 starts allowing 5 runs and another allowing 4; in his 11 other starts he has given up 16 total runs - good for a 2.30 ERA. He also has 11 walks in those 3 rough outings compared to 19 in the other outings. If he can keep command of his pitches Smith should continue to rack up the strikeouts and help the Marlins pick up a few wins here or there.
Tyler Mahle (SP-CIN) Mahle improved to 5-6 with 6 and 1/3 scoreless innings allowing just 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. Mahle was able to induce 10 ground balls, including 2 double plays and did a great job at defending his top 10 NL ranking of LOB% (79.5%). That number is also reflective of the fact that he has been hit hard (.312 BABIP) and also has the 3rd highest HR/9 ratio (1.70) of qualified National League Starters. Despite just the one strikeout, Mahle has impressed in June hurling 16 and 1/3 innings (1.10 ERA) allowing just 2 earned runs on 14 hits, a nice follow-up to a May that saw him get roughed up to the tune of 15 earned runs in 25 and 1/3 innings (5.33 ERA). Mahle will try to keep the good times rolling in his next June start which is slated for next Wednesday vs the Tigers.
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