Marlins righty Jose Urena won after allowing one hit and four walks with five strikeouts over six shutout innings Sunday vs. the Nationals. Urena bounced back from a pair of poor outings with six one-hit innings, yielding only a single en route to his first quality start and victory since June 15. The win was just Urena's third of the season, although all three have come since the beginning of June. The 26-year-old has been largely ineffective this year (3-10, 4.40 ERA) after going 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in his first full season as a starter last year. Accordingly, fantasy owners should wait to see if he can string together a few quality outings before jumping back on the bandwagon. He'll look to build off Sunday's outing on Friday in Philadelphia.
Braves outfielder Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs and three RBI vs. the Dodgers on Sunday. Markakis continued his renaissance season by falling a triple shy of the cycle, hammering out his 32nd double and 11th homer while raising his average to .320. The 34-year-old hasn't hit this well since his early seasons in Baltimore a decade ago, with the power being a particular surprise after averaging 11 homers per season from 2010-2017. Markakis currently leads the NL in hits and doubles and just made his first All-Star team, although he has slowed down in the power department with just four long balls in his last 67 games. Accordingly, fantasy owners may want to sell high on him while they still can.
Reds righty Luis Castillo won after allowing four hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over seven shutout innings Sunday vs. the Phillies. Castillo delivered his best start of the year, not allowing a run for the first time this year and logging a season-high seven innings. The nine strikeouts were also his second highest total of the year. The first half was a struggle for the 25-year-old, who had a 5.85 ERA through the end of June, although he seems to be turning his season around after a strong July. The hard-throwing righty allowed three earned runs or less in all five of his starts this month, lowering his ERA to 4.98. He'll look to keep rolling against the Nationals in Washington D.C. on August 5.
Mets righty Zack Wheeler won after allowing five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over six scoreless innings Sunday against the Pirates. Wheeler continue to boost his trade value with another excellent performance, limiting Pittsburgh to just five singles in his third straight win. He's lowered his season ERA to 4.11 with a 3.28 ERA over his last 13 outings, making him a prime candidate to be traded off the rebuilding Mets before Tuesday night. He only has three wins during that strong stretch, so a move to a contender would boost his fantasy value considerably.
Braves lefty Sean Newcomb came within one strike of a no-hitter Sunday, going 8 2/3 innings vs. the Dodgers while allowing one run on one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts. Newcomb didn't yield a hit until there were two outs in the top of the ninth, when Chris Taylor laced a 2-2 pitch through the left side for a single that scuttled Newcomb's bid at history. The hit ended Newcomb's day at a whopping 134 pitches, 81 of which went for strikes. After losing his first three starts of July, the 25-year-old southpaw has rebounded to win his last two outings while allowing just two earned runs in 14 2/3 innings. He'll shoot for his third win in a row when he faces the Mets at Citi Field on Friday, although Atlanta may limit his pitch count following such a taxing start.
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