Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went 3-for-4 with a double and a solo homer vs. the Mets on Saturday. Judge finished a triple shy of the cycle and mashed his 26th homer of the year in the seventh inning. The long ball was his first since July 7, as he isn't going deep at the same breakneck pace as last year, when he set a rookie record with 52 home runs. He's now collected three hits in back-to-back games, however, and has hit safely in 15 of 17 games this month to raise his average to .286. While he's never going to contend for a batting title, Judge hits for a surprisingly high average for someone who strikes out over 30 percent of the time.
Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman won after allowing one run on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings vs. the Orioles on Saturday. Stroman started his second half with one of his best outings of the season, holding Baltimore scoreless after the first inning and throwing 71 of his 107 pitches for strikes. While his overall numbers (3-7, 5.42 ERA) remain disappointing, Stroman has been more effectively since returning from the DL on June 23, going 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA and a 27:10 K/BB ratio over his last six starts. He'll look to keep rolling in a favorable road matchup against the White Sox on July 27.
Tigers righty Mike Fiers won after allowing seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings vs. the Red Sox on Saturday. Fiers did a phenomenal job shutting down the best offense in baseball, holding Boston without an extra-base hit and throwing 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes. The outing was his fifth straight quality start, lowering his ERA to 1.62 during that stretch. Fiers is now 7-6 with a 3.49 ERA on the season and will look to stay hot vs. the Indians at home on July 27.
Astros outfielder George Springer went 1-for-4 with a grand slam and a walk Saturday against the Angels. Springer belted his first homer since June 20 to snap a streak of 24 games without a homer. He slumped badly during that stretch, slashing .149/.265/.172 with just two extra-base hits. While his numbers are down compared to his last few seasons, he's still having a solid year with 16 homers, 51 RBI, 67 runs and a .756 OPS. The cold spell has not prevented him from batting leadoff on a regular basis, however, which ensures that he'll continue to provide fantasy value.
Astros righty Justin Verlander won after allowing five hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts in six shutout innings against the Angels on Saturday. Verlander earned his first win since June 14 with his second outing with double digit strikeouts. It marked a return to form for Verlander, who has now turned in quality starts in three of his last four outings. He's already up to 183 strikeouts in 143 2/3 innings this year and has an MLB-best 0.85 WHIP. The Astros ace will take a 10-5 record and a 2.19 ERA into his next scheduled outing vs. the Rangers at home on July 28.
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