German Marquez cruised to his fifth win of the year with eight shutout innings against the Pirates on Tuesday, yielding just three hits and a walk while striking out seven. It was an encouraging return to form for the 24-year-old, who had allowed 20 hits in his previous two starts combined. The outing lowered his ERA from 3.80 to 3.38, which appears sustainable based on his career-best 5.54 K/BB ratio. He's going to give up his fair share of hits pitching half his games at Coors Field, but as long as he keeps limiting walks and home runs he should be a bankable fantasy starter.
Juan Soto went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI in a losing effort against the Mets on Tuesday. Soto kicked off the scoring with his second-inning solo homer off Zack Wheeler, giving him seven long balls on the year. He later added an RBI double in the eighth to give Washington another short-lived lead. Still just 20 years old, Soto now has 29 homers, 100 RBI, 96 runs and 102 walks in his first 154 career games, flashing superstar potential before he's legally allowed to drink. While his numbers are down a bit compared to last year, there's no doubt he has what it takes to be a fantasy stalwart for years to come.
Sonny Gray earned his first win of the season Tuesday after scattering five hits and four walks over six shutout innings while racking up nine strikeouts against the Brewers. Tuesday marked the third time this year that Gray fanned nine hitters, although it was also only his third outing that went at least six innings. It was Gray's first quality start in over a month, proving that he's a high-risk, high-reward fantasy option whenever he takes the hill, even with a career-best 10.3 K/9 rate this year.
Clayton Kershaw improved to 4-0 after allowing two runs on six hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings against the Rays on Tuesday. Although he missed the first couple of weeks of the season with left shoulder inflammation, Kershaw hasn't skipped a beat since returning from the injured list in mid-April. While his 3.33 ERA would be his highest since his debut season in 2008, he's gone at least six innings in all seven of his starts while posting a 44:8 K/BB ratio in 46 innings. Those may not be the elite fantasy numbers Kershaw owners are accustomed to, but they're still worth owning in all leagues.
Zack Wheeler went seven strong innings against the Nationals in a no-decision Tuesday, allowing three runs on four hits (two homers) and two walks with six strikeouts. Wheeler was outstanding except for a pair of mistakes, which resulted in a solo homer to Juan Soto in the second and a two-run shot to Brian Dozier in the seventh. Tuesday was Wheeler's fifth time completing seven innings in his last seven starts as he continues to put his first couple rough outings behind him. He now has 70 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings and is looking like the pitcher who posted a 3.31 ERA in 182 1/3 innings last year.
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