Zack Greinke notched a complete-game victory on Friday, yielding just one run on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts against the Blue Jays. In a game where Houston scored 13 runs, Greinke certainly could have departed early with a guaranteed victory. Instead, he elected to finish what he started, throwing 75 of his 102 pitches for strikes en route to his first complete game since 2017. The lack of strikeouts and walks helped keep his pitch count down, which has been a theme for him this year given that his 6.5 strikeout rate is the third-lowest of his 18-year career. His lone mistake here was a seventh-inning solo shot by Randal Grichuk, by which point the game was well in hand. The 37-year-old is still one of the league's best and most accurate pitchers. He'll bring a 6-2 record with a 3.38 ERA into his next outing at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.
Rafael Devers went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer against the Yankees on Friday. In Boston's first game against New York this year, Devers propelled the Sox to a 5-2 victory with his 15th home run in the top of the first. The 429-foot long ball was his first of June and increased his RBI total to 46 through 54 games. Devers has been an elite run producer this year primarily batting out of the five-hole for Boston, where he has plentiful RBI opportunities hitting behind J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo. The 24-year-old has re-established himself as one of the best hitters in baseball following a down 2020, as he's currently on pace for career highs in numerous categories.
Carlos Correa went 2-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs against the Blue Jays on Friday, powering Houston to a 13-1 victory. Correa crushed a solo homer in the fifth inning, which was merely an appetizer for his eighth-inning three-run blast. The pair of big flies increased his power totals to 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 54 games this year to go along with his .277 average and .850 OPS. The slugging shortstop has been sizzling at the plate lately, hitting .347 with 11 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs over his last 20 games. Correa has already doubled his home run total from last year in four fewer games, and if he keeps it up and stays healthy he could be in line to smash his career high of 24 from 2017.
Whit Merrifield went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, two runs scored, and a stolen base on Friday against the Twins. Merrifield ignited Kansas City's 14-5 victory from the leadoff spot, clubbing his fifth homer of the year during a nine-run first inning. He also recorded his MLB-high 17th stolen base of the year, putting him on pace to potentially eclipse 50 for the first time in his career. While his .264 average is 28 points below his career mark, it's trending up thanks to a five-game hitting streak that includes three multi-hit efforts. With 37 runs and 33 RBIs, Merrifield is supplying strong counting stats as well, making him a must-start in all fantasy formats.
Yasmani Grandal went 2-for-2 with two solo homers, three runs scored, and two walks vs. the Tigers on Friday. Grandal powered Chicago to a 9-8 win over Detroit with his first multi-homer game of the season, which was also just his third multi-hit game of the year and first since April 5. Grandal's .123 BABIP has torpedoed his batting average in the early going, but he's still providing plenty of fantasy value with his power and plate discipline. His 44 walks lead the American League, and seven of his long balls have come over his past 17 games. Incredibly, 62 percent of his plate appearances have resulted in a walk, home run, or strikeout, making him far more valuable in points leagues and OBP formats than in standard leagues. His average should improve along with his BABIP, although that may not be a given due to how few balls he puts in play.
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