Jacob deGrom settled for another no-decision after allowing three runs on five hits and no walks with 14 strikeouts over seven innings against the Braves. The three earned runs were a season-high for deGrom, and all of them came in the first inning. He settled down after that, however, matching his second-highest K total of the season (14) while crossing double digits for the sixth time this year. After allowing just four earned runs over his first 12 starts, deGrom has yielded five earned runs over his past two outings. While both starts have been quality, that still qualifies as a slump by deGrom's lofty standards -- at least this year. His 0.95 ERA remains dazzling, however, as does his 136:11 K/BB ratio over 85 innings. deGrom will continue his historic season vs. the Brewers at home in his next start.
Corbin Burnes earned the win on Thursday after holding the Pirates to one run on four hits and one walk with five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Burnes was exceptional in his fourth win of the season, limiting Pittsburgh's scoring to a fifth-inning solo homer -- just the third long ball allowed by Burnes this year. The 7 1/3 innings were a season-high for Burnes, who didn't even reach 100 pitches. Thursday marked his second straight outing with just one earned run allowed, lowering his ERA to 2.41. His peripherals have been excellent this season as well, as he has an unbelievable 120:15 K/BB ratio over 82 innings. Burnes has been one of baseball's best and most reliable starters this year, proving that his success in the rotation after transitioning from the bullpen last year is no fluke. The hard-throwing righty will look to keep rolling against the light-hitting Mets in his next start.
Ian Anderson ended up with a no-decision on Thursday despite limiting the Mets to just two runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts over seven innings. Anderson surrendered a run in the first and another in the seventh, but in between he was spotless. Unfortunately for him, Atlanta didn't muster much offense against Jacob deGrom and briefly blew the lead in the ninth before recovering to win the game. Regardless, it was another impressive performance by the 23 year-old, who lowered his ERA to 3.35. And while the two strikeouts were a season-low for him, he's still averaging over a strikeout per inning this year with 90 Ks in 88 2/3 frames. After a strong six-start debut last year, Anderson is proving he belongs in the majors with his successful first half thus far. He'll try to take advantage of an easy road matchup against the Pirates in his next start.
Max Muncy led the Dodgers to a 6-2 win over the Nationals on Thursday by going 1-for-3 with a grand slam. Muncy's go-ahead homer in the fifth proved to be decisive, giving Los Angeles its 50th win of the season. The dinger was Muncy's 18th of the year, as he's now homered in three straight games and four of his last five. The NL leader in walks (52) and OBP (.418) entering Thursday's action is enjoying a tremendous offensive campaign, returning to his 2018-2019 levels following a down 2020 (.720 OPS). With eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in his last nine games, Muncy is really dialed in at the dish and appears to be in midseason form.
Dominic Smith went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo homers in New York's 4-3 loss to Atlanta on Thursday. Smith came up big with a couple blasts in the late innings, going yard in the seventh and smashing a game-tying bomb in the top of the ninth, only to have both wasted when the Braves walked off in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, few fantasy players likely had Smith in their lineups on Thursday, as he quickly faded from his hot start and entered the game with a .673 OPS. Smith's fifth season has been a disappointing one thus far, especially after he posted a .937 OPS in 2019 and 2020 combined. Perhaps this game will mark the beginning of his second-half turnaround, but fantasy GMs should wait to see if he can get on a sustained hot streak first before re-inserting him into their lineups.
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