Marcus Semien went 2-for-3 with a double, a solo homer, and a walk against the Yankees on Tuesday. After tagging Gerrit Cole for his 35th double of the year, Semien bashed his 38th big fly in the fifth. Six of those long balls have come in six games this month for Semien, who's opened September on a blazing hot streak. His power binge actually stretches back to mid-August, as he's mashed 12 home runs over his last 21 games. He seems to be getting lucky with his HR/FB rate, as he's managed only two doubles during that span. Either way, he already has 11 RBIs this month and is rapidly closing in on his first 40/100 season, as he only needs two more bombs and 12 additional RBIs. He's only two runs away from the century mark as well and has 14 steals to go along with a solid .270 average. When you lead MLB in plate appearances (610) for one of baseball's best offenses, that typically produces gaudy numbers.
Steven Matz dominated the Yankees on Tuesday, limiting New York to one run on seven hits and no walks with six strikeouts over six innings. Matz did not allow an extra-base hit while outdueling Gerrit Cole to pick up his 11th win of the season, lowering his ERA to 3.70 in the process. Tuesday's outing marked Matz's seventh straight with two earned runs or fewer, which he's also done in nine of his last 10 outings. After a bumpy first half (4.72 ERA), Matz has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since the All-Star break with a 2.22 ERA. The key for him has been keeping the ball in the yard, as he's allowed just two home runs in 10 second-half starts after surrendering 12 long balls over 15 first-half appearances. The veteran left will look to keep rolling in a salivating road matchup against the Orioles this weekend.
Nelson Cruz powered the Rays to a 12-7 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a double, two homers, three runs, and four RBIs. Cruz enjoyed another monster game at Fenway Park after homering in a three-hit performance on Monday, notching his fourth multi-homer game of the season and first four-hit effort. While Cruz had struggled for much of the summer, especially after being traded to Tampa Bay in late July, he's started September strong with 12 hits (six for extra bases) in seven games this month. The 41-year-old slugger now has 30 home runs in a season for the eighth time in his career to go along with 81 RBIs, 72 runs, a .275 average, and an .873 OPS. While those numbers represent a slight dip from his more recent seasons, his slash stats are almost identical to his career rates, proving that he's not slowing down in his 17th MLB season.
Bobby Dalbec went 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBIs vs. the Rays on Tuesday. Dalbec came off the bench to replace Rafael Devers at third base after Boston fell behind by a ton, but he made the most of his at-bats by socking a pair of two-run homers in the eighth and ninth innings. The rookie first baseman has been hitting the tar out of the ball since mid-August, batting .364 with nine home runs, 28 RBIs, and 14 runs over his last 22 games. He's now up to 20 long balls and 69 RBIs on the season, while his OPS has soared 130 points in a month's time. A big key for the 26-year-old's recent success has been cutting down on his strikeout rate, as he's fanned in 20.4 percent of his plate appearances over his last 25 games -- nearly half of his 38.3 percent whiff rate prior to his hot streak. If he can continue to keep his strikeouts down, Dalbec has tons of fantasy potential as a right-handed slugger at Fenway Park in a potent offense.
Mike Zunino helped pace Tampa Bay's 12-7 victory over the Red Sox by going 3-for-4 with a triple, two home runs, and four RBIs at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. Zunino snapped out of a 4-for-34 rut with one of his best games of the season, enjoying his second multi-homer effort and first three-hit performance of the year. All three of his hits went for extra bases as well, giving him his first extra-base hits of September. While the All-Star catcher is off to a slow start this month, he's coming off a strong August in which he clubbed seven homers and posted a 1.008 OPS. Zunino is a feast-or-famine hitter given his high propensity for strikeouts (36.4 percent), hence the .211 batting average. He makes more than enough hard contact to compensate, however, based on his 29 home runs and .867 OPS. Keep him locked into your lineups and hope he doesn't get cold during fantasy playoffs.
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