Aaron Judge erupted for four hits on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 with a double, two homers, and three RBIs against the Orioles. After a well-deserved day off on Monday, a well-rested Judge returned to the lineup and propelled New York to yet another win over Baltimore. Judge kicked things off with an RBI double in the first to give the Yanks an early lead, then slammed a go-ahead solo shot in the third after the Orioles had tied the game in the second. When Baltimore took the lead in the fourth, Judge responded with a game-tying blast in the fifth, keeping the Yanks in the game with his big stick. Judge is now hitting .315 after his first four-hit game of the season to go along with 30 RBIs and an MLB-best 14 home runs -- 11 of which have come in his last 18 games. Judge is in a walk year and playing his best baseball since he finished second in the AL MVP race in 2017. If Judge keeps hitting this way and stays healthy, he could end up winning the first MVP of his career when the dust settles at the end of the year.
Dylan Cease dominated the Royals in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader, holding Kansas City scoreless over 5 2/3 innings. He also scattered seven hits and two walks while striking out nine, boosting his MLB-leading total to 67. Cease had little trouble keeping the Royals' anemic offense off the board, notching his fourth win of the season and lowering his ERA to 3.09. It was a strong bounce-back performance for Cease, who got shelled for six runs in four innings his last time out. He's allowed two earned runs or less in six of his other eight outings this season, however, and has recorded at least eight punchouts in every start but one. The 26-year-old righty has improved every year since debuting in 2019 and appears to be evolving into a fantasy ace right before our eyes. Up next is a far more intimidating matchup at Yankee Stadium this weekend against the same team that crushed him in his last appearance, but fantasy managers should start him with confidence based on his overall body of work this year.
Paul Goldschmidt had a productive doubleheader against the Mets on Tuesday, going 4-for-9 with two doubles, a homer, and three RBIs. After going 1-for-4 with a solo shot in the first game, Goldschmidt outdid himself with a 3-for-5 effort in the second game. The big day extended his hitting streak to 10 games, raising his overall average to .321 and his OPS to .927. Goldschmidt has been absolutely on fire during that stretch, batting .439 with 12 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. The veteran slugger has shown no signs of slowing down during his age-34 season, as he now has 13 doubles and five homers to go along with 23 RBIs and 22 runs in 35 games thus far. Already a must-start, Goldschmidt is proving that he's still a top fantasy option in his 12th MLB season.
Shane McClanahan carved up the Tigers on Tuesday for his third win of the season, allowing just one run on four hits and no walks with seven strikeouts over seven innings. McClanahan held Detroit's putrid lineup to three singles and a solo homer over seven frames, lowering his ERA to 2.33 in the process. Tuesday was McClanahan's second straight start of seven innings and his third time finishing seven frames in his last five appearances. The 25-year-old southpaw appears to be fully stretched out after logging just nine innings over his first two starts of the season combined. He also improved his K/BB ratio to an exceptional 65:10 through 46 1/3 innings, demonstrating elite command that supports his outstanding numbers. McClanahan has quickly developed into a legitimate ace in just his second season after putting together a strong rookie campaign last year, making him a must-start fantasy option every time he takes the mound. Assuming good health, he seems poised to be a fantasy ace for years to come, making him even more valuable in dynasty leagues.
Mike Clevinger earned his first win of the season on Tuesday after tossing five innings of one-hit ball against the Phillies, walking none and striking out five in the process. Clevinger's third start of the year was easily his best after allowing six runs (five earned) on 10 hits and five walks over nine innings in his first two outings of the season. The victory was his first since Sept. 13, 2020, as he missed all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. His first two starts were understandably rusty, so it was encouraging to see him excel against Philadelphia's potent lineup. The biggest key for Clevinger going forward will be health, as he's pitched just 55 2/3 innings since the beginning of 2020 and only has one season with more than 130 innings. If his arm holds up, he should be able to fully take advantage of pitching half his games in Petco Park as well as other pitching-friendly venues in the NL West. A tough road matchup with the Giants awaits this weekend, which will be another test of where he's at right now.
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