Aaron Judge powered the Yankees to another win on Friday, going 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs in an 11-5 rout of the Royals. New York was actually losing before erupting for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth, half of which scored on a Judge grand slam. Judge had already jacked a two-run homer earlier in the game as well, finishing with his ninth multi-homer game of the season. Just when you thought Judge couldn't possible get any hotter, he's exploded for 11 home runs and 24 RBIs over his last 13 games combined, inluding eight home runs and 19 RBIs over his last eight contests. Judge is simply unstoppable right now, currently leading MLB in runs (84), homers (41), RBIs (89), and total bases (250). Look for Judge to keep swinging a hot bat this weekend against Kansas City's horrendous pitching staff, making Judge well worth the price in DFS contests.
Miles Mikolas earned the win on Friday after firing seven innings of two-run ball against the Nationals, allowing six hits and one walk with four strikeouts. As expected, Mikolas bounced back against a lowly Washington squad after getting torched for six runs on seven hits in five innings during his most recent outing. He was extremely efficient, needing just 91 pitches to complete seven frames. He also kept the ball in the park after surrendering at least one home run in each of his previous five starts. Surprisingly, Friday's victory only evened his record at 8-8 despite his outstanding 2.86 ERA, suggesting some bad luck in the win department (the Cardinals are only 12-9 in his starts). He's now gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts and has a quality start in four of his last five outings. Mikolas will look to keep rolling in another easy matchup against the Cubs at home next week, where he'll be a must-start in all fantasy formats.
Rhys Hoskins willed the Phillies to victory on Friday, going 4-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and a walk. Hoskins saved his best for last with a game-winning two-run bomb in the top of the 10th, propelling Philadelphia to a 4-2 victory. The dinger was his 20th of the season, marking the fourth time in five years that he's reached that benchmark. He only has 48 RBIs, however, due to his high three-true-outcome rate (41.3%) and .253 batting average. After struggling in his first few games after the All-Star break, Hoskins has gotten back on track with at least one hit in five of his last six games, including three multi-hit efforts during that span. With Hoskins manning the two-hole in what is still a dangerous Phillies lineup (even without Bryce Harper), he should continue to be beneficial with the bat for fantasy teams in the second half.
Starling Marte helped propel the Mets to a 6-4 win over the Marlins on Friday, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, and three RBIs. Marte did the bulk of his damage against NL Cy Young frontrunner Sandy Alcantara, including his game-tying solo shot in the fourth inning. The long ball was his 11th of the year, four of which have come in July. The three hits also lifted his average to .305, giving him six multi-hit games in his last seven contests. Marte has been red-hot at the plate in July and has been chipping in on the bases as well with 12 steals, including four in July. With an average over .300 and good power/speed numbers, Marte is still a top fantasy option in the outfield at age 33. If he keeps up his recent performance in the second half, he could end up with his third career 20/20 season.
Nolan Gorman socked his 11th homer of the season on Friday, going 1-for-4 with a two-run blast against the Nationals. Gorman provided some welcome insurance runs in the top of the sixth with his big fly, extending the St. Louis lead from 3-1 to 5-1. The 22-year-old rookie has now gone deep in back-to-back games and four times in his last 10 contests, but he hasn't done much else with just two singles, one walk, and 15 strikeouts in 35 plate appearances during that span. Gorman has seen his batting average crater to .230 during a month of July where he has just two games with multiple hits. His boom-or-bust tendencies have become apparent as the season has progressed, especially since he only has six doubles and a whopping 32.2 K%. Perhaps that will improve with experience, but it's evident that he needs to cut down on the whiffs to have more consistent success at the plate.
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