Kevin Gausman pitched a gem against the Yankees on Friday, tossing seven scoreless innings with four hits and one walk while striking out seven. Gausman dominated New York's reeling lineup at Yankee Stadium, throwing 58 of his 86 pitches for strikes en route to a 4-0 victory for Toronto. The win improved Gausman's record to 9-9 and dropped his ERA below three to 2.99. After making the All-Star team and drawing Cy Young votes with the Giants last year, Gausman has continued to be one of the better pitchers in baseball this year. He currently sports the best FIP in MLB largely thanks to his AL-best 149:22 K/BB ratio. He's also done a tremendous job keeping the ball in the yard with only seven home runs allowed in 23 starts this season. Don't be afraid to fire him up at Fenway Park against a middling Red Sox club next week.
Patrick Sandoval fired a complete-game shutout against the Tigers on Friday, allowing just four hits (all singles) and no walks while racking up nine strikeouts in Detroit. Sandoval went the distance in LA's 1-0 victory for his first career complete game, throwing 73 of his 97 pitches for strikes. It took a matchup with a historically bad offense for Sandoval to earn his first win since May 22, snapping a streak of seven straight losses. That's more a byproduct of how bad the Angels are, however, as he's actually been pitching well lately with just four earned runs allowed in 25 innings over his last four outings. The nine whiffs tied his second-highest total of the season, but more importantly he did not walk anyone for the first time all year. Sandoval is now 4-8 with a 3.14 ERA despite a 1.40 WHIP, overcoming a 4.0 BB/9 rate thanks to his 9.5 K/9 rate and a miniscule 0.4 HR/9 rate. Back Sandoval to stay hot in his next start against the Rays in Tampa Bay next week.
Shane McClanahan settled for a no-decision on Friday despite limiting the Royals to two runs on two hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings. McClanahan was his usual dominant self, but unfortunately for him Tampa Bay's offense couldn't get much going and ultimately lost in extras, 3-2. The lefty's only real miscue was surrendering a two-run shot to rookie phenom Bobby Witt Jr. in the top of the third. That makes back-to-back quality starts for McClanahan, whose eight punchouts were his most since July 8. While he's cooled off a bit from his stellar first half, the 25-year-old sophomore is still pitching at a Cy Young level this year at 11-5 with a 2.29 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 141 1/3 innings, not to mention the best WHIP (0.86) and lowest hit rate (5.9 H/9) in the American League. Justin Verlander may be leading the AL Cy Young race at the moment, but McClanahan's not far behind. He'll be one of the best pitchers on the slate when he faces the Angels at home next week.
Triston McKenzie schooled the White Sox on Friday, allowing just two runs on six hits and no walks with a whopping 14 strikeouts over seven innings. The 14 punchouts were a season-high for McKenzie, who racked up 12 whiffs in a start last month as well. McKenzie allowed two quick runs in the first but settled down from there, slinging 78 of his 101 pitches for strikes and giving Cleveland enough time to come back and win the game. McKenzie's dominant outing improved his record to 9-9 with a 3.11 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 141 2/3 innings. He's now allowed two earned runs or less in three consecutive starts and seven of his last nine outings, shaving nearly a full run off his ERA during that span. McKenzie has emerged as a borderline fantasy ace over the last two months and will look to stay hot in Seattle next week.
Christopher Morel propelled the Cubs to an 8-7 win over the Brewers on Friday, going 2-for-3 with a game-winning two-run homer and two runs scored from the nine-hole. Morel drove home the final two runs of the game with his go-ahead blast in the bottom of the sixth, putting Chicago ahead for good in a back-and-forth game with Milwaukee. The dinger was the third in his last eight games for the 23-year-old rookie, who's shown some signs of life after being ice-cold for the last four weeks. Morel is batting just .140 over his last 17 games, knocking his average down from .283 to .257 and causing him to drop from first to last in the batting order. A whopping 40.0% strikeout rate and horrendous BABIP during that stretch are likely to blame for his recent swoon, although it's possible he could be hitting the rookie wall after a strong first half. The strikeouts aren't anything new (30.8% overall), but he'll likely need to cut down on those a bit to be more consistent at the plate.
This is just a small sample of our daily analysis, join our member area for tools that will help you win your fantasy championship. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3