Marcus Semien (SS-TEX) went 1-for-5 with a solo homer against the Pirates on Wednesday. Semien opened the game with a leadoff homer against Johan Oviedo, keying a three-run frame for Texas. The long ball proved crucial as the Rangers held on to win, 3-2. The dinger was his eighth of the season but first since May 11, snapping an 11-game homerless streak. The four-bagger extended Semien's hitting streak to 14 games, during which time he's raised his average from .286 to .299. In fact, he's been hot for the entire month of May, hitting safely in 20 of 21 games this month and batting .337 while racking up 30 hits. Only three of those knocks have gone over the wall, but he still has 11 extra-base hits, 20 runs and 17 RBIs as well as three steals. Overall, Semien is having an MVP-caliber season out of the leadoff spot for Texas and remains an elite fantasy option at age 32.
Martin Perez (SP-TEX) picked up the win on Wednesday after firing seven innings of two-run ball against the Pirates, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out three. Perez was gifted a three-run lead before he even took the mound and he made it stand up, yielding just two runs in the second. He threw 64 of his 95 pitches for strikes and did an excellent job keeping the ball down, inducing 12 groundouts against just one flyout. The win improved his record to 6-1 (he has not lost since April 8) and lowered his ERA to 3.83. After a couple of rocky starts to begin May, Perez has rebounded with back-to-back seven-inning outings / quality starts. It's hard to trust his surface-level stats, however, given that he has an ugly 10.9 H/9 rate that's fueling his 1.47 WHIP. His 6.6 K/9 rate is also a disappointment after sitting at 7.7 the last two seasons, limiting his fantasy value beyond wins and a solid ERA. He'll be in a strong position to continue his recent success against the light-hitting Tigers in his next scheduled start early next week.
Joe Ryan (SP-MIN) earned another victory on Wednesday after tossing five innings of one-run ball against the Giants. He yielded six hits and two walks while striking out four, throwing 72 of his 107 pitches for strikes. It wasn't the smoothest or most efficient outing for Ryan, but he managed to avoid serious damage and limited San Francisco to only one run despite all of the traffic on the bases. The win improved his record to 7-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.21. Wednesday was Ryan's first time going fewer than six innings this year despite matching his season-high in pitches, which goes to show how consistent he's been. He's displayed excellent control as well with a 70:10 K/BB ratio and only four home runs allowed through 61 innings. The 26-year-old continues to build on his strong rookie campaign and is quickly developing into a full-fledged ace for Minnesota and fantasy GMs. He has a tough test up next when he faces the Astros on the road, however.
Michael Kopech (SP-CWS) dominated the Guardians on Wednesday, firing seven shutout innings for the win. He yielded just two hits (both singles) and one walk while racking up nine strikeouts, throwing 62 of his 92 pitches for strikes. Kopech has now thrown 15 scoreless frames (with 19 strikeouts) over his last two starts combined and has been outstanding in May after a horrendous April (7.01 ERA). He's allowed two earned runs or less in four of five starts this month, lowering his ERA to a more tolerable 4.24. The big key for him is having more consistent control. When he's keeping his walks and home runs down, he's one of the best pitchers in the game. When he doesn't, however, he's one of the worst. This is only his second full season as a starter, so it's not surprising that he's been up and down so far. He'll look to keep rolling against the Angels at home in his next outing.
Shane McClanahan (SP-TB) earned another win with his latest stellar outing on Wednesday, tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays. He yielded just four hits and no walks while striking out seven, throwing 60 of his 82 pitches for strikes in an efficient outing. McClanahan improved to 8-0 with a 1.97 ERA with his latest gem, which saw him shut down a potent Toronto lineup outside of one run in the fourth. Wednesday was his second straight start of seven innings, matching his season-high. He's now allowed two earned runs or less in all but one of his 11 outings this year, showcasing remarkable consistency. McClanahan is on his way to another Cy Young-caliber season if he keeps it up, although it's worth remembering that he got off to a similarly hot start last year before fading a bit in the second half. The lefty ace will look to keep rolling on the road against the Cubs in his next scheduled start.
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