Bobby Witt Jr. (SS-KC) powered the Royals to a 4-3 comeback win over the Cubs on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored. Witt launched a go-ahead two-run shot in the top of the sixth off Jameson Taillon, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. The dinger was his 24th of the season and continued an impressive power surge for him, as he now has four long balls in his last seven games, six in August and 12 since the start of July. The 23-year-old has really found his power stroke in his second season as part of an overall improvement at the plate, as his OPS has risen from .722 to .819 year-over-year. After going 20/30 last year, Witt is well on his way to a 30/30 season if he keeps up his recent power pace. He's only getting better and is still several years from his prime, making him an ideal player to have in dynasty formats and keeper leagues.
Tarik Skubal (SP-DET) pitched a gem in the first game of Friday's doubleheader between the Guardians and Tigers, earning the win after throwing six innings of one-run ball. He yielded just three hits and one walk while striking out seven, throwing 63 of his 88 pitches for strikes. The six innings were a season-high for Skubal, who's only made eight starts so far after missing the first half of the season with flexor tendon surgery. He's been inconsistent since coming back, going 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. He does have a stellar 43:7 K/BB ratio so far while allowing just one home run, however, showing excellent command despite the lengthy layoff. With his terrific peripherals, Skubal projects to be a strong fantasy option the rest of the way, assuming he stays healthy. He'll look to keep rolling against the Cubs at home in his next start.
Masataka Yoshida (OF-BOS) led the Red Sox past the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Yoshida got things started for Boston with a three-run bomb off Jhony Brito in the top of the first, kicking off an easy 8-3 win for the Sox. He later added an RBI single as well, marking his second multi-hit game in a row. The long ball was Yoshida's 13th of the season but his first since July 25, snapping a rough 18-game homerless streak for the rookie. Friday's four RBIs were more than the three he tallied during that stretch as well. Even so, he's still batting .302 with an .831 OPS, making a major impact for the Sox and fantasy owners alike in his first season stateside. The contact and plate discipline skills are already apparent, so if he can add a bit more pop to his game it would make him an even bigger star.
Julio Rodriguez (OF-SEA) sparked the Mariners to a 2-0 win over the Astros on Friday, going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and two stolen bases from the leadoff spot. J-Rod scored the game's first run with his third-inning solo blast off J.P. France, giving him 21 bombs on the year. The two steals also boosted his total to 32. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year has been tearing the cover off the ball this week with three straight games of at least four hits, extending his hitting streak to six games overall. His average has soared to .274, while his OPS has risen to .793. With 73 runs and 79 RBIs as well, Rodriguez continues to be one of the best all-around players in the game and has finally hit his stride in August after a relatively disappointing first half. Ride him while he's hot and enjoy the ride.
Kyle Schwarber (OF-PHI) broke out of his recent funk on Friday in a big way, going 2-for-4 with two homers, three RBIs and a walk against the Nationals. For the second time in two weeks, Schwarber victimized his old team with a multi-homer game. He also snapped out of a 2-for-23 skid, launching a two-run homer in the fourth inning and a solo shot in the ninth. The game was Schwarber's third of the season with multiple bombs, raising his season total to 32. He's now up to 77 RBIs as well, putting him on track for a 40/100 season if he stays healthy down the stretch. His .182 average remains an issue, however, as he leads the majors in strikeouts at 160. Schwarber's three-true-outcomes tendencies are well-known at this point, ultimately limiting his fantasy value despite his strong power numbers. He's at least made up for it in points and OBP formats with a career-high 90 walks thus far, although he's done nothing on the bases after swiping 10 bags last year.
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