Alex Wood dominates the Nationals
I recall some readers asking why I didn't rank Braves young starter Alex Wood in my Top 75 starters back in the preseason. My reasoning was that I wasn't sure he would start the season in the Braves loaded rotation (at the time), and wasn't at all confident he would remain a starter based on many of the scouting reports I had read.
Well, Wood has made me look bad for not ranking him, and he was at his best on Sunday Night Baseball vs the Nationals. Wood dominated the Nationals, giving up one run on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 12 strikeouts in the Braves 3-1 win. Wood moved his record to 8-9 with a 3.08 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and a 119-33 strikeout to walk rate in 117 innings.
Wood has pitched well enough to be a strong candidate for my top 40 starting pitcher rankings for 2015.
For more on Wood, make sure you check out Talking Chop, SB Nation's Braves fan site.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hits a lot of long home runs, and last night he hit a ball that went 470 feet. Yeah, he's a strong man. Stanton went 2-3 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI in the Marlins 6-5 win over the Cardinals. Stanton is now hitting .292-.393-.569 with 31 home runs, 76 runs scored, 82 RBI and 10 stolen bases, and is on pace for his first 40 home run season. They say power hitters hit home runs in bunches and that is exactly what Stanton is doing, as he has hit six home runs in his last ten games. He now has hit 7 home runs that have traveled over 450 feet this season. Wow.
Will Stanton hit 40 home runs this season? I think he will.
Tigers starter Justin Verlander had his shortest outing of the season, giving up 5 runs, 4 earned runs, on 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in just one inning of work in the Tigers 10-6 loss to the Pirates. It was reported after the game that he left with right shoulder tightness....not good. In addition, I heard on MLB Network Radio that his fastball was clocked in the 88-90 range, and highlights on ESPN last night showed he was definitely not right. I assume the Tigers will place him on the disabled list, but the timing couldn't be worse, as they just placed Anibal Sanchez and Joakim Soria on the disabled list over the weekend. Verlander took the loss, and is now 10-11 with a 4.76 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP and a 118-55 strikeout to walk rate in 158.2 innings.
To make matters worse, the Tigers fell out of first place with the loss, as the Royals beat the A's to take over first place for the first time in quite some time.
The Orioles won a big game last night, beating the Yankees 11-3, but lost third baseman Manny Machado to knee injury. Machado injured his right knee, twisting it as he was swinging. He needed assistance when leaving the field, so don't be surprised if he needs a DL stint. Machado had been hitting well before the injury, hitting .278 with 12 home runs, 38 runs scored and 32 RBI in 82 games this season.
Pirates outfielder Travis Snider had one of his best games of the season last night, going 3-5 with a double, 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Pirates 11-6 win over the Tigers. Snider is now hitting .251-.324-.414 with 9 home runs, 24 runs scored and 29 RBI in just over 200 at bats. He has never quite lived up to his potential, but has some value in NL only leagues, and that value increased a bit with the news that the Pirates placed Andrew McCutchen on the 15 day disabled list on Monday.
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