Angels and Mariners Brawl in Los Angeles

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The tension between the Mariners and Angels had been building for a while, but things got kicked up a notch on Saturday night. There, late in the game, Erik Swanson sailed an errant pitch past the head of Angels superstar Mike Trout and to the backstop. The two sides exchanged words – and continued jawing at each other on the field after the game – but nothing physical came from it.

That was not the case on Sunday.

In the first inning on Sunday – likely as retaliation for Trout getting his tower buzzed on Saturday, Angels hurler Andrew Wantz threw one behind the head of Mariners rookie superstar Julio Rodriguez in the first inning. Rodriguez wasn’t hit by the pitch, but it came a little too close for comfort and the tensions that had already started to boil over on Saturday night escalated even further.

That should have been the end of it. The Mariners threw one near the head of the Angels superstar center fielder on Saturday, the Angels countered by doing the same thing in the first inning on Sunday. All was square. Or so you’d think.

Leading off the second inning, Wantz drilled Mariners slugger Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch and chaos ensued. Benches emptied. Cases of sunflower seeds were hurled onto the field. Bullpens rushed in. Punches were thrown. The game was delayed for 18 minutes due to the melee and ensuing madness.

After the umpires restored order and sorted everything out, three players and a manager from each side were ejected – Winker, Rodriguez, J.P. Crawford and manager Scott Servais from the Mariners, and Wantz, Raisel Iglesias, Ryan Tepera and interim skipper Phil Nevin for the Halos.

There’s certainly going to be additional disciplinary action handed down from the league in the form of suspensions and fines. They may need a day or two to sort through the video though in order to determine who to properly punish. You’d expect that Winker and Wantz for sure would be at the top of the list for any additional punishments.

On the field, it was the Angels who squeaked out a one-run victory over the Mariners in the actual ballgame. Jose Suarez was terrific and fanned eight over six innings of one-run baseball, Luis Rengifo homered and David MacKinnon delivered an RBI single in the seventh inning to provide the offense and with closer Raisel Iglesias catching this one from the clubhouse, Oliver Ortega stepped up and recorded the final six outs to notch his first big league save.

Fortunately, this was the final game of their series and the division rivals will have a chance to catch their breath and hopefully cooler heads will prevail the next time they square off when they meet for a four-game set in Seattle beginning on August 5.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Dylan Cease - 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 13 K, W (6), 39% CSW, 21 swinging strikes

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Cease was electric again in Sunday’s victory over the Orioles, piling up 21 swinging strikes – 16 of those on his slider – while registering an elite CSW of 39 percent. It’s the fourth time this season – and the second straight start – that Cease has fanned double-digit batters, with Sunday’s 13 being a new season-high. On the season, he now boasts a 2.56 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 121/37 K/BB ratio over 81 innings.

Shane McClanahan - 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K, W (8), 39% CSW, 19 swinging strikes

The 25-year-old southpaw continued to build his resume for the American League Cy Young award on Sunday, striking out 10 over seven dominant innings in a victory over the Pirates. McClanahan got 19 whiffs on the night – seven each on his changeup and slider – while posting a stellar 39 percent CSW. Now 8-3 on the season he holds a minuscule 1.77 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 123/16 K/BB ratio across 91 1/3 frames.

Spencer Strider - 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 31% CSW, 16 swinging strikes

The mustachioed right-hander was magnificent in a tough-luck no-decision against the Dodgers on Sunday night, out-dueling Tony Gonsolin with seven punchouts over six scoreless innings. Unfortunately for the Braves – and for fantasy managers – Kenley Jansen was unable to get the final out in the ninth inning which cost Strider a victory. He holds a brilliant 3.02 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 79/22 K/BB ratio across 53 2/3 innings on the season.

Hitters with an EDGE

Rowdy Tellez - 2-for-4, 2 HR (13), 4 RBI, 2 R, BB

Tellez blasted a pair of two-run homers as the Brewers trounced the Blue Jays 10-3 on Sunday. Both of the homers came off of Blue Jays starter José Berríos – one in each of the first two innings. The rotund slugger is now slashing .248/.322/.475 to go along with 13 homers and 45 RBI on the season.

Byron Buxton - 3-for-3, 2B, 3B, RBI, 3 R, BB

Buxton filled up the stat sheet in a victory over the Rockies on Sunday, smashing an RBI triple, scoring three runs and reaching base safely in each of his four plate appearances. With the three-hit attack, the oft-injured outfielder is now hitting .238/.320/.589 with 19 homers, 35 RBI and just one stolen base on the season.

Aaron Judge - 1-for-4, HR (28) 3 RBI, R, BB

The hulking 30-year-old slugger only had one hit in Sunday’s victory over the Astros, but it was certainly a big one – a 417-foot walk-off three-run blast off of Seth Martinez in the 10th inning that propelled the Bombers to their 53rd win. He’s having an MVP-caliber season, slashing .294/.370/.643 with a league-leading 28 homers and 56 RBI.

EDGE Priority Pickup

Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox – Available in 83% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

It’s pretty surprising to see the speedy 25-year-old outfielder still sitting on the waiver wire in 83 percent of all Yahoo leagues. While the Red Sox have made a habit of calling him up for a couple of days and then jettisoning him back to Triple-A, with how well he has hit this time around it seems like he may have some staying power. He’s now hitting .327/.386/.500 with nine runs scored, three RBI and four stolen bases through his first 13 games. His type of speed upside – with power and batting average as well – isn’t usually found on the waiver wire. He should be rostered in all mixed leagues for as long as he’s in the lineup everyday and leading off for one of the top offenses in the American League.

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Closing Time

Tanner Rainey vs. Rangers - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K (10th save)

Nats skipper Dave Martinez probably didn’t think he’d have to turn to his closer after entering the ninth inning with a five-run lead, but after Jonah Heim belted a two-run homer to cut the lead to two, he called upon Rainey. He did allow a two-out walk to Josh Smith, but got Marcus Semien to ground out to seal the victory. He has done a nice job in the ninth inning this season, compiling a 3.00 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 29/10 K/BB ratio over 24 innings while securing 10 of his first 13 save chances.

Brooks Raley vs. Pirates - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K (fourth save)

Never one to give fantasy managers anything to go off of, Rays manager Kevin Cash turned back the clock and gave Brooks Raley a save chance against the Pirates on Sunday – and he came through with flying colors. It was his fourth save of the season – but first since May 11. Prior to this, Colin Poche had recorded the two most recent saves – but Jason Adam, Matt Wisler and J.P. Feyereisen have been in the mix as well. This will continue to be a committee for the duration of the season.

Brusdar Graterol vs. Braves - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (first save)

The hard-throwing 23-year-old hurler recorded his first career save on Sunday night, working a perfect 11th inning to protect a two-run lead against the Braves. That was after Craig Kimbrel suffered a blown save in the 10th inning. With Daniel Hudson (knee) out for the season, there’s an opening for a primary setup man and Graterol certainly has the stuff to succeed in that role. He could be next in line for save chances behind Kimbrel – and therefore is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues for those speculating on saves, especially while Kimbrel struggles.

Jhoan Duran vs. Rockies - 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K (fifth save)

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli finally utilized his bullpen the way that most fantasy managers have been clamoring on Sunday, deploying Emilio Pagan earlier in the game and trusting Jhoan Duran with the ninth. The right-hander retired all three hitters that he faced in order – two of them via the strikeout – to notch his fifth save of the season. He boasts a stellar 2.18 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 46/6 K/BB ratio over 33 frames on the season.

Monday’s Matchup of the Day

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs. Triston McKenzie (CLE)

Prior to the start of the season, most prognosticators had the Chicago White Sox running away with the division title in the American League Central. Much to their chagrin, it’s actually the Twins and the Guardians who are battling it out for the top spot – with the Guardians entering Monday’s series opener just two games behind the Twins. The White Sox are 5 1/2 games off the pace.

To start this critical series, the Twins will give the ball to right-hander Sonny Gray. He has been exceptional in his first season with the club, registering a 2.53 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 46/10 K/BB ratio across 42 2/3 innings through his first nine starts.

The Guardians will counter with right-hander Triston McKenzie, who has been no slouch himself. The 24-year-old hurler boasts a 3.51 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 66/20 K/BB mark over 74 1/3 innings through his first 13 appearances – and that’s after being blasted for six runs over 4 1/3 innings by these same Twins in Minnesota his last time out.

Runs scored are going to be at a premium on Monday and it’s hard to destroy a top-tier starting pitcher in consecutive starts. Plenty of intrigue and reason to tune into this one.

American League Quick Hits: The Rays activated Wander Franco from the 10-day IL. … The Astros activated Jeremy Pena from the 10-day injured list. … George Springer (elbow) returned to the Blue Jays lineup on Sunday. … Mitch Garver is considering season-ending surgery to repair a damaged flexor tendon in his right forearm. … Michael Brantley left Sunday’s game with right shoulder discomfort. … Yoan Moncada (hamstring) is expected to return from the injured list on Tuesday. … Jonah Bride was pulled from Sunday’s game after colliding with teammate Chad Pinder. He sustained a banged up shoulder and a laceration on his nose, but is considered day-to-day. … Yolmer Sanchez will join the Red Sox on their trip to Toronto in place of Jarren Duran who is not vaccinated. … Matt Duffy left Sunday’s game with lower back tightness. … Josh Winder will start for the Twins on Tuesday against the Guardians. … Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson is leaving to take the same role for LSU. … Gleyber Torres suffered a minor ankle sprain in Sunday’s victory over the Astros.

Rich Hill allowed just one run over six innings in a victory over the Guardians. … J.D. Martinez went 3-for-5 and drove in two runs to lead the Red Sox to their seventh straight win. … Jose Urquidy allowed one run on just one hit over seven strong innings in a no-decision against the Yankees. … Jose Altuve homered and stole a pair of bases in an extra-inning loss to the Yankees. … Isaac Paredes went 3-for-3 with an RBI as the Rays topped the Pirates. … José Berríos was crushed for eight runs over 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the Brewers. … Glenn Otto was torched for six runs over two innings in a loss to the Nationals. … Riley Greene tallied his first career stolen base in a loss to the Diamondbacks.

National League Quick Hits: Ronald Acuña Jr. (foot) was held out of the Braves lineup on Sunday, but additional imaging did not reveal any fractures on his foot. He’s considered day-to-day for the time being, but could wind up on the injured list. … Jack Flaherty was pulled from Sunday’s start against the Cubs due to right shoulder stiffness. … Brandon Woodruff is scheduled to return from the injured list to start against the Rays on Tuesday. … The Brewers placed Hunter Renfroe on the 10-day IL with a left calf strain. … The Marlins designated fan favorite Willians Astudillo for assignment. … Mets manager Buck Showalter said he’s very confident that Jeff McNeil (hamstring) will return to action on Tuesday. … Ke’Bryan Hayes (shoulder) returned to the Pirates lineup on Sunday. … Kris Bryant (back) is expected to return to the Rockies lineup on Monday. … The Giants placed Brandon Crawford on the 10-day IL with left knee inflammation. … Jonathan India (hand) was held out of the Reds lineup on Sunday, he’s considered day-to-day. … Mookie Betts (rib) has yet to be cleared for baseball activities and will be out longer than the two-week timetable that was originally estimated. … Zach McKinstry was scratched from the Dodgers lineup due to neck stiffness. … Yadier Molina returned to his native Puerto Rico to rest his ailing right knee. … Hector Gomez reported that the Dodgers have interest in acquiring Frankie Montas and Luis Castillo.

David Peterson racked up eight strikeouts over seven innings of two-run ball in a no-decision against the Marlins. … Jackson Tetreault fired six innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Rangers. … Josh Bell went 3-for-5 with an RBI as the Nats topped the Rangers. … Brendan Donovan homered, tripled and walked as the Cardinals fell to the Cubs. … Willson Contreras went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs to lead the Cubs past the Cardinals. … Anthony DeSclafani surrendered seven runs over 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the Reds. … Nick Senzel went 3-for-3, walked and scored twice as the Reds topped the Giants. … Dallas Keuchel gave up four runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Tigers in his Diamondbacks debut on Sunday. … Daulton Varsho crushed a three-run homer to lead the D’Backs past the Tigers. …Nick Castellanos went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base as the Phillies defeated the Padres. … Andrew Bellatti picked up his first career save in Sunday’s win over the Padres.