Javier Fans 14 as Dominant Run Continues

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A week after tossing seven no-hit innings with 13 strikeouts against the Yankees, Astros' right-hander Cristian Javier continued his incredible run with a dominating performance against the Angels. He allowed just one hit, a solo homer by Shohei Ohtani, over seven innings with 14 strikeouts on his way to his sixth win in Houston's 8-1 victory. Ohtani's home run in the first inning would be the only hitter to reach base against Javier as he tossed 68-of-99 pitches for strikes with no walks. He induced 23 whiffs on those 99 pitches for a 43 percent CSW rate (called strikes plus whiffs). Across his last two starts, he's struck out multiple batters in 12 consecutive innings and 27 in total, the most by a pitcher across two starts since 1900. Home runs by Jake Meyers, Chas McCormick, and Yuli Gurriel helped lead the team offensively behind Javier. He finishes Friday with a 2.58 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 95 strikeouts over 69 2/3 innings with a good matchup against the Royals in Houston ahead.

Hitters with an EDGE

Nolan Arenado vs. Phillies
4-for-4, HR, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI

Arenado became the first Cardinal to hit for the cycle since Mark Grudzielanek completed the feat in 2005. He got the hardest one out of the way in the first inning with an RBI triple off the top of the left field wall. He made sure it cleared the wall in the third with a two-run homer. A double in the sixth and base hit in the eighth would complete the cycle and end Arenado's day with a .288/.349/.523 triple-slash with 15 homers and 52 RBI across 315 plate appearances.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. vs. Rays
3-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 R, 1 RBI, BB

Gurriel Jr. had a big day at the plate Friday against the Rays, reaching base in all four plate appearances and crossing home plate to score three times. He led off the third inning with a double off of Corey Kluber. After adding a walk and a base hit, he took David McKay deep for a solo shot in the seventh for his fifth homer. Gurriel Jr. has enjoyed a solid season, hitting .292/.347/.432 with 32 runs scored and 34 RBI across 274 plate appearances. While the power hasn't been there, a .464 expected slugging hints at more to come. Hopefully, Friday's homer was the beginning of that.

Dansby Swanson vs. Reds
4-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI

Swanson had an incredible day at the plate with four hits against the Reds. The biggest came in the seventh inning as he took Joel Kuhnel deep for a three-run homer. He'd add two doubles and a single in the game to finish with an excellent .300/.360/.505 slash line with 14 homers and 11 stolen bases across 322 plate appearances. It's safe to say Swanson is one of the draft season's biggest steals.

Willy Adames vs. Pirates
2-for-6, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, SB

Adames drove in four of the Brewers' 19 runs in a blowout win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. All four RBI came on a grand slam in the eighth inning off Cam Vieaux. He had added a base hit and a stolen base earlier in the game. The 26-year-old shortstop is hitting .212/.282/.470 with 16 homers and a pair of steals across 244 plate appearances. And Adames's underlying .263 expected batting average, .578 expected slugging, and 15.8 percent barrel rate suggest he could be in for a monster second half.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Tony Gonsolin vs. Padres
7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K
18 Swinging strikes, 42% CSW

Gonsolin was dominant again as he continued his streak of two runs or fewer through his 15 starts with a one-run effort against the Padres. His 7 2/3 innings were a season-high as he held San Diego to one run on a solo homer by Trent Grisham. He scattered three more hits and did not walk a batter, throwing an efficient 73-of-92 pitches for strikes. Gonsolin induced 18 whiffs to strike out eight batters and ended the day with a 1.54 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, and 77 strikeouts across 81 2/3 innings. He'll take on the Rockies in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Joe Ryan vs. Orioles
7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K
11 Swinging strikes, 27% CSW

Ryan put together his best start since returning from the injured list, holding the Orioles to one run over seven innings. He was in control all game, allowing just two hits and a walk on 89 pitches -- 64 strikes. The one run came in the third inning on an RBI-double by Cedric Mullins. Ryan generated 11 swings and misses to strike out seven batters. The Twins couldn't give him the run support for the win, leaving Ryan with a no-decision. He'll take a 3.00 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts across 66 innings into a start against the White Sox in Chicago on Wednesday.

Brad Keller vs. Tigers
6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
4 Swinging strikes, 19% CSW

Keller held the Tigers in check over six scoreless innings for the win. While he didn't generate many whiffs, he collected five punchouts and induced weak contact throughout his outing with an average exit velocity of 86 miles per hour. The closest Detroit came to scoring came in the sixth inning after Keller allowed a single and a walk to put two runners on with no outs. He then induced a fly-out, strikeout, and lineout to extinguish the threat. The 26-year-old right-hander takes a 4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 56 strikeouts across 85 innings into his next start against the Guardians in Kansas City on Wednesday.

Max Fried vs. Reds
7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K
8 Swinging strikes, 27% CSW

Fried is no stranger to these outings. He picked up his eighth win of the season with seven innings of one-run ball against the Reds. Tossing 63-of-94 pitches for strikes, he did not issue a free pass while generating eight whiffs to strike out four batters. The one run against Fried came in the third inning on an RBI single by Tommy Pham. The 28-year-old left-hander takes a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 96 strikeouts across 101 1/3 innings into his next start against the Cardinals in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Priority Pickup

Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox -- Available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues

Duran went 2-for-5 with a home run in his return to the Red Sox lineup on Friday. The 25-year-old missed the previous series in Toronto due to his vaccination status. He's played regularly since joining the club on June 15, with Enrique Hernandez on the injured list, and has hit leadoff in every game. Duran has been much-improved over last season through 62 plate appearances. He's hitting .333/.387/.544 with one home, five doubles, two triples, and four steals. All with just a 17.7 percent strikeout rate. His focus on making more contact has been a real difference-maker. Duran has the potential to help fantasy teams with runs, batting average, and stolen bases with some chip-in power as we approach the second half of the season.

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Closing Time

Called on to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning for the Cubs, David Robertson needed just eight pitches to shut the door on the Red Sox. He recorded his tenth save of the season to go with a 1.80 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts across 30 innings.

Edwin Diaz struck out two batters in a clean ninth inning for his 17th save as the Mets won 4-3 against the Rangers. Diaz continues his impressive season with a 2.01 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts across 31 1/3 innings.

Tanner Scott took the mound for the Marlins with a three-run lead against the Nationals. He struck out the first batter, then induced a pair of groundouts to lock down his eighth save of the season.

After Seranthony Domínguez pitched the eighth inning against the heart of the Cardinals' order, Brad Hand was summoned to close it out in the ninth. He struck out two batters in a clean inning for his third save.

Scott Barlow recorded the final out in the eighth inning against the Tigers before closing it out in the ninth. One run would come across in the final frame on a sacrifice fly by Eric Haase. Barlow is up to 11 saves on the year with a 2.31 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts over 35 innings.

Kendall Graveman took the mound for the White Sox in the ninth inning against the Giants after Chicago took the lead in the top of the frame. He pitched a clean inning to lock down the win and record his fourth save with Liam Hendriks on the injured list.

Lou Trivino worked around a walk to secure the save against the Mariners. He struck out one batter in the process and should continue to see Oakland's save chances with Dany Jiménez on the injured list.

Matchup of the Day

Dylan Cease (CSW) vs. Logan Webb (SF)

Saturday's featured matchup takes up to San Francisco, where the Giants host the White Sox for the second game of a three-game series. Both teams are looking to finish the first half strong heading into the All-Star break, with each in third place in their respective divisions. Starting for Chicago will be breakout right-hander, Dylan Cease, bringing a 2.56 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 121 strikeouts across 81 innings. His strikeout ability has been matched only by the likes of Corbin Burnes and Shane McClanahan. Continued success at this level should put him in Cy Young Award consideration. Logan Webb will take the mound for the home team, sporting a 3.04 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 81 strikeouts over 91 2/3 innings. After a relatively slow start, the 25-year-old right-hander has picked it up of late. After posting just a 15 percent strikeout rate in April, it's jumped to 25 percent since the start of May. And he's continued to limit walks (5.9 percent) and generate plenty of ground balls (56.3 percent).

American League Quick Hits: The Yankees activated Aroldis Chapman from the 15-day injured list and placed Miguel Castro on the paternity leave list... Chris Sale will make his final rehab start on July 6... Nathan Eovaldi will throw a bullpen session Saturday... Jeremy Pena returned to the Astros' starting lineup Friday... Yordan Álvarez remained out... Spencer Torkelson was removed from Friday's game after getting hit in the head and cleared concussion protocols... Rays activated Kevin Kiermaier from the 10-day injured list and optioned David McKay and Luke Raley to Triple-A... Ryan Yarbrough was optioned to Triple-A... The A's designated Adam Kolarek for assignment... Pete Fairbanks began a rehab assignment on Thursday... Enrique Hernandez took 15 swings on Friday... Royals designated Matt Peacock for assignment and claimed Ryan Weiss off waivers from the Diamondbacks...

Nationals League Quick Hits: Max Scherzer will rejoin the Mets rotation on July 5 in Cincinnati... Ronald Acuña returned to the Braves lineup on Friday... The Mets placed Chris Bassitt on the COVID-19 injured list and recalled R.J. Alvarez from Triple-A... Jack Flaherty will be limited to physical therapy for a couple weeks before he is reevaluated... Jorge Soler was placed on the 10-day injured list with bilateral pelvis inflammation... The Marlins activated Joey Wendle from the 10-day injured list... The Phillies recalled Bailey Falter from Triple-A and designated Oscar Mercado for assignment... The Nationals optioned Riley Adams and recalled Tres Barrera from Triple-A... Lucas Sims will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back...