Matt Olson's Awesome Evening

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It’s probably more than just the food. Matt Olson’s favorite spot to visit might just be Philadelphia – he has five home runs in four career games at Citizens Bank Park. Two of those homers were on glorious display on Tuesday night during the Braves’ 5-3 win over the Phillies.

Olson wasted no time with his 11th round-tripper of the year, as he went back-to-back with Travis d’Arnaud in the first inning. The 379-foot blast was clobbered at 110 MPH to give the Braves an early 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Kyle Schwarber made things interesting with a homer that tied the game at 3-3. However, Olson decided the fate of the ballgame, as he was about to alter any winning plans the Phillies might have had.

The eighth inning came and brought Olson’s second homer of the evening – a ball absolutely pulverized by a gorgeous swing. The Braves got that much-needed go-ahead run, leading to the eventual win.

Olson now has eight doubles, seven homers and 25 RBIs in the past 26 games; this was also Olson’s second multi-homer effort in eight games. He now carries a .253/.350/.481 slash line and 128 wRC+, including 12 homers.

Along with the Braves earning 20 wins and five losses in the month of June, the NL East is looking mighty interesting as we head into the midseason. With the Mets losing to the Astros on Tuesday, the division lead held by New York is now down to four games.

Hitters with an EDGE

Josh Harrison vs. Angels

2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Where’d this power come from? The 34-year-old smashed his second homer of the year, a two-run, one-out blast on a 3-1 count to tie the Angels 3-3. Notably, Harrison also matched his season-high hits, while plating three runs. Also, he White Sox hit a season-high eight extra-base hits in a 11-4 drubbing of the Angels.

Yordan Álvarez vs. Mets

3-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 BB

We probably should stop being surprised at Alvarez’s big night(s) at the plate by now. The slugger’s 23rd homer of the year was a one out, two run blast that contributed to a 9-1 blowout over the Mets. He reached base five times tonight, giving him a mighty 1.082 OPS.

Yermin Mercedes vs. Tigers

1-for-2, Single

He’s baaaaack. The former rookie sensation known for his 8-for-8 start back in April 2021 was designated for assignment by the White Sox earlier this year, and later claimed by the Giants. The 29-year-old made his debut in San Francisco on Tuesday, hitting seventh, in the DH spot. Mercedes hit a single, and finished with two total bases before Tommy La Stella was sent in to pinch hit.

Pitchers with an EDGE

Framber Valdez vs. Mets

8 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Valdez is known for eating innings in his starts, so eight innings here isn’t too much of a shocker. This eight-inning shutout is actually the first of his career, however. Valdez now leads MLB in quality starts, with 13. He carries forth an 8-3 record with a 2.68 ERA to accompany, and leads the Astros in innings pitched, with 94 so far.

Patrick Corbin vs Pirates

8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K

Turn the beat around! Corbin was able to lure the Pirates into 19 swings and misses, 14 on the slider alone. He finished the evening with a glorious 39% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) on all pitches. The southpaw experienced upticks in velocity on his fastball and sinker, and a slight raise in spin on all pitches. Prior to this outing, Corbin had a 6.60 ERA and had also not gone more than four innings in each of his last two starts.

Robbie Ray vs Orioles

7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K

Ray picked up his second no-decision in a row, though the Mariners pulled out a 2-0 win over the Orioles with a two run double hit by Jesse Winker. The lefty hurler pitched seven innings of one hit, shutout ball to keep the Mariners in the game early. The southpaw racked 17 swings and misses, eight on his sinker and six on his slider, to contribute to a 33% CSW on all pitches. In his last four starts, he has a 0.67 ERA and 28 strikeouts over 27 innings pitched.

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Closing Time

Hunter Strickland vs. Cubs (fourth save)

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB

Strickland began the frame by fanning Christopher Morel, but then surrendered a double to Rafael Ortega. He was able to conclude the game with a quick lineout and flyout. He’s successfully converted four out of four save opportunities.

Ryan Helsley vs. Marlins (sixth save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB

Striking out the side is always a great way to polish off a ballgame. Helsley fanned Garrett Cooper, Jesús Aguilar and Avisaíl García all with swinging strikes. Helsley has certainly affirmed his closer role in St. Louis.

Josh Hader vs. Rays (23rd save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB

After Devin Williams was brought on to end the eighth inning, Hader earned his major league-leading 23rd save on Tuesday with swift swinging strikeouts to Taylor Walls, Vidal Bruján, and Francisco Mejía. The hard-throwing southpaw has an impressive 1.14 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings pitched this year.

Clay Holmes vs. Athletics (13th save)

1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 K, 0 BB

Holmes started the evening with two strikeouts, but a catcher’s interference ended up extending the last frame. Back-to-back singles drove in an unearned run and threatened the Yankees with the tying run on second, but a soft grounder finally ended the game.

A.J. Minter vs. Phillies (first save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Like we mentioned in today’s lead story, the Braves rallied during Collin McHugh’s relief appearance, allowing him the win. Minter followed McHugh, and solidified the win for the Braves by getting Yairo Muñoz to ground out, fanning Matt Vierling, and inducing a ground out from Kyle Schwarber to end the game.

Tanner Rainey vs. Pirates (11th save)

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Rainey capstoned a great performance from Patrick Corbin; he issued a one-out walk to Daniel Vogelbach and a two-out single to Bligh Madris, but slammed the door on the Pirates by getting Hoy Park called out on strikes. The 29-year-old has successfully converted 11 out of 14 save opportunities.

Emmanuel Clase vs. Twins (18th save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Clase struck out two of the four batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning to secure a 3-2 victory for the Guardians in the first half of a doubleheader in Cleveland. The one batter who reached base against him did so on a fielding error by first baseman Owen Miller. Clase has a sparkling 1.44 season ERA.

Camilo Doval vs. Tigers (12th save)

1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Priority Pickup

Gavin Lux - 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers - Rostered in 53% of Yahoo Leagues

In his past few games, he’s seen his average and OPS rise considerably. Lux struggled at the beginning of the season, but guidance from Freddie Freeman and Justin Turner resulted in a better approach at the plate. Focusing on hitting for contact instead of power has helped Lux’s numbers quite a bit: in his last 30 games played, he has a .327/.380/.449 triple-slash line, including a homer, three steals, five RBI and 13 runs scored. He’s absolutely deserving of a pickup especially in OBP leagues.

Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day

Nick Pivetta (8-5, 3.25 ERA, 86 K) vs. Alek Manoah (9-2, 2.05 ERA, 79 K)

Two AL East teams that have been at each other’s heels lately will head into battle on Wednesday. Pivetta has made eight quality starts in his last nine outings, which is particularly hopeful heading into tomorrow. However, the right hander has given up seven earned runs off 10 hits in 8 2/3 innings pitched over two starts against Toronto earlier this year. Meanwhile, in his outing last week against Milwaukee, Manoah gave up five hits, issued three walks, and struck out six. Manoah last faced the Red Sox on April 28, where he twirled a seven-inning shutout, allowing Boston just three hits.

American League Quick Hits

Kevin Kiermaier (hip) will likely return from the injured list this week..Athletics activated OF Stephen Piscotty from the 10-day injured list. … Astros placed OF Michael Brantley on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort. … White Sox activated 3B Yoán Moncada from the 10-day injured list. … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Mookie Betts (rib) will resume baseball activities on Wednesday. … Nate Pearson (lat) will be shut down from throwing for the next 3-4 weeks. … Angels placed RHP Archie Bradley on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow fracture. … Tigers transferred OF Austin Meadows from the COVID-19 injured list to the 10-day injured list. … Taylor Trammell has been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain. … Jimmy Herget (shoulder) has been shut down indefinitely. … Brandon Marsh is considered day-to-day with a right knee contusion.

National League Quick Hits

Braves placed RHP Kenley Jansen on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to June 27, with an irregular heartbeat. … Phillies placed RHP Zach Eflin on the 15-day injured list with a right knee bruise. … Max Scherzer (oblique) will make his next minor league rehab start on Wednesday for Double-A Binghamton. … Brewers activated 2B Kolten Wong from the 10-day injured list. … Brewers activated RHP Brandon Woodruff from the 15-day injured list. … Jazz Chisholm Jr. is being evaluated for discomfort in his right lower back. … Diamondbacks placed RHP Zach Davies on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation.