Tuesday offered a fairly typical evening for the 2017 version of Justin Verlander. While Verlander settled down to shut the Royals out for the next six innings, he has been alternately wild and hittable, a frustrating duality for a pitcher who just last year deserved the American League Cy Young Award. With a starting pitching trade market big on depth but relatively barren of those with frontline reputations, is Verlander going to be available?
Thanks to a 10-game winning streak, the Los Angeles Dodgers overtook first place in the National League West and the No. 2 spot in USA TODAY Sports' power rankings. The Dodgers, led by rookie slugger Cody Bellinger with his NL-high 24 home runs, have homered in 17 consecutive games and have hit 43 in the month of June. Meanwhile, the Houston Astros maintained the No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive week. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves had the biggest jump this week, moving up four spots to No. 19 and 20, respectively. From 1 to 30, how they stack up based on voting from our 10-person panel: TEAM. MOVEMENT 1. Houston Astros: -- ►Taxi squad rotation holding it down: 13-9 since
Back on the mound, Roberto Osuna settled into his comfort zone. The Toronto closer struck out three in a scoreless ninth inning a day after saying he was dealing with anxiety issues, and the Blue Jays avoided a sweep by beating the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Sunday. "I felt really good and I felt better than yesterday and the day before," Osuna said through a translator. "I'm just ready to work on that and get over it." Jose Bautista homered and drove in a season-high four runs and Francisco Liriano earned his 100th career victory. Osuna didn't pitch in a save situation on Friday night, and the Blue Jays' bullpen let a game get away. On Saturday, the 22-year-old reliever said he was out of sorts