by Will Overton
The playoff race is heating up in real baseball, while in fantasy baseball the championship run is about to hit high gear as we close in on the last week of the season. Chances are if you are competing for that title in your league you may have a good idea of who did what in baseball last night, but if you missed it we have you covered with our top 10 stories of the night:
1) Did Rick Porcello Lock Up The Cy Young Last Night?
Here’s something we’ve seen a few times already this season, Rick Porcello got a win last night. In fact this was Porcello’s 22nd win to be exact. It wasn’t Porcello’s best outing with three runs allowed on eight hits in 6.1 IP, but Porcello’s “not that good outings” are still better than the average start. This continued the quality start streak of Porcello which is up to 12 in a row now. This did snap Porcello’s streak of 11 straight starts of seven innings or more though. Porcello also kept his nice strikeout total going last night too with nine strikeouts to bring his total to 183, a really nice number, especially contrasted with his 30 BB’s. There are other contenders for Cy Young in the AL, but I think Porcello is the hands down most deserving.
2) Leaving Cincinnati Hasn’t Hurt The Power Of Todd Frazier
Great American Ballpark is always a nice home stadium for a power hitter to really rack up the numbers, but Todd Frazier has proven he doesn’t need the boost. Frazier left Cincinnati for the Chicago White Sox this season and last night was his 39th HR of the season, a career high total for him. Frazier also has a career high in RBI with 96 now after last night too. The average is terrible at .225, but you can learn to live with that for 40/100 and the 12 SB’s that Frazier also has. Clearly this was not an issue of ballpark dependence, but Frazier is the real deal power hitter.
3) The Second Half Of The Season Has Been Good To Kendrys Morales
Kendrys Morales came out of the gate a little slow this season, not a new thing for him. At the end of the month of May Morales was hitting .193 and had a total of 6 HR’s and 21 RBI. Morales was dropped in a whole bunch of leagues at this point, and now here we are in September and last night Morales hit his 30th HR and reached 90 RBI. Morales has really turned it up to another level this month too with a .337 average 8 HR’s and 27 RBI. No matter the struggles Morales goes through he just always seem to be good for these stellar totals at the end of the year one way or another.
4) Stephen Piscotty Ends His Slump Last Night Against The Cubs
In a game the Cardinals desperately needed to win, Stephen Piscotty picked a great time to break out of his recent slump. Piscotty went 3 – 5 last night with a pair of runs scored, a HR and two RBI. Piscotty was hitting just .162 in his last 12 games before last night and last night was also the first HR hit for Piscotty since September 9th. As they continue to chase the playoffs the Cardinals really need the bat of Piscotty in the top part of the lineup to be producing. And despite recent struggles this has been a great year for Piscotty overall.
5) Dominant Yu Darvish Returned To The Mound Last Night
Last week Yu Darvish took on the A’s and was blown up by them, allowing seven runs in five innings and these kind of starts haven’t been uncommon lately for Darvish which is alarming. Last night though was a different story against the A’s when Darvish pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits total and striking out nine while walking only one. Darvish has that dominant ability and the strikeout rate is awesome, you just hope for a little more consistency next season.
6) Looking Ahead: Scott Schebler Is Doing Well To Secure A Job In 2017
A lot of fantasy owners are already looking ahead to next season at this point with their season all but over. Meanwhile real players are looking to next season as well and trying to lock down jobs for the coming year. Scott Schebler is a guy who is putting in the work and possibly earning himself a full time job in 2017. Schebler went 2 – 4 last night with a couple of runs scored, running his September average to .312 and he has 11 runs scored for the month. Schebler got a chance earlier this season to start and couldn’t hold it down, but the second go round is going much better. There is some upside here worth watching for with his power potential and ability to be a middle of the order guy.
7) Going Out On Top: Maikel Franco Looking To End The Year With A Bang
After going through a little bit of a power drought for a while, Maikel Franco has homered in back to back games after last night’s bomb. Franco also picked up two hits last night and has three games in a row with two hits. Franco has been a pretty streaky hitter this season, but you can’t argue with the overall numbers of 25 HR’s and 87 RBI. There is still a lot of room for improvement for Franco too I think, especially in terms of average where Franco is hitting .253. If Franco can be more consistent at the plate the average will go up and I still see 35 – 40 HR’s in Franco’s future at some point.
8) Wade Miley Gives The Orioles A Boost Against His Former Team In Arizona
The return that the Orioles have gotten from Wade Miley since trading for him hasn’t been all that impressive, like an ERA of 7.55 in nine starts before last night. Miley earned his keep last night though against his former team by allowing only one run in 8.2 IP. Miley gave up seven hits in the game, but he didn’t walk anyone and he struck out 11, a season high total for Miley. We seem to get starts like this from time to time from Miley which keeps fantasy owners coming back, but I don’t see the ongoing and long term value here.
9) The Atlanta Braves Are Terrible, But Freddie Freeman Is Great
It’s been a season of misery and anguish for Braves fans, but one bright spot they have is that Freddie Freeman is a star and he’s on their team. Freeman is in the midst of a career best season and he kept it going last night. Freeman went 2 – 3 in last night’s game, hitting his 32nd HR, a career best, and driving in his 87th run, while scoring 96. Freeman has been an absolute extra-base machine with 81 XBH in total which is a big number. Freeman’s power has hit another level this season and his average hasn’t taken any kind of a dip from it. Freeman really is a star whether we realize it or not.
10) Marcus Stroman Looks Great Despite A No-Decision
The Blue Jays needed a win last night and while they haven’t been able to count on Marcus Stroman much this season, they got the best from him last night. Stroman went seven scoreless innings and allowed one hit only while walking three and striking out five. Stroman has been frustrating for fantasy owners this season as expectations were really high after the brief run he had last season in September and October. I think we need to still give Stroman time and he hasn’t by any means hit his ceiling, but expectations should probably be adjusted for next season.