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Home Run Pick'em

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Howie Kendrick (oblique) has worked out at first base during batting practice the past two days, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.


The Phillies could be looking for a way to keep Aaron Altherr in the lineup when Kendrick returns from the disabled list. Tommy Joseph has been struggling at first base and Kendrick could start eating into his playing time. Kendrick, who has played 89 games at first base in his career, will likely be sidelined for another week or so before returning from the disabled list.

Aaron Nola felt some soreness in his back after throwing a bullpen session Friday, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.


Manager Pete Mackanin said Nola will be reevaluated this week to determine when he will throw his next bullpen session. Nick Pivetta will likely stay in the Phillies' rotation until Nola is ready to come off the disabled list.

Andrew Knapp went 3-for-4 with his first career home run Saturday against the Dodgers.


Facing Dodger reliever Chris Hatcher in the eight inning, Knapp took an 0-2 splitter and sent it over the right-center field wall to give the Phillies what was an insurance run at the time. The 25-year-old has a good history of hitting success in the minors, and after Saturday's showing, he's now batting .304 on the season despite being in a part-time role behind primary catcher Cameron Rupp.

Cody Bellinger belted his first and second career home runs in Saturday's victory over the Phillies.


Hitting out of the sixth spot in the order, the top prospect launched his first round-tripper in the seventh inning off of Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin before providing some late-game heroics with another solo home run in the ninth inning off of Hector Neris. Bellinger's stay in the big leagues isn't expected to be long, but Saturday's performance is just a taste of what is to come once he's on the big-league squad for good.

Brandon McCarthy tossed five innings Saturday against the Phillies, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three en route to a no-decision.


The injury-plagued 33-year-old didn't pitch poorly, but he would've been tagged with the loss had it not been for a four-run rally the Dodgers put together in the ninth inning to win the game. McCarthy displayed good command, throwing 59 of his 86 pitches for strikes, which kept his team in the game enough to come back in the end. Interestingly, this outing is arguably his worst of the season, as the four runs he allowed is the most he's given up all season, although his ERA still sits at a pretty 3.10 mark. It's unclear when McCarthy's next start will come due to the recent callup of uber-prospect Julio Urias and the impending activation of Rich Hill (finger) from the disabled list, but things should become clearer as the week rolls along.

Zach Eflin twirled seven strong innings Saturday against the Dodgers, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks while striking out four. However, he ended up with a no-decision.


The 23-year-old starter has been incredibly effective this season, and Saturday night was no different. 68 of his 103 offerings went for strikes, and although he didn't miss too many bats, he kept the Dodgers at bay by inducing 12 groundouts (as opposed to just two flyouts). Unfortunately, a ninth-inning implosion by the bullpen kept Eflin from picking up his first win of the season, but he'll look to pick that up in his upcoming start Thursday against the Cubs.

Matt Cain pitched excellently Saturday against the Padres, allowing just one run on six hits to go with seven strikeouts in five innings of work, although he walked away with a no-decision.


The hamstring issue nagging the veteran starter since his last start didn't appear to hinder him Saturday, as he managed to produce a season-high in the strikeout category while firing 57 of his 86 offerings for strikes. Cain's strong showing also lowered his ERA to 2.30, the lowest mark of his career. Unfortunately, the bullpen squandered his outstanding outing as soon as he left the game, but he'll look to produce a victory in his next start Friday against the Reds.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) picked up the win Saturday against the Giants, tossing five innings of three-run ball while allowing five hits, walking two, and striking out six.


The soft-throwing righty continued his trend of alternating good and bad starts, with Saturday fortunately being the former. Chacin was actually getting outperformed by Giants starter Matt Cain, although an eight-run explosion by the San Diego offense in the top of the sixth provided enough run support to get the 29-year-old his third victory of the season. His command was decent (as is evidenced by his two free passes), although 87 pitches in just five frames is nothing to call home about. Chacin will look to stay in the win column when he makes his next start Friday against the Dodgers.

Jake Lamb (B3, AZ)

Jake Lamb belted his fifth homer of the season in the Diamondbacks' 7-6 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.


Colorado starter Tyler Anderson left a 1-0 cutter over the middle of the plate, and Lamb certainly got all of it, slamming the sixth-longest home run ever at Chase Field. The bullpen ultimately blew the lead, but the 26-year-old continues to mash, as he's now hitting .292 with an .888 OPS out of the cleanup spot.

Jhonny Peralta (illness) has begun taking grounders and hitting in the batting cage as part of the recovery from an adverse reaction to medication that landed him on the disabled list, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.


Peralta could be heading back to Florida for some extended spring training or minor-league rehab starts by the end of the coming week if all continues to go well. The veteran infielder suffered a significant scare after medication he was taking for an upper respiratory infection left him weak and lethargic. Those symptoms were largely responsible for Peralta's early-season struggles, which include nine strikeouts in his first 25 at-bats and sluggishness while playing at third base as well. Jedd Gyorko has taken over the starting duties at the hot corner in Peralta's absence and thrived, slashing .321/.397/.643 over 63 plate appearances.

Brandon Drury went 2-for-4 with a solo home run Saturday against the Rockies.


The 24-year-old has been a high-average hitter thus far, but he finally managed to send one over the fence Saturday when Rockies starter Tyler Anderson let a 1-1 changeup get a little too much of the plate. Saturday's performance brings Drury's OPS up to .802, which is 15 points up from last season's final tally.

Trevor Story (S, Col)

Trevor Story went 1-for-3 with a solo home run Saturday against the Diamondbacks.


Although the strikeouts continue to pile up for the young shortstop, he's also continually flashing his prodigious power. Story's batting average is currently residing at a lowly .184 mark, but he also holds a .226 ISO, meaning that his power should continue to play up even if his average dips a bit from last season.

Mark Reynolds finished 2-for-5 with a solo home run and a two-run single in the Rockies' come-from-behind victory over the Diamondbacks on Saturday.


The veteran slugger eighth homer of the year initially seemed like a minor blow dealt to a surging Diamondbacks squad, but when Reynolds came up with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, he smashed a single to left field off of closer Fernando Rodney to tie the game. With the strong outing, Reynolds raised his batting average to .311 and his OPS to 1.003, and even with Ian Desmond (hand) expected to return from the disabled list as soon as Sunday, Reynolds doesn't seem to be in danger of losing any playing time if he continues to hit like this.

Carlos Estevez (3-0) picked up the win Saturday against the Diamondbacks after hurling a perfect eighth inning.


Outside of a disastrous seven-run outing against the Nationals on Thursday, the young right-hander has been a fairly reliable member of the Rockies' bullpen. Despite an unsightly 8.71 ERA, Saturday marked the ninth time in 12 appearances on the season that Estevez didn't allowed a run, and the fifth time he didn't allow a baserunner. With performances like these, he'll continue to get looks toward the end of games, although he's a long way from picking up any saves with Greg Holland, Adam Ottavino and Jake McGee in tow.

Fernando Rodney (1-2) blew the save and took the loss Saturday against the Rockies, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in an inning of work. He also struck out a pair.


This marks the second consecutive ninth-inning lead that the veteran reliever has squandered. It wasn't as ugly as Wednesday's debacle, but it was close. Rodney seemed to be close to limiting the damage to just two runs, but he proceeded to fire two wild pitches in a single at-bat to hand the game to Colorado. It didn't seem possible, but Saturday's outing raised Rodney's ERA to 12.60, and although he has a lot of experience in the closer's role, an ERA like that doesn't bode well for his chances to stay in the ninth-inning role for much longer.

Jose Ramirez (B3, Cle)

Jose Ramirez went 1-for-4 with a two-run double during Saturday's win over Seattle.


The two-RBI showing has Ramirez just a single tally back of the American League lead, and alongside his six home runs and .333/.388/.609 slash line, it's been a monster start for the 24-year-old. He's stole just two bases in four attempts, and while there's a chance Ramirez falls short of last season's 22 stolen bases, his ability to tilt the scales across all five rotisserie categories is extremely valuable. His eligibility at multiple position is another significant fantasy boost.

Greg Holland picked up his eleventh save of the season Saturday as he allowed a hit and struck out one Arizona hitter in a scoreless ninth inning.


David Peralta slashed a single off the right-hander on the first pitch of the inning, but Holland managed to navigate through the top of the order to remain perfect in save opportunities. Things were a bit dicey, as a wild pitch and a few hard hit balls complicated the outing, but a stellar diving catch by Gerardo Parra and a backwards K against Paul Goldschmidt sealed the deal. Despite the drama, Holland's ERA dropped to 1.50 following the blank frame.

Zack Greinke allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings of work, but ultimately came away with a no-decision. He also struck out nine batters.


Arizona's ace wasn't as sharp as he's known to be, as each run he gave up came via a solo home run. Despite this, he continued to fan batters and escape jams despite needing 107 pitches to get through six frames. Greinke unfortunately didn't get to pick up the win thanks to a ninth-inning implosion by closer Fernando Rodney. The 33-year-old's ERA still sits at a solid 3.19 mark, and he'll look to improve upon that in his next start Thursday in Washington.

Tyler Anderson didn't factor into the decision Saturday against the Diamondbacks despite serving up six runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. He also struck out three.


The former first-round draft pick hasn't been able to live up to his high expectations thus far, as Saturday's outing raised his ERA to a lofty 7.71 mark. More concerning was that Anderson gave up three home runs, marking the sixth straight start with a home run allowed. Fortunately, he avoided taking the loss thanks to a three-run rally in the ninth inning by the Rockies that propelled them to victory, but that hardly masks the poor outing the 27-year-old put together. Anderson will look to right the ship in a rematch with the Diamondbacks on Friday.

Cody Allen didn't allow a baserunner and struck out two hitters during a scoreless ninth inning to collect his sixth save of the season in Saturday's win over the Mariners.


There have been some rocky outings, but Allen has allowed just a single run through 10 innings. He's posted an incredible 18.0 K/9 with a 0.90 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, and he's also a perfect 6-for-6 in save situations.