Fantasy Baseball Roundup: Corbin Burnes K’s 10 straight, ties MLB record

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Corbin Burnes has had himself quite a season for the Brewers. The 26-year-old right-hander began the year by setting a new MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts to begin a season before issuing a walk — 58 through his first 34 innings on the season. He was also named to his first National League All-Star team in July. What he accomplished on Wednesday though, was a bit more historic.

Burnes tied the MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts in a single game by punching out 10 straight Cubs — a feat accomplished by Tom Seaver in 1970 and matched by Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola earlier this season.

Burnes got things started in the second inning by striking out Frank Schwindel, Matt Duffy and Greg Deichmann — all on swinging third strikes. He carried that good feeling over to the third inning where he mowed down David Bote, Andrew Romine and Jake Arrieta — again all on swinging third strikes. It was more of the same in the fourth inning, as Rafael Ortega, Willson Contreras and Patrick Wisdom all went down flailing at strike three. Burnes then etched his name in the history books in the fifth inning as he blew three straight pitches by Schwindel to capture his 10th consecutive strikeout. Matt Duffy then lined the first pitch that he saw for a one-out single to break up the streak, after which Burnes responded by getting Deichmann on a called third strike.

All told, Burnes piled up 15 strikeouts over eight shutout innings on the night. He generated a whopping 30 swinging strikes in the contest. Thirty. Of those, 15 came on his cutter, seven on his slider, six on his curveball and two on his changeup. Wow. He posted an other-worldly 51 percent CSW in the game.

With Jacob deGrom sidelined, Burnes is now gaining traction as a candidate for the National League Cy Young Award — and for good reason. He now sports a tremendous 2.23 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 172/21 K/BB ratio across 121 innings in 20 starts on the season.

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Adam Wainwright – 9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K, 25% CSW, 5 swinging strikes

I’ll admit, it’s pretty remarkable what Wainwright has been doing in his age-39 season. The right-hander picked up his 11th victory over the year with Wednesday’s victory over the Pirates and notched his first shutout since way back in 2016. He did so in impressive fashion too — striking out seven and allowing just two hits and no walks while generating only five swinging strikes in the ballgame. On the season, the grizzled veteran now boasts a 3.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 137/37 K/BB ratio across 148 2/3 innings in 23 starts.

Sandy Alcantara – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 29% CSW, 15 swinging strikes

After getting pulverized for 10 runs over 3 2/3 innings at Coors his last time out, Alcantara delivered an outstanding bounceback performance with seven scoreless frames in a victory over the Padres on Wednesday. The right-hander racked up seven strikeouts on the night while scattering just four hits and two walks. On the season now, the Marlins ace boasts a 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 128/43 K/BB ratio across 143 1/3 innings through 24 starts.

Framber Valdez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 8 K, 26% CSW, 12 swinging strikes

The 27-year-old southpaw picked up his third victory in his past four starts with a dazzling victory over the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in Houston. The only damage done against him in the contest was an RBI single by C.J. Cron in the opening inning. After that, he was lights out. For the season now, Valdez sits at 8-3 and sports a 3.09 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 81/40 K/BB ratio across 84 1/3 innings across his 14 starts.

Hitters with an EDGE

Lewis Brinson – 3-for-4, 2 HR (7), 3 RBI, 2 R, BB

I had already planned on highlighting the hot-hitting Marlins outfielder in our priority pickup segment below, but then he went out and had another massive day at the plate as the Marlins shut out the Padres. Brinson clubbed a two-run homer off of Ryan Weathers in the opening inning to increase their early lead to 3-0, then tagged him again for a solo shot in the third to make it 5-0. Brinson now has six multi-hit games over his last 10 contests and currently finds himself as the everyday cleanup hitter in the Marlins lineup.

Miguel Cabrera – 3-for-4, HR (12), 2 RBI, R

Miguel Cabrera pulled to within one home run of 500 for his career with a solo shot off of Matt Harvey in the fifth inning on Wednesday evening in Baltimore. He then added on a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. With the three-hit attack, the surefire Hall of Famer is now hitting a respectable .255/.315/.392 with 12 long balls and 51 RBI on the season. He’s also now just 50 hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Joey Votto – 4-for-5, 2 HR (25), 4 RBI, 2 R, BB

Speaking of players who have had magnificent careers and a resurgence this season, have a year Joey Votto. The 37-year-old slugger continued his unbelievable power binge with a pair of homers and four RBI in an extra-inning loss to the Braves on Wednesday. Votto has now crushed 14 home runs and driven in 31 runs over his last 20 games. For the season, he’s now slashing .285/.375/.583 with 25 homers and 72 RBI. Incredible.

EDGE Priority Pickup

Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins — Available in 92% of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

Lewis Brinson has always been full of promise and potential but has seemingly never been able to tap into it at the big league level. Now, the post-hype sleeper has been raking since returning to the Marlins from Triple-A Jacksonville and looks like an intriguing option for the remainder of the season.

Since rejoining the Fish on July 19, the 27-year-old outfielder is hitting .349 (22-for-63) with five homers, 18 RBI and an 19/5 K/BB ratio across 69 plate appearances. He has also been seeing most of his time batting in the cleanup spot in manager Don Mattingly’s lineup. 

With very little competition for playing time in the outfield – and with every reason for the Marlins to play him every day to see what they have — he should be a mixed league asset for the remainder of the season.

Closing Time

Zack Britton vs. Royals – 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (1st save)

It looks like Yankees skipper Aaron Boone is content to mix and match in the ninth inning while Aroldis Chapman is on the injured list. On Wednesday, he had Chad Green work the sixth and seventh innings before giving way to Jonathan Loaisiga in the eighth and Britton to close it out in the ninth. The 33-year-old southpaw has plenty of experience in the closer’s role in his career, but he has struggled for the most part this season with a 5.28 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 15 1/3 innings.

Alex Colome vs. White Sox – 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K (7th save)

One place where it doesn’t look like we’re mixing and matching in the ninth inning for the time being is Minnesota, where Alex Colome has grabbed the reins in the ninth inning and racked up five saves in the last two weeks. He has proven to be effective in the role before, so there’s no reason to expect things will change that drastically once Taylor Rogers returns — especially since Hansel Robles was seeing the bulk of the chances before he was dealt to the Red Sox. Colome should be rostered in all mixed leagues at this point.

Lucas Sims vs. Braves – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K (3rd blown save)

On a night when the Reds rallied from a five-run deficit to force extra innings, it was Mychal Givens whom manager David Bell turned to in the 10th inning of a 5-5 ballgame. Givens — who has seemingly been functioning as the Reds closer — worked a scoreless frame to force an 11th inning. There, after the Reds scored to take a one-run lead, it was Lucas Sims who was tasked with closing it out. He nearly got the job done too — striking out Travis d’Arnaud and getting Guillermo Heredia to fly out to right field to start the inning. He then issued a walk to Joc Pederson before serving up a game-winning three-run homer to Ozzie Albies. This should help to cement Givens in the closer’s role for the Reds.

Will Smith vs. Reds – 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (4th blown save)

On the other side of the Reds/Braves contest, the reason that the game went to extra innings was that Braves stopper Will Smith was unable to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning, serving up a game-tying two-run homer to Joey Votto. He has still converted 23 of his 27 save chances on the season, but his hold on the ninth inning gig looks to be a bit more tenuous than it was before the team acquired Richard Rodriguez. If Smith fails to lock down his next opportunity, all bets are off.

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Thursday’s Matchup of the Day

Logan Webb (SFG) vs. German Marquez (COL)

German Marquez not only earned his first All-Star team this season, he has also solidified himself as one of the top hurlers in the National League. Even pitching half of his games at Coors Field, he enters Thursday’s start with a terrific 3.42 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 141/49 K/BB ratio across 136 2/3 innings.

Where Marquez has struggled this season though, has been against the Giants. In three starts against his divisional foe he has posted a 13.06 ERA across 10 1/3 innings — though all three of those starts came on or before May 4. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s able to handle this powerful Giants offense now that he has been pitching much better since his early season struggles.

On the other side of the diamond, Logan Webb still isn’t getting the respect that he deserves for how well he has pitched this season. The 24-year-old right-hander has been outstanding in 16 appearances (15 starts) for the Giants, compiling a 3.19 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 82/24 K/BB ratio across 79 innings.

Like Marquez, Webb has struggled against his opponent this season, registering a 9.35 ERA over 8 2/3 innings against the Rockies this season. Webb has been extremely good as of late, as he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start since facing the Rockies at Coors Field way back on May 5. During that nine start stretch he has lowered his ERA from 5.34 to 3.19.

It looks like Vegas is siding with the young right-hander and the vaunted Giants offense in this one as they’re installed as -210 favorites in this one.

American League Quick Hits: The White Sox placed All-Star southpaw Carlos Rodon on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder fatigue. … Yasmani Grandal (knee) began a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham on Wednesday. … Lance Lynn will start in the Field of Dreams game against the Yankees on Thursday. … Rays hurler DJ Johnson (shoulder) is expected to miss “substantial time” and is likely done for the 2021 season. … The Tigers placed Akil Baddoo on the 7-day concussion injured list after a collision with teammate Derek Hill on Tuesday. Hill also landed on the injured list with a left ribcage contusion. … The Red Sox officially demoted Garrett Richards to the bullpen. … Kyle Schwarber (hamstring, groin) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Thursday. … Kevin Kiermaier (knee) remained out of the Rays lineup on Wednesday. … The Angels activated Jared Walsh (intercostal) from the 10-day injured list. … The Blue Jays placed Ross Stripling on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain. … Bo Bichette was held out of the Blue Jays lineup on Wednesday due to shin contusions. He’s still considered day-to-day and he is expected to avoid the injured list. … Harold Ramirez was pulled from Wednesday’s game due to tightness in his right knee. … Tanner Houck will start for the Red Sox on Thursday against the Rays. … Yasmani Grandal (knee) went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the first game on his minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham. … Niko Goodrum left Wednesday’s game with a left groin strain and is expected to land back on the 10-day injured list. … Aledmys Diaz drove in three runs as the Astros topped the Rockies. … Whit Merrifield went 3-for-4 and swiped his league-leading 33rd base of the season in a loss to the Yankees. … Tyler Wade reached base three times and stole two bases as the Yankees triumphed over the Royals. … Brett Phillips blasted his third grand slam of the season as the Rays were demolished by the Red Sox. … Bobby Dalbec tripled and drove in five runs for the Red Sox in that one. … J.D. Martinez went 4-for-4 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored in the win. … Nathan Eovaldi racked up 10 strikeouts over seven innings of one-run ball in an easy victory there. … Elvis Andrus belted a game-tying homer and stole a base as the A’s rallied to beat the Indians. … Anthony Santander went 3-for-4 with a homer in a loss to the Tigers. … Alek Manoah racked up 11 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings of two-run baseball in a victory over the Angels. … George Springer swatted a pair of home runs to lead the Jays offense in that one. … Shohei Ohtani clubbed his league-leading 38th home run in a losing effort against the Blue Jays. … Luis Torrens delivered a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning on Wednesday, propelling the Mariners to victory over the Rangers.

National League Quick Hits: Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder) is set to return to the Padres for their four-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks. It remains to be seen if he’ll play shortstop or center field – as he has been working out at both spots while rehabbing. … The Braves activated Travis d’Arnaud from the 60-day injured list. … Francisco Lindor (oblique) took batting practice on the field and participated in fielding drills on Wednesday. … Brewers right-hander John Curtiss was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. … Wednesday’s battle between the Mets and Nationals was postponed due to inclement weather. They’ll make it up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday… Avisail Garcia was pulled from Wednesday’s game due to a bruised left hand. He’s considered day-to-day. … The Padres placed left-hander Drew Pomeranz on the 10-day injured list with left forearm tightness. … They also activated Daniel Hudson from the COVID-19 IL. … The Diamondbacks claimed J.B. Wendelken off of waivers from the Athletics. … The Mets signed right-hander Zack Godley and Josh Reddick to minor league contracts. … The Giants inked Tyler Chatwood and Matt Shoemaker to minor league deals. … The Giants also placed Johnny Cueto on the 10-day injured list with a right flexor strain… Anthony DeSclafani (shoulder) is expected to return to the Giants rotation on Friday against the Rockies… Evan Longoria (shoulder) is expected to return over the weekend. … Ian Anderson (shoulder) allowed three runs over three innings (64 pitches) in a minor league rehab start with Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. … Omar Narvaez went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBI as the Brewers routed the Cubs. … Ozzie Albies clubbed a walk-off three-run homer off of Lucas Sims to propel the Braves past the Reds in 11 innings. … Cody Bellinger smacked a pair of home runs as the Dodgers walloped the Phillies. … Brandon Crawford blasted his 19th home run and drove in two as the Giants topped the Diamondbacks.