Happy Friday! The best day of the week is here and you've arrived, so now let's talk about some baseball. Thursday's action was on the lighter side and it was led by a few standout pitching performances that we're going to dive a bit deeper into below. Ok, just kidding Yankees fans. I'm not going to ignore your theatrical victory. The Yankees rallied back from down three runs in the ninth inning to win 7-6 with an Aaron Hicks three-run homer followed by a walk-off homer by this year's runaway MVP favorite Aaron Judge. The Yankees are entering a different stratosphere right now, winners of eight of their past 10 and 52 of their 70 total games.
We'll dive into all of the action from Thursday, but first, make sure you're all caught up with everything going on from the Fantasy Baseball Today team over at CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Chris Towers featured five players you'll want to buy low on in his trade values column and you can find that here.
And of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify.
Kyle Schwarber hit home run No. 20 on Thursday and that makes two games in a row. This one put the Phillies ahead. He's batting just .218 but with 20 homers, 50 runs and 41 RBI -- plus three steals -- you'll take it.
Adley Rutschman went 2 for 4 with a two-run homer and three RBI on Thursday. His blast went 402-feet and it was the second home run of his career. Rutschman is getting it going now with nine hits, including seven extra-base hits, over his past seven games.
Yordan Alvarez is doing his best Judge impression on a nightly basis this month. He went 2 for 5 with a three run homer against the Yankees on Thursday. It was his 22nd home run of the year, four behind Judge. Alvarez is batting .317 with 46 runs and 54 RBI in addition to the 22 homers.
Montas flirts with a no-no
Frankie Montas flashed the kind of upside that Fantasy managers have been dreaming about for years -- the kind of magic Montas has been unable to sustain on a consistent basis. But on Thursday, he had it. Montas took a no-hitter into the 8th inning and someone ended up not even getting the win. Montas' eight shutout innings included two hits and two walks allowed with eight strikeouts. Montas brings his season ERA to 3.21.
Kershaw sharp in return
Clayton Kershaw was back on the mound for the Dodgers and delivered his first quality start since returning from the IL. Kershaw threw six innings of one-run ball against the Reds. He allowed seven hits, one walk and struck out 11. Kershaw is still filthy when healthy and he now has a 2.00 ERA on the season. But that's a big if-and-when situation. Given his lengthy injury history in recent years and his age, Kershaw is one of the best sell candidates out there. This is the time to cash in before any other IL stints.
Ray on a run
Robbie Ray is in rhythm over his past three starts and that carried over to Thursday night. He's starting to look more like the pitcher we saw on the Blue Jays and has now gone three straight starts allowing one earned run or fewer. On Thursday, Ray threw six innings of one-run ball with four hits and two walks allowed. He also struck out six.
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Leftover quick hitters
- Zach Plesac delivered his fifth straight quality start on Thursday. He's 65% rostered.
- Ranger Suarez is pitching a whole lot better lately and on Thursday went 7 1/3 innings allowing just two runs. He's 70% rostered.
- Four teams are playing only five games next week: the Mets, Tigers, Diamondbacks and Giants.
- Three teams are playing eight games next week: The Guardians, Twins and Blue Jays.
- Carlos Correa collected three hits on Thursday and has all of the sudden brought his average to .303 overall.
- Max Muncy hit his fifth homer but he's batting .170 on the season.
- Cody Bellinger has quietly collected nine homers and nine steals. But he's also batting .213.
- Bryan Reynolds continued his torrid June with his 12th homer. That's his fifth this month.
News and lineup notes
Every night the Fantasy Baseball Today team dives into all of the happenings around the MLB from top performers to injuries, trades and more. The podcast is a must listen for any diehard, if I do say so myself. Tune in to the podcast to hear the FBT crew expand on the news and notes below.
- Bryce Harper will have his elbow re-evaluated next week. He's been limited to designated hitter due to a partially torn UCL.
- Jeremy Peña participated in all pregame activities prior to Thursday's matchup with the Yankees. He's on the IL with left thumb discomfort.
- Ty France left early after his arm got caught by a player running by at first base. X-rays have come back negative.
- Liam Hendriks began throwing this week and is recovering well from his forearm injury.
- Byron Buxton has missed two straight due to a sore right knee.
- Aaron Ashby is feeling great and is scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday. He was recently placed on the IL with left forearm inflammation.
- Ke'Bryan Hayes was cleared of any major injuries after a collision at home plate Thursday.
- Seiya Suzuki has resumed hitting in the batting cage since reporting to the Cubs spring training complex for his rehab program. He's been on the IL since May 30 with a sprained left index finger.
- Manny Margot was transferred to the 60-day IL with that right knee sprain.
- Giants outfielder Luis Gonzalez was placed on the IL with a lower back strain, retroactive to June 22.
- Lorenzo Cain has been released by the Brewers.
- White Sox utility man Danny Mendick was diagnosed with a torn right ACL.
- The White Sox called up Lenyn Sosa from Double-A. He was crushing it with a .331 average and 14 homers. He's 3% rostered.
- Red Sox prospect Jeter Downs was optioned back to Triple-A after going 0-4 with three strikeouts in his debut Wednesday.