Happy Friday, everyone! We had Jacob deGrom vs. Max Fried in a heated NL East battle, and that wasn't even the most exciting game on the slate -- at least not from a Fantasy perspective. The Astros went on an absolute offensive assault on Thursday, and it was incredible to see. They demolished the White Sox to the tune of 21-5. In addition to 21 runs, they racked up 25 hits.

Alex Bregman led the way with one of the best performances of the entire season. He collected four hits, two homers, two doubles, six RBI, four runs and -- get this -- his first stolen base of the season just for fun. In CBS leagues, he racked up 23.5 Fantasy points.  Bregman started hot, cooled off a bit but has once again found his stroke since the All-Star break. He's batting .343 with seven homers and 26 RBI in the 27 games since the break.

In addition to Bregman, it was a huge night for Kyle Tucker and Chase McCormick. McCormick went 3 for 6 with his 12th homer and 5 RBI -- he's just 3% rostered and only worth a look in deeper leagues.

Below we'll break down the key takeaways from Thursday's action, but first, let's get you caught up on what's going on over at Scott White's sleeper hitters, sleeper pitchers and two-start pitcher rankings for next week are up. You can also find his latest waiver wire column. In it, Scott made the case for taking the high-upside risk and signing Edward Cabrera.

From Scott: "Cabrera wasn't at his most efficient in his latest start Tuesday, lasting only four innings, which could cause it to go overlooked. But it was still a good start. He didn't allow a run. He struck out seven. He continued to bolster what's becoming one of the most imposing profiles of any big-league pitcher. Not only is his 13.9 percent swinging-strike rate equal to Gerrit Cole's, but he also has at least a 30 percent whiff rate on four different pitches, all of which he throws at least 15 percent of the time. Factor in a ground-ball rate even higher than Sandy Alcantara's, and control is about the only thing that could bring Cabrera down. He's managed well enough even with it being as shaky as it's been so far."

Michael Massey time?

Scott White made the case for Michael Massey in deeper leagues on Thursday night's podcast, and I kinda dig it. Massey went 2 for 4 on Thursday with his first career home run. He has six games next week and is still just 18% rostered. There's not much buzz surrounding Massey despite the fact that he's racked up a .321 batting average with a 92.1 mph average exit velocity in 17 games. Maybe that needs to change.

Other notable performances

  • Jacob deGrom wasn't his typical dominant self -- 6 2/3 innings of three-run ball with zero walks, five hits allowed and nine strikeouts. This brings his ERA to a human 2.31 over his first four starts.
  • Max Fried, on the other side of deGrom, delivered a near gem in his return from the concussion IL. As is typical with Fried, he didn't walk a batter. He allowed just four hits, two earned runs and struck out six through seven innings. Fried's ERA sits at a cool 2.60.
  • Devin Williams struck out the side for his eighth save.
  • Paul Goldschmidt collected another three hits and two RBI -- was he the best pure value in Fantasy drafts this year?
  • Dane Dunning threw six innings of two run ball and has now racked up a quality start in three of his last four.
  • Max Castillo (brought over in the Whit Merrifield trade) made his Royals debut on Thursday and allowed just one earned run, three hits and one walk through five innings pitched. He had a 2.40 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in the minors this season.
  • Andrew McCutchen hit two Thursday homers while collecting three runs and three RBI -- he's 61% rostered.

Who's hot

Luis Patino made a strong return to the Rays on Thursday when he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings against the Royals. Patino allowed just four hits, two walks and he struck out four. Patino benefited from throwing his changeup more in this outing. He's 16% rostered and we're not sure if he's going to stick in the rotation for another start, but if you get the word, he's worth adding for his upside down the stretch.

Who's not

Another outing, another crushing of Lucas Giolito. He lasted just three innings in this one and allowed eight hits and seven earned runs. This is now the third time in this season alone that Giolito has been knocked around for at least seven runs. His ERA jumps to 5.34 after this with an ugly 1.53 WHIP. The strikeouts are good -- and we knew they would be -- but it's not enough.

Best Week 21 hitter matchups

1. White Sox @KC1, @BAL3, ARI3

2. Rays LAA4, @BOS3

3. Astros MIN3, BAL3

4. Phillies CIN4, PIT3

5. Rangers @MIN1, @COL2, DET3

Worst Week 21 hitter matchups

1. Dodgers MIL3, @MIA3

2. Guardians @SD2, @SEA4

3. Nationals @SEA2, CIN3

4. Diamondbacks @KC2, @CHW3

5. Tigers SF2, @TEX3

Fantasy news, injuries and notes

For a complete recap of every injury, update and more, make sure you're locked into the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast where Frank, Scott and Chris dive deep into every player note. For the CliffsNotes version, we'll recap the biggest news and notes you need to know right here:

  • Mike Trout hopes to return Friday. He's been sidelined for a month with a rib injury, which turned out to be a rare back condition.
  • Bryce Harper took batting practice Wednesday, will do so later this week, and could start a rehab assignment next Tuesday. 
  • Ozzie Albies is expected to ramp up his progression of baseball activities next week. He's been out since mid-June with a broken right foot. 
  • Tyler Mahle left his start Wednesday with right shoulder fatigue. He's set to undergo an MRI.
  • The Yankees are expected to use both Aroldis Chapman and Scott Effross in a closer-by-committee with Clay Holmes being placed on the IL. 
  • Tarik Skubal underwent successful flexor tendon surgery on his left elbow Wednesday. We know he's missing the rest of the season. 
  • Joey Votto will undergo season-ending surgery Friday to address a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. Matt Reynolds started at first base and was batting cleanup against a left-handed pitcher Wednesday. 
  • Eduardo Rodriguez will return Sunday and start against the Angels. He's 31% rostered.
  • Marcell Ozuna has now sat three straight games, all three against right-handed pitchers. The Braves seem to prefer William Contreras or Eddie Rosario in there as the DH for now. Contreras went 3 for 4 with two runs scored on Wednesday.
  • Enrique Hernandez looks to be the starting center field moving forward, which means Jarren Duran is on the outside looking in.
  • Ke'Bryan Hayes is expected to rejoin the Pirates after spending a minimum of 10 days on the IL. 
  • Eduardo Escobar was officially placed on the IL with a strained left oblique. 
  • Aledmys Diaz was placed on the IL with a left groin injury.