Tuesday’s fantasy baseball action was highlighted by a heavyweight duel between the two American League Cy Young contenders in Chicago. Justin Verlander and Dylan Cease have been atop fantasy baseball rankings all season and their matchup last night was the headliner. However, other dominant pitching performances from Charlie Morton, Robbie Ray, and Merrill Kelly stole the headlines on Tuesday night. Elsewhere, slugging performances from Rhys Hoskins and Julio Rodríguez led their teams to much-needed victories and helped out fantasy baseball lineups in a big way. We also have some important updates to the MLB injury report as the New York Mets saw two of their pitchers go down in consecutive nights. Before tonight’s fantasy baseball slate locks, don't forget to check out the latest fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups, our fantasy baseball player spotlight series, and players trending up and down in the fantasy baseball stock watch. For more help building daily fantasy baseball lineups, check out our MLB daily projections, confirmed MLB lineups, and MLB weather report. Now let’s take a look back at the top MLB performances and key injuries from a full night of baseball on Tuesday. 


MLB Fantasy Baseball Top Performers from Tuesday

Justin Verlander & Dylan Cease Duel in Cy Young Battle

The top two contenders for the AL Cy Young award squared off in Chicago on Tuesday night. Both Justin Verlander and Dylan Cease allowed three earned runs and struck out four batters, with the White Sox eventually prevailing over the Astros by a final score of 4-3. It wasn’t quite the pitchers’ duel we expected, but Verlander (1.95 ERA) and Cease (2.09 ERA) are poised to take this battle down to the wire. 

With the Astros leading the American League in wins and Verlander on pace to win almost 20 on his own, oddsmakers have Verlander as the AL Cy Young favorite at the moment. 

Charlie Morton Baffles Mets with 12 Strikeouts

After allowing at least four earned runs in three of his last five starts, Charlie Morton was in need of a dominant performance against the team the Atlanta Braves are chasing in the NL East standings. He did that and more with 12 strikeouts over 6.2 innings without allowing a run to the New York Mets. It was quite a feat for the 38-year old and he even put himself in the record books. 

The Braves are now just 3.5 games behind the Mets and with Ozzie Albies due back in a couple of weeks, they look to topple the division leaders as we head into the playoffs. 

Robbie Ray Rights the Ship Against Los Angeles Angels

There is no better remedy in 2022 for a pitcher looking to regain some consistency than a matchup against the free-swinging Los Angeles Angels. The Angels rank first overall in strikeout rate for the season. Robbie Ray took advantage last night, allowing just two runs across six innings while striking out 10 batters and securing the win. After a tough stretch, Ray has actually looked quite good in his last three starts (five combined runs allowed). Two of those were against this Angels squad, but one was against the Yankees. There is potential for the Seattle Mariners southpaw to provide some late-season strikeouts and ERA help with more games against the AL West incoming. 

Rhys Hoskins Slugs Two More Home Runs, Steals a Base

Rhys Hoskins had himself a game on Tuesday night, going 3-for-6 with two home runs, five RBI, and a stolen base added in for good measure. It was one of those nights where everything was working for him with the bat – even when he got out. 

Over the last 30 days, Hoskins is tied for fifth in the majors in home runs and is slugging .549 to go along with a stellar .375 on-base percentage. The start of the season was slow for Hoskins, but anyone who practiced patience with the Philadelphia Phillies first baseman is being handsomely rewarded over the last couple of months. 

Merrill Kelly Can Do No Wrong

Someday in the future, Merrill Kelly won’t throw a quality start, but Tuesday night was not that time. Plus, the Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher hasn’t been allowing many runs for more than six weeks now. Tuesday’s shutdown of the San Francisco Giants was Kelly’s ninth start in a row allowing three earned runs or less. The last time he allowed more than three earned runs was on June 24th.

Kelly has also been adding more strikeouts to the repertoire lately. This was his third time in four starts where he struck out at least one batter per inning. Kelly is in the running for fantasy baseball pitcher MVP considering he was drafted with an ADP of 271 this past spring.

Julio Rodríguez Slams Door Shut on AL ROY Race

If there was ever any doubt on who will win the AL Rookie of the Year this season, Julio Rodríguez put that to bed with an incredible offensive performance last night to back up Robbie Ray’s excellent start. Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. While he may not have stolen a base, the Seattle Mariners' top prospect still managed to use his speed several times to impact the game.

Julio Rodríguez is now around -400 at many sportsbooks to win the AL ROY award this year. While Adley Rutschman has come on strong lately, J-Rod’s overall game should allow him to cruise to the win this offseason. 


MLB Fantasy Baseball Injury Report

Ke’Bryan Hayes Lands On IL

In what has already been a disappointing season for the once highly-touted prospect, Ke’Bryan Hayes now has a back injury that will keep him on the Injured List for at least 10 days. Hayes’ power (six homers) and average (.251) have let fantasy managers down this year, but he has made up for it with 13 steals. Hopefully when he comes back for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hayes is still able to run free on the base paths. 

Carlos Carrasco Winds Up On IL With Oblique Injury

When Carlos Carrasco exited his start against the Braves on Monday, it was clear something was amiss. But now we know the New York Mets will be without Carrasco for 3-4 weeks as he recovers from an oblique injury. It is a brutal blow for the resurgent Carrasco and the Mets, who finally had their rotation of DeGrom-Scherzer-Bassitt-Carrasco-Walker intact before this injury. It may just be the beginning of pitching problems for the Mets considering what also happened on Tuesday night. 

Taijuan Walker Leaves Game Against Braves With Injury

One night after Carrasco left the game early, Taijuan Walker left his start against the Braves with back spasms that would not allow him to pitch. He lasted only two innings and the Mets took him out to try and manage the issue before it got any worse. The initial diagnosis doesn’t sound too bad for Walker, but the Mets can’t risk losing any more pitchers at this critical stage of the season. 

Ramón Laureano Heading Towards IL Stint

After missing the first month of the season while finishing up a PED suspension, Ramón Laureano had really been starting to gain a lot of positive momentum for fantasy managers heading into mid-August. But that all comes crashing down now as he will hit the IL with a left oblique strain. In less than 350 plate appearances this year, Laureano compiled 12 homers and 10 steals, so his absence will leave fantasy managers scrambling for some kind of power/speed combo during this final stretch of the season. 


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