MLB Post-Season Team-by-Team Outlook
After six months and a calendar of 162 games, we are ready for the major baseball series. FanPicks will cover all the daily fantasy baseball post-season games. What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot for the upcoming wild cards matchups between the Twins and the Yankees, and the Rockies versus the D-Backs on the National side. It’s starting Tuesday Night. Here’s an outlook of every team who made it in.
The surprise team of the year. They are young, dynamic, dashing and barely have enough output from their starting pitchers to qualify in the playoffs. They are the potential cinderella’s of the post-season story.
New York Yankees
A dangerous formation. Undoubtedly the most formidable big bats staff in the playoffs. The catch is that they have to take the lead in the first five innings. Aaron Judge will need the support of his teammates. Jacoby Ellsbury had a good end of the season, which is reassuring.
Boston Red Sox
For the first time in their history, the Red Sox have won the title of their section two years in a row. They did it without much power, which is far removed from their usual identity. The pitchers held the fort throughout the season, but the relief proved less effective after Joe Kelly’s injury.
They are even more formidable than last year as they pushed the world series in seven games in the absence of starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. This year, they are healthy and Trevor Bauer is among the elite. The Indians have a depth that few teams can boast, both on the mound and on the attack.
The Astros have a devastating attack made up of young people who are hungry for a championship ring. Carlos Correa is finally back a 100 percent healthy. Getting Justin Verlander in the rotation was the missing piece they needed.
The Colorado pitching staff is largely underestimated, led by a gang of young starters (German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela).
Among the teams drafted, the D-Backs are maybe the one that has the best chance of going all the way. JD Martinez came in to support Paul Goldschmidt after his acquisition of the Detroit Tigers. And Zach Greinke is no longer alone. Robby Ray and Patrick Corbin, the latter with a good second half of the season, give depth to the mound.
A strong team on paper, but with a lot of question marks. Is Bryce Harper ready? What about Max Scherzer? The lack of control of Gio Gonzalez on the big occasion is not very reassuring, especially against the Chicago Cubs, whose attack has been the best of the National League since the break.
The World Series champions are back in series. Quietly entering in the playoff picture, they have been consistent since early July with an attack that produced as expected. They have several challenges on the mound though. Another trip to the world series is not out of the question.
Los Angeles Dodgers
How can a team that plays for, 800 for more than a month can have a sequence of 1-15 thereafter? The Dodgers are an enigma and even with a season-end of 8-2, doubts remain. Who will support Kershaw? Seager, Bellinger and Turner can not do it alone.
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MLB 2017 Season Preview
National League East
FanPicks examines the National League East division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.
The Braves are in an enviable position for a team on a rebuilding track. They already have a franchise player in Freddie Freeman and the makings of one in Dansby Swanson. They have a couple of players who have already bloomed into good role players, but they really only have a starter kit for a pitching staff beyond Julio Teheran and too many positions where they will be fielding placeholders. The consensus is that the Braves have one of the best farm systems in the game after their flurry of trades, but while some of the youngsters will be seen at SunTrust Park this year, it will be another two years at least before they are collectively ready to make their mark.
Whether the Marlins snap baseball’s second-longest postseason drought (13; the Mariners’ streak stands at 15) depends upon their success at resolving the rotation. In the end, the biggest factor will be health. The Marlins were at the top of the Wild Card standings until injuries became too much to overcome with their lack of depth.
New York Mets
If the starting rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all pitch to their talent level, the Mets could be scary good and have a rotation that rivals any in baseball. And the lineup could be in the top half of the NL, too, with enough hitters still around their prime. But there are no certainties with the Mets, as we’ve learned in recent seasons. If all goes well, this is a team capable of winning the World Series. If it doesn’t, the Mets could struggle to reach .500.
The experience gained by a handful of important young players should allow for more improvement in 2017, though the offense is still woefully short of making this team a contender. Finding out which young players are going to be difference makers and getting even more youngsters to the majors remains the chief goal.
Ninety-five wins, the same number as 2016, would be a pretty good over-under for the Nationals in 2017. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the NL East, a division they carried by eight games last year. But the question remains whether they have the firepower to get past whatever other team emerges as playoff competition in October. But success in October is fickle, and this year could be the Nats’ year, if only because the law of averages says it should be.
MLB September 23, 2016 Primetime Preview
Diamondbacks (64-88) vs Orioles (82-71)
The Arizona Diamondbacks may have the Baltimore Orioles’ number during their rare interleague contests (Enter Contest), but right-hander Yovani Gallardo routinely has gotten the better of the desert dwellers throughout his career. Gallardo looks to improve upon his 7-2 mark and 2.32 ERA in 12 career starts when he takes the mound at Camden Yards.
Nationals (89-63) vs Pirates (76-76)
The Washington Nationals have an opportunity to shower themselves in champagne as soon as Friday. They can win their third National League East title in five years. Washington’s magic number resides at two.
Yankees (79-73) vs Blue Jays (83-69)
The Toronto Blue Jays’ pursuit of a wild-card spot in the American League heats up on their final homestand of the season, beginning Friday against the New York Yankees. The Yankees are three games out of the second AL wild card and four behind the Blue Jays, who stands atop the wild card. They are one game ahead of Detroit and 1 1/2 clear of the Baltimore Orioles.
Red Sox (89-64) vs Rays (65-87)
The Boston Red Sox have won eight straight games against American League East opponents for the first time in 26 years and can extend the streak to nine when they face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox pushed their lead in the AL East to 5 ½ games and reduced their magic number to five to clinch the division after sweeping four each from the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.
White Sox (72-80) vs Indians (89-63)
The Cleveland Indians would prefer to clinch their first American League Central title since 2007 at home and have a good chance to do it this weekend against the struggling Chicago White Sox. The Indians have won five of six to trim their magic number to four and own a seven-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central as they prepare to host the White Sox.
Royals (77-76) vs Tigers (82-70)
The Detroit Tigers may be a bit tired after their sweep of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Thursday but should be ready for their final homestand of the season against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers took over sole possession of the second wild card in the American League. They moved one-half game ahead of Baltimore with 10 games remaining to the season.
Braves (62-91) vs Marlins (76-77)
One of baseball’s hottest teams has spent 2016 buried in the National League East basement, but the Atlanta Braves are providing plenty of optimism. They are bringing a six-game winning streak into Friday’s game at Miami. Matt Kemp slugged two homers in Thursday’s series-opening 6-3 victory and Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 26 games. Atlanta has won 14 of their past 22 games and are hitting .281 since the start of August.
Phillies (69-84) vs Mets (81-72)
The New York Mets’ pitching carousel took another unfortunate turn. Starter Steven Matz experienced soreness following a 20-pitch bullpen session. His scheduled Friday start is pushed back due to a left shoulder impingement. The Mets instead will turn to rookie Gabriel Ynoa as they attempt to strengthen their tenuous hold on the first wild card in the National League versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
Friday’s Primetime Games
MLB September 16, 2016
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Rays vs Orioles
The Tampa Bay Rays are making quite an impact on the American League East race from last place and look to cause some more damage when they visit the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays have won four of their last five contests, all against teams in the chase for the division crown. Chris Archer goes to the mound Friday trying to avoid a club-record 19th loss for the Rays and attempting to keep the major league’s best home run-hitting team in check for the second straight night. The Orioles, who occupy one of the two AL wild-card spots, trail Boston by two games in the East after stranding a runner at third in the ninth inning and going without a blast on Thursday. Veteran Ubaldo Jimenez goes for Baltimore on Friday after winning each of his last two starts, including a complete-game gem at Tampa Bay almost two weeks ago.
Marlins vs Phillies
Slugger Giancarlo Stanton could make his return to the starting lineup, as the Miami Marlins look to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Stanton has received limited duty since being activated off the disabled list on Sept. 6, following a near-month absence due to a Grade 3 left groin strain. Miami flexed its offensive muscle by recording seven runs in each contest of its three-game series with Atlanta, improving to 5-2 in its last seven to reside four games out in the second wild-card spot with 16 to play. Marcell Ozuna is 16-for-52 versus the Phillies this season and is batting .318 against them in his career. Philadelphia suffered its fifth loss in seven outings in embarrassing fashion, permitting five homers in Thursday’s 15-2 rout by Keystone State-rival Pittsburgh. All-Star Odubel Herrera is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his last three games overall, but just 4-for-17 with five strikeouts against Friday starter Tom Koehler.
Yankees vs Red Sox
The Boston looks to ride the momentum of just its third walk-off win of the season as it plays the second contest of a four-game series versus visiting New York. Veteran David Ortiz launched a solo shot for his 537th career homer on Thursday, passing Yankees icon Mickey Mantle for 17th place on the all-time list. The sixth win in nine outings for the Red Sox pushed their lead in the division to two games over second-place Baltimore and five over New York, which has answered a seven-game winning streak with four losses in five contests. New Yorks’s Starlin Castro collected four hits in the series opener and is 11-for-17 during his four-game hitting streak. The 26-year-old Dominican is 29-for-84 with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored in 22 career encounters with Boston.
Tigers vs Indians
The Detroit Tigers have a last-gasp chance to make a run at the American League Central Division title. They are coming off a four-game split against the AL-worst Minnesota Twins to remain six games behind the Indians and in a six-team cluster fighting for the two wild cards. Detroit will send rookie Michael Fulmer to the mound in the series opener after its starting pitching combined for only 9 1/3 innings in the last three games against the Twins. Cleveland squandered an opportunity of its own to pull away from the Tigers, but dropped three of four at the Chicago White Sox. The Indians have the luxury of turning to ace Corey Kluber, who has won both starts against Detroit this season in dominant fashion.
Twins vs Mets
Locked in a three-team battle with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two wild cards in the National League, the New York Mets couldn’t ask for a more favorable schedule entering their final 16 games. The Mets kick off a 10-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins, owners of the worst record in the majors. New York could use a boost from outfielder Jay Bruce, who is batting .192 in 36 games since he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Winners of eight of their last 11, the Mets send 43-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound Friday in search of his 14th victory. Minnesota is coming off a four-game split at Detroit but has lost 21 of its last 27 games overall.
Pirates vs Reds
Andrew McCutchen has powered his way out of a pronounced slump with three homers in his last two contests. The 2013 National League MVP looks to keep the Pirates’ faint hopes for a fourth straight postseason berth alive against the Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was mired in a 2-for-22 slump before belting a homer on Wednesday and two more to highlight a three-hit performance in Pittsburgh’s 15-2 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia. The Pirates’ fourth victory in 17 outings moved the team within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot with 17 to play. Cincinnati is long removed from contemplating its postseason chances, although it has won five of six overall. Veteran Brandon Phillips recorded back-to-back three-hit performances to conclude the last series against the Pirates and is 12-for-24 in his career versus Friday starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Nationals vs Braves
The Washington Nationals continue to close in on the National League East title, and their dominance of the Atlanta Braves is a big reason why. The Nationals won 14 of the 16 meetings with the Braves this season, and start the weekend with a 10-game lead over the New York Mets and a magic number of seven to clinch the division crown. Washington appears to be peaking at the right time, winning eight of its past 10. Rookie infielder/outfielder Trea Turner hit .364 during the Nationals’ 10-game homestand and has at least one hit in 43 of 53 games since the All-Star break. Atlanta, which trails the Nationals by 31 games, has allowed 31 runs in its last four games and has held opponents to fewer than five just once in its past nine contests. First baseman Freddie Freeman brings a career-best 20-game hitting streak into the series, hitting .333 in that span with four homers and 17 RBIs.
August 24 MLB Rundown
Wednesday Primetime Matchups
FanPicks has your August 24 MLB rundown to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!
Orioles vs Nationals
The O’s will face tough Nationals righty Tanner Roark, whose 2.87 ERA ranks seventh in the National League. Roark allowed three runs in five innings against the Orioles when he started against them last September.
Angels vs Blue Jays
Matt Shoemaker will look to win back-to-backstarts for the first time since mid-July when he gets the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Toronto will counter with Marco Estrada.
Red Sox vs Rays
If any team is going to have a chance to beat Boston’s Rick Porcello this season, they’re going to have to do so when the right-hander is on the road. Porcello is 12-0 with a 2.96 ERA at Fenway Park and 5-3 with a 3.49 ERA on the road. A win on Wednesday would make Porcello the Majors’ first 18-game winner this season.
Royals vs Miami
Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez hopes a return to South Beach will be just what doctor ordered in a bid to cure what has become his worst stretch of the season. Fernandez looks to snap a four-game winless run.
Rangers vs Reds
In Yu Darvish’s four years in the Majors, the Reds have seen the Rangers starter just once during the regular season, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some history. Darvish’s lone start came in 2013. He struck out eight over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-2 Rangers win. But earlier that year, during Spring Training, Darvish acquainted himself with the Reds, specifically first baseman Joey Votto. In the first inning of that game on March 23, Darvish threw Votto a looping eephus pitch, and Votto got all of it, driving it deep into the right-field stands. As Votto rounded the bases, Darvish laughed, and then after Votto touched home, he turned toward the stands behind home plate and put his finger over his lips, shushing the crowd. The Reds first baseman is 9-for-16 with 11 RBIs over the last five games. Darvish and Votto are going to face once again at the Great American Ballpark.
August 23 MLB Rundown
Tuesday Primetime Matchups
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Right-hander Ivan Nova will make his fourth start for the Pirates since being acquired in a trade from the Yankees. He will face rookie righty Joe Musgrove and the Astros at PNC Park. Cuban slugger Yulieski Gurriel is expected to make his first start in the field for Houston after sitting out Monday’s game.
Nationals rookie Reynaldo Lopez will have a new challenge when he faces the Orioles at Camden Yards. Lopez has dominated in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse earlier this month, allowing two earned runs in 14 innings while striking out 13.
The Blue Jays and Angels will meet for the first time this season when knuckleballer R.A. Dickey takes the mound vs. lefty Tyler Skaggs at Rogers Centre. Dickey hit a rough patch in July, but he has since bounced back with a total of six earned runs over his last three starts.
The Rays are among the hottest teams and will have a chance to continue their winning ways against the Red Sox with their ace on the mound at Tropicana Field. Chris Archer is in the midst of his best month and has lowered his ERA in each of his past six starts.
Right-hander Yordano Ventura will face Miami for the first time in his career. He’s pitched in four straight Royals wins, and hasn’t yielded more than three runs in an outing since July 3. Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is three hits shy of passing Wade Boggs (3,010) for 27th on the all-time hit list.
Rangers lefty Derek Holland will come off the disabled list and start for the first time since June 20th. He will faces the Reds at The Great American Ball Park. Holland will be going up against one of the hottest pitchers in the National League, right-hander Dan Straily. Straily has won his past five decisions, and he is 5-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.
August 18 MLB Rundown
Thursday Evening Matchups
FanPicks has your August 18 MLB rundown to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!
Astros vs Orioles
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who reached 1,000 hits against the Cardinals on Tuesday, has had a lot of success against Baltimore, just not recently. In Houston’s three-game sweep of the O’s earlier this season, Altuve went 1-for-13.
Dodgers vs Phillies
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has hit safely in eight straight games, going 15-for-36. Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 18-for-40 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.
White Sox vs Indians
Cleveland’s first baseman Carlos Santana has a career batting average of .364 (4-for-11) off Rodon. Santana is the only Cleveland batter with double-digit career at-bats vs. the southpaw hitting over .200.
Marlins vs Reds
Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the Reds lineup on Wednesday after missing the previous two contests due to injury and delivered the key hit with a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh.
Nationals vs Braves
Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has reached base in 45 consecutive games. He has a chance to tie the franchise record if he reaches base on Thursday.
Twins vs Royals
Twins rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey goes for his second win over the Royals in six days.
Mariners vs Angels
Fourteen game winning pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated the Angels’ two biggest threats in large sample sizes. Mike Trout is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) and Albert Pujols only .133 (3-for-45) vs. Iwakuma.
Padres vs Diamondbacks
Arizona right fielder Yasmany Tomas isn’t having any issues at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-best six RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tomas has slugged 12 homers in his past 19 games and has seven multi-homer games while belting 25 this season.
Mets vs Giants
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been superb against the Mets in his career by going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in five career outings. Mets counter-attacks with their ace Jacob deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Pitching duel to be expected.
August 9 Fantasy Baseball Preview
Tuesday Primetime Matchups
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Padres vs Pirates
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, benched for three games last week, is 3-for-21 over his last six contests. To make matters worse, right fielder Gregory Polanco has not started in each of the past three games due to a sore left shoulder. Padres left fielder Alex Dickerson homered Sunday to extend his hitting streak to five games.
Indians vs Nationals
Max Scherzer will toe the slab for the Nats, and he’s undefeated in his last five appearances. Scherzer (12-6, 2.87 ERA) allowed three runs on four hits, striking out 11 in eight innings in an 8-3 win at Arizona his last time out. He absolutely owns the Indians, with a record of 4-0, 3.46 ERA in his last eight starts against them.
Rays vs Blue Jays
Devon Travis is doing his best to carve out a full-time role as the Toronto Blue Jays’ leadoff hitter. The 25-year-old looks to follow up a career-best four-hit performance in the opener and give manager John Gibbons added incentive to keep him atop the lineup. Travis, who is 12-for-22 with three homers and seven RBIs during his five-game hitting streak, drove in a run in Monday’s 7-5 triumph and has four homers and eight RBIs in his 12 games as the club’s leadoff hitter. Brad Miller, who recorded a two-run double on Monday for the Rays, is 10-for-25 with three homers and nine RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.
Yankees vs Red Sox
The modern chapter of the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees kicked into high gear in the offseason between 2003 and 2004, when Alex Rodriguez was at the center of the controversy. Rodriguez, who ended up with New York that winter, will begin his final series in Boston Tuesday. Rodriguez has 696 career home runs but is suffering through the worst season of his career at age 41 and has no place in the Yankees future after the team elected to go younger at the trade deadline and start inserting the youth into the major league roster.
Giants vs Marlins
Brandon Crawford did his best to give ailing manager Bruce Bochy quite the get-well gift by recording Major League Baseball’s first seven-hit performance in 41 years in the series opener. With Bochy expected to exit the hospital and return to his post in the dugout, Crawford will look to continue the hit parade on Tuesday. He collected a triple, a double and five singles, with his last base hit plating Brandon Belt in the 14th inning for an 8-7 victory. The 29-year-old recorded only six hits in his previous 11 games for the Giants. Miami’s Christian Yelich fell a triple shy of the cycle on Monday but improved to 17-for-40 with 12 RBIs and eight runs scored in his last nine games.
Diamondbacks vs Mets
Zack Greinke’s return from an oblique injury that forced him to miss more than a month should help Arizona’s struggling staff, and the former Cy Young Award winner declared himself ready to go after a rehab start at Triple-A Reno last Wednesday. Greinke surrendered three or fewer runs in six straight starts, including an abbreviated two-inning stint on June 28 before being placed on the disabled list. He is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.
Fantasy Baseball August 5 Preview
Friday Primetime Matchups
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Indians vs Yankees
The Cleveland Indians used the long ball to avoid a sweep. They are swinging the power bats at the perfect time as they begin a three-game series against the host New York Yankees. Yankee Stadium possess the highest home run rate of any American League park. It will be hard-pressed to contain the Indians, who have hit 15 shots over their previous seven games.
Giants vs Nationals
Riding some momentum after wrapping up a road trip with a dominating sweep at Arizona, the Washington Nationals will receive the San Francisco Giants in the opener of an eight-game homestand. Washington gathered 32 runs in a three-game set against the Diamondbacks to finish 6-3 on the nine-game trek.
Reds vs Pirates
Struggling Andrew McCutchen is expected to return to the lineup when the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game stand against Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was benched for the whole three-game series versus the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates lost two of three and have fallen back to .500 on the season.
Mets vs Tigers
The red hot Detroit Tigers continue their pursuit of the top spot in the American League Central when they host the New York Mets. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, who was unbeaten in six starts last month, will takes on Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard.
Twins vs Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins have been competing much better than their current lot in the standings would indicate. The cellar dwellers in the American League East and Central divisions, respectively, look to continue their rock solid play of late at the other’s expense.
Orioles vs White Sox
Chicago White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez likely won’t need extra motivation heading into the opener of a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles. After spending his first four seasons with the Orioles, the 32-year-old Gonzalez was let go by the club in late March. He posted a 1-4 mark with a bloated 9.78 ERA back in spring training with Baltimore.
Rangers vs Astros
The Texas Rangers will try to extend their dominance of in-state rival Houston. Texas is 9-1 versus Houston this season. They have won seven of the eight match-ups decided by fewer than three runs.
MLB Games Recap
Monday took a weird turn for the Brewers and the best team in baseball needed to get back on the right direction. FanPicks (click to play) has your MLB Games Recap.
Guerra brilliant versus the Nats
Brew Crew’s Junior Guerra won against Nats Max Scherzer. That’s right! He won denying any run to score in a 1-0 victory. This gives Milwaukee his first victory in four games. Martin Maldonado scored the unique run of the meeting, with his third home run of the season. Guerra (6-1) gave up two hits in seven and one-third innings of work. He struck out seven and conceded two walks. The 31 years-old rookie also allowed no runs in the game prior to Washington. He is now victorious in his last three starts. Scherzer (9-6) threw 114 pitches in six innings. He allowed one run and four hits and three walks. The ace also struck out seven hitters.
The highlight (or blunder) of this game came in the first when, after two outs, Ryan Braun presents himself to the plate and hits a single. Nationals manager Dusty Baker immediately came out of the dugout to speak with empire Cory Blaser. After a small consultation between all of the empires, the decision was to call a third out on Jonathan Lucroy. Turns out that within the starting lineup sheets given to the empires and Dusty Baker, Lucroy was the intended hitter, followed by Braun. Only the press gallery had received the sheet with Braun hitting in third spot, his regular spot in the lineup. Braun came back to hit in the second but failed to reached first base this time.
Chicago back on track
Kris Bryant knocked his 24th long ball of his campaign in a 10-4 Chicago Cubs win over the Cincinnati Reds. This win puts an end to the four game Chicago skid. Bryant’s homer scored two points on the board. However, the National League home run leader had to leave three innings later because he got hurt to his left leg. Among the other Cubs home run hitters, both Willson Contreras and Addison Russell blasted one out of the park. Contreras already collected five homers since making the big league back on June 17th. Kyle Hendricks (7-6) spaced out one run and four hits in five innings and one-third of work for Chicago.