The second baseman extended his hitting streak to nine games and has three bombs, seven RBI and eight runs during that stretch. Dozier is posting another solid fantasy campaign, and he could be in the beginning stages of a second-half outburst.
Altuve continues to live up to his lofty preseason billing with a .358/.424/.564 slash line, 15 homers, 56 RBI, 21 stolen bases and 68 runs. It's extremely rare to find that level of cross-category production, and it's even more valuable coming from a middle infielder.
Merrifield hit the first of three consecutive Royals homers off Derek Holland in the bottom of the fourth inning, then added another solo shot off reliever Dan Jennings to tie the game 4-4 in the eighth. The 28-year-old second baseman has been a tremendous spark plug at the top of the order, having swiped 16 bags to go with 10 long balls this year. Four of those 10 home runs have come in the month of July after Merrifield failed to hit one in June.
Pennington had logged the previous three starts at second base, but that was only because the opposition rolled out left-handed starters in each of those contests. With righty Rick Porcello on the mound for Boston in the series finale, Pennington will give way to Nick Franklin, who is expected to see the bulk of the starts at the keystone on the strong side of a platoon.
The knee issue has been an ongoing concern for Pedroia, who has missed games due to the injury every month this season after first hurting himself in a collision with the Orioles' Manny Machado in an April 21 game. The Red Sox haven't indicated that Pedroia will require a trip to the disabled list as a result of the injury, but Mastrodonato notes that the team will likely recall an extra infielder from the minors ahead of Monday's series opener in Seattle in anticipation of a potential multi-game absence for the former American League MVP.
Schoop left the yard for the second consecutive evening, giving him 21 on the year. He's broken out in a big way this season, slashing .303/.349/.552.
With back-to-back southpaws on the mound, Pennington has seen two consecutive starts and produced two separate two-hit performances. The Angels are facing David Price - another lefty - Saturday, which likely places the 33-year-old into the lineup for a third consecutive game. While he is on the short side of a platoon at second base with Nick Franklin, Pennington could force himself into a larger role if he can outplay his competition at second base.
Castro missed time prior to the All-Star break due to this injury as well, so it may go to explain some of his struggles since returning. It's unclear how long this will keep him sidelined, although more information should be divulged soon. Tyler Wade will his spot on the active roster for the time being.
Castro is 10-for-52 (.192) over the past 30 games, so manager Joe Girardi will give him a night off for the third time since the All-Star break. Ronald Torreyes will man the keystone in his stead.
After struggling during his first cup of coffee in the big leagues earlier this season, Wade will make a return trip to the Bronx for part two. The top prospect is doing well at the Triple-A level (.313 batting average, 26 stolen bases), so he could provide some value in deeper leagues and in AL-only leagues based off his speed alone.