Rizzo drives in five as Cubs rout the Reds
Rizzo hit a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning, a solo blast in the bottom of the fourth, and another two-run single in the bottom of the seventh as Chicago rolled over Cincinnati. Rizzo has 27 home runs and 76 RBI in 115 games this season, along with a .262/.384/.505 batting line.
Top projected batters tonight include several from each side at Coors
Tonight's top projected hitters are a pair of Coors bats. Charlie Blackmon (142 wRC+, .292 ISO vs RHP this year) should enjoy a matchup against Julio Teheran (LHBs .355 wOBA, 35.1 Hard%, 37.8 GB% since 2016), while Freddie Freeman (188 wRC+, .339 ISO vs RHP this year) faces a returning Chad Bettis, making his first start of the season (LHBs .302 wOBA, 25.8 Hard%, 56.8 GB% last season). Aaron Judge (171 wRC+, .317 ISO vs RHP) rounds out the top three, but he continues to struggle since the break (55 wRC+ last seven days) and Rafael Montero has managed contact well (84 mph aEV), despite his other faults. He has allowed seven HRs over his last four starts though. Giancarlo Stanton, who has homered in nine of his last 10 games, appears fourth against the very contact prone lefty, Ty Blach (11.8 K%). The Braves and Rockies both enjoy a pair of players each among the top 10 projections (Ender Inciarte, Gerardo Parra) on either site, while both Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant appear among the top 10 on FanDuel (Bryant currently sits 11th on DraftKings). While players probably aren't concerned as much with value bats tonight considering the state of pitching, Ender Inciarte (3.93 Pt/$/K) costs just $3.2K on FanDuel, while Chris Davis (2.96 Pt/$/K) projects as the top value for less than $3K on DraftKings against Yovani Gallardo.
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are top projected bats against rookie pitchers
No team has more than one batter in the top 10 among the RotoGrinders Player Projections on both sites tonight, although the Diamondbacks barely sneak in two (Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb vs John Lackey) on FanDuel. The top five are the same on either site. Bryce Harper (183 wRC+, .351 ISO vs RHP this year) faces Chris Stratton. Mike Trout (172 wRC+, .240 ISO vs LHP) faces Marco Gonzales. Neither of those pitchers have much of a track record and are facing potential MVP candidates this season. Aaron Judge (174 wRC+, .329 ISO vs LHP) has a platoon advantage he really doesn't need against Eduardo Rodriguez and is beginning to pick it up again after a rough start to his second half (119 wRC+, 33.3 Hard% last seven days). Anthony Rizzo (123 wRC+, .255 ISO vs RHP) enjoys the confines of Chase Field in Arizona (Taijuan Walker). Charlie Blackmon (143 wRC+, .296 ISO vs RHP) is the only real Colorado threat on the road. LHBs have a .326 wOBA, 32.6 Hard% vs Jose Urena since last year. Top projected values for those projected for at least seven DraftKings points are Chris Davis (2.65 Pt/$/K) against Paul Blackburn and Logan Forsythe (2.35 Pt/$/K) against Clayton Richard. The projections like Forsythe's teammate, Kike Hernandez (4.09 Pt/$/K) and Eric Thames (4.06 Pt/$/K) against Homer Bailey.
Anthony Rizzo getting a rare day off Wed.
It's a rare day off for the slugger. Willson Contreras is handling first base, as Alex Avila is getting a start at catcher.
Many of tonight's top batter matchups find themselves in difficult power environments
While RH Washington batters appear to have the top matchup tonight (.425 wOBA against Chris O'Grady through five starts), the complication in many other spots may be difficult park factors rather than pitcher proficiency. LHBs have a .361 wOBA (33.8 Hard%) against Matt Moore since last season, which is great for Anthony Rizzo (137 wRC+, .247 ISO vs LHP since 2016) if San Francisco weren't death to LH power. While park is not an issue in Cincinnati and LHBs have a .360 wOBA with 21 HRs against Tim Adelman since last year, among Padre regulars, Yangervis Solarte has the top ISO (.183) among LHBs against RHP since last year. RHBs are certainly an option (.339 wOBA, 37.9 Hard%). Wil Myers (.216 ISO), Jose Pirela (.220 ISO) and Austin Hedges (.253 ISO) all have an ISO above .200 against same handed pitching this year. In fact, Cincinnati is the only really power friendly environment in play tonight. RHBs have a .359 wOBA against Jordan Zimmermann since last season, but Pittsburgh has one of the lowest power factors for RHBs in the majors. While LHBs have done just as well (.345 wOBA, 35.9 Hard%), Josh Bell has been Pittsburgh's only proficient bat from that side this year (113 wRC+, .219 ISO vs RHP). LHBs have a .339 wOBA and 35 Hard% against JC Ramirez since last season, but it's another tough park and the Orioles are light in LH bats. The one big on they do have is yet another First Baseman (Chris Davis .267 ISO vs RHP this year). LHBs have a 45.3 Hard% against Ian Kennedy this season, but have only homered against him four times at home this year and of course, we're looking at First Base again (Matt Carpenter 128 wRC+, .216 ISO vs RHP this season). Carlos Martinez has similar issues against LHBs (.351 wOBA, 38.4 Hard% this year), but only Mike Moustakas (.296 ISO) and Brandon Moss (.202 ISO) have an ISO above .200 against RHP this year. At least they don't play First Base.
Weather could pose problems for two of three games on Thursday's early slate
With storms heading for Chicago this afternoon, we currently have the ARI-CHC matchup listed as ORANGE/YELLOW. There's a good chance of an in-game delay and there is some threat of a PPD. In Denver, where the Rockies host the Mets, there's a chance of a late start but everything should clear once the game gets going. Later tonight, several games have weather risk, most notably, the TEX-MIN game is considered ORANGE. In addition to heavy rain, it's expected to be in the 50s with gusts of wind up to 20 mph. Be sure to check out the weather page for complete details, as weather could play a major factor on today's slates, and follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinRothWX.
Andrew McCutchen has a 295 wRC+, 53.9 Hard% and four HRs over the last week
Christian Vazquez (342 wRC+, 41.2 Hard%, one HR) is the hottest batter in the league over the last week and faces the erratic Trevor Bauer tonight. While he'll snap off a gem every once in a while, he has allowed some of the loudest contact on the slate (89.2 mph aEV, 39.9% 95+ mph EV). No other batter with at least 10 PAs over the last seven days has a wRC+ above 300. Andrew McCutchen (295 wRC+, 53.9 Hard%, four HRs) comes the closest. He's been smashing the ball for nearly two months now and is in as favorable a spot as he can be in his power suppressing home park, against Robert Stephenson (RHBs .389 wOBA, 36.2 Hard% career). Vazquez's new Boston teammate, Eduardo Nunez (293 wRC+, 50 Hard%, two HRs), has acclimated himself well to Red Sox fans. He's hit well against same handed pitching this year (117 wRC+). Anthony Rizzo (285 wRC+, 53.9 Hard%, three HRs) faces one of the top potential pitchers on the slate in Zack Godley (LHBs .328 wOBA, 24.2 Hard% career). He's also kept LHBs on the ground on 59.7% of batted balls in his young career.
Anthony Rizzo homers twice in Cubs' rout
Rizzo launched an opposite-field, two-run shot into the bleachers off of Patrick Corbin in the second inning and then took Rubby De La Rosa out to center field with a solo blast in the seventh. He had two of the five dingers for the Cubbies on the night. Rizzo has six home runs over 16 games since the All-Star break.
Rizzo (back) returns to Cubs' lineup Tuesday
Rizzo missed Sunday's game with back soreness, but it's not a major concern. He'll hit third Monday against Patrick Corbin.
Anthony Rizzo sitting out with sore back
It sounds like he should be fine to play Tuesday after Monday's off day. Backup catcher Victor Caratini is getting a start at first base.