Outfield bats rule the wRC+ leaderboard over the last week among projected starters
Outfielders rule the week's hottest hitters list on tonight's slate. Giancarlo Stanton is the hottest bat on the slate (373 wRC+, 37.5 Hard%, 4 HRs over the last week). He's in a boom or bust spot against a sometimes dominant arm, who also occasionally has control (14.5 BB% this season) and long ball (13.3 career HR/FB) issues in Vince Velasquez. He's followed by Bryce Harper (319 wRC+, 38.9 Hard%, 3 HRs) and Nelson Cruz (317 wRC+, 38.9 Hard%, 2 HRs) as the only other projected starters on the slate with a wRC+ above 300 over the last week. Both are in nice spots with the former in Coors and the latter facing a lefty tonight. With a couple of high priced pitchers already off the board, players should be able to afford all three in their OF tonight. Outfielders claim the fourth (Justin Upton 293 wRC+, 53.9 Hard%, 2 HRs), fifth (Charlie Blackmon 277 wRC+, 54.2 Hard%, 4 HRs) and sixth (David Peralta 272 wRC+, 41.2 Hard%, 1 HR) spots on the wRC+ leaderboard over the last week too. Only Upton can be considered in a poor spot tonight, facing James Paxton, who has better career numbers against RHBs than LHBs.
Charlie Blackmon belts seventh homer
Blackmon is on a serious offensive roll, posting at least two RBI for the fifth consecutive outing. The outfielder has hit safely in 10 straight games, and 15 of the past 16 contests. He is hitting .341 (14-for-41) with five homers and 15 RBI during his impressive 10-game run.
Lots of strong 1B & OF bats on a 14 games slate, even outside of Coors
Most of your premier matchup bats are going to be coming out of Colorado tonight as German Marquez had great difficulty with batters from either side of the plate in his short 20 inning major league debut last season (RHBs .397, LHBs .391) with a below average strikeout rate and Joe Ross has always struggled with LHBs (.355 wOBA, 35.5 Hard%, 36.7 GB%). Harper (167 wRC+, .285 ISO vs RHP since 2015), Turner (138 wRC+, .228 ISO vs RHP career), Zimmerman (307 wRC+, 47.4 Hard% last seven days), Murphy (142 wRC+, .227 ISO vs RHP since 2015) and Eaton (126 wRC+, .171 ISO vs RHP since 2017) should all be highly coveted for good reason from the visitor side, while Blackmon (122 wRC+, .229 ISO vs RHP since 2015) and Gonzalez (128 wRC+, .258 ISO vs RHP since 2015) check all the boxes for the home team. Some of the strongest looking bats elsewhere though, appear at First Base. Eric Thames hit two more last night, both off a lefty, but he also has a .203 wRC+, .415 ISO with a 51.3 Hard% against RHP and though Feldman is more of a neutral arm against LHBs (.317 wOBA since 2015), he has the benefit of a great home environment for LH power hitters and is still under-priced on DraftKings ($4.2K). His counterpart, Joey Votto (166 wRC+, .245 ISO, 41.7 Hard% vs RHP since 2015), is in a similarly strong spot against a pitcher who has floundered in his sophomore year (Zach Davies 6.3 K-BB%, 35.7 Hard% overall this season). Arizona also hosts a pair of potential pivots on each side in Goldschmidt (171 wRC+, .226 ISO vs LHP since 2015) and Tomas (144 wRC+, .259 ISO vs LHP career) for the Diamondbacks and Renfroe (155 wRC+, .242 ISO vs LHP career) and Myers (125 wRC+, .183 ISO vs LHP since 2015). Though Corbin has struggled against opposite handed bats (.355 wOBA, 35.1 Hard% vs RHBs since 2015), Clayton Richard (.349 wOBA vs RHBs since 2015), has at least shied away from hard contact in the air vs RHBs (29.4 Hard%, 59.8 GB%).
Joey Gallo has seven Barrels with a 100.3 mph aEV on Flies & Liners
Three active players tonight have exceeded seven barrels this season. Barrels, being the new Statcast metric measuring how often optimal launch angles meet high exit velocity. One is Charlie Blackmon (123 wRC+, .230 ISO vs RHP since 2015), who may be the top overall bat on the slate tonight at home against replacement arm (literally) Jacob Turner. Eric Thames has a 206 wRC+, 47.4 Hard% over the last week and has actually cooled off over the last few days. He may see decreased ownership facing another breakout lefty in Amir Garrett. Joey Gallo (110 wRC+, .257 ISO career vs RHP) has barreled just as many pitches (nine each). Unfortunately, he bats lower in the order, but faces Phil Hughes (LHBs .348 wOBA, 33.8 Hard% since 2015) in a favorable Texas park tonight. Gallo is one of several viable 3B pivots off Arenado tonight. His 100.3 mph aEV on fly balls and line drives is best of this group of three.
RotoGrinders Player Projections offer a pair of Arizona alternatives to Coors bats tonight
While three Coors bats (Arenado, T.Turner, Blackmon) lead overall projections among hitters, there are plenty of 3B pivots for those who don't want to pay an enormous price for Arenado. Jake Lamb (134 wRC+, 285 ISO vs RHP) projects within a point on either site, while also being one of the top projected values on DraftKings (2.36 Pt/$/K) alongside teammate David Peralta (132 wRC+, .209 ISO vs RHP since 2015), who is also the only bat on FanDuel projected for more than 4.0 Pt/$/K. Tonight may also be a night to pay down for pitching (Jesse Chavez 5.01 Pt/$/K on FanDuel, Amir Garrett 3.24 Pt/$/K) with the top priced pitchers having either weather (Archer) or velocity (Greinke) issues tonight.
Charlie Blackmon finds the seats again
Blackmon has hit safely in seven straight outings and he has homered in each of the past two, and three of the past five. While his average sits at a mediocre .254, his power numbers have been good enough to make him a useful option in most fantasy formats.
Charlie Blackmon hits fourth homer
It was a two-run shot off Johnny Cueto. Blackmon is batting just .239 with a .292 OBP, but he has 11 RBI from the leadoff spot in 17 games.
Charlie Blackmon homers in win over Giants
Blackmon's bat has been hot of late, as he has picked up hits in eight of his last 10 games including three multi-hit efforts. On Sunday, he teed off on a Jeff Samardzija pitch to lead off the game, whacking it an estimated 415 feet to boost the Rockies to an early 1-0 lead. They would add to Blackmon's contribution courtesy of a two-run double by Nolan Arenado later in the frame. Blackmon is hitting .232/.283/.446 with three homers and nine RBI through the first 14 games of the season.
Jameson Taillon tops tonight's Pitcher projections on DraftKings
That Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon top the RotoGrinders projections at just under 14 points a piece is not a surprise in a matchup at home with Jered Weaver, but Manny Machado topping the FanDuel projections (vs Drew Pomeranz), as the only player above 11 points might be today. Not because Machado isn't great, but because the Rockies are facing Jered Freakin Weaver in Coors! Among pitchers, Jameson Taillon is a surprise atop the DraftKings board. He's the only pitcher projected to reach 20 points, though Cole Hamels and Gio Gonzalez come close. Although, Gonzalez leads FanDuel projections overall, Taillon still shows up as the only pitcher projected for more than four points per $1K of salary (Pt/$/K). Value bats appear to be Aaron Hill (2.87 Pt/$/K) on DraftKings, facing Robbie Ray at home for just $2.2K (if he plays) and Mitch Haniger (4.38 Pt/$/K) at home in Seattle against a potentially tough righty (Joe Musgrove), but it's difficult to ignore a minimum priced batter sitting near the top of the lineup.
Junior Guerra had last years largest ERA/SIERA separation on the afternoon slate
Junior Guerra has the largest gap on the main afternoon slate between his ERA (2.81) and estimators (4.42 SIERA). No other pitcher has even a run gap from their SIERA. Will a Colorado offense with just an 84 wRC+ and 24.1 K% on the road last year and no new players in the lineup today be able to take advantage of it. Milwaukee may not be Coors, but it's still a hitter's park and though Guerra held opposing LHBs to a .271 wOBA, this was the result of a .222 BABIP. They had a 38.9 Hard% against him. Charlie Blackmon upped his road game significantly last season (144 wRC+/.250 ISO). Unfortunately, Colorado bats are nearly priced for Coors Field today, but he may still hold some value here. He's the only LHB in the lineup who was an above average hitter on the road last season. The other side of this matchup is not quite as clear. Jon Gray had a 26 K% last season (5th on the afternoon slate) and the Brewers return much of the same players who struck out 28.5% against RHP as a team last year. While Gray is reasonably priced on either site with significant upside here, the Rockies are downplaying a foot injury that knocked him out a recent start this spring. He remains an interesting GPP play. It should be noted that noted Korean league crusher is batting second and costs only $2.2K on FanDuel in his return to the majors.