Bryant goes 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI
He also added a walk. He doubled in a run in the fourth inning and was driven in by his partner in crime Anthony Rizzo two times in the contest. Tonight's strong game boosted his batting average to .282 with two homers, 14 runs scored and 12 RBI. Last year's NL MVP is off to a slow start by his standards but should pick it up as the season rolls along.
Kris Bryant reaches twice, steals base
The Cubs' offense didn't show up in this one, but Bryant still managed to carve out a solid little day for his fantasy owners. Bryant's stolen base total fell to eight after he had 13 his rookie season, but he's now already on a too-early-to-talk-about pace of 32 steals.
Bryant goes 3-for-4 with two walks vs. Bucs
Bryant struck out in his first at-bat against Pirates starter Chad Kuhl, but the reigning National League MVP reached in each of his next five plate appearances. He doubled and scored in the Cubs' five-run second inning and his RBI single in the top of the sixth put Chicago up 12-1. In one night, Bryant lifted his season OPS from .717 to .782. He's ready to explode.
Cubs bats are the definitive top offense to target on the main slate
To put it mildly, Bronson Arroyo has not been great in his first three starts of a clearly failing comeback attempt at the ripe age of 40. This afternoon, he gets the pleasure of facing the defending World Series champions and arguably the best lineup in the Majors. The one thing that Arroyo has done will to this point is limit hard contact to left-handed batters (23.8% HH%), but that is likely more of a result of a microscopic sample size than an actual trend, evidenced by his 11.1% strikeout rate and 11.1% walk rate. He's also been just as bad versus right-handed batters, striking them out only 14.6% of the time while surrendering a 45.2% fly ball rate and a 36.4% hard hit rate. After evaluating the aforementioned statistics, it really is difficult to imagine Arroyo shutting down the Cubs offense this afternoon and hitters from both sides of the plate are firmly in play for all formats. Anthony Rizzo (150 wRC+, .398 wOBA, .259 ISO since 2016) and Kris Bryant (129 wRC+, .367 wOBA, .223 ISO since 2016) are the clear top Chicago bats virtually any time the Cubs are facing a weak right-handed pitcher, closely followed by Kyle Schwarber (147 wRC+, .387 wOBA, .252 ISO career vs RHP), who seems to finally be breaking out of his early-season slump. Although unexciting to roster, Ben Zobrist (120 wRC+, .354 wOBA since 2016) looks to be the top candidate to round out the stack in tournaments given his batting position in the order and relative succes versus righties. All in all, everything adds up to the Cubs hitters being the definitive best options to target on the main slate, and frankly, it's not even close.
Bryant hits go-ahead sacrifice fly
Albert Almora set the stage for the winning run after reaching on a one-out single against Robert Stephenson. He went first to third on a single from Kyle Schwarber before Bryant flied out to left field to bring him home. Bryant finished 1-for-5 on the night and is hitting just .227/.325/.394 with two homers and 10 RBI through 16 games so far, but things should only get better from here for fantasy owners.
Cubs bats are one of the top places to look for hitting away from Coors Field
Tim Adleman is set to toe the rubber in tonight's game against the Chicago Cubs after pitching decently well in his first start of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing just one earned run while punching out five in four innings of work. The currently available sample size of Adleman at the Major League level is still fairly limited, but he has shown early signs of being a reverse splits pitcher, posting a 21.0% strikeout to lefties compared to a 14.1% strikeout rate to right-handed batters. Adleman has also surrendered an above average hard contact rate (33.0%) and a massive amount of flyballs to left-handed batters (53.7%), putting power lefties like Anthony Rizzo (150 wRC+, .398 wOBA, .254 ISO vs RHP since 2016) and Kyle Schwarber (148 wRC+, .387 wOBA, .256 ISO career vs RHP) in amazing spots to potentially go deep in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark this evening. However, given Adleman's low strikeout rate and 37.0% hard contact rate to righties, there is no reason to write-off Cubs right-handed bats like Kris Bryant (132 wRC+, .371 wOBA, .227 ISO vs RHP since 2016), Wilson Contreras (120 wRC+, .353 wOBA, .202 ISO vs RHP since 2016), and even Addison Russell as a part of a Cubs stack or one-offs. With all this said, the Cubs are shaping up to be one of the top places to look for offense away from Coors Field on Friday's slate.
Extension talks with 3B Bryant 'got nowhere'
Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, told Verducci that he and Cubs president Theo Epstein "were on the same page" when it comes to Bryant's fit with the team, but Verducci adds that the two sides "made no traction on value." The third baseman will have his first of four arbitration years next winter, as he's not slated for free agency until after the 2021 season. Bryant's teammates Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber are also in line to hit free agency at the same time.
Bryant goes deep twice in loss to Pirates
He cranked a two-run bomb in the Cubs' four-run first inning and drilled a solo shot in the last inning to draw the Cubs within one run but it wasn't enough. Bryant homered 39 times last year en route to winning the NL MVP Award but had not homered in his first 10 games prior to today's outburst. It has been a slow start for Bryant but he is likely to be a beast the rest of the way.
With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, the Cubs implied team total has ballooned to 6.3 runs
Tyler Glasnow is coming off of a horrendous opening start to the season against the Cincinnati Reds in which he walked five and allowed five earned runs in just 1.2 innings pitched. He'll draw the unfortunate matchup this afternoon facing off against the defending World Series Champions at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out to left-center and center field. This is a nightmare situation for pitchers, as seen by the massive game total increase to 10.5 runs, and makes Jake Arrieta a less safe option for cash games on the other side of this game for Chicago. While we only have an extremely limited sample size on Glasnow at the Major League level, it's clear that he has struggled with two things, walks and preventing steals. In fact, he now owns an 18.2% walk rate to right-handed batters and a 15.1% walk rate overall in his brief career. Those numbers can be expected to normalize over time but a road meeting with a patient and powerful Cubs lineup does not seem to be a likely starting point. The obvious Cubs lefties to target in all formats are Anthony Rizzo (147 wRC+, .393 wOBA, .259 ISO vs RHP in 2016/17), Kyle Schwarber, and Ben Zobrist (122 wRC+, .357 wOBA, .185 ISO vs RHP in 2016/17), while righties like Kris Bryant (134 wRC+, .374 wOBA, .227 ISO vs RHP in 2016/17) and Wilson Contreras (123 wRC+, .358 wOBA, .212 ISO vs RHP in 2016/17) are great options to round out a full Cubs stack in tournaments and may go overlooked slightly, though news of the wind blowing out at Wrigley does tend to spread quickly among the daily fantasy community, so it's safe to say that is a little unlikely.
Cubs right-handed bats ones to target as they host the Dodgers today
Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers visit the Cubs and Brett Anderson today in a game that has a modest Vegas run total of eight runs with the Cubs slight favorites. Ryu is a fade considering he is facing a tough Cubs lineup on the road while Anderson is a viable SP2 option on sites that start two pitchers. Anderson is a reverse-splits pitcher which puts Corey Seager firmly in play from the Dodgers lineup with Logan Forsythe (leading off), Justin Turner (3rd), Yasiel Puig (4th), and Scott Van Slyke (5th) all secondary options. The right-handed bats of the Cubs are top options today so look to Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Wilson Contreras to start your Cubs stacks. The LH bats of Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo are worthy components of a stack if you're looking to do that.