Coors and Wrigley bats among top projected hitters tonight
Charlie Blackmon is, unsuprisingly, the top projected hitter on the slate, facing a RHP with a .349 wOBA against LHBs at Coors tonight. Nolan Arenado joins him in the top five according from the RotoGrinders Player Projections, though Mike Foltynewicz has handle RHBs better (.318 wRC+, 25.7 Hard% since last season). Freddie Freeman is the other top five projected Coors bat. LHBs have a .322 wOBA and 34.6 Hard% against Jon Gray since last season. This year, he has just an 8.0 SwStr% overall. Anthony Rizzo rounds out the top three against Homer Bailey (LHBs .385 wOBA, 37.4 Hard% since last season). Andrew Benintendi (LHBs .342 wOBA vs Lance Lynn since last year) and Joey Votto (LHBs .339 wOBA vs John Lackey) both find themselves a top five projected batter on at least one site tonight. Kris Bryant makes the Cubs the only other team besides the Rockies to have two batters in the top 10 among overall projections despite the Rangers being sandwiched in between the two teams in terms of implied runs tonight. Players looking for value can turn to Kike Hernandez on FanDuel (4.1 Pt/$/K) for just over the minimum. DraftKings players have more Carlos Beltran (2.36 Pt/$/K), Rougned Odor (2.27 Pt/$/K) and Kyle Schwarber (2.27 Pt/$/K) all in the middle of strong offenses for $3.6K or less.
Bailey not likely to be the only Homer at Wrigley tonight
Homer Bailey has gotten absolutely torched by batters from both sides since his return from a long absence last year. LHBs have a .383 wOBA, 34.5 Hard%, while RHBs have a .418 wOBA, though with just a 25.4 Hard%. He has a league average ground ball rate against batters from either side. Kevin says the wind is likely to be blowing in from right at around 10 mph with stronger gusts tonight, but Bailey may need something like a hurricane to hold the Cubs down. Chicago has an implied run line of 5.55 runs that is currently third best on the slate. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant (304 wRC+ last seven days), Alex Avila, Ian Happ, and Kyle Schwarber all have an ISO above .220 against RHP this season. This could get ugly. However, Mr. Bailey may not be the only Homer in the building tonight. Perhaps Mr. Lackey should adopt that first name because he's allowed the third most Homers in the majors this year (29). While RHBs have just a .283 wOBA against him since last season (LHBs .339 wOBA), batters from either side have hit the ball hard on around one-third of batted balls with 30 of his 52 HRs being surrendered to RHBs over that span. The Reds have one of the lowest implied run lines on the slate (3.95), but could be a sneaky contrarian stack here. Joey Votto (171 wRC+ vs RHP), Zack Cozart, Scooter Gennett, and Adam Duvall all have an ISO above .235 against RHP this year, while Eugenio Suarez (114 wRC+, .196 ISO vs RHP this year) adds a 254 wRC+ and 43.8 Hard% over the last week.
Kris Bryant (304 wRC+) is the only batter on the late slate above a 300 wRC+ last seven days
Kris Bryant (304 wRC+, 25 Hard%, two HRs) is the hottest hitter on the main slate and the only one above a 300 wRC+ over the last week (10 PA min.). Though he has homered twice, the prowess comes more because he's rarely swinging and missing (7.1 K%, 5.2 SwStr%) rather than hitting the ball very hard. The wind is blowing in from right tonight, according to Kevin's early forecast, but it may need to be a hurricane to keep players from piling on against Homer Bailey (RHBs .418 wOBA this year). Dexter Fowler (262 wRC+, 50 Hard%, one HR) has hit a lot of balls hard this week, but homered just once in 24 PAs. He faces Eduardo Rodriguez (RHBs .304 wOBA since last season) at Fenway. Rafael Devers (260 wRC+, 35.7 Hard%, three HRs) is on the other side of that matchup against Lance Lynn (LHBs .342 wOBA). He could be the top play among this entire group. Gary Sanchez (256 wRC+, 42.1 Hard%, four HRs) has homered twice in the last two nights and has perhaps the best matchup of the series tonight. RHBs have a .344 wOBA, though a 55.3 GB% against Robert Gsellman in his career. Eugenio Suarez (254 wRC+, 43.8 Hard%, two HRs) faces John Lackey. RHBs have just a .283 wOBA against him since last season, but with a 34.3 Hard% and he's allowed the third most HRs in the majors this year (29). Edwin Encarnacion (212 wRC+, 45.5 Hard%, five HRs) faces Kyle Gibson. RHBs have a 51.7 GB% against him since last season, but with a .347 wOBA and 33.8 Hard%. The Tribe and Twins may have to dodge significant weather issues to get this one in though.
Giancarlo Stanton is one of four batters with a 270+ wRC+ and four plus HRs last seven days
Kris Bryant (329 wRC+, 33.3 Hard%, two HRs) has the highest wRC+ over the last week by a wide margin (10 PA min.), though a lot of it has to do with his 7.1 K% more than superior contact authority. He's at home tonight against fire-baller Luis Castillo, against whom RHBs have a .331 wOBA, but 61.3 GB% and 29.3 Hard%. Eddie Rosario (304 wRC+, 54.6 Hard%, four HRs) is the only other batter in the league with a wRC+ above 300 over the last seven days. LHBs have a 33.9 Hard% against Danny Salazar since last season, but he's struck out 36 of 97 batters since returning from the DL. Nelson Cruz (283 wRC+, 52.9 Hard%, five HRs) tees off against Wade Miley (RHBs .363 wOBA, 33 Hard% since 2016). Josh Donaldson (282 wRC+, 40.9 Hard%, four HRs) faces Blake Snell (RHBs .341 wOBA, 32.4 Hard%, 36.8 GB% career). Giancarlo Stanton (270 wRC+, 57.9 Hard%, six HRs) has just the seventh highest wRC+ over the last week, but nobody has as many HRs. If the Marlins have played a game over the last month, Stanton has more likely than not gone deep. Madison Bumgarner has been more like himself recently (seven IP with seven Ks in three straight starts) and RHBs have just a .262 wOBA against him this year, but with a 35.7 Hard% and 41.1 GB%.
Bryant stays hot with double and two-run HR
Bryant doubled and scored in the bottom of the first inning and belted a two-run shot in the Cubs' five-run fourth inning, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. He also drew a walk. The star third baseman is 26-for-59 (.441) with 11 RBI and 12 runs scored over his last 15 games. There aren't many other players you'd prefer on your fantasy roster for the stretch run.
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.
Kris Bryant and Adrian Beltre only two batters on the slate above a 300 wRC+ last seven days
A pair of Third Basemen are the hottest hitters on the slate and the only two with a wRC+ above 300 over the last seven days. Kris Bryant (312 wRC+, 31.8 Hard%, one HR) is at home against Asher Wojciechowski, who has not allowed a lot of hard contact to RHBs (29.4% in small sample), but only generates a 32.8 GB% against them. Adrian Beltre (302 wRC+, 43.8 Hard%, two HRs) is also at home, but with a bit tougher matchup against Michael Fulmer (RHBs .280 wOBA, 27.9 Hard%). However, Fulmer has not yet made a start in August, returning from the DL with an elbow issue. He's allowed RHBs a 35.3 Hard% over three starts before hitting the DL. Nelson Cruz (293 wRC+, 53.3 Hard%, four HRs) is the only other batter on the slate with a wRC+ above 270 over the last week (10 PA min.). He's in an interesting spot at home tonight against Kevin Gausman, who traditionally struggles with same handed batters (.349 wOBA, 32 Hard% since last season). However, over his last 11 starts, RHBs have just a .249 wOBA and 25.5 K-BB% against him, though with a 36.1 Hard%. Giancarlo Stanton (250 wRC+, 60 Hard%, six HRs) leads the majors with his six HRs over the last week. No other batter in the majors has more than four. While Ty Blach does not allow a lot of hard contact to RHBs (31%), he does allow a ton of contact overall (11.8 K%).
Kris Bryant homers, doubles against D-Backs
Fine overall performance from Bryant, who is now working on a 10-game hitting streak. He homered in the ninth inning for cosmetic effect in what ended as a 7-2 Cubs win. For the campaign as a whole, the reigning NL MVP is slashing .294/.405/.530 with 21 homers, 52 RBI and seven steals in 109 games played. He has collected multiple hits in five of his last six games, including three straight three-hit showings.
Kris Bryant pushes hit streak to nine games
Bryant has hit safely in nine straight games, going 15-for-35 (.429) with two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored to raise his average from .275 to .289 just since Aug. 2. He'll look to reach double digits with his hit streak Sunday against RHP Zack Godley in the series finale.
Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Joey Votto & Manny Machado among top projected batters tonight
Although differently ordered on either site, Joey Votto, Ryan Zimmerman and Manny Machado are the top three projected hitters tonight via the RotoGrinders Player Projections. Votto and Zimmerman have everything going for them tonight, but Machado may be a bit of a surprise. He has a 101 wRC+, .197 ISO vs RHP this year (basically average) and faces a significant park downgrade, facing a pitcher who has handled RHBs well (.280 wOBA, 28.4 Hard%, 53.3 GB% vs JC Ramirez this season). He does have a 209 wRC+ over the last week though. The top five is rounded out by Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rendon. Rendon is in a great spot against a LHP allowing a ton of hard contact to RHBs in five starts. Trout is matchup proof, but still in an average spot against Dylan Bundy. Bryant is facing a below average lefty in San Francisco, but it's a tough park and Matt Moore has actually had more success against RHBs, although a .331 wOBA and 34.1 Hard%, hardly makes RH Cubs fade material. For those buying on Scherzer, Zimmerman doubles as a potential top value on FanDuel (3.94 Pt/$/K), but Jose Martinez (3.86 Pt/$/K) bats out of the cleanup spot for the Cards tonight for just $2.1K. Among those projected for at least seven DraftKings points, the top three projected values are all First Basemen tonight: Matt Carpenter (2.5 Pt/$/K), Miguel Cabrera (2.43) and Chris Davis (2.38).