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.
Mike Trout snaps tie with three-run double
After the Mariners came back from a 3-0 deficit in dramatic fashion with two home runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Angels loaded the bases against Edwin Diaz in the top of the ninth. Then, Trout stepped to the plate. That did not go so well for the home team, as the all-universe outfielder slashed a double over Kyle Seager at third base to score all three runners, giving the Angels a 6-3 lead. Trout is slashing an immaculate .347/.467/.708 with 23 homers and 55 RBI in 71 games played this season. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, with six multi-hit showings in that space.
Giancarlo Stanton has a league leading five HRs over the last week and three career against Tanner Roark
The only two batters on the slate with a 300+ wRC+ over the last week (10 PA min.) have sample size issues. Adrian Sanchez (370 wRC+, 40 Hard%, 0 HRs) has 11 PAs and Tyler White (342 wRC+, 50 Hard%, three HRs) has 12 PAs, but has at least left the yard a few times. Both have hit the ball fairly hard with a couple of the more favorable matchups on the slate against Dan Straily and Carlos Rodon. It says more about the difficulty of the slate than the pitchers themselves that they rank among the top matchups for batters though. Mike Trout (293 wRC+, 33.3 Hard%, three HRs) is always matchup proof and would seem an even greater play on such a tough slate, but faces one of the top pitchers in the league in James Paxton (LHBs .286 wOBA since last season) in a tough park in Seattle. Trout has struck out 11 times in 24 PAs with two doubles against Paxton. Danny Valencia (290 wRC+, 50 Hard%, two HRs) should be in the lineup against Tyler Skaggs (RHBs .321 wOBA, 31.2 Hard% since 2016). Tim Beckham (284 wRC+, 34.8 Hard%, three HRs) faces Chris Smith (RHBs .278 wOBA, 30.1 Hard% in small sample since 2016). Paul Goldschimdt (264 wRC+, 71.4 Hard%, four HRs) has the top hard hit rate over the last week, but faces Yu Darvish (RHBs .275 wOBA, 29 Hard% since 2016). Giancarlo Stanton (253 wRC+, 60 Hard%, five HRs) and Brian Dozier (252 wRC+, 32 Hard%, five HRs) are tied for the lead with five HRs each over the last week. Stanton faces Tanner Roark (RHBs .283 wOBA, 22.3 Hard% since 2016), whom he has three HRs and just five strikeouts in 34 PAs against. Dozier faces Zach Davies (RHBs .312 wOBA, 30.4 Hard% career), who has just a 19.3 Hard% over his last four starts.
Ryan Braun is a top overall projected bat and top projected value on DraftKings
Jose Altuve is the top projected offensive player by nearly four-tenths of a point on either site according to the RotoGrinders Player Projections on a night he's facing Derek Holland (RHBs .479 wOBA with 15 HRs last 12 starts). Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and Joey Votto round out a top five that is virtually a collection of most of this year's MVP candidates. Judge has been below average since the All-Star break and though he's one of few Yankees who have hit LHP well this season (173 wRC+, .333 ISO), J.A. Happ has been able to handle RHBs (.302 wOBA, 30.5 Hard% since last season). While RHBs have a .302 wOBA and 27.2 Hard% against Jeremy Hellickson, Mike Trout is in a great spot when ever he steps to the plate (213 wRC+, .398 ISO vs RHP this year) and is one of the hottest batters in the league (308 wRC+, three HRs last seven days). Harper and Votto are facing RHPs who have allowed a hard hit rate above 35% to LHBs since last season. Player paying up for pitching are going to be hunting for value rather than top overall point totals. Projections feel that may be Jesus Aguilar (4.01 Pt/$/K) and Scooter Gennett (3.88 Pt/$/K) on FanDuel and perhaps Neil Walker (2.81 Pt/$/K) and Ryan Braun (2.54 Pt/$/K) among those projected for at least seven DraftKings points. Braun is also a top eight overall projected bat on either site.
Mike Trout has a 308 wRC+ with four HRs over the last week, 213 wRC+ & .398 ISO vs RHP this year
Tyler White is the hottest hitter in the majors over the last week (342 wRC+, 50 Hard%, three HRs). Though he only has 12 PAs, three of his eight batted balls have left the yard. He's got a matchup that's almost unfair against Derek Holland tonight (RHBs .479 wOBA, 15 HRs last 12 starts). Tim Beckham (324 wRC+, 39.1 Hard%, three HRs) has enjoyed his new uniform. He's in Los Angeles tonight. RHBs have a .293 wOBA against Parker Bridwell, but a 35.8 Hard%. Mike Trout (308 wRC+, 43.5 Hard%, four HRs) has a season 213 wRC+ and .398 ISO vs RHP. Jeremy Hellickson is an average matchup (RHBs .302 wOBA, 27.2 Hard% since last season). Joey Votto (298 wRC+, 52.6 Hard%, three HRs) hosts a pitcher who generates a lot of ground balls, but fewer against LHBs. Luis Perdomo has allowed lefties a .372 wOBA, 37.7 Hard% and 53.3 Hard%. Elvis Andrus (289 wRC+, 47.6 Hard%, one HR) has a 122 wRC+ and .188 ISO vs RHP this year. Chris Flexen has just two major league starts, the most recent of which ended after just a few innings due to a blister issue in Colorado. Just outside the top five wRC+ marks are Joey Gallo (265 wRC+, 61.5 Hard%, five HRs) and Willson Contreras (243 wRC+, 62.5 Hard%, five HRs), who are tied for the lead in HRs over the last week and are two of the four players above a 60% hard hit over the last week. White and Steven Souza (183 wRC+, 66.7 Hard%, two HRs) are the others. All have the platoon advantage tonight, though Souza is facing Chris Sale.
Mike Trout collects 1,000th hit
His first hit, the double, was his 1,000th career hit. Trout has four homers in six games and 23 in 243 at-bats for the season. That's one every 10.6 at-bats. His previous best HR/AB ratio was one every 14.0 at-bats in 2015. Last year, he came in at one every 18.9 at-bats.
With Max Scherzer expected to be highly owned, players are likely to hunt for more value bats
If you're playing daily fantasy baseball tonight, expect to see Max Scherzer's name in a lot of your opponents' lineups. He's expected to be in over half of DraftKings lineups and nearly 40% of FanDuel ones. Jake Arrieta and Carlos Martinez appear the top fallback options, no surprise there. Brent Suter (15.5 K-BB%, 84.8 mph aEV, 26.2% 95+ mph EV) remains a dark horse with projected ownership below 5%. With so many players likely on Scherzer, they may not be able to stack many Washington bats, the highest implied run line both due to cost and (on FanDuel) stacking limitations. Mike Trout is still expected to be fairly popular, but also potential value plays like Eduardo Escobar (120 wRC+, .206 ISO vs LHP this year), one of just two real Minnesota RH threats against Suter in tonight's lineup without Miguel Sano. Projected ownership rates are updated throughout the day and available to premium subscribers on the Projected Ownership page.
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).
Tim Beckham has been on fire since the trade to Baltimore (371 wRC+ last seven days)
While more than half of major league teams are sidelined on a seven game slate, somehow, the four hottest hitters in the league via wRC+ over the last week are all in play tonight. Tim Beckham (371 wRC+, 47.4 Hard%, three HRs) is the hottest bat in the majors since the trade to Baltimore. Unfortunately, he faces a substantial park downgrade on a trip to L.A. to face JC Ramirez (RHBs .297 wOBA, 28.7 Hard% since 2016). Willson Contreras (321 wRC+, 47.1 Hard%, five HRs) faces a similar park downgrade in San Francisco against a reverse platoon pitcher (Matt Moore .317 wOBA, 32.2 Hard% vs RHBs since last season). Mike Trout (290 wRC+, 40 Hard%, three HRs) is great and has a 209 wRC+, .385 ISO against RHP overall this season. RHBs are league average against Dylan Bundy (.311 wOBA, 29.4 Hard%, 34.9 GB% since 2016) in a normally more hitter friendly environment. It's not like this park has hampered Mr. Trout though. Joey Votto (269 wRC+, 50 Hard%, two HRs) is similarly great (164 wRC+, .274 ISO vs RHP this season). Jhoulys Chacin has muffled RH contact this year, but continues to struggle against LHBs (.350 wOBA, 35 Hard%) and is one of few pitchers who faces an environmental downgrade tonight.
Mike Trout socks solo home run in loss to A's
Trout cracked a solo home run off Sean Manaea in the second inning, his 22nd long ball of the season. The slugger missed a chunk of the season rehabbing a UCL tear in his left thumb, but has come back without missing a beat since the All-Star break. Overall, Trout is hitting a beautiful .345/.465/.706 with the aforementioned 22 homers, plus 51 RBI and 13 steals in 67 games played.