Nolan Arenado (206 wRC+, .411 ISO vs LHP this year) is tonight's top projected batter
Nolan Arenado is tonight's top projected batter (RotoGrinders Player Projections) at home against a lefty. He has a 206 wRC+ and .411 ISO against LHP this year with a 49.5% fly ball rate and 35.4 Hard%. Sean Newcomb has allowed RHBs just a .312 wOBA and 27.4 Hard%, his largest flaw, a 14.3 BB% with the platoon disadvantage. Cody Bellinger is the best projected bat in a great spot at home against a contact prone fly ball pitcher (Miguel Gonzalez). Nelson Cruz rounds out the top three. He has a 283 wRC+ with five HRs over the last week and faces Wade Miley. Charlie Blackmon makes it a pair of Rockies in the top 10, while Cleveland has quite a few batters projected highly (Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Ramirez, Jay Bruce, Francisco Lindor) against Bartolo Colon. Among those projected for at least seven points on either site, projections see another Tribe bat, Jason Kipnis, as the top value (2.68 Pt/$/K on FD, 4.08 Pt/$/K on DK). Kipnis hasn't looked himself this season (74 wRC+, .164 ISO vs RHP) as he's dealt with injuries. LHBs have a 41.9 Hard% and 36.4 GB% against Colon this season.
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%.
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%).
Nelson Cruz picks up double in loss to Halos
Cruz picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. He would double later in the contest, his 22nd two-bagger of the campaign. For the season as a whole, the veteran slugger is working to a .288/.369/.549 triple-slash with 28 homers and 94 RBI in 113 games. He is well on his way to setting a career high in terms of RBI. His current best mark came when he drove in 108 back in 2014, his final season with the Orioles.
Nelson Cruz homers in third straight game
Cruz has connected for at least one homer (four total) with seven RBI over his past three outings. He also has at least one RBI in four in a row, while posting seven homers with 13 RBI over nine outings in the month of August. He'll look to keep it cooking against JC Ramirez on Saturday. He launched a solo home run Sept. 4, 2016 against Ramirez in one of his three career at-bats against the right-hander.
Joey Votto is the hottest hitter in the league (337 wRC+, 58.8 Hard%, four HRs last seven days)
Joey Votto is the hottest hitter in the league (337 wRC+, 58.8 Hard%, four HRs). His matchup against Jimmy Nelson probably deserves it's own post. He's gone on a strikeout rampage against LHBs (36.6 K%) since mid-May, though they've still hit him hard when they do make contact (38.1 Hard%). While all of that has remained true, LHBs now have a 60.9 GB% against him over his last six starts as well. What does this mean for Votto? They've faced each other 29 times and while Baseball Savant is not up to date on those, they do have a 93.9 mph aEV on 13 BBEs. Votto did not have an extra-base hit against him until the last time he faced him (June 29th), when he homered twice, two starts before Nelson went on his ground ball rampage against LHBs. Votto has a 171 wRC+ and .288 ISO vs RHP this year. Adrian Sanchez (315 wRC+, 33.3 Hard%, no HRs) & Dexter Fowler (304 wRC+, 50 Hard%, one HR) are the other two batters above a 300 wRC+ over the last week, though without much power. Sanchez is cheap in a good spot against Chris Stratton though, and Fowler is back up in the St Louis order, facing a pitcher (Mike Foltynewicz), who struggles against LHBs (.359 wOBA, 8.4 Soft% this season). Nelson Cruz (296 wRC+, 40 Hard%, five HRs) has three career HRs (23 PAs) against Ricky Nolasco. Chris Young (291 wRC+, 50 Hard%, two HRs) only has 10 PAs over the last week, but has made the most of them and it will probably keep him in the lineup against a lefty tonight, despite a 79 wRC+ and .100 ISO against them this year. Giancarlo Stanton (246 wRC+, 52.6 Hard%, six HRs) leads the majors in homers over the last week and is really the only hot bat on on offense facing Jon Gray. RHBs have just a 25.6 Hard% against him since last season.
Nelson Cruz blasts game-tying two-run homer
Cruz smashed a dramatic game-tying two-run home run to straightaway center off Bud Norris with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Angels would retake the lead in the top of the ninth courtesy of Mike Trout's bases-clearing double. Veteran slugger Cruz has gone deep five times in his last five games and is slashing .284/.368/.537 with 27 homers and 90 RBI over the course of 395 at-bats for the season as a whole.
Nelson Cruz bops pair of homers against A's
Cruz cracked a two-run home run off Jharel Cotton in the third inning and repeated the feat in solo fashion in the fifth. This was his 23rd career game with multiple home runs and his second of the 2017 campaign. Both of his two-homer games this season have come in the last five contests. For the year as a whole, the veteran slugger is slashing .284/.369/.532 with 26 homers and 88 RBI over the course of 109 games played.
Nelson Cruz homers twice as M's top Royals
Cruz blew the game open (or so it appeared at the time) with a three-run home run off Danny Duffy in the second inning. That shot made the score 7-0. The Royals would come back with five runs before Cruz belted his second homer of the game, a solo shot in the seventh inning which made the score 8-5. That dinger proved crucial, as Mike Moustakas would hit a two-run bomb just one inning later. Cruz has been dealing with neck spasms of late -- he was a late scratch on Friday -- but has played in each of the last two games without issue. He has four homers in his last eight contests and is hitting .282/.368/.522 with 24 homers and 84 RBI for the campaign as a whole. Nellie has swatted at least 40 home runs in each of the last three seasons, but has a lot of ground to make up over the final two months if he wants to hit that mark once more.
Nelson Cruz (neck) returns to Mariners lineup
Cruz was a late scratch from Friday's lineup due to neck spasms, but he's well enough to give it a go on Saturday. He's serving as the designated hitter and batting in his customary cleanup spot against Danny Duffy and the Royals on Saturday.