Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Up: August 21
Greg Jewett goes around the league, giving a daily state of the union for the world of fantasy baseball. He outlines current storylines and gives insight on what to watch for going forward.
Home runs continue to accrue across baseball. Our own Rick Wolf tracks this weekly and the last two weeks caused another spike in the final projections:
JUICED BALL UPDATE:— Rick Wolf (@RickWolf1) August 20, 2019
IT GOT CRAZIER!!!
Projected 6,835 HRs
- up from 5,585 in 2018 (22% increase)
- up from 4,186 in 2014 (63.3% increase)
Number of players >= number of HRs
4 >= 40
17 >= 30
49 >= 25
86 >= 20
143 >= 15
236 >= 10
348 >= 5
528 >= 1#JuicedBall#FAmily pic.twitter.com/Xqj1CAjA4Y
Joe Posnanski also keeps tabs noting it’s been 35 straight days in baseball with at least one player recording a multi-home run game. Last night, three players left the yard twice highlighted by a rookie on Toronto:
Bo Bichette & his beautiful swing.— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 21, 2019
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/B0koPfuohm
Bichette became the youngest player to hit two home runs against a former most valuable player breaking the record set by Bobby Bragan in 1940 (StatsbySTATS).
Freddie Freeman also racked up two home runs raising his season total to 33 and marking the 15th game of his career with multiple home runs. Freeman also reached 100 RBI in Atlanta’s 127th game. Imagine if he had power, right Harold Reynolds?
Between June 16th and August 18th, Anthony Rizzo only hit two home runs. Last night, he launched two and has hit four in his last five contests. It’s Rizzo’s first multi-home run game since August 26th of 2017.
As a franchise, Houston’s on pace to break its team record for home runs with 215 after 127 played this season. George Springer set an Astros all-time high with his 10th lead-off home run upping his total to 27 home runs this year. Jose Altuve hit his 23rd home run and Martin Maldanado added his eighth in a win over Detroit. By the way, Yordan Alvarez (22 years old) became the youngest player to walk four times in a game since Barry Bonds (21 years old) in 1986. Let that sink in.
Despite Bichette’s efforts, the Dodgers routed Toronto 16-3 and sit on the precipice of a major league record regarding home runs as well:
In this contest, A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor hit their ninth home runs, Will Smith his 11th, Joc Pederson his 25th while Max Muncy crushed his 32nd. There’s plenty of time for this record to fall. Did we mention the home run derby will be in Dodger Stadium next year?
No stranger to home runs, Minnesota set a record with 29 home runs this season versus the White Sox surpassing the previous mark of 27 set by the Washington Senators against Chicago in 1958. The Twins will face the White Sox seven more times this year. Good news for Nelson Cruz who racked up four extra-base hits against the White Sox last night and owns a .528 (19-for-36) average against with five doubles, eight home runs, 17 RBI and a 1.897 on-base plus slugging percentage in nine games. Plus, Cruz did this last night:
Nobody else has more than 2 games with 10+ total bases in the second half. And Nelson Cruz has 4.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 21, 2019
In fact, the only other players with even TWO such games are Christian Yelich & Xander Bogaerts.
And remember, Cruz had an IL stint *within* the second half. https://t.co/2FQUjrLR8e
Max Kepler added his 34th home run driving in three. Minnesota’s 26-5 in games which Kepler homers in.
Around the rest of the boxscores, Mike Trout set a career high hitting his 42nd home run in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Texas. Eduardo Escobar reached 100 RBI for the first time in his career with a two RBI triple versus the Rockies. Seattle continues to produce stealth fantasy statistics for engaged fantasy owners. Tom Murphy homered in his fourth straight start and has hit seven in this span. He’s also in the midst of an eight-game hit streak. Tim Lopes stole a base for the second straight game and hit safely in seven of his last eight. Those searching for cheap steals should take a look at Lopes. Kyle Seager moved his hit streak to 14 going 2-for-3 including his 17th home run. He’s hit safely in 23 of his last 24 games with a .359 average, 20 runs, 11 home runs, 24 RBI and 10 walks in them. Last, but not least, Aaron Judge homered in a loss, but he pulled the ball:
It’s Judge’s first home run to his pull side since last year. Perhaps a homer binge could be on tap for the Yankees slugger? It’s the right environment as noted above.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight: Heaney brings the heat in Texas
Making his first start in Texas since the passing of his good friend Tyler Skaggs , Andrew Heaney set a career high with 14 strikeouts over eight innings giving up a solo home run to Willie Calhoun but no walks. This outing ties Heaney for second in team history with strikeouts while yielding no free passes. Heaney recorded 22 swinging strikes and 24 called for a robust 42.6 called plus swinging strike (CSW) percentage. Here’s a sampling of his afternoon:
One wants to believe Skaggs enjoyed his friend channeling his spirit on the mound.
Here’s the other notable starting pitcher performances from Tuesday:
Stephen Strasburg , Washington: 94 pitches, 15 swinging strikes, 18 called, 35.1 CSW%. Strasburg did not factor in the decision, but tossed seven shutout innings giving up four hits and one walk with six strikeouts.
Aaron Nola , Philadelphia: 104 pitches, 13 swinging strikes, 16 called, 27.9 CSW%. Holding on for his 12th win, Nola scattered four hits allowing one earned run and a walk with seven strikeouts on the road in Boston.
Sonny Gray , Cincinnati: 105 pitches, 19 swinging strikes, 18 called, 35.2 CSW%. Notching his ninth win, Gray worked six innings yielding four hits, one earned run and three walks with 10 strikeouts.
Dallas Keuchel , Atlanta: 101 pitches, 10 swinging strikes, 17 called, 26.7 CSW%. Keuchel gets his fourth win allowing six hits, one earned run and two walks with seven strikeouts over six innings against the Marlins.
Bullpen Notes: Keep tabs on Harvey
Normally, saves chasers focus on where the next save will emerge due to immediacy like Matt Magill getting his second last night. However, those taking the long view will want to look at Hunter Harvey . He recorded his first win last night working a clean eighth inning striking out two:
No longer confined to the rotation, Harvey can deploy his high octane fastball and his change-up in the bullpen. Baltimore could use an enema in high leverage and Harvey could get save chances in September. Mychal Givens did secure his 10th save versus the Royals last night working the ninth inning after Harvey.
Here’s the rest of the high leverage events from yesterday:
Felipe Vázquez records his third win throwing 1.1 scoreless allowing a hit and striking out one. Daniel Hudson suffered his third blown save giving up a grand slam to Starling Marte after Wander Suero loaded the bases without retiring a hitter.
Roberto Osuna locked down his 29th save with a clean ninth striking out one.
Working for the third straight game, Archie Bradley held on for his sixth save but allowed a run on one hit. Bradley’s pitched in four of the last five days and in five of the last seven.
What To Watch For:
More injuries, of course. Houston placed Carlos Correa (back) and Aaron Sanchez (pectoral muscle) on the injured list recalling Myles Straw not Kyle Tucker . Xander Bogaerts tweaked his ankle in the ninth inning, stay tuned for his status going forward.
As for games in today’s split slate, Luis Castillo will try to rebound from his implosion last start versus the Cardinals. Castillo gets to face San Diego at home. Charlie Morton tries to stifle the suddenly hot Mariners offense in Tampa Bay.
In the evening slate, Mike Montgomery will try to stay hot facing the Orioles on the road. Adrian Houser will try to snap the Brewers losing streak to St. Louis facing Adam Wainwright . Justin Verlander and Walker Buehler also take the mound on Wednesday night.
Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm across all fantasy formats to remain ahead of the competition.
MLB.com - Game Notes