Fantasy Forward: Giancarlo Stanton will not stop

With apologies, one cannot ignore what Giancarlo Stanton’s doing. He homered for the sixth straight game on Tuesday night and moved his career high to 44 home runs along with the new Marlins team record. Stanton is now tied for the third most home runs, 23, in a 35-game span, one behind Barry Bonds (24 in 2001) and two away from Sammy Sosa’s 25 in 1998. Sort of amazed teams still pitch to him with no one else in the Marlins lineup posing much of a threat. With his latest home run, Stanton is now on pace to hit 60 this year.

  • Salazar’s sizzling

Since his return from the disabled list, Danny Salazar has been dealing. He won his second game since returning from the disabled list allowing three hits, one earned run, and striking out 10 over seven innings. Since rejoining the rotation, Salazar’s made five starts working 32.1 innings with 46 strikeouts against nine walks with a 1.39 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and .161/.223/.223 slash line against. With Corey Kluber healthy and Salazar on track, the Indians seemed primed for a playoff run once again.

  • Joey Votto makes history

Not only did Joey Votto manage to throw another baseball out of Wrigley Field, he extended his on-base at least two times per game streak to 20. This ties both Barry Bonds and Pete Rose along with putting him within one of the major league record set by Ted Williams in 1948. During the streak, Votto’s hitting a robust .425/.611/.742 with four doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, 26 walks and he’s been hit by a pitch two times.

  • Gallo’s three true outcome evening

Being coy regarding Joey Gallo’s three true outcome tendencies can take away from his talent. However, on Tuesday night, Gallo went 1-for-3 with a home run, his 34th, two strikeouts and a walk in four plate appearances. With his homer on Monday, Gallo’s one of 11 major league players to hit 40 home runs within his first 160. After his dinger last night, he needs one on Wednesday to become one of seven to hit 42 homers in their first 162 games. Gallo’s also hit seven home runs at least 450 feet this year, launched nine home runs over his last 13 games, 12 in the last 20 and 13 during his last 23 contests.

  •  Rebuilding the Phillies

One night after Rhys Hoskins hit the second fastest home run by exit velocity for Philadelphia, fellow rookie Jorge Alfaro hit the fastest by a Phillies player this year on his first home run at 114 MPH off the bat. Hoskins added his third in two days with a two-run shot in the ninth inning. Odubel Herrera sat out with hamstring soreness, but he’s in the midst of a 17-game hit streak. With Cesar Hernandez back atop the batting order, the Phillies will score some runs the rest of the way. Here’s hoping the rookies will continue to garner playing time moving forward.

  • Spangenberg’s surge

Like the Phillies above, many fantasy owners do not look to the Padres for production. Cory Spangenberg not only provides roster flexibility being eligible at second, third and the outfield in many formats, but he’s on a seven-game hit streak with a home run in three straight as well. During his streak, Spangenberg is 12-for-27 (.444) with eight runs, two doubles, a triple, three home runs, 10 RBI and a stolen base. In the second half, his isolated power of .252 and hard contact rate of 42.9 percent in August should raise some eyebrows. Not sure it’s sustainable, but ride Spangenberg while he’s hot.

  • Bullpen musings

Aroldis Chapman’s hold on the closer role in the Bronx may be teetering. He allowed at least an earned run in his third straight outing when Amed Rosario hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning. Reports center on a potential hamstring injury after the game with Chapman, but there’s more going on here. His heavy usage in the playoffs last year by the Cubs along with recent performance hint at something else. Chapman has saved two of his last three outings, but with five earned runs allowed and two home runs to rookies. Meanwhile, Dellin Betances has struck out 26 in 16.2 innings in the second half with a 0.53 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 38.2 strikeout percentage.

Alex Colome (35) and Edwin Diaz (26) turned in clean outings for their respective saves. Kyle Barraclough made his return from the disabled list but allowed a home run to Ryder Jones of the Giants along with striking out two. He will need to earn save opportunities going forward; the closer role will not be handed to Barraclough. Raisel Iglesias worked overtime for a 1.2 inning save giving up three hits and an earned run in the ninth, but held on to defeat the Cubs. Arodys Vizcaino notched his fifth save in a row and seventh of the year for the Braves in Colorado.

Wild game in Oakland with the Royals bullpen blowing a four-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning with Joakim Soria (Four earned runs) and Mike Minor (Two earned runs) giving up the lead. Blake Treinen benefited with the win after Santiago Casilla blew a save in the eighth inning allowing three earned runs to Kansas City. Oddly enough, Casilla blew Chris Smith’s last chance for a first win in 2008 with the Giants. Treinen also allowed two earned runs in the eighth, but recovered to close it out in the ninth.

Chicago’s first time without Tyler Clippard did not fare well. Juan Minaya did pitch a scoreless seventh, but faced one hitter in the eighth giving up a hit, then replaced by Aaron Bummer. Both Bummer and Jake Petricka allowed two earned runs in the eighth along with allowing Minaya’s run to score. Not good. Avoid this bullpen if possible.

Fun Facts

  • Aaron Judge struck out for the 32nd consecutive game to tie the steak for batters with Adam Dunn. Only pitchers have done so in history. Judge could set the mark against the Mets on the road on Wednesday.
  • Boston and St. Louis combined for 25 hits on Tuesday with no home runs. It’s the third game this century with this many hits and zero homers and the first since September of 2013.
  • Wilson Ramos noted he found a flaw in his batting stance on Monday; he’s hit home runs in back-to-back games since. With catcher being a position of need for many rosters, give him a look.
  • With Stanton taking measure on history, he’s chasing Dale Long (1956), Ken Griffey Jr. (1993) and his manager, Don Mattingly (1987) for home runs in eight straight contests.
  • Remember the statistics on Joey Gallo, no player in history’s finished with a batting average below .225 with an OPS of .850 or better. Currently, Gallo’s hitting .208 with a .890 OPS.
  • Zach Davies won his 14th game on Tuesday night and ranks second in the National League.

Statistical Credits: Fangraphs.com, MLB.com, ESPN.go.com

 

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Greg Jewett
I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler