So, beyond the Gettysburg Address and puns pertinent to it being awesome, Miami 1B Justin Bour is legitimately becoming a fantasy success story over his past seven games starting for the Marlins. He has gone 13-28 since May 15—I’m omitting a single 0-1 pinch-hit outing on the 16th—and has blasted five homers during that span. During the month of May as a whole, he’s batting .348 and has 14 runs and 15 RBI. Season long, his average is still a robust .280 despite a feeble start, and his 30 RBI are tied with Aaron Judge, Eugenio Suarez, Jay Bruce, Joey Gallo, and Yonder Alonso for the 11th highest tally in the league. He could very well be an unexpected answer to some struggles you may have experienced at the position with Mike Napoli, Tommy Joseph, Anthony Rizzo and Adrian Gonzalez each underachieving in their own ways.
Let’s take a lot at what else hitting-wise happened notably around the league:
Edwin Encarnacion (1B/DH, CLE) – 2-4, 3 R 2 HR, 3 RBI. A three-game hit streak for Encarnacion is live after he connected on two home run balls as part of Cleveland’s effort to hang on for an 8-7 win at Great American Ball Park. He has had neither two multi-hit games in a three-game stretch nor a multi-homer game yet this season, and Tuesday’s outing checked off both of those boxes. He’s batting a more acceptable .233 in May—as compared to his .200 April—and has now eclipsed double digits in RBI this month with a week to go, for 20 overall. The power has to keep coming for him to be a 1B/DH start you can feel fantastic about, but Encarnacion is making strides in the right direction for the Tribe.
Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) – 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. The .333 average is for real. He’s knocked four homers in the five straight games in which he’s hit safely, and Conforto is essentially making the fantasy owners who gambled on a handcuff for Yoenis Cespedes or Curtis Granderson look like they bought stock in Google in 1999. He is fifth in the league in weighted runs created plus (wRC+) with 190, ahead of Bryce Harper’s 189. That is not a typo. Start him no matter what.
Anthony Rendon (3B, WSH) – 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI. One reason I continue to be underwhelmed by Rendon is that his power comes in spurts on the rare occasion he’s enjoying a multi-hit night. He is unfortunately inconsistent when it comes to highlight-reel stuff. Five RBI in yesterday’s game are great, but realizing he hadn’t hit ANY since May 7 is troubling. Everyone raved about the 6-6, 3 HR showing he had on April 30, but my question for those rah-rah reviews was, “Do you realize it took him almost a month to get one homer to begin with?” You take away that one game and his average for the season drops from .278 to .248, and he only has two home runs that did not occur during the two contests we’re discussing. You can’t count on him for multiple hits very often, and he’s not as elite as these sporadic outburts of production would lead you to believe. For sure, start him if he’s your best option at 3B, but prepare to accept some hitless or 1-4 nights too. On a positive note, beyond the pair of homers, Tuesday’s game did see him get his eighth double of 2017.
Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) – 3-5, 4 R, 3 RBI, K. I am firmly convinced Bogaerts is the best player in fantasy baseball who has not yet hit a home run in 2017. He’s batting .329 with 26 runs and seven steals on the year. His owners are already decently satisfied but perhaps angry the power has yet to arrive: when the ball climbs over that wall one of these days, it’s going to be glorious.
Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) – 3-4, R, 3 RBI. This is an aberration; since Duda’s return from the DL on May 12, he’s registered seven total hits and gone hitless five times. A .233 average in May was obviously helped hugely by the 3-4 night against San Diego, in which he did admittedly manage a double, but he doesn’t have any true fantasy appeal for 5×5 formats right now.
Jose Abreu (1B, CHW) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. It’s kind of weird looking backing on Abreu’s middle of April, in which he went on a rocky 2-31 ride down to a .157 average. But then he rattled off six consecutive two-hit games to close out the month, and we haven’t really looked back since. May has brought the power he’s known for back in full form, as the White Sox 1B has mashed seven homers this month, including four in the last nine days. The .276 average, 24 RBI and 27 runs should have everybody who owns him wholly satisfied and optimistic for more.
Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) – 2-4, 3 R, RBI. These hits were both doubles, and Lowrie now has 12 of those on the season. He’s batting .283 right now and has the pleasure of preceding Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso in the Oakland lineup. There haven’t been too many players who primarily play 2B that have had a better 2017 than Lowrie thus far, other than Daniel Murphy, Jose Altuve and Starlin Castro. He’s a solid pickup who could really only use help in the RBI and steals categories.
Charlie Blackmon (OF, COL) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K. Back to business as usual. Blackmon leads the league with 40 RBI and has hit safely in nine of his last 10. Oh, yeah, and eight of those nine efforts have seen him register multiple hits. Blackmon is unquestionably a top-10 fantasy asset.
Kurt Suzuki (C, ATL) – 3-4, RBI. To quote American Idol’s Randy Jackson, “It’s gonna be a no for me, dawg.” Suzuki’s nice evening at the dish distracts from the fact that he is on the wrong end of a platoon with Tyler Flowers in Atlanta, and the playing time and counting stats are not significant enough to merit fantasy consideration. His .266 and 15 RBI are really his only redeeming traits, and those are still too low, compared to what else is going on across MLB and at the position.