What do you do if you own Joey Gallo? Well on Monday night you were pretty happy with him, as he went 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, hitting his second homer in as many days. With 16 home runs on the year, he’s tied for second in the league, and his 34 runs and 33 RBIs (and even the four stolen bases) look pretty nice too. So why is he owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues? Well that’s probably because he’s also batting .205 on the year. He’s got a ridiculous strikeout rate of 37%, though his 12% walk rate balances out the OBP a little so, if you own him in OBP leagues, he’s a slightly below average OBP guy rather than the horrible average guy he is in standard leagues. If Gallo gets starts the rest of the year (and now that Adrian Beltre is back, that’s no guarantee) he could hit 40 home runs pretty easily, and with that could come 90 or so runs and RBIs, but that average isn’t coming up (ok, maybe it’ll come up to like .210). There’s talk of Gallo playing in the outfield with Beltre back, and I think the Rangers want him to play because of his massive power. Gallo is a guy who is an important part of a well-balanced team. You take the average hit because the counting stats are too good to pass up. But what’s important is that you have other players to balance him out. Personally, I think he should be owned in just about every league, especially if the Rangers figure out a way to work him in the lineup with Beltre back. We all owned Adam Dunn way back when he was this kind of a hitter, why not Gallo?
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Mookie Betts (OF, BOS) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Studs gonna stud mannnn.
Melky Cabrera (OF, CWS) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Melky has been quietly heating up in a big way lately, hitting .407 with four home runs and 11 RBIs over the past week. His low average can be partially explained by his .266 BABIP (and an increased groundball rate) but his hard hit rate is up and everything else looks in line with his normal career. He might be worth an add if you need it, he might end the year with 15 home runs batting in the .270s.
Carlos Correa (SS, HOU) – 3-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. Once again, studs gonna stud (I think that phrase is growing on me).
Carlos Beltran (OF, HOU) – 4-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. It’s been an alright year for Beltran, but the guy is 40, give him some credit. He might pick it up, but as of now, I’m not particularly interested.
Alex Bregman (3B, HOU) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Bregman has been fine, but the lack of extra-base hits is really a bummer, as he’s slugging just .393. The hard hit rate looks fine, the problem seems to be an increase in groundball rate by almost ten points, and without really good speed, that’s not going to translate well.
Miguel Sano (3B/OF, MIN) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Sano’s great, but that .100 batting average over the past week? Get used to some bad stretches, cause that’s what’s gonna happen when his ridiculous BABIP normalizes.
Robbie Grossman (OF, MIN) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Grossman’s been fine this year, but Minnesota has a crowded outfield and he doesn’t get enough playing time to warrant being owned.
Logan Forsythe (2B, LAD) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. That was Forsythe’s second hit since coming back from the DL about a week ago, but if you need help in the middle infield, he can give it to you once he gets back in the swing of things.
Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, LAD) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. The average has been slowing down for Bellinger (just .204 over the past 15 games), but the power is still there and will continue to be there.
Chase Utley (2B, LAD) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Chase Utley back from the dead, he’s been hitting .306 with three home runs over the past 15 games, and while Justin Turner is still out, Utley’s going to get playing time. Might be worth riding the streak.
Charlie Blackmon (OF, COL) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Dude’s awesome, what more is there to say?
Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WAS) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. I had a macroeconomics teacher tell me once that you could never tell someone that you were in a financial bubble while the bubble was happening, only after it burst. Simply because everyone’s making money and loving it in the bubble, so to say “hey we shouldn’t do this” sounds like crazy talk. I’m here to tell you that Zimmerman is in a bubble. Now, look, has he been awesome? Yes. Will he continue being good? Sure, I would imagine he will, but a .408 BABIP and the fact that Zimmerman hasn’t been the healthiest guy on the planet are all scary. What I’m saying is: sell high. I’ve seen trades where Zimmerman is getting swapped for Miguel Cabrera, if you can get something like that, do it now.
Andrew McCutchen (OF, PIT) – 1-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. I know, owning Andrew McCutchen sucks, but don’t worry, it’ll get better. Yes, he has an increased groundball rate, and that’s somewhat concerning, but a .229 BABIP suggests he’ll get better. Is he that MVP guy anymore? No. But he’s still quite good and a good buy low candidate.
Jose Ramirez (3B/2B/OF, CLE) – 3-3, 1 R, 2 SB. Good power, good steals, and a good average. Ramirez has been doing it so far and it’ll keep on going.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B, CLE) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. The strikeouts have been rough but Edwin is starting to turn it around, batting .275 with five home runs over the past 15 games. That buy low window is closing fast.
Austin Jackson (OF, CLE) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Jackson’s in a platoon, so he’s really only useful in really good matchups, otherwise don’t bother.
Domingo Santana (OF, MIL) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Two home runs in two days, and not only that, but a a .352 batting average with 20 RBIs over the past month. Santana’s been hot, and while he’ll cool down, he’s still very useful, especially during this hot streak.
Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. The power is real, I keep saying it, as long as you can put up with the average.
J.D. Martinez (OF, DET) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Studs gonna stud, and man has J.D. been studding.
Eric Hosmer (1B, KC) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 5 RBI. It’s been nice to be a Hosmer owner over the past month, as he’s been hitting over .300 and hit four of his five home runs over the past 30 days.
Whit Merrifield (2B, KC) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. Merrifield’s been crushing the ball lately with a line drive rate that has shot up. He’s got a 14-game hitting streak, and in deeper leagues, might be worth riding the streak.
Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Duvall’s a great home run hitter and the average has been a very nice bonus too.
Justin Smoak (1B, TOR) – 3-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. It’s time to believe people, I’m not sure what else you need. Smoak has changed and he’s good now. Is he this good? No, but he’s going to keep being useful as long as he’s out there. However, if you can sell high on him, I’d do it (depending on the value obviously).
Russell Martin (C, TOR) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. Martin’s been picking it up lately, hitting .345 over the past 15 games, here’s hoping he keeps bringing that average on up.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS, TOR) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Welcome back Tulo, it’s so nice to have you. Keep throwing him and all the other Blue Jays out there this week, it’s a nice set of matchups.
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B, MIA) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Good for Dietrich but he’s been bad this year, there’s nothing here.
Steven Souza (OF, TB) – 4-5, 4 R. Souza’s been picking it up lately, and he’s been especially useful in OBP leagues. Go grab him if someone gave up, just be prepared to deal with some peaks and valleys.
Evan Longoria (3B, TB) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. The average will come up, and while I don’t think 36 home runs is happening again, Longoria is still a great player and very useful (and a decent buy low candidate if someone is frustrated with the low average).
Tim Beckham (SS, TB) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Beckham’s been alright lately, he’s worth a look in very deep leagues and in AL-only leagues.
Shin Soo Choo (OF, TEX) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Choo is a must-own at this point in OBP leagues, and even in standard leagues he’s worth a look, as he’ll continue to be at the top of that lineup.
Albert Pujols (1B, LAA) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Pujols’ home run brought him closer to 600, which is a super exciting milestone in one of the greatest careers in baseball.