Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/7/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

Bombs Away Belli

Cody Bellinger (CHC): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.

I’ve been told that revenge is a dish best-served cold. If that’s the case, then it was a fearfully frigid night for the Yankees. Not only did the Cubs exact revenge for having been swept in the 1938 World Series, but they also won in the Bronx for the first time ever. What’s more, they watched a familiar face, Jameson Taillon, who entered the game with an ERA well over six, shut them out over eight innings of work. For Cody Bellinger, the revenge was personal; His dad Clay, a Oneonta, NY native, was unceremoniously released by the pinstripers 22 years ago. I’m not sure if the team thanked him for snaring Todd Zeile’s long flyball in Game Two of the Subway Series.

In the third, Bellinger spoiled the season debut of Carlos Rodón with a sweet swing on a 95 mph fastball down and in that resulted in a 409-foot shot to the second deck in right. Since returning from a knee contusion on June 15th, the former Dodger is hitting .373 with a .928 OPS. It’s only natural to think of his two magical 2017 and 2019 seasons, right?

So is he back? I don’t know. His profile is unusual. Strikeouts had previously been his undoing but that hasn’t been the case this year; In fact, his contact ability has soared past the 90th percentile during the recent stretch, as seen below.

But his batted-ball numbers haven’t been great. His hard-contact rate is in the bottom 12th percentile and his 5.8% barrel rate isn’t turning heads either. PLV ranks his power ability at 45 or just below average.

Still, our picture of Bellinger is a little disjointed at the moment, given that he’s been on the shelf for a while in year one with a new team. His career has been an enigmatic journey from an MVP to a shadow. But based on what we’ve seen so far, I think there’s a middle ground where he could approach 20 home runs and 20 steals while hitting .260, or maybe even better if this new contact-oriented approach sticks.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Mookie Betts (LAD): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.

Betts teed off a hanging curveball from Griffin Canning and sent it 403 feet (102.3 EV) to straightaway center for his 24th of the year. And then, in the fifth, he victimized his former teammate Tyler Anderson by launching number 25, a line drive that just barely had enough hang time to clear the left field fence at 348 feet. It’s been a pretty wild stretch for Betts as he’s hitting .448 with a 1.725 OPS over his past eight games; He has also went yard twice last Friday. With one game left in the first half, Betts is up to a .960 OPS, the best since his MVP season in Boston back in 2018.

Mickey Moniak (LAA): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Moniak did his best to keep the Angels in the game by belting a fourth-inning, three-run shot off Tony Gonsolin (370 feet, 110.5 EV). He’s hitting .310 with a .992 OPS but I’ll admit I think it’s a mirage given his 31.8% K rate and 3% BB rate. Still, he’s been productive and he’ll continue to have regular at-bats with Mike Trout on the shelf for the foreseeable future, so he’s definitely worth a shot if you need an outfielder with power.

Mike Ford (SEA): 3-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB.

The Mariners made quite the statement with an emphatic 10-1 win over their rivals at Minute Maid Park. With the bases juiced in the fourth, Mike Ford lifted a long flyball that caromed off the foot of the wall in right. I think Kyle Tucker might’ve had a shot at making the catch; Still, it was well-struck. The lefty first baseman added his eighth of the year in garbage time off Bligh Madris. Ford had a memorable, albeit brief 50-game stint with the Yankees back in 2019 when he posted a .909 OPS. He’s shown good power/OBP in the minors, but his role as a platoon bat, reminiscent of Ji Man Choi, puts him off the radar in most formats.

Jake Burger (CWS): 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Burger put the White Sox on the board with a solo dinger to right-center off Jordan Montgomery, who later left the game with a leg injury. With the bases loaded in the sixth, Burger ripped a curveball from righty reliever Andre Pallante down the left field line that scored two. Burger hit the skids badly in June, hitting .146 with a .593 OPS across 25 games. The power is legit, of course, but his approach may have been something that led to trouble; PLV has his Decision Value at 30. On that note, I’m interested in the two walks, that’s the first time he’s done that all year.

Joey Votto (CIN): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Down 4-0 in the fifth, Votto banged a cutter from Corbin Burnes and sent it 416 feet to right (106.1 EV) for his sixth of the year. He’s striking out a bunch, but Votto is showing terrific power (70 via PLV) with a .976 OPS through 50 at-bats. This is starting to remind me a little bit of Matt Carpenter last year. He’s definitely worth a shot if you could use some power and don’t mind risking some batting average.

Joey Meneses (WSH): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

From one Joey to another. You might’ve forgotten about Meneses, given that he hadn’t homered since, checks notes, May 7th. Wow. Since June 1st, he’s hitting .240 with a .292 OBP, so it’s awfully hard to have a ton of interest in him right now. Still, this at least puts him on the radar. PLV has his power at 40 on the year if you’re curious.

Francisco Alvarez (NYM): 4-5, R, RBI.

Well, he didn’t go yard for the fourth consecutive game, but his first career four-hit game might be even better. Alvarez has shown a pretty impressive PLV profile with a 55 in Decision Value and SZ Judgement; the only blemish is below-average contact ability (40) but that’s not bad at all considering the power he’s showing at a bleak position. He’s turning in a very impressive rookie season.

The Mets’ other Francisco, Francisco Lindor, also had a big game going 3-for-5 with his 19th home run of the season and two steals.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (ARI): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB, SB.

Gurriel Jr.’s 15th of the year came against 44-year-old southpaw Rich Hilla three-run shot to left (414 feet, 104.5 EV). His profile doesn’t stand out too much other than his terrific contact ability (65). As long as he’s got Ketel Marte and Corbin Carroll hitting in front of him, he should provide some RBI with a solid batting average.

Speaking of Carroll, he swiped two bases last night, so we can all exhale easefully.

Whit Merrifield (TOR): 2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Holy Whit! That’s three home runs in two games. The three-run shot in the ninth was definitely a garbage-time special, so we should probably temper our enthusiasm. Plus, we know power isn’t his game. Either way, Merrifield has turned in a really solid season thus far, hitting .286, supported by very good contact ability (60 via PLV), and he’s stolen 19 bases. That’s all we can ask for.

Joey Wiemer (MIL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

The 24-year-old rookie took another 24-year-old-rookie, Andrew Abbott, deep for his 12th of the season (396 feet, 105.5 EV). Wiemer has shown power (55 via PLV) and has 11 steals, so there is some multi-categorical juice. He has also maintained an above-average decision value (55), which should help buoy a profile that’s held back a little by strikeouts (29%).

Image courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis and Aaron Polcare

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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