Seiya Suzuki (CHC): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Seiya Suzuki and the Cubs have been one of the biggest stories after the All-Star break. In Monday’s game, Suzuki continued his recent production with a 2-strike opposite field home run off of Logan Webb:
— Chicago Dubs (@Cubs) September 4, 2023
Seiya Suzuki (CHC): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Suzuki wasn’t done quite yet and would have two more plate appearances that resulted in RBI, first, with a double in the 7th inning and then a fielder’s choice in the 8th. Suzuki recently saw his career-high 10-game hit streak come to a close on 8/29, but he’s continued with a hot bat in games with playoff consequences.
Starting the year on the IL with an oblique strain, Suzuki was worth the wait for fantasy owners and may play a big part in a strong outfield lineup down the stretch. In the last two weeks, Suzuki is hitting .333 with 7 multi-hit games. In what could be a great mix of timing and urgency for the Cubs, Suzuki will have plenty of opportunities ahead during an NL West opponent spree. They have 7 games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 22nd in team ERA, and those two series are split with an away series at the Colorado Rockies, who rank 29th. Suzuki is primed to be a fantasy playoff hero for those who awaited his return early in the season, especially if the Cubs continue their consistent run-scoring (5th in MLB).
Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:
Edward Olivares (KC): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
The Royals built a fence early and then turned it into some crooked numbers with a 12-1 pounding of the White Sox. Olivares was recalled from Triple-A on 9/1 and quickly jumped into the fray at the top of the lineup. Olivares’ 2nd home run was a 428-foot blast. Olivares is available for anyone in desperate need of a bat, but don’t hang on a day longer than you’ll need. Both home runs were 2-strike fastballs in the middle of the zone. While you have to credit Olivares’ ability to drive the ball, he ranks in the 26th percentile in Hard Hit% and 35th Barrel%.
Lawrence Butler (OAK): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Butler was hitting at the bottom third of the order but did most of the damage for the Athletics. Recently called up in August, the club’s #5 prospect hit two 400+ foot home runs. Butler joined the recent cast of prospects, including Tyler Soderstrom and Zack Gelof, to make a splash as the season winds down. It is Butler’s 3rd home run in the past 5 games, but based on Oakland having the worst team-hitting numbers in MLB, there is plenty of caution to take a flyer.
Royce Lewis (MIN): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.
It’s getting wild in Minnesota. Lewis has entered the “Yeah, what’s new.” category of dominant production. Lewis catapulted a grand slam in the 2nd inning to put the Twins up 6-0. They weren’t done yet, and by the end, Lewis had a huge RBI night. The Twins hit 6 home runs and ended up winning 20-6. Lewis has received lots of praise around MLB and now sports a .908 OPS in his limited action. All things considered, Lewis has been a catalyst for the Twins, who sent a strong message to the Guardians yesterday.
Corey Seager (TEX): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Seager has been dominant all year, and he’s doing his best in the batter’s box to continue to give the Rangers a chance at a division title. Even though they lost to the Astros, Seager made fantasy owners proud with a 2 HR performance. Seager now has a run scored in each of the last 5 games, and if it wasn’t for a once in a many lifetime player like Shohei Ohtani, Seager would be lined up for an MVP nod. I guess a 1.065 OPS will have to do for 2nd place!
Jorge Polanco (MIN): 3-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Polanco has been on a tear and continued it with a great night as part of the previously mentioned rout of Cleveland. Since 8/26, Polanco has 10 R/4 HR/11 RBI. If he’s still available in your league, snag him quick! Polanco is sitting at the top of the Twins lineup, and he will have plenty of chances to continue this streak. The OPS is now over .800, and with the urgency of a playoff push, Polanco should be a key cog in the Twins’ lineup.
Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 2-3, HR, 3 R, RBI, 3 BB.
Schwarber launched his 40th home run of the season on Labor Day and is arguably the league’s hottest bat going into September. In the last 13 games, Schwarber has 8 HR and has been an absolute fantasy machine. Looking at his last two weeks, Schwarber has only gone one game without some sort of production. The Phillies seem to have cemented themselves into an NL Wild Card slot, and with two series coming up against the Braves have a chance to bolster themselves further through September.
Mauricio Dubón (HOU): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Houston went into Globe Life Field and batted down the Rangers in a 13-6 win. Rather than go over the to-be-expected exceptional performances of Jose Altuve or Alex Bregman, I wanted to highlight the 9th man in the order, Maurcio Dubón. While Dubón isn’t ever going to be top of mind when thinking about the Astros, he still has put together a solid overall, considering his role. Dubón ranks in the top 10 percentile in Whiff% and K% and now has 114 hits on the season.
Triston Casas (BOS): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Casas is on a heater, and his Statcast page is starting to glow red. Casas put a surge into a 1-0 changeup to take the lead away from the Rays:
TRISTON CASAS FOR THE LEAD!
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) September 4, 2023
If it wasn’t for Casas’ poor fielding, he’d be pushing Gunnar Henderson (who went 2/5 with a 3-run HR on Monday) for AL ROY and still has an opportunity to win the hearts of the September moment if he keeps hitting this way. Casas currently has a .503 SLG, which sits in the top 25 in MLB comfortably. Those who stuck with Casas, or found him on your roster after his slow start, are reaping the rewards in the fantasy playoffs.
Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT): 2-4, 3B, HR, R, RBI.
Hayes has put together a great overall season on both sides of the ball. While Hayes had to get through a couple of injuries throughout the season, he will have a second consecutive year with a minimum of 400 ABs and 100 games played. While that isn’t a high bar for a central member of the Pirates’ future, Hayes has shown the tools that will perpetuate into the seasons to come. Hayes has been one of the best 3rd basemen in recent weeks. Since 8/23, Hayes has 4 HR and 8 RBI while hitting .348.