Starling Marte (MIA): 4-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Starling Marte picked up right where he left off before missing over a month of the season on the injured list for the Marlins. Marte added three hard-hit balls on Thursday as he collected four hits in five plate appearances, finishing just a triple away from the cycle. His second-inning home run was the third of the inning for the Marlins and marked his fifth of the season.
Since returning on May 28th, Marte is slashing .419/.500/.744 through 50 plate appearances, with three home runs and three stolen bases. That’s not to say his .310/.414/.483 pre-injury slash was anything to shake a stick at. Though with the missed time it may not be a fully sustainable sample to pull from, Marte has made an effort to hit more balls in the air this season, seeing a decrease in his ground ball rate from previous seasons while increasing both his line drive and fly ball rates, making his career-high BABIP of .425 more noteworthy. Marte will remain a fixture in the two-spot of the Miami lineup as long as he stays healthy, and the same should be true for his fantasy rosters.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Batting right in front of Marte, Jazz Chisholm set the pace for his veteran teammate by blasting his eighth home run on the season in the second inning 431 feet. Marte would meet the rookie’s challenge with a 426-foot jack of his own in the very next at-bat. Chisholm continues his strong NL Rookie of the Year push, leading all NL rookies in home runs and stolen bases, despite the missed time earlier in the season. Despite the 32.5% strikeout rate, Chisholm should be a fixture in every fantasy league.
Nelson Cruz (MIN): 2-2, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.
Nelson Cruz waited until the last possible second to add to his home run total as he took Aroldis Chapman deep in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk it off for the Twins on Thursday. The home run marked his 11th on the season but just his fourth since the start of May. Despite the slight power outage from the Minnesota designated hitter, Cruz now has a modest six-game hitting streak, and his 49.4% hard-hit rate since May 1st shows that he hasn’t lost that pop fantasy managers have come to expect.
Christian Vazquez (BOS): 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Christian Vazquez was aided by his teammate’s ability to get on base through their Thursday match-up with the Astros and took full advantage. Each of his first four plate appearances came with runners on base and in each Vazquez found a way to follow suit, collecting three singles in his first three at-bats, followed by an RBI hit by pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning. In many ways Vazquez has failed to live up to expectations he set after his strong shortened 2020 season, but fantasy managers aren’t too upset at his top seven run production and top four RBI production at the catcher position. Oh, did I mention he leads all catchers with five stolen bases on the season?
Odúbel Herrera (PHI): 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, BB, SB.
Odúbel Herrera has found his name on top of the Phillies’ lineup card in each of his last eight starts and has mostly lived up to the task, slashing .342/.375/.579 in that time and striking out just five times in his last 40 trips to the plate. Herrera has proven himself to be a bit of a streaky hitter in the past, and though he may not hold the spot in the lineup the rest of the season, fantasy managers should be riding the current situation as long as the Phillies keep rolling him out in that spot.
Daniel Vogelbach (MIL): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
With the second demotion of Keston Hiura this season, Daniel Vogelbach finds himself once again playing every day at first base for the Brewers, and now has been hitting out of the two spot of the Milwaukee lineup in each of the past seven games. His two-hit performance Thursday was just his fourth multi-hit game of the season but extends his current hit streak to six, with three of his six home runs on the year coming in that span. As long as the playing time is coming his way, Vogelbach is worth a look in deeper formats even just as a power filler for a short time, especially with the Brewers’ upcoming schedule, which includes a four-game series in Colorado next week.
Mitch Haniger (SEA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Mitch Haniger’s two home run night marked his second such performance of the year, and his 16th overall home run on the season, good for third overall in the American League. Haniger added to his barrel total in this one, which sits fifth across baseball with 26 on the season, though that total may simply be a volume play as his barrel rate of 14% ranks him closer to 30th overall among qualified hitters. Regardless, Haniger is one of the best stories in baseball this season and should be starting on your team every day.
Mookie Betts (LAD): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.
To say Mookie Betts‘ start to the 2021 season has been disappointing for fantasy managers who drafted in the top five of the respective drafts may be a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure the fact that Thursday’s home run was just Betts’ sixth of the year combined with the spotty playing time due to nagging injury concerns would be the leading negatives shining through a relatively positive fantasy line. Though fantasy managers expect a certain amount of speed from Betts, seeing his stolen base total match his home run total on the year may not be what they had in mind.
Jonathan Schoop (DET): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI, BB.
Schoop, he did it again. He played with your heart, got lost in the game. (Ok, I’m done.) Since I last wrote up Jonathan Schoop he has solidified himself as the two-hitter in the Tigers’ lineup, collecting six hits in his last 18 trips to the plate, half of which have been for extra bases. This current streak may not be real for the long term, but at this point, if your league has been slow to react you should probably change that and pick him off the wire as he’s still just 55% rostered across Yahoo! formats.
Jake Rogers (DET): 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Jake Rogers collected his second straight game with a home run, this time taking Justus Sheffield 413 feet in the second inning. Rogers attempted to outdo himself later in the game as he cranked a 423 foot shot to the deepest part of the ballpark, good for his first triple and fifth extra-base hit of the season. Don’t expect enough playing time as the Tigers’ backup catcher to warrant any real consideration, unless Rogers goes on a tear like his teammate Eric Haase and forces the Tigers to find a new backup option behind the plate.
Robbie Grossman (DET): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Wait, is that three Tigers in this write-up? Go figure. This marks Robbie Grossman’s third straight game with two hits as he collects his second straight game with a home run, bringing his season total up to eight. The trio of RBI brings his season total up to 31, matching his runs scored. Regardless of the general awfulness of the Tigers’ lineup, as long as Grossman continues to lead off he’ll keep providing value to your fantasy roster.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)