I’ve mentioned it before in a few of my articles, but going into the week or the weekend I like to review various reports to get a sense of who’s hot right now. Some names you might not have thought of could jump out at you, and when it comes time to build your roster, that “cheap” name toward the middle or bottom of the list can help you fill a hole with a hitter that, not only isn’t going to go out and lay an egg, but can be a surprise contributor. For the sake of this article, I’ll mark those guys with an asterisk (*) and provide some commentary.
Hit Streak Leaders
1) Shohei Ohtani – 15 games
- Walker started the season with a 12-game hit streak, but eventually was demoted to AAA. He was recalled at the beginning of June, and since then he’s reached base safely in 15 of 16 games, has at least one hit in 14 of 16, and is currently has a new hit streak of 10, which is second-longest in the majors to Ohtani. During the streak, he’s 17-for-42 (.405) with 3 doubles, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 walks, and 6 runs scored.
- Prediction: if Walker is in the lineup Tuesday night, this streak might end. He’s facing LHP Mackenzie Gore, and Walker is just 3-for-19 off lefties this season.
- When to use him: you could use him Wednesday night in a pinch versus the Nationals’ Trevor Rodgers, who has given up 14 HR in 14 games started this season, but then the Cards are off Wednesday and Thursday before they travel across the pond for the London Series. The juiciest matchup may be Sunday where he’ll be facing Jameson Taillon (6.71 ERA) and the Cubs.
3) Ryan McMahon – 11 games
4) Alex Verdugo – 10 games
4) Whit Merrifield – 10 games
5) Brendan Donovan* – 8 games
- Another Cardinals hitter makes the list, and it’s not Arenado, Goldschmidt, or Gorman. Donovan is 13-for-36 during his streak, which includes 3 doubles, a HR, 5 RBI, and 6 runs scored.
- Prediction: Donovan gets it done if he’s in the lineup. The youngster Gore may be so focused on trying to get the other studs out (i.e. Goldy, Walker, and the Nolan’s) that he overlooks Donovan, or Donovan gets it done against the Nats’ bullpen.
- When to use him: the better spot would be Wednesday versus Trevor Rodgers which would pit the left-handed hitting Donovan against the right-handed gopher-ball throwing pitcher.
5) Dansby Swanson – 8 games
- Ryan Mountcastle had to go on the IL with vertigo, so O’Hearn has stepped up to fill his shoes and more. During O’Hearn’s streak he’s 13-for-24 (.542) with 2 doubles, 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 9 runs scored.
- Prediction: the streak continues tonight! O’Hearn is batting .354 against righties and, while Tyler Glasnow has been good since coming back, he is allowing a .286 batting average to lefty hitters.
- When to use him: better use him before you lose him, as Mountcastle has begun a rehab assignment. The O’s face some tough pitching matchups in the coming days too, so this streak may not be long for this world.
6) Lane Thomas* – 7
- Check out my other article for why Lane’s streak continues tonight
6) Bo Bichette – 7
Highest Batting Average Last 7 Days (20 at-bats min.)
- Harris is 12-for-23 over the last 7 days (6 games), so after a terrible start to the season (.190 in April, .167 in May) the former NL Rookie of the Year is finally showing signs of returning to form. And he’s been doing it regardless of who is on the mound, hitting .250 on the season vs LHP and .248 vs RHP. Hitting in the lower part of the order due to his prior struggles, he hasn’t been putting up big RBI numbers during this stretch, but with this Braves lineup the potential is always there. He’s been a solid run scoring contributor in the month of June and has the speed to be a threat on the basepaths.
- When to use him: Not Tuesday. He is 0-for-11 lifetime against Ranger Suarez. And probably not Wednesday either, going 3-for-16 lifetime against Aaron Nola. Thursday could be the day, when the Braves draw Taijuan Walker (4.31 ERA). Harris is 3-for-4 off Walker in his career, and two of those hits were home runs.
2) Luis Arraez – .500 BA
3) Christian Walker* – .481 BA
- Did you know he can hit for average too? He’s in the midst of a mini 4-game hit streak, all four of which have been multi-hit efforts (8-for-16).
4) Alex Verdugo – .480 BA
4) Austin Hays* – .480 BA
- Hays seems to finally living up to his potential of a once-hyped prospect. At 27 years old, he’s been hitting consistently all season (.330 in April, .310 in May, .344 in June), and against everybody (.292 vs LHP, .331 vs RHP). He’s riding a 6-game hit streak, during which he’s collected 3 doubles, a HR, 3 RBI, and 6 runs scored.
- When to use him: Tuesday he faces Tyler Glasnow, and is 1-for-4 off of him (the one hit was a HR). There’s not much history to speak of versus the opposing pitchers the rest of the week, but Sunday he’ll face George Kirby who he is also 1-for-4 off of with a HR. But he’s been doing it all season against all-comers, so he could be used any day of the week!
Highest Batting Average vs LHP
You might not know it, but these guys have been crushing left-handed pitchers and listed along with them is the next time they have a scheduled left-handed starting pitcher:
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1) Nick Senzel – .457 batting average
- Next LHP matchup: Wednesday 6/21 vs Kyle Freeland (COL)
2) Matt Chapman – .426 BA
- Next LHP matchup: Saturday 6/24 vs Hogan Harris (OAK)
3) Ozzie Albies – .413 BA
- Next LHP matchup: Tuesday 6/20 vs Ranger Suarez (PHI)
4) Harold Ramirez – .404 BA
- Next LHP matchup: Sunday 6/25 vs Daniel Lynch (KC)
5) Luis Robert Jr.– .392 BA
- Next LHP matchup: Wednesday 6/21 vs Martin Perez (TEX)
Highest Batting Average vs RHP
This is more of an FYI because there aren’t any real surprises here outside of Hays who we already talked about:
1) Luis Arraez – .407 batting average
2) Bryce Harper – .378 BA
3) Corey Seager – .370 BA
4) Austin Hays – .331 BA
5) Freddie Freeman – .327 BA