The honors of the day go to handyman Matt Carpenter, who capped an unbelievable comeback for St. Louis with an extra-innings homer to walk off with a victory. Oh, and it was his first career grand slam, just a minor detail in the formulation of a delectable 2-5, R, HR, 5 RBI, BB, 2 K stat line in the first part of a doubleheader with Toronto. And while Carpenter would go 0-3 with two walks and a single RBI in the second leg, I ultimately believe his current underwhelming .238 average is near the bottom of what we’ll see from Carp the rest of the year (i.e. it will steadily improve as the season draws on). He’s a stud and just getting his legs under him is all. Also deserving a shoutout is Randal Grichuk for hitting the game-tying HR—and sealing a 2-2, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB showing in so doing—to give Carpenter the chance to deliver a POLLYWOGS out of Busch Stadium later on. (“Pretty Overly Luscious Launching of, Yessir, a Walk-Off Grand Slam”. Crushed it.)
Let’s take a look at some of the other hitting performances from Wednesday’s games:
Yadier Molina (C, STL) – 2-4, R, BB, K, 2 doubles. He only played the first half of the twin bill but his .281 average and pair of XBH off Mat Latos and Roberto Osuna had to have made fantasy owners pleased. Molina certainly has value worth acquiring, and it’s arguably even higher in points leagues.
Kendrys Morales (1B/OF/DH, TOR) – 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI (plus 1-1 as PH in Game 1). Morales went yard for the fourth time this year and owns a .235 average. Meanwhile, his OF counterpart Kevin Pillar had a solid 3-10, 2 R, RBI, K performance across both games to give himself a .297 average, and he’s up to 10 runs now. Not to be outdone, Ezequiel Carrera is mashing at a .298 pace right now. Some solid depth for you hanging out on the Blue Jays roster.
Devon Travis (2B, TOR) – 0-4, BB, 2K in Game 1; 1-2, 2 SB as PH in Game 2. Travis’ inconsistency is manifested in these side-by-side doubleheader box scores. He’s hitting .129 right now overall but tends to experience better fortune against LHP: he’s .086 against righties, which is why I’d stay away if at all possible.
Darwin Barney (2B/3B/SS, TOR) – 0-2, K as PH in Game 1; 2-3, R in Game 2. It’s anybody’s guess as to what happens to Barney’s playing time when both a healthy Troy Tulowitzki and a healthy Josh Donaldson are back in the order, but Barney’s .308 average says he definitely deserves a sizeable share of it.
J.T. Realmuto & Christian Yelich (C & OF, MIA) – 2-4, RBI. Both guys had identical outings in accounting for the only runs Miami would score in a pitcher’s duel between Jeremy Hellickson and Edinson Volquez that ended up a 3-2 Phillies win. It marked the fourth straight game Realmuto batted sixth, and he has a .362 average to complement matching sets of nine runs and nine RBI. Yelich sports an even more robust 19 runs and 15 RBI but is “lagging” with a .274 average.
Odubel Herrera (OF, PHI) – 0-4, RBI, SB, CS. Even when it’s a low-scoring affair and he’s not racking up hits, Herrera somehow still manages to make an impact for Philadelphia somehow. I’d like the production work rate to increase, but a .257 with nine runs, seven RBI, two homers and three steals shows he isn’t a liability and can provide balance across categories when he’s in a groove.
Neil Walker (2B, NYM) – 3-4, 2 R, RBI. Walker’s average sits at just .227 as a result of this outstanding effort, and it’s a launch pad for him to earn you more fantasy dividends. He plated Juan Lagares with what was both his tenth RBI of the season and his fourth double in one fell swoop.
Yoenis Cespedes (OF, NYM) – 1-2, K. Just when it seemed like he was settling into the season, Cespedes pulled his left hammy while turning the corner to second after slugging a double. He had to leave the game and is officially day-to-day. The health is starting to become a serious issue, and pending the results of a Friday MRI, he could be headed to the 10-day DL. If that’s the case, the upshot is that Michael Conforto should benefit fantasy-wise: he has started the year brilliantly (.302, 4 HR, 9 R, 8 RBI) and would figure to no longer be mired in a platoon situation, given the lack of depth at OF in New York.
Jay Bruce (1B/OF, NYM) – 1-4. The hit was a double and he’s sitting at .289. The extra positional eligibility is awfully nice.
Kurt Suzuki (C, ATL) – 1-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K. He’s batting .179, and this was only his first homer in just 28 at-bats. Suzuki would be irrelevant for fantasy purposes anyway, but underscoring this truth is Tyler Flowers getting more of the starts in Atlanta and hitting .342 with eight RBI. There are guaranteed to be way better options than Suzuki available for you at catcher, like the previously discussed Molina.
Tyler Collins (OF, DET) – 3-3, R, BB. He’s up to .304 after this outing that included knocking a pair of doubles off Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma. With Miguel Cabrera and Jacoby Jones both on the DL and veterans Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez struggling to amass strong BA, Collins is quietly doing his thing for Detroit and it’s recommended that he should be watchlisted. More than five RBI would be nice, but he has my attention.
Ben Gamel (OF, SEA) – 2-4, RBI, K. Recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday, rookie Ben Gamel drove in the game-winning run for Seattle in the ninth off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez. The sample size is infinitesimally small, but it’s encouraging to see a guy—who probably nobody in your league is even aware of—step up immediately following a promotion from the minors. He’s likely only a handcuff for Mitch Haniger owners at best, and I’m sure you have free agents OF with tons more potential but I’m curious how Gamel acclimates during his time with the Mariners.
Kyle Seager (3B, SEA) – 2-4, R, RBI. He’d missed some recent action with a sore hip, but in returning to the lineup, Seager’s final hit of the evening was a double off the aforementioned K-Rod. Gamel’s ensuing RBI single scored Seager T9. He’s batting .262 and has 13 RBI overall, yet weirdly has only scored five times himself.
Jose Ramirez (2B/3B/OF, CLE) – 3-4, K, CS. His BA is up to .342. On a night where Carlos Santana stole successfully while Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion stole the spotlight with their homers, Ramirez is content to play second fiddle while batting .342. I’m confident his fantasy owners agree.
Adam Eaton (OF, WSH) – 2-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2BB. A homer (No. 2 of the season) and a double against Colorado saw Eaton’s slugging percentage jump to .465, and he’s truly excelling as Washington’s leadoff man. A .291 average pairs nicely with 13 RBI, while his 24 runs scored are good for third-best in MLB.
Jayson Werth (OF, WSH) – 2-3, 3 R, BB, SB. He’s hitting .283 and the steal was his first of the year.
Matt Wieters (C, WSH) – 2-5, BB, K, SB. Also swiping his first 2017 bag was Wieters, and his average is clocking at .266.
Trea Turner & Daniel Murphy (2B/SS/OF & 1B/2B, WSH) – 3-6. Eaton, Turner, Bryce Harper and Murphy might comprise the best top of any order in baseball. Turner scored twice with a deuce of RBI, while Murph hit his eighth double and his fifth homer en route to a trio of both runs and RBI for the Nats. Simply world-class fantasy stuff from both gentlemen, and their averages are both the in the .340s.
Christian Arroyo (3B, SFG) – 2-4, RBI. Since getting the callup to the majors on Monday, the 21-year-old Arroyo is batting .250 with a homer and three RBI. I’ll keep you posted on how he develops.
Matt Holliday (1B/OF/DH, NYY) – 2-3, 2 RBI, K. Those ribbies were his ninth and tenth of the year, and the average is hovering at .231. He’s at cleanup behind three guys with BA above .300 in Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks and Chase Headley, so you’d like to think way more fun stuff could happen for Holliday in the RBI department.
Chris Owings (SS/OF, ARI) – 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI BB, SB. Perhaps the most balanced and diverse 5×5 score line of the day, Owings took advantage of a plus matchup with Padres hurler Jered Weaver to hit two solo shots out of the park. He later stole a base—his sixth of 2017, tied with teammate Paul Goldschmidt and two others for sixth place league-wide—off reliever Kirby Yates to complete his proverbial roto-cycle, which I would like to henceforth refer to as a wheelie. It is decided. Owings is the proud owner of a .325 average and is thriving in the Diamondbacks order right now.
Yasmany Tomas (OF, ARI) – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI. Not to be outdone by Owings, Tomas belted a homer off Weaver as well. He’s hitting .308 on the year, which is amazingly just the fourth-best average on this hot Arizona team. David Peralta is the only member of the quartet I have yet to mention here today, with a .341 BA to show for his efforts.
C.J. Cron (1B, LAA) – 2-3, RBI. The .232 is still unimpressive to me for a guy who has not shown any tendency to mash for power, but I’m definitely monitoring what Cron is up to in Anaheim in case he suddenly heats up.