Grand Theft Votto

Dave Swan breaks down the top-hitting performances from yesterday.

He did it again! Joey Votto finished his evening by going 1-4, with an HR, R, RBI, and BB. The dinger makes it seven straight games with an HR. Additionally, in that crazy stretch, Votto has nine HRs, 17 RBI, and 11 runs scored with a .903 ISO. Those video game-like numbers have boosted his season-long totals to a .278/.374/.563 slash line with 21 HRs and 99 runs+RBI. Votto’s impressive feat leaves us asking the question, can he take yet another one deep tonight against New York Mets?

The firepower the Votto is producing has helped alleviate the loss of battering mate Nick Castellanos and keep the Reds within shouting distance of the playoffs. The Reds are currently seven games back from the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers and four games out of the Wild Card. However, if Votto can keep mashing and someone above them faulters, we could see a fun September for the ball club from Cincinnati.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday.


César  Hernández (CWS): 2-5, R. Thursday marked Cesar’s first game since joining the White Sox. The newly acquired infielder found himself slotted in the two-hole and helped claim victory over his former team with a pair of base hits. With a move into a much more productive offense, Hernández becomes an even better 2B option and should be rostered in every 12-team fantasy league.


Jarred Kelenic (SEA): 2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. While there haven’t been as many productive nights like this one at the start of Kelenic’s career. Seattle’s young outfielder has massive power upside and when it clicks, watch out! Don’t let the .122 batting average fool you. He is an uber-talented prospect and one of the top dynasty league targets as we advance.


Buster Posey (SF): 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB. After an entire season missed in 2020, many fantasy managers were left to wonder what is left in the tank for the veteran catcher. Well, quite a bit. The Giants’ backstop leads all catchers in batting average, OBP,  wRC+, and WAR. So, it’s safe to say he is back, and one of the main reasons the Giants sit atop the NL West.


Ryan McMahon (COL): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB. 2021 has been a most favorable one for McMahon as he continues to put up impressive stat lines night after night. The Rockies slugger brought his HR total up to 17 and is on pace to surpass his previous best of 24 HRs back in 2019. It’s pretty challenging for me to think of why McMahon isn’t rostered in every fantasy league format but if he’s on the wire, scoop him up asap.


Bo Bichette (TOR): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB. Another night, another combo meal for Bichette. The Blue Jays’ stud SS now has an impressive 18 HR and 16 SB on the season. His ability to hit for a high batting average while amassing plenty of counting stats added to the power+speed skillset makes him an elite fantasy player.


Whit Merrifield (KC): 1-4, 2 SB. In a surprise move, Whit was not shopped at the trade deadline. However, this didn’t stop Merrifield from expanding his league-leading SB total to 27 on the year. Besides the speed, Whit becomes exceedingly valuable in fantasy mainly in part because he plays every day. This advantage allows him to rack up the counting stats while also putting up a .273 batting average. He remains among the elite at 2B.


Jonathan India (CIN): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB. Have a night Jonathan India. Three extra-base hits that included a long ball, wow! India has shown massive success since being planted in the leadoff role. He is slashing .302/.434/.469 with a .904 OPS in a little over 220 plate appearances. Additionally, he is a sneaky threat in both HRs and SB that could push for a 20/20 season in the future.


Pedro Severino (BAL): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Severino swatted HRs number seven and eight off of Tarik Skubal last night. Unfortunately for fantasy managers, Severino splits duties at the backstop and doesn’t get enough at-bats to be viable in 12-team formats. However, if he gets a lovely stretch of home games, he immediately becomes a decent streaming option.


Anthony Rizzo (NYY): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB. It didn’t take long for Rizzo to find success in New York. The HR was Anthony’s first since putting on his new pin-striped uniform. Additionally, the blast over the fences was Rizzo’s third in his last four games and raised his season total to 15. His ability to challenge pitchers by drawing walks and club the occasional dinger will firmly plant him in the heart of that dynamic Yankees offense.


Eduardo Escobar (MIL): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB. Another traded player is finding success with his new times right away. Escobar’s performance was a driving factor in leading the Brewers to a 9-5 victory over Atlanta. The former D-backs infielder found himself hitting cleanup, which should help lead to more counting stats and increase his fantasy value throughout the season.


Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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