Roto Riteup: August 20, 2017

Jackie Bradley Jr. is such a stud:

On the Agenda

  • Two-Homer Games Galore!
  • Bregman Continues to Mash
  • Chapman Out as Closer
  • DeJong Smacks His 20th
  • Marte with a Combo Meal

Two-Homer Games

After three more on Saturday boosting the total to 310, the 2017 season is pacing to destroy the record for two-homer games, set back in 2001 at 341. The leaders this year an entirely unsurprising with Giancarlo Stanton (8) and Cody Bellinger (6) pacing the league while Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jay Bruce all sit tied with five. Rougned Odor joined that group on Saturday with his fifth such game. Meanwhile, Mike Trout had his first 2-HR game of the year while teammate Luis Valbuena logged his second.

Bregman Continues to Mash

Alex Bregman entered July with a modest .249/.329/.402 line that included eight homers and six stolen bases. Opposing pitchers have struggled to consistently retire Bregman since July 1st. He has a .320/.406/.626 line in his last 41 games with 7 HR, 7 SB, 11% K, and 12% BB in 170 PA. He’s pummeling both lefties and righties, but his improvements against the latter have driven the success.

He had just a .682 OPS against them in 224 PA through June, but it’s up to .992 in his last 109. Righty sliders in particular have gone from a weakness to a strength. He had a nearly-invisible .113 AVG and .353 OPS in 55 PA through June and while his .261 AVG since July 1st isn’t eye-popping, the power and patience have been there with a .922 OPS and 14% BB in 28 PA. He’s also flat out murdering fastballs: .333/.489/.694, 15% K, and 19% BB in 47 PA. He could finish with a 20 HR/20 SB season at this pace.

Chapman Out as Closer

Aroldis Chapman has temporarily been removed from the closer’s role in New York with Dellin Betances and David Robertson sharing duties in the interim. Chapman has labored through a brutal August thus far, allowing runs in his last four outings including two in each of the last three. He was wonky in his first appearance out of the All-Star break, blowing a game to the Red Sox without retiring a batter, but then ripped off 9.7 IP of 1-run ball, allowing 4 H, 3 BB, and logging 10 K to close out July. He tweaked a hamstring closing out the August 15th game, but he’d allowed runs in three outings to that point so the injury would’ve really only played a role in Friday’s meltdown. Betances threw a perfect ninth with two strikeouts on Saturday, notching his ninth save.

DeJong Smacks His 20th

There’s no denying the excellence of Paul DeJong’s first name, but I’ve been wary of the 23-year old shortstop since his ascent because of the horrific plate skills we’ve seen thus far. Of course, if you just obliterate the ball every time you touch it, it seemingly doesn’t matter if you have a comical 0.12 BB/K rate. He’s striking out 31% of the time with just a 4% BB, but he clubbed his 20th HR on Saturday and he’s been out of mind in August: .351/.392/.649 with 6 HR in 79.

DeJong is embarrassing righties to the tune of a 1.104 OPS and five of the six homers while he has an .824 OPS in 17 PA against lefties with a 47% K rate and of course zero walks. The season may in fact run out before regression catches up to DeJong, but he just can’t stay this successful without his .380 BABIP, 25% HR/FB, and 37% Hard contact rate if he doesn’t show stark improvement in his plate skills.

Marte with a Combo Meal

Starling Marte had what Nate Ravitz and Matthew Berry of ESPN’s Fantasy Focus pod termed a “combo meal” on Saturday with a homer and stolen base in the same game. In fact, he swiped two bases so I’m going to call it a super-sized combo meal. He seems to be hitting his stride a bit with his fifth straight multi-hit game and eighth this month. All told, he’s hitting .310/.388/.437 for the month with six extra-base hits (Saturday’s being the only homer), six stolen bases (in six tries), and seven strikeouts and walks in 80 PA.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Donaldson has finished the last 2 games at shortstop, why isn’t anyone talking about that!?!