Studs and duds: August 18 – August 24

Offensive stud: Ty France (3B, Mariners). France retains his title after adding another hit to his ledger yesterday and extending what is now a seven-game hitting streak. During the past week, he’s hit .400 with 4 home runs, 7 RBI and 7 runs scored, while slugging .833. He hammered out two 3 hit performances in a row, on August 19 and August 20 against Houston and Texas, respectively. He’s had 3-plus hits 11 times this season.

Honorable mention: Tyler Naquin (CF, Reds; .500/.542/1.273, 4 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R). He’s riding a 13-game hitting streak.

Palacios batted .330 his first pro season. (Wikipedia).

Offensive dud: Jahmai Jones (2B, Orioles). After hitting .429 in a 3-game cup of coffee last season, Jones returned to the big leagues with a thud this year to the tune of an 0-for-4 performance with 3 strikeouts and an error his first game back. The middle infielder, the Angels’ second round pick in 2015, is in his first season in the Orioles system after being traded to Baltimore in February for pitcher Alex Cobb. Though he has speed on the basepaths, he’s not much of hitter, sporting a .257 average over six minor league campaigns.

Dishonorable mention: Josh Palacios (OF, Blue Jays; 0-for-4, 4 K).

Pitching stud: Charlie Morton (SP, Braves). Morton’s line has been pretty middling his past couple starts—in 11 innings, he has a 4.91 ERA, and he took a loss. But he also struck out 18 batters, close to two per frame, on average, allowed just one walk and batters hit .214 against him. And despite his recent elevated ERA, his mark is still just 3.17 since the start of June. Morton, who leads the National League in games started, has struck out 173 batters and surrendered just 112 hits in 145 innings this year.

Flexen had an 8.07 ERA from 2017 to 2019. After a year in Korea, it’s down to 3.54 this year. (Wikipedia).

Honorable mention: Chris Flexen (SP; Mariners; 2-0, 13 2/3 IP, 1.32 ERA, .204 OBA). A few more Ks and he would’ve been the stud.

Dishonorable mention: Noe Ramirez (RP, Diamondbacks). Ramirez retains his title after allowing 3 earned runs on 4 walks and 2 hits over his past three appearances. Opposing hitters managed a .462 on-base percentage, .556 slugging and 1.017 OPS against him; Garrett Hampson, hitting .240 with a .384 slugging mark, clobbered a home run off him. In his most recent showing, he threw less than half his pitches for strikes. Arizona lost each of the games in which he pitched—no surprise.

Dishonorable mention: Alex Colome (RP, Twins; 1 G, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 18.00 ERA, 1 BSV).

Studs and duds: August 13 – August 19

It’s graduation day for yesterday’s Offensive Honorable Mention, Max Muncy—now he’s the Stud for the week of August 13 to August 19. Let’s see who else took baseball by storm, and who totally flopped, this past week.

Max Muncy hit 5 home runs in the past week. (Wikipedia)

Offensive stud: Max Muncy (IF, Dodgers). Since his breakout campaign in 2018, Muncy has been one of the hottest sluggers in the league, averaging 40 home runs and 102 RBI per 162 games. Fantasy enthusiasts love him for that reason, and because he knows how to draw a walk—his on-base percentage is .404 this year. This past week encapsulates just how great a player Muncy is. Even with an 0-for-4 showing yesterday, he still slashed .348/.444/1.043 with 5 home runs, 10 RBI and 9 runs scored (he has one more run than total hits!). His OPS is a deadly 1.488. Numbers like that make opposing pitchers quake in their cleats.

Honorable mention: Freddie Freeman (1B, Braves; .586 BA, 1.000 SLG, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R).

Offensive dud: Gavin Lux (IF, Dodgers). Lux retains his title for the third straight day. It’s been so bad he sat last night, just a few days after coming off the Injured List. What really kills him is the couple errors he committed his first game back. Not a good showing.

Dishonorable mention: Anthony Santander (OF, Orioles; 2-for-23, 11 K) … but at least he’s managed a couple hits!

Charlie Morton has been one of the best pitchers in the game. (Wikipedia)

Pitching stud: Charlie Morton (SP, Braves). Morton graduated to Stud, as well, after being yesterday’s honorable mention. The hurler twirled two quality starts for Atlanta, striking out 16 batters while allowing just 9 hits and 3 walks. He won both games. Morton’s ascendance to greatness is truly stunning, as he was nothing more than middling through his age-32 season (45-71 W-L, 4.54 ERA). Since then, he’s gone 59-22 with a 3.37 ERA and 10.6 K/9 IP ratio—good enough to earn him a couple All-Star selections and a third place finish in the 2019 American League Cy Young vote.

Honorable mention: Jack Flaherty (SP, Cardinals; 2 G, 12 IP, 13 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 1 W).

Pitching dud: Jorge Lopez (SP, Orioles). Okay, Jorge. You had your chance. You tanked a couple starts ago and that really dragged you down. But yesterday was the time for redemption. You (miraculously) got another start! You could have shown the world that your past failings (all six years of them) were just a blip! So what do you do? Of course, you last just 2 innings this time, give up 4 runs and drill another batter. You know your ERA is 18.56 over your past two starts, right?

Dishonorable mention: Dan Winkler (RP, Cubs; 0.1 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 9 ER). He’s earned this spot two days in a row, but he had a very rough go of it.