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The end of Week 10 sees the nation celebrating national best friend day.

In honor of this holiday, let’s dream up some fake leads for summer’s breakout buddy comedy flicks.

Denzel Washington and Ray Allen, Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan, any movie produced by the WWE, and what do they have in common?

They all have an athlete shining on a different stage than they are used to.

Imagine the Week 10 Hitting Planner players plastered onto billboards advertising their starring role in a new buddy cop movie.

Week 10 Hitting Planner


Tyler Flowers, ATL (v PHI, v NYM)


I wrote about Tyler Flowers potential breakout campaign here, but Kurt Suzuki has pushed for an almost even split of the catching duties, which has hurt Flowers value to some. Both players are having a good year at the plate, but Flowers gets the nod here (although Suzuki almost took his spot) based on two things.

First, over the past seven games, Suzuki has been losing playing time to Flowers who has been heating up. Flowers started 5-of-7 games behind the dish. In those seven games, Flowers has a 53.3% Hard% that’s allowing him to drive the ball with authority.

Finally, imagine Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers as the stars of Step Brothers? I probably wouldn’t watch that movie either…


First Base

Lucas Duda, NYM (at TEX, at ATL)

What happens when you slump for a full year due to injuries? 2016 Lucas Duda presented us with that issue. 2014 he was a breakout star, and in 2015 he proved he could sustain those numbers (.250 average and 30 home runs). Skip over his disastrous 2016 and we are left with a 2017 Duda who is healthy and hitting.

His last 30 ABs produced three homers, .300 BA, and a 44% FB%. With Duda’s Hard% at 52% in that span, I sense more homers on the way, but the Mets only play six games next week.

A short week could be good for Duda as his strikeout numbers are down in the short sample size (16.1% compared to a career 23.3%) and should return to career norms soon. Speaking of short, the 6’5 Duda and the 5’6 Altuve could create a live action version of The Iron Giant where Duda clearly plays a tall man painted to look like metal, and Altuve may have to shave … this movie won’t be good either.


Second Base

Jed Lowrie, OAK (v TOR, at TB)


Jed Lowrie is the three-hole hitter for the Oakland Athletics. I know crazy right, but is it? The A’s are close to the top of the league in home runs. Lowrie has stepped up and started turning those solo shots into two-run homer runs. Scoring a run in 57% of his hits this season, Lowrie and the A’s lineup could cash in with matchups against Toronto and at Tampa Bay.

With Lowrie and a cast of other potential trade pieces in the lineup, the A’s, stuck in the cellar, could be sellers at the deadline, which reminds me of a movie I haven’t seen yet: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. While Lowrie doesn’t need a wedding date, the A’s could continue a half season long audition of their players as they continue to build for the future.


Third Base

Evan Longoria, TB (v CHW, v OAK)

Welcome to the homer house, Evan Longoria is your fraternity president and home run champion, and this week you should expect much of the same. The two seasons in which Longoria hit more than 30 homers (2013 & 2016) he had a FB% above 44% (44.5% in 2013, 46.8% in 2016).

Currently, Longoria has a FB% of 33.7%, but over his last seven games, that number is up to 45.8%. Look for Longoria drive some fly balls out of the park, while also taking the reigns as the leader of a fraternity in a movie similar to Animal House. Delta house is centered around Longoria trying to bring the Rays back to a world series and the hijinks that ensue. Think Major League but all of the Major League movies mashed into one.



Tim Beckham, TB (v CHW, v OAK)


While Matt Duffy is rehabbing an injury, Tim Beckham has made the most of his new opportunity as a starter. Joining Longoria in the homer house, Beckham does not have the power numbers, but over his last seven games, he has yet to make any soft contact. With a nice matchup against the home run prone White Sox, Beckham could contribute to every category this week.



Giancarlo Stanton, MIA (at CHC, at PIT)

Giancarlo Stanton hit three homers in his last 25 PAs. The power is always there for Stanton, but this sample size is showing that Stanton is making great contact. A .500 wOBA and 217 wRC+ just begin to scratch the surface of my must-see summer blockbuster starring Stanton.

Stanton’s OSwing% is down this year, and his ZSwing is up to 71.4%. More swings in the zone and less outside of it show a little bit better plate discipline. Hopefully, the strikeouts fall, but even if they don’t the sheer amount of home runs he could put up should provide all the value you will need this week.

Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS (at NYY, v DET)

Jackie Bradley Jr. has been very unlucky so far. He’s hit the ball hard, but without much success. Much like Ryan Zimmerman all last season, JBJ was struggling to convert his exit velocity into hits, but that has begun to change.

JBJ’s last seven games have resulted in five extra-base hits, five runs, and 10 RBI. In that span, JBJ’s Hard% is up to 47.1%, and he’s pulling the ball with authority. The Red Sox visit the Yankees and their short porch in right, then come home to face Detroit.

JBJ needs to be in a buddy cop film, but he needs a good partner…

Matt Kemp, ATL (v. PHI, v. NYM)


Enter Matt Kemp. Kemp plays the old man about to retire who gets a new partner fresh out of the academy in Jackie Bradley Jr. Outside of being a buddy cop partner, Kemp finds his way into the Week 10 Hitting Planner by quietly crushing the ball.

Kemp’s last 25 PAs resulted in a .483 wOBA, 8.3% K%, and two home runs. SunTrust Park is being rumored to lean home run heavy, but Kemp has done most of his damage away. Look for that trend to normalize this week with the Braves long home stand.


Final Thoughts

I probably should direct, cast, or even be a part of movie productions, so I will stick to writing hitting planners. Next weeks hitting planner is brought to you by…

2017 Fantasy Baseball
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