Happy Friday the 13th! Are these days happy? Probably not. Anyway, Dan Schneier is out galavanting the streets of New Orleans, but fear not, it is I, Frank Stampfl, in his place. There wasn't much action on Thursday outside of dazzling power displays by two of the game's best sluggers -- Yordan Alvarez and Giancarlo Stanton. Let's start with Alvarez, who is now batting .271 with 10 home runs and a ridiculous .992 OPS. His strikeout rate is down to a career-best 18.9% and he's absolutely crushing the ball. Based on his quality of contact, Statcast says Alvarez deserves a .319 batting average! It's a little early to say, but if he keeps this pace up, we'll be talking about Alvarez as a borderline first-round pick next season.
The Yankees are hot to start the season and it was Stanton who stole the show for them on Thursday night. He finished 3 for 4 with two homers and six RBI. His 28 RBI leads the Yankees and is tied for second in all of baseball. We know by now that Stanton is known for crushing baseballs. He's routinely among the league leaders in average exit velocity and max exit velocity. This season is no different. In fact, Stanton is hitting the ball harder than anybody in the Statcast era. His current 97.7 MPH average exit velocity this season is the highest for any player since they began tracking that data in 2015. As we can say for most players, please just stay healthy, Stanton.
We'll get you ready for Week 7, but first let's catch you up on some of the great content from the Fantasy Baseball Today team that is live on CBSSports.com/Fantasy/Baseball. Scott White took a closer look at Adley Rutschman, Jo Adell and others in his latest . Chris Towers also took a closer look at Eric Hosmer to figure out whether his .
Unlucky hitters to target via trade
In honor of Friday the 13th, we did a segment on today's podcast focusing on the unluckiest hitters thus far. We used actual batting average vs. expected batting average, according to Statcast. How is expected batting average calculated? Basically, it tells you what a hitter's batting average should be based on how hard they hit the ball, launch angle, placement and more. Here are the names you should look to target.
- Whit Merrifield .164 BA, .266 xBA (.173 BABIP is third lowest among qualified hitters)
- Jesse Winker .204 BA, .302 xBA (.232 BABIP this season, .306 for career)
- Gleyber Torres .222 BA, .314 xBA (.211 BABIP, .301 career, he's hitting more fly balls but not enough to the point where it craters his BABIP)
- Nelson Cruz .170 BA, .251 xBA (.183 BABIP is fifth lowest among qualified hitters, career-high 56% GB rate will do that)
- Jose Abreu .211 BA, .279 xBA
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News and notes
- Tests on Bryce Harper's elbow revealed a small tear in his UCL. He will not throw for four weeks and is expected to remain the team's designated hitter.
- Chris Sale will resume throwing within a few days. He recently had a non-baseball medical issue, which caused a setback.
- Jeremy Peña left Thursday's game due to discomfort in his right knee. He's unlikely to play Friday.
- Dodgers pitching prospect Ryan Pepiot was optioned back to Triple-A on Thursday. He threw three scoreless in his debut but walked five.
- Nick Lodolo was playing catch ahead of Thursday's game at Pittsburgh. He was expected to be activated last weekend but his back injury flared up.
- Tigers outfield prospect Riley Greene had an examination Thursday. If all goes well, he could be cleared for baseball activities.
- Lucas Sims was placed on the IL with a bulging disc in his back. I think our natural inclination will be to chase Art Warren or Tony Santillanas, but I think the name to watch is Alexis Diaz.
- Adam Wainwright rejoined the Cardinals and completed a bullpen session. There's a chance he starts Sunday against the Giants.
- Mitch Haniger may not return until July because of his grade 2 right ankle sprain.
- Orioles closer Jorge Lopez is expected to return Friday but man, I've been impressed by Felix Bautista in his absence.