Kirk Nieuwenhuis- NYN- Hot- Nieuwenhuis slugged 2 homers last night, giving him 5 on the season. Only 1 has been against LH pitching. He is hitting .200 against southpaws despite a .321 BABIP against them. Nieuwenhuis has a .329 average against right handed pitching, helped by a .420 BABIP. Given those results, using him in a platoon manner is your best bet.
Joe Blanton- PHI- Hot- Blanton had an impressive complete game victory, allowing just 1 run on 7 hits and walking none while striking out 7. However, the lone run came on a homer, giving him 7 straight starts of allowing a homer, even with 2 of those starts being 5 IP or less. Blanton's FIP of 4.15 is considerably less than his ERA of 4.93 so there has been some bad luck coming his way, but he needs to lose the gopher ball tendency to take advantage of any regression to the mean that he gets.
St. Louis- STL- Caution- This part of the story of Carlos Beltran's sickness jumped out at me, "[Manager Mike] Matheny added that Beltran's virus is likely contagious, but he didn't consider it necessary to keep Beltran away from his teammates. 'That's just part of the gig,' Matheny said. 'We're somewhat of a family here, too. You just kind of go through those things.'" The Reds have had a bout of flu-like symptoms sweep through their team for several days. It looks like chances are high the same thing will happen to the Cardinals, thanks to their manager.
Tyler Colvin- COL- Hot- Colvin has been very impressive of late, going 8-for-19 with 4 homers in his last 5 games. All of those games have been at Coors Field and Colvin seems to be getting a fairly significant boost when he plays there. Only 1 of his 7 homers has been on the road and his .303 average at Coors Field is exactly 30 points better than when the Rockies are wearing road greys. If Colvin is playing and he is at home he is an asset.
Joey Votto- CIN- Great Player- Votto hit another homer yesterday, giving him 3 in his last 6 games. Don't get used to his .362 average, as his .422 BABIP is unlikely to be sustainable. He carries a .358 career BABIP, though, so that number may not be as crazy high as it would seem for another hitter. Even a moderate drop in average leaves Votto in elite status. One concern might be that opponents will start taking the bat out of his hands. His 19.4% BB% is a career high and might go up.
Follow me on Twitter all season - @fantisticspaul