Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants - Brandon Belt had a huge game Tuesday with four hits and a pair of homers against the Mets. Belt has missed a huge chunk of the season with injuries but he's been extremely productive while he's in the lineup with 19 homers and a .247/.355/.556 slash line across just 262 plate appearances. The 19 homers are a career-high for Belt, one more than he's posted in two other seasons in while recorded 451 and 556 plate appearances. Belt's running a barrel rate over 15% for the second straight season, and that's over 4% higher than he's recorded in any other season. He's striking out more than he ever has, and that's the reason for the dip in his average back to the area around .250.
Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers - Will Smith went 1-3 at the plate with a walk and his 18th homer of the season. He's posted a .849 OPS for the Dodgers this year, and depending on how you view Smith (I view him extremely highly) that can still be a ways away from his peak levels. He's hitting just .257 for the year and that's on the low end of his outcomes, but still has a walk rate over 11% and is striking out at a rate under 20%. His hard-hit rate is at 43%, just a few points away from his 47% rate last season yet his xBA is down by 50 points. His barrel rate has definitely fallen a bit this year but he's still greatly underperforming his batted ball metrics. There's more here.
Ranger Saurez, Philadelphia Phillies - Ranger Suarez dominated against the Rays Tuesday and 6.2 innings of one-run baseball with seven strikeouts. Saurez's changeup is a nightmare of a pitch for everyone in baseball and that continued in this start with a 47% (!!) whiff rate on the pitch, and for the season he has a 34.3% whiff rate of the pitch along with a .258 xwOBA against it. Suarez has been dominant overall for the Phillies hopping between the bullpen and rotation with a 1.47 ERA and 5-4 record, along with four saves. He's averaging just under a strikeout per inning and has been in the rotation all month and has been excellent, posting a 2.11 ERA over 21 innings.
Tres Barrera, Washington Nationals - Tres Barrera went 3-4 against the Marlins with his second homer of the year. Barrera has been the primary catcher for the Nats for the month of August and has a .712 OPS for the month. His plate discipline metrics have looked great at the plate with a 20% strikeout rate and a 9.5% walk rate, but his hard-hit rate is just 23% and his average exit velocity is only 82 MPH. There's something to at least take note of with a player playing every day, but the .279 average he's posted is heavily influenced by his .308 batting average in the month of July. He's hasn't been that level of hitter in August.
Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves - Charlie Morton allowed four runs over five innings for the Braves against the Yankees, but struck out nine batters and didn't walk a single batter. Morton had an outstanding August with a 3.10 ERA for the month and easily the best strikeout rate for him for the month with 38 over 29 innings, and he also only walked five batters which is his best rate of the season. Despite the four runs, from a pure pitching standpoint Morton recorded a 36% CSW in the outing. He's been an anchor of the Braves rotation and with the Braves being as hot as they are, his value down the stretch is only increasing.