Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers - Christian Yelich went 3-5 at the plate on Saturday with a pair of homers and six RBI. This single game accounted for one-fourth of Yelich's homers for the season as his power has been absolutely zapped this season. His overall line is still terrible but he's starting to heat up now in the month of August with a .286/.327/.469 slash line. He's closing in on an .800 OPS as well for the month which is a number we haven't seen from him since June. He's been hitting the ball consistently hard all year but there's just been no lift to the ball, keeping his average and power numbers down. He's posted launch angles of eight and seven degrees over the last two months, which is much closer to his career average. It's still not where it was in his MVP season, but he's lifting the ball more and that's great for his line.
Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets - Brandon Nimmo went 3-5 at the plate with a home run, his fourth of the season. Nimmo's slash line is solid at .283/.401/.399, but there's really not a ton going on here beyond that. Ignoring the 20 RBI because he missed an entire month, Nimmo has just four homers and three stolen bases across 223 at-bats. Doubling those at-bats puts him at less than 10 in each category over 550 at-bats, closer to a full season. His OPS has dropped each full month with a .921 mark in April, .813 in July, and a .716 in the month of August.
Yadiel Hernandez, Washington Nationals - Yadiel Hernandez is having a crazy month of August with a .339/.406/.571 slash line for the month, and on Saturday he hit his fourth over of the month in just 56 at-bats. For the year he has a .816 OPS, and that's extremely hampered by his .558 OPS in May. Outside of that, he recorded a 1.008 in the first month of the season, a .833 mark in July, and the .978 in August. He's playing every day for the Nats, and there's no incentive not to play him, so riding the hot streak isn't the worst idea right now.
Drew Smyly, Atlanta Braves - Drew Smyly allowed three runs over five innings against the Orioles, with all three runs coming via solo homeruns. Smyly allowed only five hits in the outing and struck out eight batters. His 31% CSW for the outing sits right in line with the league average. Smyly has taken a step back in August with a 5.21 ERA after ERAs of 2.84 and 3.33 in the months of June and July. Smyly could be the odd man out of the rotation when Ian Anderson returns next week and could very well find himself in a bullpen role with the team soon.
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies - Kyle Freeland struck out ten batters over 7.0 innings against the Diamondbacks. He allowed just a pair of runs and six hits in the outing. He generated a 34% whiff rate in the start and an absolutely elite 40% CSW. Freeland's posted a 4.25 ERA for the season and so much of that comes from his 7.23 ERA he posted in the month of June. In July and August, he's been great with a 2.40 ERA in July and a 3.52 ERA for August. He's 3-4 overall for the last two months, but that's what being on the Rockies will do for you. He's striking out far more batters this month though, which is a positive development for him.
Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks - Zac Gallen also spun a gem on Saturday with nine strikeouts over seven shutout innings against the Rockies. This was a big start for Gallen as he's struggled over for the year with a 4.77 ERA, and it's been especially bad the last two months. Something to watch coming out of this start is that we saw a jump in his cutter usage up to 11%, and if you look at his pitch mix profile game-by-game he has these random outings where that usage takes a huge jump and then ends up back down around 4-5%. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a correlation between these cutter spikes and him turning in great performances.