This week, it looks like a relatively strong group of starting pitchers, so it might be even harder than usual to find Friday’s home run hitters.
The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks (2.23 HR/9), Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (2.17 HR/9), Minnesota’s Matt Shoemaker (1.95 HR/9), Texas’ Mike Foltynewicz (1.76 HR/9), Toronto’s Ross Stripling (1.71 HR/9), and the White Sox’s Lucas Giolito (1.68 HR/9) are the Friday starting pitchers that have been most susceptible to the home run ball in 2021.
Among Friday’s probable starters, here are the pitchers with the lowest home run rates allowed this season: the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (0.47 HR/9), Kansas City’s Brady Singer (0.61 HR/9), the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (0.85 HR/9).
The Reds outfielder has been downright devastating against right-handed pitching, belting 16 home runs in 183 plate appearances going into Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, who have Kyle Freeland on the bump.
Rafael Devers, Boston
Boston’s power-hitting third baseman has mashed 13 of his 15 home runs against right-handed pitching and has a matchup against one of the more homer-friendly pitchers taking the mound Friday, Toronto’s Ross Stripling.
Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay
The Rays catcher has a dozen home runs this season but he is especially productive against left-handed pitching, with six home runs in 53 plate appearances going into Friday’s matchup with Baltimore Orioles rookie southpaw Keegan Akin.
A 472-ft shot from Mike Zunino; the 4th-longest HR of the 2021 season.
Some others to consider in the main games: Eric Haase, Detroit (vs. Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito); Josh Bell, Washington (vs. San Francisco, Anthony DeSclafani); Pete Alonso, N.Y. Mets (vs. San Diego, Blake Snell)
Although Alvarez has not been as prolific a home run hitter this season, he still has 36 home runs in 138 career games and takes that power into a matchup against the Twins’ Matt Shoemaker and it so happens that Shoemaker has one of the highest home run rates allowed among Friday’s starting pitchers.
Not only is Garcia hot, with six home runs in his past 15 games, but he is going against the Pittsburgh Pirates with Chase de Jong on the mound and de Jong has allowed 14 home runs in 64 1/3 innings in his major league career.
Max Muncy, Los Angeles
After slugging five home runs in an eight-game span, Muncy has gone eight games without a home run, but he faces Texas Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz Friday and Muncy has two home runs in 13 career plate appearances against Foltynewicz.
Some others to consider in the late games: J.D. Martinez, Boston (at Minnesota, Matt Shoemaker); Mookie Betts, Los Angeles (vs. Texas, Mike Foltynewicz); Christian Yelich, Milwaukee (vs. Pittsburgh, Chase de Jong).
*The contests listed in this article are subject to change leading up to tip-off of each respective game*