More homers end of season, Derek Dietrich or Daniel Vogelbach? More steals end of season, Jarrod Dyson or Mallex Smith? Higher 5×5 rank end of season, Christian Yelich or Cody Bellinger?
Michael Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I am impressed with the imrpovements Dietrich has made this year so I think he will hit more HR’s than Vogelbach for the rest of the season. Dietrich also plays in a better offensive ballpark and should see regular playing time. Mallex Smith will have more stolen bases than Dyson. In terms of Yelich vs. Bellinger, I will go with the reigning MVP who could be in line for a repeat this year. Yelich will ultimately out-perform Bellinger in all categories as Bellinger’s batting average returns to earth.
Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): This seems a philosophical question about when do we adjust projections toward current results, and by how much. I’d still say Vogelbach, Mallex, and Yelich (which I would have said before the season started).
Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Both are in my Collette Calls column this week. Dietrick is YOKED (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D71l65eX4AAlUs6?format=jpg) this year, and he is crushing the baseball. His Barrel % is up three times as much as previous seasons, his exit velo is a career-high, as is his launch angle. The move from spacious Marlins Park to cozy GABP certainly helps his cause as well. He gets more games against Pittsburgh, and plays in the hot summer heat in Cincinnati — all conducive to another Adam Duvall-type season
Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): THE BAT is biting *hard* into Dietrich, who has improved in every conceivable way after an amazing shift in context moving from Miami to Cincy. Dietrich: 22 HR to Vogy’s 15. It has Mallex with 18 SBs and Dyson with 14 SBs, although that’s partially because the FanGraphs Depth Charts give an extra 70 PA to Mallex. Yelich and Bellinger both project fantastically now, but Yelich comes out on top by a couple bucks
Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): I vote for Dietrich over Vogelbach. Cubs gave up on Vogelbach and that worries me. Plus, players of that physique are more likely to wear down. I like Mallex over Dyson as age for steals guys is a huge issue. As to Yelich v. Belinger, Yelich has done it for a full season, Bellinger has not so you gotta go with Yelich but I would be happy with either!
Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): I’m going for Dietrich who’s taken a step forward after we saw his power really blossom last year. I think Dyson’s best years are past him now and Mallex seems to steal in bunches. Neither are hitting particularly well right now but I expect Mallex to start figuring it out. Bellinger just seems too locked in not to be a four category stud. It’s going to be close but I’m sticking with Bellinger to keep up his torrid hittting.
Matt Modica (The Athletic, @ctmbaseball): It’s Dietrich for me. He has hit some prolific homers but right field at Great American Ballpark is perfectly tailored for him and should add some easy homers to his total. I will go with Smith over Dyson because I believe Seattle will give him every opportunity and more at bats rest of the season. Bellinger is a burgeoning beast but Yelich is a better pure hitter and base runner. Also, Miller Park versus Chavez Ravine.
Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Derek Dietrich should finish with more home runs. Playing in that ballpark provides an advantage that Vogelbach can’t duplicate. His line drives of the past have turned into fly balls which he’s hitting at a career high 52%. That should continue. Mallex Smith will finish with more SBs. Younger, more playing time, and a better hitter over the rest of the season. Smith should be fine. Bellinger will outperform Yelich in 5×5. More HRs, RBIs and a higher batting average will make up for the stolen base advantage that Yelich has. Honestly though, you can’t nitpick over two players who will finish in the top 5.
Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru Elite, @BaseballGuys): I worry about playing time when the Reds get healthy for DD. Also worry about him getting plunked for his ‘stare at it’ ways when he hits a big fly. There’s also the stupid high HR/FB. I’ll take Vogelbach. For the wheels, give me Smith. A better overall hitter, that gives Smith the playing time advantage the rest of the season. I’ll take Yelich. Bellinger has such a massive battle with the regression monster to deal with moving forward.
Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): I want to say Dietrich here, I have to believe that the Reds will continue to find regular at-bats for him even when Scooter Gennett is healthy. Vogelbach has a more secured place in the lineup, but I’m going to stick with the flashy guy and say Dietrich. For speed it is easy for me with Mallex Smith. If Jarrod Dyson could get on base better, I like his base stealing ability but he has shown a real knack for making outs in his career. Lastly, I like Cody Bellinger much better, as I am tired of watching Christian Yelich beat up on my beloved Cardinals, but in a 5X5 scenario, I do believe Yelich will be the better player. Bellinger can’t possibly keep up this pace he is on, and while he may have more home runs at seasons end, I do think Yelich will get him with batting average and stolen bases while keeping RBI close enough.
Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): Vogelbach over Dietrich – the former will benefit as vets get traded; the latter might be traded to a place where abs may become scarce. Smith over Dyson – he was the clear choice before the season and is starting to heat up. Bellinger over Yelich – truly this was a coin flip for me.
Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): Give me Dietrich, Smith and Yelich. With Dietrich, it’s mostly about the park, though I do wonder how all of the playing time shakes out once Scooter Gennett returns. I just believe in Smith’s skill set more at this point. The fact that the Mariners already sent him down once means they could very well do it again, but Dyson has started just three of Arizona’s last six games and will continue to platoon. I love Bellinger, but I think Yelich has the safer floor and Miller Park is an elite park for his left-handed power.
Clay Link (Rotowire, @claywlink): I think it’s Dietrich, but it’s close. I think Vogelbach’s playing time is more secure. Once Scooter Gennett is back, Gennett will be at second base almost every day for the Reds, and Nick Senzel will be in center, so Dietrich may become part of an outfield rotation with Jesse Winker, Yasiel Puig and Jose Peraza. Peraza has been starting in left field against southpaws — just more moving parts. Mallex Smith over Jarrod Dyson, as Smith has a two-steal lead despite the time spent in the minors and Dyson just doesn’t have the track record (never once reaching 400 PA). Yelich over Bellinger.
Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): I was fortunate to be able to pick up Dietrich off of the waiver wire in two of my leagues. He’s going to not only get more playing time, but should remain in the starting lineup, regardless if and when Scooter Gannett returns from the IL. Dietrich plays in a better hitting park than Vogelbach. Mallex Smith over Jarrod Dyson as age plays into the equation here. Yellich over Bellinger as Yellich has done produced at this level for 1 1/2 seasons where Bellinger could still have a 2nd half swoon.
Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I’ll go with Dietrich over Vogelbach, primarily because we know that Dietrich can maintain a healthy AVG/OBP over the course of a season, but we don’t yet know that about Vogelbach, which could conceivably cut into his playing time as the season progresses. The Dyson/Smith choice is the hardest for me – if Smith is still getting regular AB with a batting average below the Mendoza line, that suggests to me the Mariners are more committed to him as an everyday player than the D’backs are to Dyson, so I’ll go with Smith. I’ll take Bellinger over Yelich – Bellinger could hit at the Mendoza line for the rest of the season (which he won’t) and still wind up the season with an average of ~.270, which tells you what kind of a season he’s having. He should finish the season with a higher average than Yelich, and even if Yelich hits a few more home runs and steals a few more bases, that won’t be enough to overcome the batting average gap.
Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Call me oontrarian but I’m going Vogelbach for HR and Dyson for steals. Dietrich is such a fun story, but his reversion is so drastic, it will be hard to maintain. Pitchers should find a hole somewhere and exploit it. Seattle has cut bait with Mallex Smith once, I can see it happening again. Dyson is usually exposed playing regularly but I think he’ll hang in there are continue to run. Steals are worth so much compared to homers, giving Yelich the edge.