Week 6 of the MLB season is here and it means two things: You are reading the Week 6 Hitting Planner and the summer arrival of ice cream trucks is right around the corner.
A month into the season, we know more about some players, but we are all excited for the smells and sounds of summer including the ice cream truck.
The ice cream truck is a stable of American culture along with baseball and my hitting planners.
My go- to treat was the cartoon popsicles with the gumball eyes and in particular the mutant amphibian type.
The Week 6 Hitting Planner is all about the best ice cream truck foods and some hitters you might want to start.
Week 6 Hitting Planner
Matt Wieters, WSH (at BAL, vs. BAL, vs. PHI)
Matt Wieters’ spiritual representation in ice cream truck food is the Orange Dream Bar. The Dream hits from both sides of the flavor palate by being both creamy and tangy. Blissfully unaware, I stumbled upon this delicious flavor combination recently after writing it off as a child. Most wrote Wieters off after a disastrous 2016, but that’s about to change.
Wieters was a decent catching option since he could keep your average afloat, but at his peak, Wieters was able to contribute in four of the five standard hitting categories. His power seems to be back as he hit three home runs last week. The Nationals have a full slate of games, and it will be interesting to see what Wieters does against his old battery mates.
Ryan Zimmerman, WSH (at BAL, vs. BAL, vs. PHI)
This is less about how well Ryan Zimmerman will play in the Week 6 Hitting Planner and more about the change Zimmerman has made and how strong of a 2017 he is having. NL first basemen have been on a tear and I have neglected to mention Zimmerman in any of my other articles. The reigning NL Hitter of the Month should be a must start going forward, and is represented by the undeniably brilliant Chaco Taco on my Fantasy Baseball ice cream truck.
Robinson Cano, SEA (at PHI, at TOR)
Robinson Cano is beginning to heat up, and that means homers in bunches. Seattle plays at Philadelphia and in Toronto during Week 6, and while Toronto is currently playing like a pitcher’s park, both are traditionally easy parks to hit home runs in.
If you were to look to buy some Cano from the ice cream truck, then you would have to ask for a push pop. Squeezing frozen treats into your mouth is fun, but could end up messy. Cano should play in the same way by contributing in four of the five standard categories, but it could also get messy for opposing teams and he could have a huge week in the power department.
Marwin Gonzalez, HOU (vs. ATL, at NYY)
Is Marwin Gonzalez’s hot streak going to last all season? Probably not, but will it last past Week 6? Honestly, that’s up in the air, so like the fleeting flavor of the gum at the bottom of a Screwball, start Gonzalez while he’s hot.
Over his past 10 games, Gonzalez has a .592 wOBA (.379 BA if you don’t like wOBA), six homers, 15 RBI, and he’s walked more times than he has been rung up. He has basically forced the Astros to find a place for him in their starting lineup, so he could help you out this week at multiple positions; however, don’t get upset if your gum runs out of flavor faster than you think.
Manny Machado, BAL (vs. WSH, at WSH, at KC)
This is a classic play for the truly unlikely to take risks. Manny Machado is a top tier Fantasy player who was off to a bad start to 2017 but is really starting to heat up. The batting average is not what you would like from a first-round pick (.223), but the power stats are coming in bunches now.
Over his past seven games, Machado has driven in nine runs, homered four times, and has a wOBA of .446. If you come to my truck without knowing what to order, I will hand you an ice cream sandwich. The ice cream sandwich is a stable of any ice cream truck since it appeals to almost every pallet. This makes it perfect for those not looking to step out of their comfort zone.
Miguel Sano, MIN (at CHW, at CLE)
Rocket pop. Firecracker. Bomb pop. Whatever you called it, that red, white, blue blast of flavor cooled down a lot of hot summer days. Miguel Sano’s bat is the rocket pop and it has a chance to cool down a lot of pitchers hot streaks this week.
Over his past 10 games, Sano mashed four homers, drove in 14 runs, and strolled to a .525 wOBA (.405 BA). That power streak should continue as the Twins play away games against the White Sox and Indians in Week 6. Both teams play in parks that had HR park factors above one in 2016, so look for Sano to drive a few out of the park this week.
Brett Gardner, NYY (at CIN, vs. HOU)
With everyone clamoring over Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner has quietly been turning it on over the Yankees last eight games. Over this 38-plate appearance sample, Gardner is flying somewhat under the Fantasy radar with a .472 wOBA. That’s a pretty tasty snack, and while everyone focuses on Strawberry Shortcake flavor of the ice cream pops, Cookies ‘n Cream and Chocolate are just as good.
Gardner is the Chocolate to Judge’s Strawberry Shortcake, but with Gardner’s ability to steal bases in bunches, chocolate is the flavor of choice for Week 6. A perfect week for Gardner would have him contributing in all standard hitting categories, and with a matchup at the hitter-friendly Cincinnati, perfect does not look so out of reach.
Nelson Cruz, SEA (at PHI, at TOR)
Again the Mariners play in two parks with good track records of home run production. Nelson Cruz has been a league leader in homers before, so he should be well aware of this fact. If you want to drum up some home runs, it is time to start Cruz who has five homers over his last 10 games.
The Drumstick is the only ice cream fitting of the power potential Cruz holds in Week 6. The Drumstick is a symbol of the suburban summer and a best seller for most ice cream trucks.
It should be a good week power wise across the MLB as home run numbers are up again. The change in hitting philosophy from groundball to fly ball has already made an impact, and the Week 6 Hitting Planner supports that with a lot of power hitters scattered amounts descriptions of ice creams. Watch out for next weeks theme of…
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