We are in the home stretch for many head-to-head leagues with roughly four or five matchups remaining to make or break the season.  Whereas rotisserie leagues need to balance the final two months it is often about getting any point possible in any given week in a matchup-based format.  Therefore, we are often chasing the hot hand trying to determine who will remain hot and carry your team to the title.  Invest at the right time and you reap the rewards, invest too late and your season may be crashed.  In the head-to-head spirit this week, our hitter profiles will focus on two NL Central teams with hot hitters making the call for who we want driving home those points.

Cincinnati Reds: Jonathan India vs. Kyle Farmer

Over the past 16 games, Jonathan India looks like the spring training version of himself slugging five long balls while scoring 18 runs with 10 knocked in.  That is quite the strong performance-driven slightly by an elevated BABIP at .405 with nearly 40% of his flyballs leaving the park.  Possibly the largest increase in his run production is batting leadoff in front of the red-hot Joey Votto.  He will slow but continue to provide value as a middle infielder in deeper leagues the rest of the season.

Kyle Farmer on the other hand has hit .422 with 20 R + RBI and 3 longballs during that same timeframe.  In the last week, he has also moved to third in the lineup on most occasions increasing his opportunities for run production.  An improving strikeout rate and jumping hard-hit rate certainly are nice signs, but a BABIP over .450 is more than concerning.  Despite his positional flexibility, I do not see this production continuing and is not worth the investment regardless of the price.

Winner: Jonathan India

Milwaukee Brewers: Willy Adames vs. Rowdy Tellez

Over the past week, Adames has been ripping the ball with an exit velocity of nearly 94 mph with 3 home runs as proof.  However, in the week prior we had a paltry .115 average with a mere 3 hits and runs apiece.  While streaky at times, Adames has slugged 14 dingers in 65 games for Milwaukee with a very respectable .292 average.  A once top prospect, Adames seems to have found a home atop the Brewers’ lineup with the change in scenery and many signs point to this being a real improvement.

Rowdy Tellez joined the Brewers in early July and has not stopped hitting since with a .340 average and plenty of counting stats (5 HR, 10 R, 16 RBI).  The Brewers seem to be a great place to rejuvenate as a hitter and Tellez may be taking advantage.  A newfound approach at the plate seems to be settling in as Tellez is walking nearly as much as he strikes out which is a far cry from his career norms.  Splitting the season, we have a walk rate that has more than doubled and the lowest strikeout rate of his career.  With little in the way of luck metrics and a run-producing position in a potential playoff-bound lineup, there is a lot to like.

Winner: The Milwaukee Brewers (Tellez if I have to pick)